MathGroup Archive 1998

[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index]

Search the Archive

Re: Xresources for Mathematica

  • To:
  • Subject: [mg10934] Re: Xresources for Mathematica
  • From: "P.J. Hinton" <>
  • Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 00:46:19 -0500
  • Organization: Wolfram Research, Inc.
  • References: <6bumjr$>

On 12 Feb 1998, Pedro N. Safier wrote:

> I am using Mathematica 3.0 in a Unix box.
> I am wondering how do I change the X resources (in the .Xdefaults file)
> to change the widget appearance (size, menu background etc,)

The Mathematica X front end has a multitude of resource settings.  You
can set specific resources in your .Xdefaults file, but they must be
entered properly so that they are associated with Mathematica.  

A good place to start looking for names of resources is the XMathematica
file, which resides in


where $TopDirectory is the path to the Mathematica installation (by
default, /usr/local/mathematica).  

Let's say, for example, you wanted to change the font for the menus from
Helvetica-Bold to Helvetica-Medium.  In the XMathematica file, you'll
find this resource: 

*fontList: -*-helvetica-bold-r-*-*-*-120-*-*-*-*-*-*

Copy this line into your .Xdefaults file and add "XMathematica" at the
beginning of the line.


This tells your X server that this font setting applies only to

The XMathematica file contains most of the resources that you would ever
want to change.  However, you can target your settings ad absurdium
using editres, an X program that will get the widget tree for an X
client.  A full exposition of how to use this program is beyond the
scope of this newsgroup.  You can find a discussion of its usage in the
_X Window System User's Guide_ that's published by O'Reilly and
Associates.  Using editres, I was able to find the name of the resource
that controls the fonts used on the Help Browser radio buttons
exclusively :-):

.Help Browser.FrontEnd._rowColumn.*._radio.fontList:

John Fultz wrote an excellent article on playing around with the front
end resources for the _Mathematica Journal_ a number of years ago.  The
article is still available in version 2..2 notebook format at URL:

Much of it is still relevant for version 3.0.

P.J. Hinton
Mathematica Programming Group  Wolfram
Research, Inc.        
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone.

  • Prev by Date: Re: Random Order of a Set of Numbers
  • Next by Date: Get rid of Input cells when printing?
  • Prev by thread: Xresources for Mathematica
  • Next by thread: Can anyone help me with these?