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I'd like to create a new style where elements are arranged in a grid. I'm taking notes and I have some definitions. I'd like to have every definition formatted like this:

Def. 1  |  This is the first definition bla bla bla
           (text must be word wrapped)

Def. 2  |  This is the first definition bla bla bla
           (text must be word wrapped)

Let's say every definition is a grid composed of only one row a of two columns.

I have tried with CTRL++, the "Add Column" shortcut, but I'm not sure this is the way to go, because text seems to be interpreted as mathematical input instead of plain text (even if I choose "text" from the dropdown style selector: some characters seems to be interpreted as math symbols and are therefore italics) and word wrap doesn't seem to work.

I find it very difficult to find a basic to intermediate tutorial / book on typesetting with Mathematica, but I think this is a question on its own and, for what I have seen, others have already asked questions on the same subject.

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I do not think that you really need to create some special style. Why don you instead use the standard Grid function? For example, as follows:

 definitions = {{"Definition 1", "Bla-bla-bla1"}, {"Definition 2", 
    "Bla-bla-bla2"}, {"Definition 3", 
    "Bla-bla-bla3"}, {"Definition 4", "Bla-bla-bla4"}};
Grid[definitions]

returning the following on the screen

enter image description here

You can then format it in many ways. For example, like this:

  Panel[Grid[definitions, Frame -> All, 
  Dividers -> Directive[Gray, Thickness[4]], 
  ItemSize -> {Automatic, 2}, 
  Background -> {None, {{LightBlue, LightYellow}}}]]

giving the table shown below:

enter image description here

There are also other possibilities to achieve a desired format. You may finally type this code in any input cell, select it and go to Menu/Evaluation/Evaluate in Place. This will replace the cell with input you have typed by the cell with the output.

Have fun!

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  • $\begingroup$ thank you for your answer. I think I totally misunderstood what styles are intended for. In my experiment to achieve the result I was looking for, I also tried Grid[] function, but unfortunately with the wrong type of list (for what I can understand, Grid[] requires a list of lists, instead I fed it with a "plain" list getting back the wrong result). Then I tried with boxes and all that stuff, but I wasn't able to understand how to use them. Again, thank you! $\endgroup$ – Luca Mar 20 '15 at 18:48

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