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Re: Inserting user material in the HelpBrowser

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg52608] Re: [mg52529] Inserting user material in the HelpBrowser
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2004 04:07:47 -0500 (EST)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

To answer your questions...

Most of your questions can be answered by simply knowing about the Brackets 
environment.  Assuming that you're authoring a help browser notebook using 
the HelpBrowser stylesheet, then you can simply choose

Format->Screen Style Environment->Brackets

to see all of the brackets for all cell types.  To switch back (which 
you'll probably want to do when deploying the notebook into the help 
system, although it's not technically necessary), do...

Format->Screen Style Environment->Working

To answer your other questions...

* Yes, a help browser notebook is just an ordinary notebook.  To be useful 
and standardized in the help browser, they may have some special settings 
set (especially copy and index tags), but any notebook could potentially 
show up in the help browser.

* To get any style which doesn't show up in the Style menu, you can use


and type in the stylename.  You can also use Alt+0 (Command+0 on Mac).


John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

On Wed, 1 Dec 2004 05:57:46 -0500 (EST), 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

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