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Re: Re: Does Mathematica really need more printed,

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg88272] Re: [mg88231] Re: [mg88197] Does Mathematica really need more printed,
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 04:24:59 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <fuhfdc$ihb$> <fuhrka$s88$> <>
  • Reply-to: murray at

Each Mathematica 6 Documentation Center page is a Mathematica notebook, 
and when it appears it includes the usual control for magnifying 
everything, up to 300%.  Surely that suffices.

And I believe the default is configurable by means of the Options 
Inspector: you use the Global category; search for Magnification; then 
change that from the default value 1 to something higher.

Unless you need severely compensating assistive technology, that should 

Richard Palmer wrote:
> I have an additional concern regarding current on-line documentation.  Some
> of it does not have a resizable font.  That makes it difficult for people
> like me that have glasses and use portable computers with smaller screens.
> I hope that can be fixed in a subsequent release.
> Regards, Richard
> On 4/28/08, AES <siegman at> wrote:
>> In response to Andrzej Kozlowski's comment
>>>    Judging by quite many "ordinary  users" I known, the views you have
>> been
>>>    expressing, particularly those on the need for printed software
>> manuals
>>>    rather make you a memeber of a minority, and moreover a rather
>>>   rapidly declining one. I for one, . . .
>> Does Mathematica really need printed, more introductory level
>> documentation (aka books, or manuals) to add to its excellent, but less
>> readable, online documentation?
>> Let's take an experimental or "reality-based" approach to this question
>> (however much that approach may be out of favor with our current
>> administration in Washington . . .)
>> Adobe Illustrator is, in my opinion anyway, an excellent piece of
>> technical software, comparable in quality and usefulness and at least
>> somewhat comparable in technical complexity, to Mathematica.
>> There's probably a sizable overlap --- or at very least, a very sizable
>> _potential_ market overlap --- between Illustrator and Mathematica users
>> (new graphics commands that are very Illustrator-like have in fact been
>> added in 6.0).
>> Both programs have something of an initial learning curve for "ordinary
>> users"; both have excellent detailed online reference documentation.
>> Mathematica is, I would judge, actually substantial more complex and
>> requires more learning for an average individual than does Illustrator.
>> On my Mac, Illustrator 11 is 75 MB for the app itself, plus another 75
>> MB of supplemental stuff.  I didn't try to dig inside the Mathematica
>> package, but it's over 1 GB in my Applications folder, plus whatever
>> additional material is stuffed away elsewhere on my HD.  Illustrator
>> manuals tend to be 300 to 500 pages; the Mathematica Book for v5 was
>> just under 1500.  Mathematica users, especially less experienced ones,
>> might need more forms and varieties of documentation, that Illustrator
>> users.
>> So, to get some idea what sort of introductory printed books and manuals
>> might be useful for Mathematica, we might ask: what sort of introductory
>> printed books and manuals are readily available, right now, for
>> Illustrator?   (Noting again that Illustrator also has good, well
>> organized, readily accessible online documentation, Help files, and
>> tutorials --- along with helpful user forums on its web site.)
>> A quick look at then brings up a list of at least twelve (12)
>> such introductory books or manuals on Illustrator (list appended below).
>> All of these books are currently available in stock on amazon (and three
>> are on my bookshelf) --- as compared to _none_ (as yet, anyway) for
>> Mathematica 6.
>> At least half of these Illustrator manuals can be identified as current
>> editions of earlier versions that were published for earlier versions of
>> Illustrator.  In other words, earlier versions apparently sold well
>> enough that authors were willing to write and publishers were willing to
>> bring out 2nd, 3rd, even 4th editions of these manuals, updated for the
>> current version of Illustrator.
>> Or in other words, for me anyway:  The experimental evidence is that
>> these books  _clearly meet user needs_, sufficiently so that authors are
>> willing to invest their energies in writing them; publishers publish
>> them; and users buy them, including more than once;
>> Should Wolfram maybe recognize this point?
>> =====================================
>> *  Adobe Illustrator CS3 Classroom in a Book by Adobe Creative Team
>> (2007)  $35
>> *  The Adobe Illustrator CS3 Wow! Book by Sharon Steuer (2007) $24
>> *  Adobe Illustrator CS3 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques by Karlins
>> and Hopkins (2007) $10
>> *  Real World Adobe Illustrator CS3 by Mordy Golding (2007) $20
>> *  Illustrator CS3 Bible by Ted Alspach ( 2007) $25
>> *  Adobe Illustrator for Fashion Design by Susan Lazear (2008) $35
>> *  Fashion Designer's Handbook for Adobe Illustrator by Centner and
>> Vereker (2007) $50
>> *  Illustrator CS3 for Windows and Macintosh (Visual QuickStart Guide)
>> by Weinmann and Lourekas (2007) $20
>> *  Adobe Illustrator CS3 Revealed by Chris Botello (Aug 31, 2007) $45
>> *  Best Practice: The Pros On Adobe Illustrator by Toni Toland (Aug 16,
>> 2006) $35
>> *  Adobe Illustrator CS2 Revealed, Education Edition by Chris Botello
>> (2005) $40
>> *  Illustrator CS for Dummies by Ted Alspach (2003) $25
>> =====================================

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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