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Re: How to write reports and books in Mathematica
> My biggest gripe when using Mathematica as a word processor was the lack of > tables and columns in the basic layout of a notebook. Having everything > in just one single column was so 1800s ... > > I remember some package or add-on could be used to add two-columns > capability to Mathematica (in fact, I believe that many books on > Mathematica, > like Roman Maeder's were written with something like that), but I believe > such a basic functionality should be built-in, in order for everyone to > take advantage of it. > > Has this been added in the latest versions of Mathematica? I don't remember > to > have seen it advertised anywhere. > > It would be nice to have a "columns" or "table" entry in the Format > menu that makes the notebook from the cursor onward a two (or n) column > table. In this way it would be possible to have text on one side and > code and output on the other. Or to have multicolum text (eventually > flowing from one column to the other if suitable options are given). > > Is it so difficul to add such a functionality in the form of a new > Layout construct? In the earlier versions of Mathematica (I started with 1.2), I felt the same limitation, but with the most recent versions this limitation does not exists any more. You see, you should see a cell as a container, representing the space on a (virtual) page. This container occupies space from the left to the right side of the page. Like a rectangular band on a page if you like. What you put inside this band is up to you. Do you want a multicolumn display? then just use the Grid command and place whatever "expressions" you want in the Grid places. As you know "expressions" in Mathematica can take many different forms: 2D-graphics, 3D- graphics, text, mathematical expressions, animations, ect. So if you learn to use Grid and its related Row and Column commands you can obtain any visual presentation effect you may imagine. The Presentations package by David Park exploits this core functionality and offers higher level, more user friendly, functions to the end user.