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Re: How to write reports and books in Mathematica

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  • Subject: [mg109739] Re: How to write reports and books in Mathematica
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Fri, 14 May 2010 05:35:54 -0400 (EDT)

The twocolumn function in Presentations is very handy for a couple of 
quick two-column insertions in a notebook.  But for each such insertion 
it requires typing and evaluating an Input cell of a form such as:


This is far better than nothing. But it's no substitute for a 
full-fledged stylesheet that includes a two-column cell style such as 
were used -- or simulated in a separate layout program? -- for the 
printed "The Mathematica Book" from days of yore.

This is not any shortcoming of Presentations.  It's a deficiency of 
Mathematica.  Perhaps another instance of WRI's deliberate denigration 
of print (or print-like) media.  Or perhaps an inherent limitation of 
the Mathematica front end design?

On 5/13/2010 7:25 AM, David Park wrote:
> The Presentations package does have such a functionality. It has formatting
> commands for laying out material on the page. You can see some of this in
> the Roger Williams video that was posted earlier in this thread.
> This is all designed for presenting mathematical material to readers and
> suppressing strings of input/output cells or boiler-plate specifications.
> This may not be exactly what you are thinking of. It is not a method of
> having side-by-side independent cells. You can have TextCell or
> ExpressionCell inside a Mathematica expression, Row for example, but they
> seem to always get evaluated. There doesn't seem to be a way to generate
> independent cells within an expression, that can be independently evaluated.
> But, if you want to present defined calculations to a reader, Presentations
> has twocolumn, comment and command statements that allow you to layout a two
> column display with comments (or even some active statements) on one side
> and "commands" on the other side. The commands show the result of an
> evaluation and in a tooltip (if you want that) that shows the unevaluated
> input statements that produced the output. There are also commands for
> setting up buttons either as a cell, or in Inline text cells to generate
> displays. The buttons are designed to either generate a display in the next
> cell or as a free standing window. There are also constructions to generate
> a structure of buttons, which can be clicked through to go through the steps
> of a longer derivation or proof. The reader can again generate some of the
> "page" steps in separate windows so that various sections of a derivation
> can be compared side by side.
> Setting up such displays, however, does involve a certain amount of detailed
> work because each step has to be defined.

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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