MathGroup Archive 2009

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

Search the Archive

Re: New Wolfram Tutorial Collection documentation is ready

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg99692] Re: New Wolfram Tutorial Collection documentation is ready
  • From: Bob F <deepyogurt at>
  • Date: Mon, 11 May 2009 06:25:21 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <gu3arb$t79$>

On May 9, 1:20 am, John Fultz <jfu... at> wrote:
> A followup to an earlier post of mine (snipping the irrelevant bits out). ..
> On Sat, 2 May 2009 11:36:22 -0500, John Fultz wrote:
> > On Sat, 2 May 2009 05:55:57 -0400 (EDT), Bob F wrote:
> >> I looked at one of the files (Visualization & Graphics) also, and
> >> tried to do some copy/paste from both Acrobat and Preview on a Mac,
> >> into Mathematica and it doesn't work very well. A simple line that
> >> says in the PDF file:
> >> Plot[Cos[x], {x,-Pi,Pi}]
> >> comes out like this when pasted into some other program like this
> >> Safari browser window)
> >> Plot@Cos@xD, 8x, -Pi, Pi<D
> >> and when copied from Mathematica Virtual Book comes out fine and is
> >> pasted as:
> >> Plot[Cos[x], {x, -Pi, Pi}]
> >> so these files don't seem to be real useful if you want to extract
> >> code examples. This seems rather weird as these are all normal ASCII
> >> characters. So the Documentation Center & Virtual Book windows in
> >> Mathematica are looking a like the way to go if you wish to do any
> >> copying and pasting of code examples.
> :
> :>> -Bob
> > Thanks for the various remarks.
> :
> :> Concerning copy/paste, this is due to the fact that the PDF focuses on
> > being a high-fidelity visual representation of the in-product
> > documentation. Since inputs can contain typesetting, non-ASCII
> > characters, etc., no attempt was made to convert them to an InputForm
> > equivalent.  So these are StandardForm cells which, among other things,
> > use Mathematica fonts to represent characters such as square brackets.
> > I.e., the content of the PDF is exactly as Mathematica would display it
> > on-screen or print it to the printer.  And, as you say, we do have the
> > in-product Virtual Book if you're looking for interactivity with
> > Mathematica.
> :
> :
> > John Fultz
> > jfu... at
> > User Interface Group
> > Wolfram Research, Inc.
> In the interest of making sure the information out there is correct, let me
> follow up on this and point out that, under Windows, if you copy from Adobe
> Acrobat Reader and paste directly in Mathematica, it *does* work just fine.
> I'm guessing that the reports of this not working are coming from Macintosh
> users (correct me if I'm wrong), and I wouldn't expect this to work under Linux,
> either.  The reason this works under Windows is pretty technical, but it
> basically has to do with how Reader and Mathematica interact with each other on
> the clipboard (*).  Note that a similar issue would be observed under Windows,
> too, if you copied from the PDFs and pasted to Notepad.
> The reason for the system dependency is because we're relying on features of the
> system clipboard, which vary from one operating system to another.  And none of
> this here negates the suggestion that we should look into making copy/paste work
> better on Mac, which I'm discussing with the documentation production group.
> Sincerely,
> John Fultz
> jfu... at
> User Interface Group
> Wolfram Research, Inc.
> (*)  A slightly self-serving footnote.  A little embarrassingly, I implemented
> the feature which made this work, and yet it never occurred to me that it would
> kick in with pleasant consequences here until I tried it.  The lesson is that
> software systems (of all kinds, but certainly including Mathematica) are really
> complex, and sometimes in ways that even surprise their creators.

I'm a bit confused -- first you say that it can't work because of the
complexities with making sure that things "look" right (see post #18
in this thread). Now you say (in post #20 in this thread) it works on
Windows but not Mac's. Are you talking about the same thing? What
generated the PDF file you are doing the copying (was it a Mathematica
generated PDF or ???)?

So are you saying that this copy/paste will generally work when doing
it on a Windows system, no matter the complexity of the input
expression, or ??? And likewise that it will never work on a Mac?

If it depends on the complexity of the expression, can you make any
statements like "if you avoid using the symbol "xxx" (fill xxx in with
the symbols that apply -- perhaps xxx is an empty set) this copy/paste
will generally work with PDF files generated by Mathematica on Windows
when pasting back into Mathematica" or that Mac's "copy/paste will
almost never work on a Mac OS X system from a PDF file generated with
Mathematica back into Mathematica". What if I took the PDF file that
was created on a Mac version of Mathematica and put it on a Windows
system, would Mathematica on Windows handle it correctly?

This is getting murkier and murkier ;-)  Is this considered a bug and
is being worked on for the Mac OS X version of Mathematica?



  • Prev by Date: Re: Getting Workbench to Work
  • Next by Date: Re: Re: Re: Re: Reading csv with ;
  • Previous by thread: Re: New Wolfram Tutorial Collection documentation is ready
  • Next by thread: Recovering data from DumpSave