This is documentation for Mathematica 5, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.
View current documentation (Version 11.2)

Documentation / Mathematica / Getting Started / Working with Notebooks /

Configuring Notebooks

Mathematica notebooks have over 500 options that you can set.

The Option Inspector

The Option Inspector lists available front end options and their current settings. It provides a convenient way to monitor and change the settings for options in your notebook. Commonly used options can be set using the menus or dialog boxes.

You can set the value of an option at one of three different levels: selection, notebook, or global. Values set at higher levels are used everywhere except when reset at a lower level.

To change the levels of options:

1. Open the Option Inspector by clicking Format RightTriangleOption Inspector.

2. Use the left-hand pop-up menu to display and change the levels of options.

To search for a specific option:

1. Open the Option Inspector by clicking Format RightTriangleOption Inspector.

2. Type the option name or even part of the name in the Lookup text field.

3. Click Lookup or press EnterKey. The Option Inspector goes to the first matching option.

4. Click Lookup or press EnterKey again to find the next matching option.


Bullet Use the right-hand pop-up menu to change the format in which the options are displayed. You can list options by category, alphabetically, or as text.

To set an option:

1. Select an object in your notebook for the option to act on.

2. In the Option Inspector, click the button to the right of the text field. It may be a pop-up menu, a check box, or a dialog box that can set the option's value.

- or -

Type in the new option value in the text field and press EnterKey.

Your notebook reflects the change immediately. To return to the default setting, click the dot to the left of the option name.

To see the underlying Mathematica expression for a cell:

1. Place the cursor in a cell or select the cell bracket.

2. Choose Format RightTriangleShow Expression.

You can edit the expression directly. Only those options set directly on the cell will be listed; options inherited from higher levels will not appear.

Choose Format RightTriangleShow Expression again to format the cell.


Bullet You can set an option on a cell style in a style sheet. In this way you can add the option to all cells with the same style in one step.

Bullet Documentation for all front end options is available in the Help Browser under Front End RightTriangleFront End Options.