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Mathematica 4.2: A Technical Review
Lars Hohmuth

Front End Enhancements

Slide Show Environment and Ten-Minute Tutorial

A new screen style environment introduced in Mathematica 4.2, allows notebooks to be presented in a slide show format. This new feature makes it simple to turn multiple notebooks into a single, easy-to-use presentation. It is no longer necessary to use third-party slide show viewers to present material that you have developed in Mathematica.

A good example of the possibilities of the new slide show environment is the ten-minute interactive tutorial that gives new users a gentle introduction to Mathematica. Because the tutorial is an ordinary notebook, new users can modify, change, and re-evaluate all Mathematica input directly in the tutorial.

New Mathematica Fonts

The Mathematica fonts now include 49 additional characters for representing planetary symbols, musical notation, and double-struck numbers.

In Version 4.2, the fonts were renamed Mathematica1, … , Mathematica7.

Internationalization Support

With Windows XP and Windows 2000, full support for internationalization is provided. This feature allows Mathematica 4.2 running under the English version of the OS to display any language that can be read from left to right, including most Asian languages.

The Japanese language is supported under Linux with a language input server such as KInput2.

New Theme Support for Windows XP and Mac OS X

Newer operating systems such as Windows XP and Mac OS X now have window systems that support certain themes (or color schemes). The Mathematica 4.2 user interface was extended to support such themes. This new feature affects background colors for buttons and palettes. The colors will be automatically picked up when using options such as Color->Automatic.

Following are screen shots of Mathematica 4.2 running under two different themes.



     
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