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How to Modify Mathematica 7 Documentation Center Default Styles

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg106356] How to Modify Mathematica 7 Documentation Center Default Styles
  • From: cjg <chuckgwo at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 10 Jan 2010 03:29:55 -0500 (EST)

This is dedicated to all the Old-Timer who has, for what ever reason,
downgraded to Mathematica 7 and suffered through the process.  As
years go by and my eyes are getting older every day, computer screen
are getting better with ever smaller pixel size, default styles used
in Documentation Center, or DC, is absolutely unbearable.  This post
give instructions on how to modify the default style sheet associated
with various part of the DC, which includes Function Navigator and
Virtual Book.  Here I need to thank David Reiss for pointing out that
DC style is defined in Reference.nb.  On a Mac, it is located at /
Applications/MathematicaV7.app/SystemFiles/FrontEnd/StyleSheets/
Wolfram/.  For a while, I was in vain modifying HelpBrowser.nb, which
defines the styles used in Mathematica 5.2 Help Browser.

On a Mac, find Mathematica 7 in the Application folder.  Right click
it and select show package contents.  Go to the above location and
copy Reference and save it some where else for backup.  Now, you can
double click Reference to open it.  My goal here is not to completely
modify all the styles used in DC.  I just want to modify enough of it
so that most of DC is more legible on a modern computer screen for a
pair of old eyes.  The list of styles to modify is not intended to be
exhaustive.  However, it already covers over 90% the DC that we use
most often.

Once Reference is opened, you can modify each to your own liking.
Don't worry about messing anything up.  You have the original to go
back to.  In addition, you will not be able to save this notebook to
its original location.  You have to use save as command to save it
some where else.  Changes made at each style will be reflected
immediately in DC.  So, it is a good idea to open the corresponding
part of DC to see if you like what you see.

To change each style, locate it, open the cell group, select the first
cell, this one defines  the style for the screen environment, unlock
the cell by selecting Cell\Cell Properties\Editable, go to the Format
menu to make the change that suit you, reverse above steps as
necessary and go on to the next.  If you want to modify a part of the
DC that you don't know which style to change, just as I did in finding
the list below, you can start out by changing a suspected one to some
unusual color and look back at DC and see if you guess it  right or
not.  Change to Reference are reflected immediately in DC.  Make a
note of what changes you made that suite your taste.

Once you are happy with what you see in DC, save Reference.  You can't
save it back to the original location, so save it in your own document
folder.  Now, quit Mathematica and copy Reference you just modified to
replace the original in /Applications/MathematicaV7.app/SystemFiles/
FrontEnd/StyleSheets/Wolfram/.  Launch Mathematica and all the changes
you just made will be reflected in DC.

Here is the list in Reference that I made change to suit my own need.
It should be a good starting point.

Text
Text -> Verdana 14

Function Page Styles: define styles used in Function Navigator
Usage -> Verdana 14
Notes -> Verdana 14
1ColumnTableMod -> Courier 14
2ColumnTableMod -> Courier 14
3ColumnTableMod -> Courier 14
PrimaryExampleSection ->  Verdana 12
ExampleText -> Verdana 14
ExampleSection ->  Verdana Bold 12
ExampleSubsection ->  Verdana Bold 12
SeeAlsoSection -> Verdana 12
SeeAlso -> Verdana Bold 12
Tutorials -> Verdana 14

Tutorial Page Styles: define styles used in Virtual Book
DefinitionBox -> Verdana 14
DefinitionBox3Col -> Verdana 13
Caption -> Helvetica 12
MathCaption -> Verdana 14
RelatedTutorialsSection -> Verdana 12
RelatedTutorials -> Verdana 14
TutorialMoreAboutSection -> Verdana 12
TutorialMoreAbout -> Verdana 14
TutorialRelatedLinksSection -> Verdana 12
TutorialMoreAbout -> Verdana 14

I hope you like the new look of DC.  I surely feel liberated.  Now I
can change DC window magnification back to 100% which is a much better
use of screen real estate.  Now, all I need to do is to figure it out
how to make DC windows remember its previous location and size so that
I don't have to change it every time!


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