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Re: How to bring up specific doc page programmatically?

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  • Subject: [mg114363] Re: How to bring up specific doc page programmatically?
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2010 05:39:23 -0500 (EST)

  "OpenHelpLink", {"tutorial/Operators",

If you want to always bring up a new window (i.e., never reuse an existing help
window), then the following will suffice:

FrontEndExecute[FrontEndToken["OpenHelpLink", "tutorial/Operators"]]


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

On Wed, 1 Dec 2010 02:10:57 -0500 (EST), kj wrote:
> Is there a way to bring up a specific documentation page
> programmatically?  IOW, is there some Mathematica expression whose
> evaluation would cause some specific Documentation Center page
> (e.g., the one for tutorial/Operators) to come come up? (BTW,
> tutorial/Operators here is just a random example; I want to be able
> to do this for any arbitrary documentation page, or indeed any
> string, as one would type it in the location bar of the documentation
> browser.)
> This is the best I've managed so far:
> PopDoc[s_] :== Module[{nb},
> nb == First@Notebooks[];
> NotebookWrite[nb, s, All];
> FrontEndExecute[FrontEndToken["SelectionHelpDialog"]];
> NotebookWrite[nb, "", All];
> ]
> Evaluating PopDoc["tutorial/Operators"] does indeed bring up the
> corresponding doc page, but the process has two problems: 1) it
> clutters the notebook with an unnecessary cell; and 2) it BEEPS.
> I can live with the clutter, but the beep drives me nuts.
> Both problems are related to the fact that the only way I have
> found to bring up a doc page programmatically requires that the
> notebook's current selection be set to the string representing the
> page (e.g.  "tutorial/Operators").  This is what causes the first
> problem (the unnecessary cell is where the this dummy selection
> gets placed).  The second problem occurs when I wipe out the dummy
> selection.  Help > Why the Beep? says that
> There is a problem with the position of the text insertion point.
> The insertion point might not be where you intended.
> The optimal solution, of course, would be a way to bring up the
> desired page without having to fiddle with the selection at all.
> That would solve both problems in one swoop.  The next best solution
> would be a way to set the selection that is invisible to the user,
> so that no extra cells get created, and there's no need to wipe
> out the dummy selection.  Absent any of these alternatives, I'd
> settle for some way to turn off the beeping (or even just muting
> the volume just long enough to make the beep inaudible).
> TIA!
> ~kj

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