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Re: Adding a new style environment

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg25843] Re: Adding a new style environment
  • From: "Paul R. Wellin" <wellin at>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2000 01:25:32 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <8t651o$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

This is actually quite easy to implement, although you will have to do some
fine-tuning to optimize things for your friend's particular needs. The basic
procedure I use to create new styles and style sheets is to start with an
existing style sheet, then copy certain cell styles (or environments),
renaming them as appropriate. Here is one way to proceed:

- start by opening up the default style sheet Default.nb (create a new
notebook and then select Format > Edit Style Sheet... from the menus; when
presented with the dialog box, select "Import Private Copy" so that you
don't end up editing and changing the default style sheet).
- open up the "Style Environment Names" section; you'll see four
environments listed: Working, Presentation, Condensed, and Printout.
- I am assuming that you don't need the Condensed style, and will simply
rename it throughout this procedure. (If you think you need it, then instead
of renaming it and editing its contents, you should paste a copy of the
entire Condensed environment below itself and then rename this copy and then
do likewise for each of the following steps). Select the cell bracket for
the Condensed style and select Format > Show Expression from the menus
(Shift-Ctrl-E).You should see the following:

Cell[StyleData[All, "Condensed"],
  CellLabelMargins->{{8, Inherited}, {Inherited, Inherited}},

Change this to:

Cell[StyleData[All, "LargeFormat"],
  CellLabelMargins->{{8, Inherited}, {Inherited, Inherited}},

- select this cell and unapply Show Expression.

- now you have a new environment called "LargeFormat". In the next series of
steps you will go into each cell style, rename Condensed to LargeFormat, and
edit this new environment for each cell style so that fonts are bigger, line
spacing is adjusted appropriately, etc. For example, change the Condensed
Title cell style from:

Cell[StyleData["Title", "Condensed"],
  CellMargins->{{8, 10}, {4, 8}},


Cell[StyleData["Title", "LargeFormat"],
  CellMargins->{{24, 10}, {20, 40}},
  LineSpacing->{1, 0},

When done doing this for each of the cell styles, make sure you have unapply
ShowExpression to each of the cells you edited. Then save this notebook as
LargeFormat.nb (or whatever new name you like) in

How big to make the fonts for each cell style is a matter of personal
preference, but there are a few things you might want to keep in mind.

- As you make a font larger, it is a good idea to increase line spacing a
bit to maintain readability. This is especially important for text in
paragraphs and display equations.

- You probably already know that sans serif fonts are generally easier for
visually impaired to read than serif fonts. (try to read billboards written
in each of these font types from a great distance and you'll see what I

- All of this editing will need fine-tuning to get the fonts right for your
friend's particular vision concerns. But once you have it, you might want to
set things up so this is the default style sheet used. To do this, make a
copy of Default.nb style sheet somewhere, and save this new LargeFormat.nb
in its place as Default.nb. The next time you start a new Mathematica
session, this style sheet will be used as the default. Alternately (and
perhaps better), open up the Option Inspector, set "Show option values for"
to "global", open the Global Options + box, then the File Locations + box,
and under DefaultStyleDefinitions change the value from Default.nb to
LargeFormat.nb, assuming that this style sheet lives in the same location as

If you have further questions about how to approach this, feel free to
contact us. Once you work out a good solution to this problem, we would be
happy to post your new style sheet for others who may benefit from it. You
can post it to MathSource directly yourself (

Paul Wellin
Wolfram Research, Inc.

"Chris Johnson" <cjohnson at> wrote in message
news:8t651o$ei6 at
> I have a person who is vision impaired in my unit and I would like to
> create special style sheets with big fonts.  I know how to edit the
> working and printing environment of already defined styles, but how can I
> add a "big font" environment to an existing style sheet?
> I know this can be done because some style sheets have a "condensed" style
> while others don't.  I would like to add to all the default style
> sheets a new feature so I can work in the Working/Printing environment,
> and then easily select the big fonts for printing or on-screen display
> when we are working together.
> I couldn't find this in the help files, any gurus out there who may know
> the secret?
> Thanks for your help,
> Chris

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