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Inserting user material in the HelpBrowser

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  • Subject: [mg52529] Inserting user material in the HelpBrowser
  • From: "E. Martin-Serrano" <EmilioMartin-Serrano at>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2004 05:57:46 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


Firstly, thanks to Wolfram (through Daniel Litchblau) for its support to
my post about time complexity in some Mathematica functions.

Now, I have spent some time trying to understand how help browser
notebooks (and related style sheets) work, and to the present, I do not
have problems to insert the help material in the browser (following the
guidance by Bob Treat, that is very easy). However, I am having problems
in developing the help material.

Assuming that I am using the default help browser style sheet
(HelpBrowser) to construct my help notebooks, these are being the two
main sources for my difficulties:

1)       If I make a mistake in laying out some type of cells (like
emphasis boxes, object definitions, chapter and section, among many
others) the notebook becomes useless because there is not a visible way
to delete the mistaken cells. And I have to restart time and again. At
least, I cannot see it.
2)        There are cell styles in the actual default help browser style
sheet (HelpBrowser) that do not appear in the help browser style sheet
listing in, as it appears in the Format/Style menu. For example:
ObjectName and Command, among many others. However these are
repeatedly used in the help browser material by Wolfram and others.

Some of my questions are:

- Are regular notebooks and help browser notebooks different sorts of notebook?
- How can one be able to affordably lay out a browser notebook without
the possibility of deleting mistaken cells through the menu interface?
- How can one affordably insert the needed instances of cell types
without the possibility applying the intended cell style format through
the menu interface?
- MathCaption, for example, is one of the styles available in the
Format/Style menu. Why Command,  ObjectName and Usage are not?
- ObjectName, for example, does not appear in the in the Format/Style
menu for the HelpBrowser style sheet. How can one apply this style cell
to a help browser notebook through the menu interface? 

I have been diving into the help browser Front End/Style Sheets/ (and
the options inspector)  trying to figure out how to solve the
inconvenience, and I did not find any direct or menu driven procedure to
deal with the issues, I even tried altering the default style sheet:
even worse. Modifying the default help browser style sheet seems to be
not that straightforward or neutral. No doubt that the guidance is,
somehow (but, how?), and somewhere (but, where?) in the help browser
mesh (since other users did produce their own help material, it should
be there).

Finally, the thing I have not tried yet is editing the cells definition
after having showing the cell expression by Format/(Shift+Ctrl+E).
Should I?

I will really appreciate any help.

E. Martin-Serrano

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