Questions related to the Mathematica front-end (graphical user interface).

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115
votes
2answers
5k views

Implementing efficient multiple undo

At the time this question was asked, version 10 was not out yet. The Front End of Mathematica 10 does have multiple undo, see the answer by John Fultz. The Mathematica Front End's built-in Undo ...
61
votes
4answers
4k views

Using the Mathematica front-end efficiently for editing notebooks

Background: I have used Vim for 15+ years. There is a certain "one"-ness with the editor one achieves. Emacs users also experience this. Notepad users do not. My current interaction with the ...
54
votes
2answers
2k views

Syntax highlighting for your own functions

Mathematica has a useful feature that for functions and special constructs getting passed local variables (for example Minimize or ...
53
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to improve Mathematica's auto-completion feature?

In this answer Brett Champion describes how one can intercept and modify the suggestions used for auto-completion. Question: Is it possible to modify the suggestion for the automatic auto-completion ...
37
votes
8answers
9k views

How can I improve Mathematica's resolution on a macbook retina display?

Mathematica 9.0 looks a bit fuzzy on the retina screen, how can I increase the resolution? Here another screenshot showing a direct comparison between the browser and Mathematica
37
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I set up a versioning system within a notebook?

Since the Frontend crashes a lot, for important work it would be nice to have the notebook automatically branch and save itself every so many minutes. For instance, commands like ...
36
votes
5answers
2k views

Can the banner in the Home Edition be removed?

The Mathematica Home Edition shows a banner at the top of every notebook: Is there a way to (permanently) get rid of it, without violating the EULA? Edit Yesterday, I sent this message to WRI ...
35
votes
3answers
2k views

Antialiasing in 3D

Is it possible? Is it platform specific? Does it rely on the graphics hardware? Why does the antialiasing slider under Preferences > Appearance > Graphics do nothing? I remember seeing some ...
35
votes
3answers
1k views

Automatically check student answers in tests

I am a physics teacher and I am looking for a way to create homework assignments within Mathematica so that each problem has an input field that students can use to check their answers. For example, ...
34
votes
6answers
2k views

How to visualize/edit a big matrix as a table?

Is it possible to visualize/edit a big matrix as a table ? I often end up exporting/copying big tables to Excel for seeing them, but I would prefer to stay in Mathematica and have a similar view as in ...
33
votes
2answers
1k views

Automating Esc [[ Esc formatting?

Is it possible to program the Front End to automatically format double square brackets without having to type Esc[[Esc each time? It's awful to have to type Esc ...
32
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to change the colors of the highlighted code in the Mathematica frontend?

With Format -> Edit Stylesheet... it is possible to adjust text-properties, text-colors, formatting of equations, etc of a notebook and to use this style-definitions again by installing it as ...
31
votes
4answers
739 views

Usage of \[InvisibleApplication] and other related invisible characters

From the front end, \[InvisibleApplication] can be entered as Esc @ Esc, and is an invisible operator for @!. By an unfortunate ...
31
votes
3answers
2k views

Saving a notebook as PDF, preserving syntax highlighting

Currently, one may save notebooks as PDFs from the menu by Save As... and then selecting PDF (on a Mac, I imagine it is similar on other OSs). However, the ...
31
votes
2answers
2k views

Mathematica 10 Notebook Fonts Look Bad

Bug introduced in 10.0.0 and persisting through 10.1.0 or later I've upgraded my home installation of Mathematica from version 9 to 10 today on a Windows 8.1 machine, and I'm getting a weird font ...
31
votes
1answer
900 views

Open two copies of the same notebook

Is there a way to open one notebook in two (or more) different windows? This can be helpful when working with a long notebook and one wants to edit one part of it while looking at a different part. ...
31
votes
2answers
728 views

What is the most effective way to setup a Notebook with transparent background but solid contents?

I know there is a Notebook option WindowOpacity can be used to adjust the opacity of a whole notebook. But what I want is keeping the text and graphics and so on ...
29
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I set an image to be the Notebook's background?

Is it possible to set a notebook's background to a nonscrolling image?
29
votes
3answers
815 views

Is there a convenient way to copy/paste text-interspersed SE code snippets into Mathematica?

Is there a way to copy and paste code snippets from SE to Mathematica if these snippets are interspersed with text? Like e.g. in Morphing Graphics, color and location in both the question and answer, ...
27
votes
2answers
715 views

Special Mathematica Cell to work with R code

I have enjoyed working with R inside Mathematica. But it would be nice If I could have a special R cell. For example, instead of typing ...
27
votes
5answers
2k views

Mathematica 10 'Formatting Notebook Contents'

Mathematica 10 freezes while 'Formatting notebook contents'. This happens already during the startup of Mathematica and it takes a long time for Mathematica to recover. It can also happen when I am ...
26
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the complete list of valid Front End Tokens?

What is the complete list of valid Front End Tokens? Preferably, by version number. Keywords: FrontEndToken, ...
26
votes
1answer
1k views

Customizing syntax highlighting for private cell styles

Is there any way to set up a cell style with a particular syntax highlighting? For example, I'd like to have a CProgram cell to write in blue the C special words. I have done it by setting ...
25
votes
3answers
843 views

How do I add new menuitems to menus?

What are some complete examples of what one would include in a FrontEnd init.m that would make use of FrontEnd`AddMenuCommands ...
25
votes
2answers
706 views

Saving my code before cell evaluations: Insurance against front end hanging

I guess my programming working style is not unique. I develop programs one cell at a time, and when I have some confidence about what I did, I put all my mess together refining the code, building up ...
25
votes
2answers
742 views

Template completion

In version 8, if one evaluates test::usage="test[x,y]"; then types test, then shift-cmd-k (or shift-ctrl-k), a template ...
25
votes
1answer
626 views

How do I find all the possible events that work with EventHandler?

The EventHandler documentation, More Information section, lists 5 mouse events: ...
25
votes
0answers
550 views

Changing FrontEnd automatic scrolling in version 8

In Mathematica versions < 8, the FrontEnd has a very intelligent behavior: On evaluation, it by default automatically scrolls down the Notebook window to the last printed Output cell but also ...
24
votes
2answers
917 views

What are the most common (usual) ways to make palettes with non-trivial functionality?

What are the best (most robust and most convenient) ways to create palettes that can be installed permanently (using Palettes -> Install Palette...) and are safe ...
23
votes
4answers
5k views

How to Keep Input Cells Hidden After Evaluating Notebook

I've created a notebook for use in an in-class presentation. There is a fair amount of MMA code, and my students know nothing about MMA nor do they need to. I don't want to distract them with the ...
23
votes
1answer
737 views

Why are all the lines commented when I create a Mathematica script?

When I created a Mathematica script, I found that all my lines were commented out (when opened with vi or gedit or any other ...
23
votes
1answer
952 views

Do you really want to quit the kernel? Yes!

When I have entered some bad code and hit shift+enter before thinking about the perils of finite RAM my computer obviously starts suffering. I have found two options that usually lets me recover ...
22
votes
2answers
960 views

How do I extract the contents of a selected cell as plain text?

My aim is to extract the contents of an Input cells as plain text. Ideally I would like to be able to select one or more Input cells and press a button which would then extract the text from these ...
22
votes
2answers
555 views

Programmatically copy code so that all output is commented out

UPDATE: The final palette has a new home here! Please test and provide feedback (usability, suggestions, bugs) A note to the readers and voters: This is intended for community use, so please test the ...
22
votes
1answer
245 views

Is it possible to maintain user-defined shortcuts in a web-installable package?

There are various posts here on this site about how to add user defined extra keyboard shortcuts for the front end. The problem is how to put them into a better maintable and properly documented ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are some function names red?

I need to evaluate Needs["GraphUtilities`"] before I can use functions such as GraphPath[]. When I do so, some functions get ...
21
votes
1answer
187 views

Is there any Mathematica functionality enabling its use for the blind?

A colleague of mine has become blind as the result of a sudden medical misfortune. We want to help him to feel useful and active again. We, however, still cannot determine what can be done and to what ...
20
votes
1answer
988 views

Programmatically move the cursor to a desired location on the screen

Is it possible to set/move the mouse pointer's location directly from Mathematica without using external tools like Run["xdotool mousemove x y"]?
20
votes
1answer
419 views

How can I easily eliminate the dependency of a stylesheet on a non-built-in stylesheet?

As per discussion here: User A has a notebook that uses custom definitions from styles.nb. Now user A passes the notebook to user B. The styles do not show up for B because B does not have styles.nb. ...
20
votes
1answer
823 views

Mathematica 10.1.0.0 (OS X) high CPU usage even for empty notebook

Bug fixed in 10.1.0 (see answer for details) Since update to 10.1.0.0 Mathematica has a high CPU usage even when no evaluation is running (even for empty notebook opened). I am running OS X ...
19
votes
2answers
681 views

Is it possible to Print expressions in reverse order?

Let's say I'm debugging a program step by step and want to Print some expressions (using ShowIt, for example). Is there a way to output the result of ...
19
votes
1answer
207 views

What's the internal command for entering a fraction?

I'm looking for the FrontEnd`Foo[...]-like command that's triggered when pressing Ctrl + /. Are there any discoverability ...
19
votes
1answer
255 views

Is there a way to make the “Details” section of the documentation expand by default?

By default, the Mathematica documentation opens with the "Details" section collapsed. 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
211 views

How to format usage messages such that function templates are parsed correctly?

Is it possible to format usage messages (with italic arguments etc) such that Mathematica 9 still parses function templates correctly? For example, plain usage messages work when pressing ...
18
votes
3answers
612 views

Memory Leak in Frontend - anyone know a workaround?

When using Rasterize on a Graphics expression composed of many differently coloured Graphics objects memory is allocated in the frontend which is then not released or reused when a similar graphic ...
18
votes
2answers
584 views

What is the FrontEnd?

Can anyone sort out what the Front-End is, how it is structured and what its relationship to the Kernel is. The FrontEnd is mentioned quite often but elusively avoids to be caught and clearly defined. ...
18
votes
2answers
554 views

Most influential and/or disrupting features introduced with new versions of Mathematica

This is something that has been bugging me for ages. With every upgrade, Mathematica has added new functionalities and amended some of its bugs. In the process, though, some older functionality has ...
18
votes
0answers
545 views

How to improve these WASD + mouse look 3D controls?

Insipred by this question and the corresponding answer I've written a code for full-screen exploration of 3D scenes using standard WASD and mouse look controls. Here it is. ...
17
votes
3answers
490 views

How can I get the unchanged Box form of an arbitrary expression?

One may observe that MakeBoxes does not give the actual Box form of various expressions: MakeBoxes[{1*^4, 000123, a*b c}] ...
17
votes
4answers
662 views

How can I make an InputField with a proper newline/carriage return?

The return key does not work as expected in an InputField, how can I overcome this?