Mathematica Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Mathematica. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

By default, the Mathematica documentation opens with the "Details" section collapsed.

enter image description here

This is never what I'm looking for — in fact, I've lost count of the times I've sought help on a feature and not found it anywhere on the feature's documentation page (at least not until I remember this shortcoming).

Is there a way to configure Mathematica doe that the "Details" section of the documentation opens is expanded by default?

share|improve this question
New edit should be more handy, what do you think? – Kuba Apr 29 '15 at 13:50

Update 2015, stylesheet approach:

We can safely customize basic stylesheets by copying them first to $UserBaseDirectory:

styleDir = FileNameJoin[{"SystemFiles", "FrontEnd", "StyleSheets", "Wolfram"}]

If[! DirectoryQ@#, CreateDirectory@#] &@ FileNameJoin[{$UserBaseDirectory, styleDir}]

CopyFile @@ (
  FileNameJoin[{#, styleDir, "Reference.nb"}] & /@ {
   $InstallationDirectory, $UserBaseDirectory}

SetOptions[NotebookOpen @ %, {Editable -> True, Saveable -> True}]

Now find "NotesSection" style definitions and add there

CellDynamicExpression :> Refresh[
  SelectionMove[EvaluationCell[], All, CellGroup];
  FrontEndExecute[ FrontEndToken[EvaluationNotebook[], "OpenCloseGroup"]]

enter image description here

Save and done.

Old answer, programmatic approach

The idea is to capture F1 (take a look at the link at the bottom) and include a code that will expand this cell group.

I have not fully tested it (and I probably won't :P) but this works so far:


    Documentation`HelpLookup[link_String, nb_, lang_String, opts : OptionsPattern[]
     ] := Block[{$inblock = True, test},

                test = Documentation`HelpLookup[link, nb, opts];
                NotebookFind[test, "NotesSection", All, CellStyle];
                FrontEndTokenExecute[test, "OpenCloseGroup"]

               ] /; ! TrueQ[$inblock]

90% of credits goes to Simon Woods for this answer

One can put it to the init.m file so this becomes a default behaviour. I've never done this but I will try one day.

I was trying to do this via Cells[test, CellStyle->"NotesSection"] but it was terminating the session repeatedly.

This works on Win7 V9 but not on V8. Any comments appreciated.


I can't test it and it is ugly but works on V8, thanks Michael Hale for help:

Documentation`HelpLookup[link_String, nb_, lang_String, opts : OptionsPattern[]
   ] := Block[{$inblock = True, test},

   Documentation`HelpLookup[link, nb, opts];
   test =
    Select[Notebooks[], (("DocumentType" /. NotebookInformation[#]) ===
          "Help") &][[1]];
   NotebookFind[test, "NotesSection", All, CellStyle];
   FrontEndTokenExecute[test, "OpenCloseGroup"]] /; ! TrueQ[$inblock]

Unfortunatelly I can't make it work without Pause since I can;t test it. If I find V8 among my friends I will try to make a proper code.

share|improve this answer
Very nice. Another Necromancer badge coming up I think :-) – Simon Woods Apr 27 '14 at 20:43
@SimonWoods Thanks to you for a lesson and SjoerdC.deVries for showing this question :) – Kuba Apr 27 '14 at 20:45
Works fine in v9, but not in v8. – Sjoerd C. de Vries Apr 27 '14 at 21:04
@SjoerdC.deVries CellDynamicExpression was introduced in V8, are you able to check if new method works? – Kuba Apr 29 '15 at 13:53
Perhaps "copying" instead of "moving" is an even safer instruction? [Seems like a trivial goal, opening the details section, but the use of CellDynamicExpression is certainly +1 material.] – Michael E2 Apr 29 '15 at 14:08

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.