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Re: Default font in Mathematica 9

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  • Subject: [mg129017] Re: Default font in Mathematica 9
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2012 01:32:57 -0500 (EST)
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I completely agree with everything you say about style.

Note: You already can insert a line-return in a Text cell without 
creating a new cell. However, when you begin a new paragraph within a 
Text cell by inserting a blank line, the intervening space is far too 
high. To fix that, I use a single line-return and then apply a little 
palette whose sole function is to change one of the cell's options to:

  ParagraphSpacing -> {0.5, 0}

(The palette is not mine; I forget who suggested it in MathGroup some 
time ago.)

On Dec 7, 2012, at 1:42 AM, djmpark <djmpark at> wrote:

> Maybe because in beta testing WRI is less interested in design suggestions
> and more interested in whether Mathematica crashes or performs incorrectly
> in some manner.
> The style sheet changes were gratuitous and unnecessary - although I do
> rather like the Arial Text font. Users who design their own style sheets
> usually start with the Default style so when WRI changes that they are
> affecting a lot of users` custom work.
> The problem with style sheets is that everyone has their own taste, which
> may be conditioned by what they are used to.
> Nevertheless, I would like to suggest a few principles for good style
> sheets.
> 1) There should not be too great a variation in font size between a Title
> cell and a Text cell, else the text becomes too small or the title looks
> like a billboard. Differences in font style could compensate for smaller
> changes in font size. (WRI has a tendency to deemphasize text, either
> putting it in a small font or lightening the color.)
> 2) All fonts should be black. Color coding does not have an intrinsic
> meaning to readers. It can serve mainly to differentiate but is not needed
> on what is already differentiated. (Tufte's "minimum effective difference".)
> 3) All Section, Subsection, etc., headers should have group openers. Very
> intelligent readers may still not know about double clicking the cell
> brackets, which are not even normally visible. The group openers are more
> standard and intuitive. They are also an additional indication of a section
> in a notebook. But there should not be group openers on Titles, Subtitles
> and Subsubtitles or on Input/Output groups. (And I would prefer it if the
> Close All Groups menu command operated only on the various Section levels.)
> 4) Text cells should have the same font size as Output cells. This is the
> style in most printed technical material. Output cells should be unadorned
> and look like Text cells. Then, if the Input cells are closed, the document
> will read like a normal paper.
> 5) Text cell should allow a line-return without creating a new cell. Then it
> is possible to write extended semi-formatted textual discussion. Textual
> discussion is often an important element of notebooks, on a par with
> Input/Output. Default style behaves correctly here but some styles such as
> Journal Article don't.
> David Park
> djmpark at
> From: Fred Simons [mailto:f.h.simons at]
> The new stylesheet default.nb turned up in the last beta release. I was
> heavily shocked observing this. All my course material, using the old
> default style, now looks terrible. I wrote an angry reaction to wri,
> suggesting that at least users should have the choice using  the old or the
> new default.nb, but never got a response.
> Fred

Murray Eisenberg                                    murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.      
Lederle Graduate Research Tower            phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                               413 545-2838 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street                         fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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