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Re: Inserting user material in the HelpBrowser

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  • Subject: [mg52572] Re: Inserting user material in the HelpBrowser
  • From: David Bailey <dave at>
  • Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2004 02:21:41 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <cok8qu$jq4$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

E. Martin-Serrano wrote:
>  Hi,
> 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


It is possible to select a cell even though the cell bracket is not 
visible. I modify my MENUSETUP.TR file with a text editor (but take a 
backup first!) to contain an extra menu item thus:

       Item["Select Cell",FrontEndExecute[

Obviously, you have to chose which main menu to attach it to.

Be very careful - if you get the file wrong Mathematica will not start.

You can use & characters in the menu item name to create an alt-shortcut
under Windows.

After you have selected a cell - even though it is not visible - you can 
cut/copy/delete it.

David Bailey

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