Creating instructional text...

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Creating instructional text...

Postby Rob_Holman » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:12 pm

Perhaps my title isn't the most accurate, but it's the best I could come up with.

I sometimes write lessons out very specifically, almost to the level of a textbook. In particular, I do this when I'm leaving work for my students to do when I have to be out for the day. In these cases, I usually write out several examples, very specifically and meticulously worked out. I've been doing this using Word and MathType. I'll write the math out in MathType, and then add a text box out to the right explaining the steps as they go along.

I'd like to do the same in Mathematica. I have discovered the "align with equals sign" capability, which seems the best to me for someone to follow the steps along. What I'm having trouble with is getting a text box to overlay the notebook where I can position it to the right of the worked out mathematics. The program seems to not want these things to exist side-by-side (and I mean literally next to each other on the page as viewed).

Can anyone point me to a resource that may explain how to do this, or give a helpful hint or two?

Thanks, as always.

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Re: Creating instructional text...

Postby Michael_Morrison » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:47 pm

Hi Rob,

I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're after, but one of the neat things about Alignment is that it accepts arguments to align around an arbitrary character, like an equal sign.

I've put together two different examples that might be what you want to do. The first aligns a Column of typeset mathematics around an equal sign with a text box on the right (that spans the height of the Column) for exposition. The second creates a Grid that aligns the first column with an equal sign and gives you a column on the right to write some exposition that corresponds to each row of the typeset material. You can find both examples here:

Hope that helps!
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Re: Creating instructional text...

Postby Michael_Rogers » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:11 am

You can also create a two-column grid in a text cell with ctrl+comma and ctrl+return. This inserts a GridBox in the cell, which displays as a grid. You can then modify the options to the GridBox by selecting the cell and executing the menu command Cell > Show Expression. You can edit the cell and the options persist, such as aligning on "=". Caveat: The grid lives in an inline cell, which does not typeset exactly like a Text cell. For instance, single letters are treated as variables and italicized. The last link is a notebook I prepared which I hope shows you how to do what I've suggested. ... ntEnd.html ... idBox.html

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