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Re: Re: Fast Access to Installed Packages

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg98419] Re: [mg98368] Re: Fast Access to Installed Packages
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2009 05:56:07 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at

On Wed, 8 Apr 2009 05:01:40 -0400 (EDT), David Bailey wrote:
> David Park wrote:
>> I like to have fast ways to access a package documentation. One thing
>> that would be helpful is if the 'Add-Ons and Packages' and 'Standard
>> Extra Packages' were actually on the drop down Help menu list so we
>> didn't have to go through the documentation center or type in the
>> package name. I would use these much more than most of the other items
>> on the menu.  For example, why is 'Find Selected Function' on the menu
>> list since we can do it much faster directly from a notebook?
>> In lieu of that, I would like to put a command in a package such as
>> 'PackageNameHelp' such that it it were evaluated it would bring up
>> Version 6 documentation.
>> I know how to do it for Version 5 Help Browser documentation. One uses:
>> PacletManager`Package`helpBrowserLookup["packagename"];
>> But I don't know how to write such a statement for Version 6
>> documentation.
>> Can anyone help?
> Yes, I have been hacking into the documentation system a bit in order to
> document my DebugTrace package. You can load that by using:
> Documentation`HelpLookupPacletURI["DebugTrace"]
> This works for GUIKit and Quantum (my version is only partially
> interfaced with the DC) - so I guess it is general.
> You can also pull up the documentation for a particular function, for
> example
> Documentation`HelpLookupPacletURI["GUIKit/ref/CloseGUIObject"]
> David Bailey

[Around the same time, I wrote...]
> Once you have the paclet URI, you can programmatically bring up the help
> for any page by doing, e.g.,...
> FrontEndExecute[
> FrontEnd`FrontEndToken["OpenHelpLink", {"guide/InstalledAddOns",
> Automatic}]]

I just thought I'd point out that my version actually calls the function 
Documentation`HelpLookup, which calls Documentation`HelpLookupPacletURI. The 
difference is that my solution use the same code used by "Find Selected 
Function" to attempt to reuse an existing help window rather than to always
produce a new help window.

If you're fine with always producing a new window, then David's solution is fine 
and unlikely to require any changes in future versions of Mathematica.

John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

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