I have a notebook called "Useful Stuff" in which I put things I keep forgetting and for storing bits of useful code. I would like to keep this notebook in the list of notebooks that appear when you click on File in the top toolbar. I think this was possible in the past. How do I do this? At the moment it gets pushed off the bottom of the list, and lost, when I open more notebooks.

Also, I like a long list of Recently Opened Files (I keep the last 30). I have set this in the past but now can't find where you set this option. (I need to put how you set it in the "Useful Stuff" notebook!)

This post on managing Recently Opened Files is also relevant.

I find looking round the Global Preferences, where I assume this is set, difficult.

Windows Version.


  • $\begingroup$ @Kuba OK but thats a complicated way with no documentation. I am sure you could do this by setting preferences in the past. Do you recall that? $\endgroup$
    – Hugh
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 11:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Hugh If there was one, it has long since been removed. Since you are on Windows though, you can just pin in item in the jumplist from the task bar. $\endgroup$
    – ihojnicki
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ @ihojnick A good idea to think about. However I was after a Mathematica solution. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – Hugh
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ @kuba It's a Bank Holiday (public holiday) here today. I have not forgotten you and will look at your ideas tomorrow. $\endgroup$
    – Hugh
    Commented May 1, 2017 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Hugh right, here too. I should rest more often :) $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Commented May 1, 2017 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


Here is an example how to customize your menu manually:

Cannot find BaseDirectory or UserBaseDirectory in Mac OS El Capitan

Do the same and add wherever you want:

    "file label"
  , FrontEndExecute[FrontEnd`NotebookOpen["path/to/file.nb"]]

There is also a limited and undocumented programming way:

How do I add new menuitems to menus?

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your suggestion. I looked and learnt. However, I am afraid of fooling with the base directory and not being able to work out what I have done. An option, but not as good, was to make a palette with a button to open the notebook(s). I will have to find some time to see what you have done and try and make it work. All a bit advanced for me. Thanks again. $\endgroup$
    – Hugh
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 11:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Hugh the point in using $UserBaseDirectory is that you can always delete those files as by default resources from $InstallationDirectory are used. E.g. mathematica.stackexchange.com/a/140314/5478 $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Hugh there's also the option laid out here which you can make permanent by using SetOptions[$FrontEnd,...] if you don't want to use $UserBaseDirectory either (it doesn't index automatically on Mac, for instance, so it's more tedious to work with). And I have a huge block of code there that lets you do relatively more automatic editing. $\endgroup$
    – b3m2a1
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 0:36
  • $\begingroup$ @MB1965 I have just been looking around my MenuSetup.tr. Thank you for identifying this. There is a lot there. I will see if I can sort out what I need. A bit of guidance on working with all this information would be helpful but I will try and get there on my own. $\endgroup$
    – Hugh
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 8:37

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