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Math Help - Typing Text in mathematica

  1. #1
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    Typing Text in mathematica

    Hi all,

    Lately i have been trying to use mathematica's "text" feature to type up solution to my homework in some of my math classes, but it does weird things when I try. For example, whenever I change the font and make it bigger, but then try to use a character form their character map (or put an exponent), mathematica changes the font and size back the the default size. How do you change the default size of text fault in mathematica?

    Thanks for any help,
    james
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  2. #2
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    You need to get control over your cell styles. I suspect you're trying to enter text into an input cell style and Mathematica is attempting to interpret it as Mathematica code.

    Place the cursor where you want a new text cell to start. Then choose Format/Style/Text. Mathematica will then create a default text cell which it will interpret as just text. Now to enter an equation, place the cursor where you want it, then choose Format/Style/DisplayFormula. Mathematica then creates a cell that you can enter special symbols such as integral, partial, sums, and others.

    This is under the general concept of "StyleSheets". When you startup Mathematica, it uses a default style sheets containing the style you see in the Format/Style menu. Now suppose I wanted to create a report, I can choose Format/StyleSheets/Report. This then changes the default style sheet to Report and now the Format/Style menu should contain styles reflecting cell styles associated with a report.

    Personally, though, unless you want to embed mathematica code for a presentation, I would think just writing your work in TeXnicCenter latex would be a better choice.
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  3. #3
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    Hey,

    Thank you for your response. I'm actually already in "text" mode, that is, I've already gone to format/style/text. Basically I want to be able use a font and size of my choice, and for mathematica to STOP changing the font and size. It always changes the font back to some small 'default' as soon as I try to insert an exponent or subscript using the "alt 7" or "alt 6" button.
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  4. #4
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    Ok James. Sounds like you're not new to Mathematica. I don't quite understand what you're trying to do. If you want, convert a piece of your code to raw input format and then cut and paste it here and explain what you're trying to do. Also, do you know how to edit the stylesheet default definition for a cell? It's highly object-oriented you know and so you can override the definitions with your own definitions. Perhaps that would solve your problem.
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  5. #5
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    Hi Shawn,

    Thanks for your reply. What I'm trying to do is type up my homework on mathematica because I like how easy it is to insert math symbols into text. I'm not dealing with code at all. Basically I am using mathematica as a word processor for typing up proofs for my math classes. The only thing that bugs me is that when I try to type an exponent by pressing alt 6, the font changes back to default size and font and I have to manually highlight the converted text, go to font, and change it back to what it's suppose to be. I realize there is program called LaTeX for typing up proofs but I have no experience it and don't even really know what it is.

    Thanks,
    James
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  6. #6
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    Ok, here's the deal: Two things. First, I use the control key for the exponent, so for example x^3, in Mathematica, a text cell, I would type x Ctrl^ 3. And the format of that expression looks ok to me.

    But more importantly, I would not use Mathematica to write a math report unless I was giving a demonstration and needed to imbed Mathematica code for the demonstration. It's much quicker to write a report in latex than to fumble with all the control sequences in Mathematica to construct the requisite math symbols. I know because I've done it both ways and I'd much rather type a report in Latex.

    The latex integrated work environment is free. It's called TeXnicCenter and here's the site: TeXnicCenter.

    There is a learning curve but I guarantee once you learn it you'll like it and will begin writing all your papers in TeXnicCenter. There is lots of help on the web to learn how to use it and all the math forums have sub-forums to help with latex code.
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  7. #7
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    oops sorry I also use ctrl not alt. So you're saying even if you change the font to say, Calibri, and the size to 24, all in text mode (not code), then hit "ctrl 6", the font doesn't change back 12?

    You're right I should probably just try to learn LaTeX.

    Thanks again for your help,
    james
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  8. #8
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    Ok. In that case you should set the font size on the entire cell. You know about the cell brackets on the right?

    Let's do one: I choose Format/Style/Text. As soon as I do that, Mathematica uses the default style definition for a text cell which somewhere in the stylesheet hierarchy is probably set to 12pt. Now, if I just choose Format/Size/24pt, I'll change the font size for text but that's not changing the font size for the entire cell. So create the cell, then click the group bracket on the right. Now change the font size to 24 and now everything in the cell will be typed as 24pt.
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  9. #9
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    Hey shawn ,

    Yes that worked thank you so much for your help!
    I just downloaded and installed texnix and don't even know where to begin. Are there beginner's tutorials or anything like that? I just found out yesterday that my algebra teacher next semester will actually be requiring us use LaTeX to type up our homework, so it turns out I have no choice but to learn it.
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  10. #10
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    Very good then. Often people have problems installing it correctly, this file or that file not found or not located where it should. If you run into that, keep chipping at it (ask questions here and elsewhere) until you get it fixed. Now, you can either create DVI, PDF, or PS files. Make sure the little window in the menu says Latex-DVI for now since this allows you to use the DVI Reader to cross-reference the output file to the source when you click a word in the output but again, you need to make sure you have the DVI reader installed. Then select File/NewProject/Mathematical Article and putting it where you wish on the disc. This uses a template file with all the basic code to get you started. It does it and then all you need to do to create the output file is Crtl-Shift-F5. That file will have lots of example code. Now change some of the code in the source file, do anything, then rebuild it. Study the examples. Once you are comfortable with creating files, then create another project like this but this time, delete all those examples and just keeps the commands you want. Then save that file as a template file that you can then use for all your projects. Edit it as necessary.
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