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Mathematica 10 freezes on Plot function's suggestion

Posted 10 years ago

version: Mathematica 10 OS: Windows 7, 64-bit

After I create a simple plot, Mathematica puts a click-able menu at the bottom with things like "theme ..", "labels ..", "axes", "image size" etc.

If I then click "labels ..", Mathematica stops working. Windows says that the program is not responding. Task Manager shows that CPU usage is maxed by the process Mathematica.exe. It never recovers. I have waited as long as 10 minutes, but the Mathematica window remains faded out and not responsive. Moving the cursor over it simply turns it into the hourglass/circle working cursor. The only option is to use Task Manager to close Mathematica and restart it.

This problem is repeatable. I have tried several times and got the exact same result.

Does anyone know why this might be happening?

9 Replies

This is very similar to a problem for which a fix is being worked on. The Suggestions Bar is looking for a place to put the insertion point and gets confused.

Inline Cells are usually Text cells with code embedded. The formulas you have might be examples. Inline cell examples are in the middle of this page.

I understand you would like to use the buttons, but until a Mathematica with this fixed is released it might be better to turn off the Suggestions Bar.

POSTED BY: Bruce Miller

Thanks, I appreciate your help. I hope they fix this bug soon. For now, I will turn off the suggestions bar, but I really hate to do so since I am a new Mathematica user and have found the suggestions bar useful.

Here's a further update.

I took the notebook I've been having problems with and copied it one item at a time into a new notebook, making sure to copy ONLY "input" cells and NO "text" cells. This was a long process since it's a large notebook, but at the end, the problem does not exist in the copied version with the text cells left out.

So this definitely seems like a bug where the content of text cells is influencing the plots (that appear much farther down in the notebook), and causing Mathematica to hang when the buttons I mentioned are clicked on the plots.

As I said before, the text cells contain a mixture of things like:

  • Notes I made to myself, to remind me what I was doing in each step.
  • Formulas that I manually typed in so I could remember the generic formulas for calculating things, along with descriptions.
  • Relevant items that I copied and pasted from various sources like textbooks or web pages.

I don't understand why there should be such a conflict, since nothing in the text cells is meant to be used by Mathematica, they are simply extended notes and comments for my own information and record keeping. Why does Mathematica not simply ignore them?

I am new on this forum and it does not allow me to post bug reports. I assume that this particular bug has already been reported by someone else, anyway. I would appreciate it if someone could point me to a more complete description of the bug, so that I can specifically avoid it in my notebooks. I don't want to have to make do without text cells entirely, because they are essential to how I use Mathematica.

Does it happen for all notebooks, or a subset?

Do any of the Text cells in the notebook have Inline Cells with code?

It might be a known problem for which a fix is being worked on.

POSTED BY: Bruce Miller

I am not sure what Inline Cells are, but here's an experiment I just did after reading your reply:

I created a new notebook, and copy/pasted one of the examples of the Plot function from the Mathematica documentation directly into my notebook, and used it to create a plot. I then clicked the "themes" and "labels" buttons, and everything worked fine, the program did not hang.

Then I went back to the notebook where I was having this problem. I confirmed that the problem still exists in that notebook - clicking themes or labels or axes causes the program to hang.

Then I made a another new notebook. I copied ONLY the function I was having problems from my old notebook into this new notebook. It was very simple, something along the lines:

v[a_] := ((u * m)/(r + a))^0.5

Plot[v[a], {a, 100, 100000}]

where u/m/r are variables that have already been initialized with appropriate values. In my old notebook, they had values that had been calculated earlier, but for the test, I just initialized them with sample values.

This time when I clicked on themes/plot/axes, it worked, there was no program hang.

So there is something in my original notebook that is causing the problem. It's a pretty large notebook. I'd like to troubleshoot it and see if I can find the problem, but I'm not sure where to begin.

Like I said, I don't know what Inline Cells are, but there are certainly a lot of text cells in the notebook - I like to add text commentary everywhere to document what I'm doing and sometimes even copy/paste from textbooks or the web directly into the notebook. Some of the text has formulas embedded, I wonder if those might be what you're referring to as "Inline Cells". Of course, I never use Text cells for any calculations, they are for my record keeping and documentation only, but they are indeed interspersed throughout the notebook.

Posted 10 years ago

The buttons should work. Someone else may have insight into that. But you can manage all of the options explicitly, without the buttons.You can even make the buttons go away, as Bruce points out.

For example:

Plot[Sin[x], {x, 0, 4 Pi}, PlotTheme -> "Scientific", 
 PlotRange -> {-.5, .5}]
POSTED BY: David Keith

Thanks. I understand that I can use all the options programmatically, but I would like to be able to use the buttons, which present a visual depiction of all themes, styles, etc. and make it easier to choose what I want.

Any ideas why the buttons are not working and are hanging the program?

Just in case Mathematica started up in an odd state due to a damaged initialization file, try resetting the initialization files by holding down the SHIFT and CONTROL keys as Mathematica starts. (See

If the problem comes from the Suggestions Bar, it can be disabled in the Preferences window.
See .

POSTED BY: Bruce Miller

I tried resetting like you said, by holding down ctrl-shift while starting. It reset all my preferences, but the problem still persists.

I have included screenshots showing what is going on. The first shows a graph with the Mathematica buttons below it. I have circled in red the buttons that are causing the problem. Clicking any of them causes Mathematica to become unresponsive. CPU usage maxes out, the Mathematica window fades if I click on it, and the cursor becomes a circle (the standard Windows cursor when Windows is busy) and remains like that indefinitely (I've waited as long as 10 minutes) until Mathematica is forced to shut down.

The second image shows what happens when I force Mathematica to shut down. It gives me an application hang window.

This means that I cannot change themes, or labels or change the axes on any of my graphs because clicking those buttons causes Mathematica to hang.

Any other suggestions why this might be happening?

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