Writing in Publicon

Useful Tips

1.  Starting

When Publicon is first launched, the user is greeted by a welcome screen, a main toolbar and two palettes. The main toolbar consists of the familiar submenus:


Figure 1.

The welcome screen, with useful connections to a Tour of features, Help Browser, and the latest information, can either be temporarily or permanently closed. Two interesting palettes remain on the display. Both of them comprise a number of buttons ordered in collapsible groups. The first one is labelled Default and contains the buttons for document structuring. At the bottom of the palette, two inconspicuous arrows are situated. By clicking on them, the palette becomes scrollable so that all button subgroups become available one at a time.


Figure 2.

The second palette, labelled Typesetting, has seven subpalettes which facilitate the simple entering of various symbols, mathematical and chemical notations, and formatting of text, tables and lists. Each sub-group of symbols is called using its corresponding icon at the top of the palette.


Figure 3.

The typesetting palette consists of the following subpalettes:

a)    mathematical notation
b)    shapes and symbols
c)    relational operators and arrows, Latin and Greek letters
d)    script, gothic, and double-struck letters’ fonts
e)    alignment, spacing, table formatting, and page breaking lists
f)    value display objects, and picture and caption formatting

2.  Creating the first document

The easiest way to create a document is to click on the button New Document from the Default Palette. The predefined template of the document in the default style appears in a new window, ready to be edited.


Figure 4.

If required, the style of the document can be further changed using the submenu of the main toolbar: Format => Style Sheet  => .The user can choose from either 11 different built-in style sheets or create his or her own custom-designed template. A new document in a predefined style can be created directly, using File => New  =>. At the same time the corresponding document palette opens.


Figure 5.

For each style sheet a sample document can be accessed by using the button   [Graphics:HTMLFiles/index_6.gif]   in the first row of the document palette. The sample document can also be edited so the user can rewrite it and save as his or her document.


Figure 6.


The document consists of cells (basic structure elements) denoted by square brackets along the right edge of the document window. These are automatically nested in collapsible groups according to the document structure level (e.g. frontmatter, body, backmatter). The cells stand as the equivalent of paragraphs in common types of processor.

Text Editing

For entering type, the pointer position is important. Clicking on a place inside the cell, the text is written in the cell. Clicking on a place outside the cell (which causes a horizontal beam to appear), a new cell (of Text style by default) is created. Text can then be entered into the new cell.


Figure 7.

If a new cell of a different style (section, subsection, equation, graphics, etc.) is required, it is recommend to use the designated button on the corresponding document palette. After creating, the style of the cell can be indicated by highlighting the cell bracket and pressing Alt. (the Cell Style Inspector appears); and changed by pressing the particular button on the corresponding document palette or by using the main toolbar Format => Style =>.


Figure 8.

3.  Basic Skills

A lot of actions can be done in three ways:

  1. By pressing the particular button on the document or typesetting palettes
  2. By using the toolbar menu
  3. By using hot keys

3.1.  Text Formatting

When you want to format a text or cell, highlight it. Then choose the required action from:

a) Frequently used formatting tools found on buttons of two formatting subpalettes of the typesetting palette, labelled with [Graphics:HTMLFiles/index_10.gif]   and [Graphics:HTMLFiles/index_11.gif] .

b) Basic formatting tools on the main menu available using Format => Text => (fonts, case colour, etc) and at Format => Cell => (alignment, justification, background colour, etc).

c) Advanced formatting tools of Option Inspector available from the right mouse button menu Preferences or using the main toolbar Edit => Preferences =>.


Figure 9.

Hot keys can be used for frequently used commands e.g. Ctrl i for Italics or Ctrl b for Bold.

3.2.  Mathematical Formulas

Mathematical or other technical notation can stand in two forms in the document:

  1. Inline mathematics within the text cell.
    Entering an expression from the mathematical typesetting subpalette [Graphics:HTMLFiles/index_13.gif] , or from the toolbar menu Edit => Math => automatically creates in-line maths. Otherwise, use the toolbar menu Edit => Math => Start Inline Equation  or the short-cut Ctrl 9.


Figure 10.

Note: While typing, the background colour of any maths text is grey. Entering text in the grey area ensures that the correct coding for maths style text is created.

  1. Display stand alone maths in the style Equation or Numbered Equation.
    These styles can be entered directly from the toolbar menu using Edit => Math => Start Equation or Ctrl 1  for unnumbered, or Edit => Math => Start Numbered Equation or Ctrl Shift 1 for numbered. By placing the pointer in the horizontal beam position and using the button from the typesetting mathematical subpalette, an Equation-style cell is automatically created with the template of the chosen notation.


Figure 11.

The coding of inline and display mode slightly differs. If the formulae are to be used in other software, or it is intended to export the file to a different format, then display mode is recommended for editing.

Publicon implements sophisticated equation tools for alignment, fine adjustment, and checking the balance of nested expressions by verifying pairs of brackets, parentheses, and braces.

Mathematical notation search

Any mathematical notation is searchable through the use of its long name. The long name is accessible from the main toolbar through Edit => Copy as => Plain text. This can be inserted into the Find dialog window opened using Edit => Find.

Using Publicon in conjunction with Computer Algebra Systems

Publicon supports MathML coding, so the transport to and from MathML supporting systems is very simple. It is enough to use copy and paste (with short-cuts Ctrl c and Ctrl v). If necessary, the CAS itself offers a conversion before evaluating. In either case, we can copy the expression as MathML and let it paste as converted MathML.

3.3.  Graphics

Although Publicon does not have drawing tools, it recognises a number of graphical formats (BMP, GIF, JPEG, TIFF, EPS, PBM, PGM, PNG, PNM, DXF, STL, WMF, PICT, MPS, MGF). They can be imported in either of two ways:

  1. Inline. A cell contains also some other objects, e.g. text, equation, etc.
    Situate the pointer onto the place where you want to insert the graphics. From the main toolbar, open a special dialog window by File => Import => Single file. Choose the file you want to import, press OK.  

text [Graphics:HTMLFiles/index_16.gif]     text

Figure 12.

  1. Display. The graphics is inserted alone into the special cell of the format graphics.Click under the previous cell, on the place where you want to insert the graphics. The pointer remains in the horizontal beam position. From main toolbar, open a special dialog window by File => Import. Choose the file you want to import, and then press OK.


Figure 13.

We can also insert a sequence of graphics and animate it. It can be done by Format => Graphics => Animate. The pictures have to be situated in succeeding cells.

3.4.  Tables

To create tables, we can use built-in templates and enter data manually or we can import prepared CVS table data files. Both actions, Insert Table and Import Table, are done in simple way using Table buttons situated in each of predefined document palettes. The table, once created, can be further adjusted and fine tuned by the Table Formatting buttons of the typesetting subpalette [Graphics:HTMLFiles/index_18.gif] .  


Figure 14.

Note: When editing the table, the background colour of entry places is grey. Typing within the grey area ensures that the text is encoded correctly.


Figure 15.

3.5.  Data Plots

Data Plots are created through the Plot Data dialog window. This is opened using Insert => Plot . Data are required in CSV format. A user sets the form of the data (list, X-Y, table), path of the data file, form of the plot (bar chart, pie chart, contour plot, density plot, and surface plot), options (display of axes, origin, size, background colour), and labels. After creation, the desired plot is pasted into the document.


Figure 16.

Inserted objects - graphics, data plots and tables, are automatically numbered. Tables are provided with title and note.

3.6.  References

References are administrated by the reference database. First, the references information has to be loaded into the particular fields via the reference dialog box. Click on the button InsertReference (group References in Document Palette). Press the key tab followed by New.


Figure 17.

The reference dialog box appears. Fill in the information. Press OK.


Figure 18.

Place the pointer in the cell of your document where you want to insert the reference. In the Find references by: dialog click on Insert . The reference is inserted into the document. We can see it as a hyperlink denoted by its key.


Figure 19.

After all references have been inserted, click on the Gather Backmatter button (group References) in the document palette. The References list is created at the end of the document; the reference hyperlink is readdressed to the list of references, and its notation is changed into its number. If desired, the citations can be retrieved using the Restore Citations and further edited.


Figure 20.

Publicon provides many more possibilities than those listed above - insertion of hyperlinks, creation of own palettes and own styles, etc. For more information see http://documents.wolfram.com/publicon/.