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Re: Basic question about Mathematica Interface

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  • Subject: [mg99954] Re: Basic question about Mathematica Interface
  • From: Bob F <deepyogurt at>
  • Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 04:58:19 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <guu2p2$6h2$>

On May 19, 4:48 am, Dave Martin <cvk1... at> wrote:
> Hi
> This is a very basic question about the Mathematica interface. I apologiz=
e if it's been answered before. I did search the archives but was unable to=
 find anything satisfactory.
> I am using Mathematica 7 on a Windows XP machine. I notice that Mathemati=
ca has no application frame: all the windows, including menu, notebooks, pa=
lettes, etc. are floating windows.
> When I start Mathematica, it always opens in the default position, that i=
s, at the top left hand corner of my screen, with the menu bar plastered ac=
ross the full width of the screen. This is very annoying, so the first thin=
g I have to do is to decrease the size of the menu bar, move all the palett=
es and windows to a different part of the screen, resize them, etc.
> But Mathematica does not remember my resizing/moving, and when I exit and=
 restart, everything returns to the default position again.
> I'd like to know if:
> 1. There's an application frame hidden in the program somewhere that I ca=
n turn on, to have all Mathematica related content enclosed in a single win=
dow which I can move and resize.
> 2. If there is no application frame, is there some way to make Mathematic=
a remember the changes I make to window sizes and locations, and automatica=
lly use those settings every time I start it.
> Thanks.
> D. Martin

I don't believe there is any application frame - the interface is
composed of separate windows for the main Menu interface, window(s)
for notebooks, the palette(s), Help (aka Documentation Center or DC),
the Virtual Book and Function Navigator. The positions of most of
these are usually where they were last time you used them. Their state
gets saved in the init.m file that is located in your
$UserBaseDirectory/FrontEnd folder. The DC window position is a bit of
an oddball, and you should see the thread that discusses it's position
- its under the title "Any way to make help browser remember the last
position?" and started April 14, 2009 (see for
the start of it). I don't believe that the "window" containing the
menu interface can be "saved" to remember its size and position - wish
Wolfram would "fix" this issue. There are also "funny" things (aka
bugs) if you have a dual screen setup with the positions of palettes
if you try and put them on the non-primary screen (on the Mac there is
anyway, not sure about Windows).

Become familiar with using the "Options Inspector" or OI to look at
and change parameters for individual windows. Be careful using the OI
as you can change things that are difficult to undo.

Also one note for beginners - you might want to make a spare copy of
this init.m file - it can get erased if you start up Mathematica with
Shift+Control (on Windows) or Shift+Option (on a Mac). This file
contains the positions and sizes of the startup environment (and a lot
of other stuff). So if you spend time on getting this set up just the
way you like it, make a copy afterwards just in case it gets erased or
corrupted later on. See the topic "Troubleshooting on <your Operating
System>" in the DC under "System Administration for Single Machine
Licenses" tutorial if you wish to read more


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