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The Mathematica Home Edition shows a banner at the top of every notebook:

notebook with Home Edition banner

Is there a way to (permanently) get rid of it, without violating the EULA?


Yesterday, I sent this message to WRI support:

On mathematica.stackexchange.com we have a discussion about the legitimacy of removing the banner from notebooks in the Home Edition. I think the real issue is that we don't really know what the banner is for. Is it OK if I remove it? It gives me a bit more screen real-estate, and I don't need the links it provides.

Today I got a reply from Dan Ruggiero, saying* that it's OK when done within the options of Mathematica.

Users who want to discuss this further with WRI, the ticket number is #2730074.

* - This is the gist of his brief reply. I've asked his permission to quote his answer, and I'm waiting for his reply. Hopefully this will defuse the debate.

edit 2012-10-21
When I first posted this question + answers I got a lot of downvotes, more in 2 days time than in a year on EE.SE. I thought everything has been cleared now, but today this got another 2 downvotes, and I'm getting tired of it.

For the umpteenth time: changing the look of your notebooks so that the banner doesn't show IS PERFECTLY LEGAL!! Mathematica lets any user change this in the Option Inpector, and no, it's not a way to crack it and make it a Professional version. Read my other edit: WRI confirmed that it's OK!

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5 Answers 5

up vote 24 down vote accepted

OK, something better, without editing files manually. No EULA violation whatsoever.

Select Option Inspector in the Format menu:

enter image description here

and change WindowFrame in Window Properties to Generic. Restart Mathematica and the banner has gone. (Actually, all the options for WindowFrame except Normal will remove the banner, but they will also change other aspects of the window's look.)

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Interesting; I thought you would accept the other one. –  Mr.Wizard Oct 21 '12 at 11:04
Where inheritance is concerned, all things may be permissible, but not all things are advisable. At WTC 2012, a user reported broken behavior in the v9 beta to me. I spent 25 minutes banging on his system until I found WindowFrame->"Generic" set on $FrontEnd. I thought "why would anyone ever do that?". And considered that it was one of those unfortunate accidents which can have bad consequences (setting Editable->False globally could be bad, too). And then I read this. So, for v9, all things aren't permissible anymore. This setting will not work (and neither will Editable, et. al.). –  John Fultz Oct 25 '12 at 6:48
@John - Fair enough. I thought that if the option is available it would also have been tested, though I understand that the kernel is much more important than some appearance setting. But I still don't know what the purpose of the banner is. Do you know if it is for the links to learning center and demonstrations? –  stevenvh Oct 25 '12 at 8:12
@stevenvh +2, one for the question and one for the answer. As Mr.Wizard already said, don't be too upset about the downvotes. –  halirutan Nov 29 '12 at 17:23
fyi, the above method does not work in V10. Not able to change it in option inspector. Will not let me change it. –  Nasser Jul 10 at 21:24

The process for Mathematica 9 is different. Home Edition 9 appears to lock out certain options in the Option Inspector, including the ones required to make this change. It will appear to permit the previous change, but will immediately revert.

To make the change for 9, you need to open up the MiscExpressions.tr file (on Mac it's in the Mathematica.app bundle, under /Applications/Mathematica.app/SystemFiles/FrontEnd/TextResources/MiscExpressions.tr.)

Then find the definition for HomeEditionBar, the first line looks like this:

"HomeEditionBar" -> Cell[BoxData[GridBox[{

Change that line to these two:

"HomeEditionBar" -> Cell[],
"HomeEditionBarOriginal" -> Cell[BoxData[GridBox[{

And now you have the full height of your screen to work with.

Caveat: This is likely prohibited by the EULA, which does not permit modification of any part of the software.

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@Szabolcs, it should work but it doesn't work in 9. I suspect it's deliberate - a strings command in terminal shows that the HomeEditionBar call is hardcoded into the MMA app itself. –  Anon Y Mouse Nov 29 '12 at 18:00
Would a court interpret that to mean that modifications of the product include, but are limited to, modifications of the binary executable code, or would they consider a modification of a text script which is ostensibly "a configuration file, similar to a shell script", to be a different matter? –  Warren P Nov 30 '12 at 18:11
@WarrenP Not all that keen to find out, to be honest. –  Anon Y Mouse Dec 1 '12 at 13:30
This method does not work for me (although I have MMA Student Edition). EDIT: for the student edition, replace "HomeEdition" with "Student" in these instructions. –  shrx Jun 15 '13 at 12:18
This works for me in Mma10! Frustrating that it's made purposefully difficult. –  dreeves Sep 30 at 2:43

I first suggested an edit of a particular init file here, a method I found here. Both my question and this answer caused quite a fuss about the legitimacy of it. In hindsight I don't think editing init files should be the appropriate way (which does not mean it would be illegal), especially since Mathematica allows you to make the same changes Rob makes. Clear the user option field DockedCells in the Option Inspector:

enter image description here

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I generally prefer doing things via stylesheets instead of messing with files in $InstallationDirectory. Here's a simple way — in your custom stylesheet (or create a new one), add the following lines:

Cell[StyleData[All, "Working"], DockedCells->{}]

That's it! You're all set now. If you don't know how to add a new style to the stylesheet, see point 1 in this answer.

You can save this new stylesheet and set it to be the default for all notebooks. This can be done by pointing the global option "DefaultStyleDefinitions" in the options inspector to this new stylesheet.

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You could switch to one of the Creative stylesheets, such as PastelColor or PrimaryColor, which set the banner to something about two thirds of the height of the default banner, saving you a bit of room. You could then replace the graphic image with some text or image of your own:

 "DockedCells" -> Cell["Hi, Cormullion!", "Text"]]

It would also be possible perhaps to add something like a digital clock, or a read-out of some system parameter of interest...

docked cells

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