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 editing a Notebook or browsing the documentation. Especially the documentation is very slow.

Is this somehow related to the Mathematica FrontEnd? Is anybody else struggling with problems like this?

EDIT: I'm using 64 bit Windows 7

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    $\begingroup$ Many people are complaining: community.wolfram.com/groups/-/m/t/291668?p_p_auth=D7TZIuwU $\endgroup$ – Szabolcs Jul 11 '14 at 22:17
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    $\begingroup$ Long shot - but try updating your graphics driver. I had a similar issue with 9.0.1 on one of my machines (where nothing else had any issues) - MM ran fine once started, but it took an inordinate amount of time to start. I traced it to GPU driver, problem gone... $\endgroup$ – ciao Jul 11 '14 at 22:34
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    $\begingroup$ I have the same problem, but only on my 64 bit Windows 8 (very fast, lots of memory) laptop. Not on my not so fast Windows 7 desktop. $\endgroup$ – George Wolfe Jul 12 '14 at 1:17
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    $\begingroup$ Likewise - preposterously slow startup and continual "formatting notebook" popups on desktop Win 7 Pro 64 bit, i3, 8GB... and AFAICT latest graphics driver. Lovely ointment, big ugly fly. $\endgroup$ – Julian Moore Jul 14 '14 at 7:35
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    $\begingroup$ I have the same problem. Additionally, when I click on image inside notebook the last freezes forever. $\endgroup$ – Grisha Kirilin Jul 16 '14 at 19:34

Wireless keyboard/mouse adaptor may be a cause of a FE issue (there might be others I suppose).

Removing it (at Wolfram's suggestion - credit for investigation so far) made MMA10 startup speed effectively normal & no "formatting notebook" popups were noted. Unfortunately I don't have a wired keyboard & mouse...

[Setup i3, Win-7 pro 64-bit; all Acer hardware].

Additional info: running kernel directly showed no autocomplete lag on entering test expressions for evaluation, suggesting the issue is related to the FE.

See also my post at Wolfram community

  • $\begingroup$ I have removed the keyboard and mouse, but the problem remains. $\endgroup$ – Anixx Sep 5 '14 at 12:29

I have the same problem. In my case what helps is removing the second (external) monitor. Removing wireless mouse and/or keyboard does not affect the behavior at all. After switching to the notebook's internal monitor Mathematica always loads quickly.

  • $\begingroup$ Just confiming in case exchange above is not noticed: unplugging the monitor on HDMI output of my Packard Bell ixtreme M5741 resolves the issue; unplugging the other output (15 pin subD) does not - even with generic monitor drivers. But I notice that the "formatting notebook" issue is in fact still there when there are startup and autocoplete issues - only noticed it this time because I quit the notebook instead of killing MMA this time. $\endgroup$ – Julian Moore Sep 11 '14 at 11:14

Issue resolved with the recent update to Mathematica 10.0.1. The startup of Mathematica still takes quite a long time, but afterwards the notebook won't freeze anymore. 'Formatting notebook contents' only occurs on startup MMA and on closing a notebook.

  • $\begingroup$ Hmm I see the popup appearing but only for a very short time window. It's not a problem anymore at least on my computer and I can use MMA10 again. Sad to to hear that's still a problem for others. Let's hope for the next update. I know for sure that the wolfram team knows about this issue and is working on it! $\endgroup$ – sagittarius_a Nov 8 '14 at 9:26
  • $\begingroup$ After the update to Mathematica I don't get the Progress ("Formatting notebook contents") pop-up anymore. Also the general responsiveness of the front end improved significantly eliminating the annoying delays. $\endgroup$ – Karsten 7. Dec 11 '14 at 10:09

It seems that manually changing the monitor's driver to "Digital flat panel (1920x1200 60 Hz)" is the best solution in my case!

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ An interesting observation - with similar +ve results here. I have a desktop with dual monitors having different resolutions; I set the displays to Mirror rather than Extend desktop (Lowest common denominator resolution used) and found a) MMA started quicker b) There were no "formatting notebook" messages and c) the Autocomplete delay issue was almost eliminated. [I have no idea about access to EDID control under Windows 7 (64 bit)] $\endgroup$ – Julian Moore Sep 8 '14 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Julian Moore Effectively the control changes the driver to "Universal non-PnP monitor". While this helps with Mathematica, some games start to set wrong resolution. So the best thing that worked for me is to change the monitor's driver to "Digital flat monitor (1920x1200 60 Hz)". After doing so, both Mathematica and games work well so far! $\endgroup$ – Anixx Sep 8 '14 at 23:29
  • $\begingroup$ Further diagnostic info for Wolfram: made sure both monitors were set to the same refresh rate (60Hz) rather than 60Hz/59Hz - no change; then also set both monitors to 1920x1080 instead of 1920x1200/1920x1080 (the desktop extended across both) no change. Used only HP2310i on 15pin subD from PC and MMA starts up fine. Used only Dell U2412M on HDMI output - MMA startup not fine Used only Dell U2412M on 15pin subD from PC and MMA is fine again. Note that both displays driven from motherboard with Intel Graphics. Conclusion: not the monitor/driver per se but monitor/driver/graphics port??? $\endgroup$ – Julian Moore Sep 9 '14 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Julian Moore did you try to change the monitor's driver? $\endgroup$ – Anixx Sep 9 '14 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ I have now set both mnonitors (Dell, HP as above) to use the Generic PnP Driver; no difference to extended startup time or autocomplete delay which render MMA unusable. Again setting identical resolutions on both displays (with generic driver) also made no difference, but again setting the displays to Duplicate instead of Extend made everything fine: MMA started up and was usable within ~8s. NB I don't seem to be seeing the Formatting Notebook issue at all anymore, regardless of settings. PS Is Wolfram monitoring all this or do I need to pass it on directly? $\endgroup$ – Julian Moore Sep 11 '14 at 7:38

This problem has occurred since version 9 on one of my two computers, but only when I disabled the external monitor and used the laptop's LCD. Normally I extend the desktop across the external monitor (1920x1200, main display having the Windows taskbar) and the laptop LCD (1920x1080). In the dual-monitor configuration there is no problem.

Today I installed Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition on a second computer where I never noticed any problems before. I immediately noticed the delays in Mathematica after the installer was done. Both systems are laptops running Windows 7, Mathematica version 10.0.2. The second system has three displays: two identical 1920x1080 monitors + laptop LCD at 1920x1080. Resetting Mathematica to default configuration didn't help, nor did updating the display drivers. Disabling the laptop's LCD solved the problem. I suspect that Visual Studio installed some incompatible shared DLL's or did something to the multi-monitor configuration that Mathematica didn't like.

To summarize:

               Problem Occurs                No Problem
Computer 1     only laptop LCD active        LCD + 1 external display active
Computer 2     all three displays active     2 external displays active

protected by Community Aug 31 '14 at 1:11

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