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Re: Using a notebook as a notebook.
Yes, you can definitely use Mathematica in that manner. For me, it is the preferred way of using Mathematica. A couple of my slogans are: 1) Don't think of Mathematica as a super graphical calculator or as a programming language or as a word processor, although it is in part those things, but think of it as a piece of paper on which you are writing your mathematical ideas. It's a pretty magical piece of paper because of its memory, active and dynamic capabilities. 2) Calculate everything, including derivations and proofs. This might not be 100% possibly but for most students it is nearly that. You may have to write definitions, helper functions, convenience functions, encode axioms as Rules or routines, write MakeBoxes formatting and things like that. When you get done you have useful routines (the fruit of your labor) and they will be right because you used them and they worked. 3) Use the Notebook Sectional grouping and use Text cells for commentary and explanation. Proofs by word processing on Mathematica are probably not worth the extra effort. The Presentations Application from my web site (it costs $50) is oriented toward writing these kinds of notebooks. There are a number of extended examples of active derivations and proofs. Nevertheless you can still use this approach without the Application. David Park djmpark at comcast.net http://home.comcast.net/~djmpark/index.html From: nbits [mailto:nbits.spoken at gmail.com] Apart from having made a reasonably thorough study of the Mathematica core language and notebook interface I am new to Mathematica and remain at somewhat of a loss as to how to go about using it as a substitute for a pen and paper notebook. This would encompass the following use-cases: (1) rote transcription from a textbook at the advanced undergraduate to graduate level in addition to my own "between the lines" embellishments (i.e. filling in of "gaps"); (2) a complete rewrite of a proof from a text book; (3) original material; (4) possibly some integration with Mathematica's symbol manipulation, theorem proving/verification capabilities. Perhaps a concrete example would help clarify my goals. The case I have in mind involves a summation over a subset of a sequence satisfying some condition, but I cannot find a way to represent this in Mathematica, which seems to in every case require a numerical index of summation, with the index to at the bottom right of the sigma instead of directly under it, which latter would be the natural location for the desired set-theoretical specification of the summands. Another, more general, issue I am having is whether to enter a given piece of exposition as a text cell or as a math cell, and whether certain palettes have a text vs. a math "bias." Unfortunately, I lack the patience for instructional videos and cannot seem to find any conventional, text (i.e., html or notebook) based documentation of the palettes. I contacted support regarding this and they are currently taking their time responding. I welcome your advice.