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Style Sheed Documentation

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  • Subject: [mg76535] Style Sheed Documentation
  • From: "David Park" <djmpark at>
  • Date: Wed, 23 May 2007 05:39:43 -0400 (EDT)

Since a new feature of Version is that documentation can be updated on-line, 
it would be nice to get some additional tutorial documentation for style 
sheets without waiting for Mathematica 6.1 or 6.01.

I've a few style sheets of my own design from 5.2. I'm willing to create 
them fresh in 6.0 so that they will be totally compatible with 6.0 and so I 
can learn how to use the new style sheet system.

So here are some of my questions:

1) I would like to start with the standard Default style and modify it to 
make a style sheet system that I will call XStyle. I want to do things like 
change fonts and font sizes, add some new cell types, set menu positions, 
add some open/close icons, change the background for the entire notebook. 
But first, how do I create and save the XStyle.nb style sheet, so that I can 
edit and develop it to the style I want?

2) I noticed that the Default style sheet has two extra levels of sections: 
Subsubsubsection and Subsubsubsubsection. I would like to have them and 
modify them. (I would like to add open/close icons.) How do I get access to 
them so I can modify them?

3) Suppose I want to modify the background color for the entire notebook. 
How do I do that?

4) Maybe Cascading Style Sheets are obvious and maybe they are not. Would it 
be possible to have a basic description on how they work?

5) As a designer of new style sheets, would I have to created my own 
cascading style sheets? Would I have to have an XStyleCore.nb and an 
XStyleDefault.nb? If so, how would I create them?

6) I did create a style sheet by something of a hack. I saved the private 
style sheet that came up under a new name and then I went to the WRI style 
sheets and just copied whole sections into it, and then modified them. (This 
is probably not the way to do it?) This seemed to work except that when I 
now first evaluate a cell in a notebook I get a Message window warning about 
an invalid value for MenuPosition and I don't know why because I made them 
all distinct. I had a new Title type cell and three new Text type cells and 
I tried to interlace their Menu positions with the title and text menu 
positions. Then I tried putting them all at the end with menu positions 
greater than 10000 and distinct -  but I still get the message.  What are 
the rules on MenuPosition? I don't see a lot of usefulness for hidden styles 
not on the menu.

7) When one modifies a style, such as Text, one gets just the normal Text 
style cell. What about the Presentation, Printing and Condensed styles? How 
would they be entered?

8) How would I make a new text cell type with a new name by modifying the 
existing Text style (keeping the original Text style?)

I will probably have more questions but I hope that is a basic start.

I'm very pleased that John Fultz has taken an interest in this. From past 
experience we can expect nothing but good results!

David Park
djmpark at

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