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It's my understanding that the Virtual Book (of mathematica 9) is in notebook (.nb) format. It appears to be a very polished style of documentation which I want to reuse (parts) of it to create my own documentation.

However, I'm new to mathematica and the virtual book pages (notebooks?) aren't editable by merely highlighting text. Is there a way to get the notebook to be editable?

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You can find this notebook (the Virtual Book table of contents) in the installation directory, it's called DocumentationNavigator.nb, so theoretically you could make a copy of it and enable editing (by setting the Editable, Deletable, Saveable options to true for the notebook using the option inspector). However it seems this isn't going to be workable in practice because this notebook uses special advanced features that are not really suitable for interactive editing. –  Szabolcs Feb 7 at 17:25
When the documentation system was changed in version 6, the virtual book was not originally included. Many people complained and if I remember right some created their own table of contents to the documentation. If it's an editable ToC you're looking for it might be better to use those as a starting point (if they're still usable as of version 9). –  Szabolcs Feb 7 at 17:29

1 Answer 1

You can go find the notebook in the application, copy to a new location (and name) and then it is editable as a normal notebook. For instance, on my machine, the path to the notebook describing the Select command is

enter image description here

I copied the Select.nb file to my desktop where it now acts more like a normal notebook. You can make changes, choose to Save As, and then the changes are remembered, though it does have some odd behaviors. To change the title, for instance, you need to make the cell editable (cell->cell properties->editable). If you go to Format->StyleSheet->Default then you can see more what the file actually consists of.

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