I find the default Mathematica IDE lacking. I am missing a simple project file tree on the left (as in eclipse, visual studio etc.)

The following would be very cool:

All your files (in a given directory) would be displayed in a Mathematica Palette. Clicking them changes to the clicked file or opens it.

Has anyone seen something like this? Can anyone put together a quick proof of concept? It should not be that difficult ...


1 Answer 1


as J.M. mentions, the Workbench is an Eclipse plug-in (and is available as such).

Now, to display all files in some directory, you can do this:


(this is an arbitrarily selected directory on my machine). Then define

doSomething[fname_] := CreateWindow[
    Button["open", NotebookOpen[fname]],
    Button["beep", Beep[]],

(this will take as an argument the file name and pop up a dialog asking what to do; I've put in placeholder actions here). Then

Grid[Partition[#, 2] &[
  Button[#, doSomething[ToFileName[Directory[], #]]] & /@ 

gives something like

Mathematica graphics

and clicking on the names brings this up:

Mathematica graphics

Of course this can be greatly elaborated.

  • $\begingroup$ Nice. Perhaps FileNames["*.nb"] to avoid DS_Store and PDF opening... $\endgroup$
    – cormullion
    Oct 12, 2012 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ @cormullion you're right, if you want only nb and m files to appear. originally this was part of a palette I have where each file is treated differently according to extension (basically a way for me to avoid having to leave mathematica to manage my output files etc) $\endgroup$
    – acl
    Oct 12, 2012 at 17:21

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