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Re: typesetting problems or bugs? need a professional stylesheet

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  • Subject: [mg115038] Re: typesetting problems or bugs? need a professional stylesheet
  • From: Eric Brown <eric.c.brown at>
  • Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2010 05:57:02 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <ifcrkr$boq$>

sean k <seaninsocal at> writes:

> Hello Group.
> I'm having multiple problems while trying to typeset a few notes and
> other documents. Main thing has seem to be the Mathematica's tendency
> to change italics to non-italics automatically under certain
> circumstances.
> I am using "textbook stylesheet."  If I use the default stylesheet,
> the line spacing is screwed up. So far it seems like textbook
> stylesheet gives me what I need.
> I'm also using ctrl9 and ctrl 0 to open and close any formula portion
> of the text.  That seems to make the formulas look nice and
> mathematical. ie. italicized.
> But I'm encountering a few problems that I just can't get around. So
> first use the textbook stylesheet under menu>format>stylesheet>book>
> textbook.  Then these formulas are entered in a text cell by first
> typing ctrl9 to open the invisible formula box. Then when done
> inputting, ctrl0 will end close the box.
> I'm running windows vista home edition 64 bit and Mathematica v8. I
> also have v7 installled. The problem seems to the same in both
> versions.
> 1. Typing \[CapitalDelta]y \[TildeTilde] f'(x)\[CapitalDelta] x .
> If I remove that space between \[CapitalDelta] x to \[CapitalDelta]x,
> it will change the italics to non-italics.
> 2. d/(d x) vs d/dx
> First ctrl9 then crtl/  to make the fraction. And if I put in d/d x
> into the fraction box, it will retain the italics.  but if I put in  d/
> dx, the italics go away.
> So the space makes the italics go away in both cases.

Hi Sean,

I don't have a solution to your problem, and I suffer from this
problem as well. In my case, it is with the \[Delta] like one would use
in the calculus of variations, e.g. \[Delta]x . When there is a space,
it seems that Mathematica believes that the characters are math symbols
and then makes them italic. When there is not a space, it thinks that it
is a word or perhaps a special function like cos and sin, etc. and makes
the letters regular face.

If I could offer a couple of suggestions:
1) Use \[DifferentialD] although I think it's kind of ugly.
2) Export to LaTeX, and all of these problems seem to go away.

I don't think that there is an analogous \[DifferentialD] for the
variational \[Delta], but if someone could offer a suggestion I would be

> 3. Lastly, I would really like to get a hands on a stylesheet that
> most mathematicians would use to, say, write a professional manuscript
> or a textbook or maybe even a thesis.  Can anyone help me here?

Short Answer:

In Mathematica version 8, there are some new style sheets under
File... New... Styled Notebooks. They seem to look nicer than the
previous versions of Mathematica, which had gargantuan letters for
Title/Subtitle, etc. and tiny little letters for standard text.

Long Answer (and more for therapy than providing this newsgroup with information):

It seems that this has been a touchy subject with a number of
folks. People are very sensitive to ugly math and really appreciate good
math typesetting. At the same time, people want to "write once" but
deploy everywhere, including:

* LaTeX
* HTML / Blogs
* Word Processing
* Cross-platform, minimal external dependency
* literate programming (code combined with documentation)
* Movies/Animations, Interactivity

I have settled on researching and writing in Mathematica, and then
exporting to those other formats when I need to churn out a product for
immediate consumption.

Sometimes a PDF from Mathematica is perfect. Sometimes the HTML output
is just fine. However, I often times want to replace one of the crappy
GIF's with a high-res PNG, and so I do that by hand. So, finally, I load
whatever export format into emacs and drive the rest of the way, doing
it by hand.

In my experience (two dissertations and bunch of thirty page articles),
simply having enough research to be able to write them is 99.9% of the
work. Once I have that work done, I would re-type the dissertation/paper
a dozen times in any language/system whatsoever if I knew that it would
lead to an attractive finished product.

With each version of Mathematica, I try to see if it is the
panacaea to all of my scientific research and publishing needs. Combined
with emacs (or Textmate, etc.) to polish up the specialized outputs, I
think it's the best thing money can buy, and is a lot easier than
custom-writing everything from scratch.

That being said, stock Mathematica will not output a site that looks as
attractive as the Wolfram sites.  There is a lot of other technology
there--just as there would be when writing a book/dissertation, which is
the topic of your inquiry.


P.S. I apologize to the readers of the list who have much stronger and
well-formed opinions than I do regarding Mathematica as a publishing
tool. I believe that Wolfram is putting a ton of effort into this
area. Also, I seem to recall some very thoughtful posts by David Park which
seem to suggest that these problems would go away if the Mathematica
Player would be unencumbered.

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