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Re: Problem displaying user-created .cdf files

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  • Subject: [mg123028] Re: Problem displaying user-created .cdf files
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2011 04:26:23 -0500 (EST)
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  • Reply-to: jfultz at

The Deployed option, as you may have surmised, had absolutely nothing to do with 
whether or not your sliders work.  And, in fact, Deployed has no impact on 
slider functionality at all.

But sliders can be disabled by setting Enabled->False.  This is a useful 
feature, as it allows a continuous display of controls, but temporarily 
disabling them in cases where the controls are irrelevant.  This is quite common 
in user interfaces generally, and there's nothing strange about how Mathematica 
does it.

What is strange is why you should have had to set Enabled->True explicitly. To 
understand that, I'd have to see the code.  Enabled is set to True by default, 
and unless you've somehow changed the default settings, it should not be 
necessary to explicitly set it to True.

In general, the Deployed option makes an output act more like an interface and 
less like a raw bit of output.  This means, for example,

* Random bits of static text are not selectable or editable.  In most interfaces 
(imagine a dialog box in any program you used), you can't go about selecting
bits of text and rewriting them unless that text is inside of a control like an 
input field.

* Graphics are not editable.  You can't double-click to get inside them. You 
can't select them and resize them.  You can't take take 3D graphics and spin
them around.  The graphics, like the text, are part of the background.

* All controls remain active.  There are, in fact, other options you could have 
used to achieve the above effects, but those other options would have messed
with the controls, as well.  By using Deployed->True (or the Deploy[] function, 
which basically sets Deployed->True), you get controls that work as they should 
while everything else remains a fully inert part of the background.


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

On Sun, 20 Nov 2011 05:34:52 -0500 (EST), Gary wrote:
> Progress
> I previously reported that the slider controls in my Manipulate[]
> graphic were gray and inactive. Setting "Format --> Option Inspector --
>> Cell Options --> General Properties --> Deployed --> True" did not
> help (yes, the file was selected). But next to Deployed, I noticed
> Enabled, so I set Deployed --> False and set Enabled --> True. That
> turned on the blue slider buttons again. I rechecked by setting
> Enabled --> False and resetting Deployed --> True. That produced
> inactive slider buttons. Furthermore, in the main Cell menu, the
> Delete All Output choice was now grayed out. I again set Deployed -->
> False and set Enabled --> True and got the active controls back as
> well as an active Delete All Output. So I did the obvious, setting
> both Deployed and Enabled to True. The controls are active and Delete
> All Output is active. The instructions I have found all said to set
> Deployed --> True, but I con't recall any mention of Enabled. It is
> not clear to me what Deployed --> True does in this situation. Enabled
> --> True seems to be both necessary and sufficient, at least within
> the notebook. Does Deployed affect only the cdf files?
> I am puzzled that my many searches for online documentation on this
> point produced only snippets of information on Deployed (generally
> with incomplete information on where to find it) and no information at
> all on Cell Options --> General Properties --> Enabled (True/False).
> For example, I don't find it here <
> mathematica/ref/Manipulate.html>. I feel a need for a few collected
> pages of expanded discussion of when and where the various options
> available under the Options Inspector are or are not needed. There is
> a great need for a document on trouble shooting. The technical
> descriptions are not always obvious to a beginner. I am picking up a
> few things, but at a cost which seems unnecessarily high. Some of the
> needed discussion might be scattered among the many books on
> Mathematica, or many of the answers might be concentrated in one or
> two books, but which ones?
> Mathematica Home Edition 8, iMac, OS X 10.6.8, Chrome, Firefox

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