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Re: initialize cells

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg93050] Re: initialize cells
  • From: "David Park" <djmpark at>
  • Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2008 02:34:04 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <gdms9e$gn$>

To initialize a cell, select the cell bracket on the right hand side and use 
Alt-cpi, or use the Menu/Cell/Cell Properties/Initialization Cell command.

When you first save a notebook with initialization cells you will be given a 
choice of whether you wish to create an autosave package. If you choose to 
do that a .m package file will be created and everytime you update the 
notebook and save it, the .m package file will also be updated. The .m 
package will contain only the initialization cells. You should never 
actually have to look at the .m file. You could load the package with a 
Needs or Get statement.

If you choose not to create an autosave package, then the notebook will just 
be saved 'as is' including the initialization cells. When you subsequently 
open the notebook in a fresh section, and try to evaluate some some cell in 
the notebook, Mathematica will ask you if you want to first evaluate the 
initialization cells. The answer should generally be yes. You can also use 
the Option Inspector to set the Notebook, Evaluation option such that 
Mathematica will ask if you want to evaluate all the initialization cells as 
soon as you open the notebook.

A method that I  use is to make Initialization and Routines (also 
initialized) Sections at the top of the notebook and put all the 
initializations there. The Routines Section might contain routines I have 
developed  along the way, or even common data. I would usually write usage 
messages and SyntaxInformation for all of these. Then as I work along and 
develop other notebooks I just copy these sections into the other notebook. 
I never work with several notebooks at once, that may have dependent code. I 
consider it inconvenient to work with more than one notebook at a time. 
(However, others may be comfortable with it.) Then, when I'm happy with the 
routines and material in the Routines Section I may create a package with 
them, or move them over to an existing package. Since they have already been 
defined and tested it's all pretty simple.

David Park
djmpark at

"Tugrul Temel" <temelt at> wrote in message 
news:gdms9e$gn$1 at
> How do you initialize cells in an NB file?

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