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Saving palette positions in Windows.

Posted 10 years ago

This question hardly warrants the title of "Discussion". Please be kind.

In MMA 9, Windows 7, I had two MMA palettes "Algebraic Manipulations" and "Basic Math Input" permanently on right of my screen, one below the other.

Now, using MMA 10, I still have these default palettes displayed, but whenever I open MMA 10, these palettes appear one on top of the other in the upper right hand corner of the screen. I wish them to appear automatically, but one underneath the other, as was the case in MMA 9. The frustrating part is that I am sure there is a simple way to enable this, but I can no longer remember how I did it in MMA 9.

I have searched the voluminous MMA 10 documentation, but as usual with these systems, unless one knows the exact words to use in the search, one never finds the answer. I have also searched the user groups, and although some topics have come close, there does not appear to be an answer to my specific question.

I know that I deserve any abuse hurled in my direction for wasting the group's time. This, I am more than willing to accept, if I can only get a fix for the trivial but niggling little problem of palette-positioning.

POSTED BY: Michael Hill
7 Replies
Posted 10 years ago

Thank you David for clarifying what I see now was a rather muddled description of my solution.

(Parenthetically, I note in passing that of the multitudinous Windows applications that I have used over years and years, MMA is the only one in which such a convoluted solution to a simple problem is necessary. MMA-Windows-GUI-design-persons, try using Word, Photoshop or Sibelius for a couple of days. It just might give you a clue.)

POSTED BY: Michael Hill
Posted 10 years ago

OK, here's how I was able to solve this problem.

  1. If open, close the palette you want to re-install. This step may not be necessary. It seemed cleaner, though.
  2. If it exists, delete the palette notebook from the directory $UserBaseDirectory/SystemFiles/FrontEnd/Palettes.
  3. Open the desired palette and position the palette to the desired location.
  4. Select "Install Palette..." from the Palettes menu.
  5. Select the desired palette from the "Source" drop down.
  6. Enter your desired palette filename in the "install Name" box, then click OK.

The fresh palette should appear under the directory used in step 2.

Now, when you close and re-open a palette, it should remember its last position.


I recently had to reinstall version 10.3.1. It appears the behavior of palette installation has changed sometime between my original post and now. It appears that the palette filename must be identical to the original filename as it appears in $InstallationDirectory\SystemFiles\FrontEnd\Palettes...

This includes palettes in the subfolder "Other". The subfolder "Other" must exist under $UserBaseDirectory/SystemFiles/FrontEnd/Palettes. And, there filenames must match the original filenames (eg, no spaces).

Posted 10 years ago

I'm glad you posted this. I've been dealing with the same annoyance with palettes. They always open on top of each other, upper right corner.

However, I'm not sure I understand your solution. I've found the "Install Palette..." menu option, but I'm not sure what I need to install using the dialog that opens? Also, I'm not sure what you did to delete the old versions? Where are the old versions and are they deleted before or after the fresh install?

Posted 10 years ago

I have found the solution to the problem. It was a trial and error thing: I really have no idea why it worked, but it did.

Inspite of the fact that the paletes "Algebraic Manipulations" and "Basic Math Input" were already on the screen, albeit behaving in a peculiar manner, in the < New Notebook / Open.. / Quit > introductory and exit window, I did a fresh install of the palettes in question, and deleted the old versions. Now these palettes behave like they always have done, i.e. they don't appear one on top of the other when I open MMA 10.

Having long ago given up trying to understand MMA's "unique" approach to the control of its Windows GUI, it is in some sense gratifying that my poke-it-and-see-what-happens methodology has finally been rewarded with success in this small yet slightly irritating problem that these default palettes presented.

POSTED BY: Michael Hill
Posted 10 years ago

I feel the need to stress that I have indeed received NO abuse whatsoever. I must remember to place smiley faces at appropriate points in any further posting I might make.

When I did the upgrade from MMA 9 to MMA 10, the two palettes I used in MMA 9 just "appeared" (quite expectedly) when running MMA 10. ...but their behaviour had changed in the fashion previously described: a source of mild annoyance. I wanted to fix this tiny loose end. I couldn't. Hence, my posting.

Thank you to those who have responded so far.

POSTED BY: Michael Hill

Hello Michael,

You never ever deserve abuse for asking a question and no question is silly or a waste of time if it needs answering to use Mathematica.

Version 10 changed the behavior of side windows and palettes and in my opinion this has caused a number of problems for the worse. The palettes you are using are older ones but still many people like them. They should work in in Version 10 but it may require that WRI update the properties of the palettes to conform to Mathematica 10. So you just have to complain to them, as you have done here, but maybe also through the Support facility. Then hope they fix it.

I am sorry if you were criticized before for posting a question. This question is perfectly reasonable for this forum.

My suspicion is that with 9.0, you placed a palette where you wanted it and did File-Save to save the new position in the palette's notebook file. This usually needs another option changed for the palette to allow changes. (I'm in the middle of other things right now. If no one else gives you the option to change, I will look it up tomorrow.)

POSTED BY: Moderation Team
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