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Re: Re: Re: Re: Presentation quick with

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  • Subject: [mg100823] Re: [mg100794] Re: [mg100765] Re: [mg100724] Re: [mg100678] Presentation quick with
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 21:22:20 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at

If menu commands worked on palettes, then there would constant confusion
when you're using the palette.  Which menu commands work on palettes and
which don't?  What if typing went to one notebook but the File->Save menu
command worked on a completely different notebooK?  Should File->Print be
allowed to print palettes...if so, how much frustration and wasted paper
would it cause, and if not, why should it be different from File->Save?
Or what if you could get yourself into a mode where typing and many
menu commands didn't work at all (i.e. because palettes aren't generally

The current system isn't the most convenient for developers of
palettes. But it greatly reduces confusion for users of palettes, and
there are many more palette users than palette developers.

For palette users, the current system is very consistent.  The only
menu commands which work directly on palettes are geared directly toward
palettes...for example, Generate Notebook from Palette.

When I develop palettes, incidentally, I never use Generate Palette
from Selection.  CreatePalette[] returns a notebook expression which I
can operate with directly.  Since I create palettes that I might want to
be able to alter slightly in the future, it's much more reproducible to
create an entire program which, from start to finish, creates the palette
and deploys it (saving it in the process when I so wish).  This makes
it very easy to reliably make small changes without accidental fumbling
producing spoiled palettes which need to be redone.

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

On Sun, 14 Jun 2009 05:39:43 -0400 (EDT), Murray Eisenberg wrote:
> Of course!  When I selected Install Palette, the pop-up dialog asked for
> a source, and I forgot that the source file could be an open notebook
> and not necessarily a notebook previously saved.
> The issue remains, however, about saving a palette once you create it
> with Generate Palette from Selection. It just seems to me that one
> should not have to go through all the fuss of seeing the list of values
> of Notebooks[], picking the relevant one nb, and finally using
> NotebookSave[nb].
> What is the rationale for the design decision not to allow, by default,
> using File->Save or File->Save As directly upon such a created palette?
> John Fultz wrote:
>> There is no missing step.  Palettes->Install Palette..., which I
>> mention below,
>> installs a copy of the palette into the right location so that it will
>> be found
>> in the Palettes menu.  It does so by saving a copy of the palette in
>> the right
>> directory with the name you specify, and then immediately regenerating
>> the menus
>> so that you don't have to quit/restart to see the results.
>> Sincerely,
>> John Fultz
>> jfultz at
>> User Interface Group
>> Wolfram Research, Inc.
>> On Sat, 13 Jun 2009 06:03:48 -0400 (EDT), Murray Eisenberg wrote:
>>> There's a step missing below: how to save the palette after using
>>> Palettes->Generate Palette from Selection !
>>> This issue has arisen before in MathGroup. I know there's an answer,
>>> and
>>> I could probably again reconstruct it or find it by a search, but the
>>> difficulty indicates that there's a design gap in Mathematica in such
>>> situations.  It just should not be that non-obvious.
>>> John Fultz wrote:
>>>> ... evaluate this code to make a button, click on a
>>>> cell insertion point, and click the button:
>>>> Button["Insert Text+Math Grid",
>>>> NotebookWrite[InputNotebook[],
>>>> Cell[BoxData[
>>>> FormBox[GridBox[{{Cell["text"], "\[Placeholder]"}}],
>>>> TraditionalForm]], "Text"]]]
>>>> You could turn this button into a palette (Palettes->Generate
>>>> Palette
>>>> from Selection) and install it (Palettes->Install Palette...) and
>>>> use
>>>> it later (Palettes-><whatever you named your palette>) as well.

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