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Re: Notebook interface and Wolfram-Alpha

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  • Subject: [mg117172] Re: Notebook interface and Wolfram-Alpha
  • From: Helen Read <readhpr at>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 16:01:40 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <ilac0j$1uv$>

On 3/10/2011 6:17 AM, Murray Eisenberg wrote:
> That's strange: With Mathematica 8.0.1 under Mac OSX, whenever I open a
> new (blank) notebook, the first thing I see is a horizontal line with
> the + symbol just below its left end, indicating that's where I can type
> input in a new cell.  And then after I evaluate a cell, immediately
> below the output I see such a line with the + icon there, too.  (The
> line and + go away as soon as you begin to type in the new cell.)
> I find this a handy confirmation that the cursor is where a new cell can
> be created -- a more immediately visible indicator that the old way.
> this can be handy, especially, for novice users who may be puzzled as to
> where to type input. Yet the line and + icon are so unobtrusive that
> they certainly don't annoy me, a very long-time and experienced
> Mathematica user.  (I just don't get what could be so "annoying" about
> it -- other than that it's something a bit new and different.)

I agree. It's more easily visible than the old cell insertion point 
indicator, and I find it an improvement, not an annoyance. My students 
use it to insert Plain Text or Other Style of Text, which they find more 
intuitive than having to go up on the Format, Style menu. I use keyboard 
shortcuts for inserting different cell types, and rarely use the 
insertion point dropdown (other than to show students how to do it), but 
I still like having the easily visible + that indicates the insertion point.

I think the OP was bothered by having Free-form Input and Wolfram Alpha 
Query on the insertion point dropdown.

Helen Read
University of Vermont

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