(Excerpt from "The MathML Handbook" by Pavi Sandhu)

Publicon is an application for authoring structured technical documents, and was developed by Wolfram Research, the same company that makes Mathematica. Publicon uses much of the same technology as Mathematica for authoring and editing documents. The two applications share the same typesetting system as well as the same document format, namely notebooks. In Publicon, too, you can enter mathematical notation quickly and easily using palettes, menus, or keyboard shortcuts.

The main difference is that Publicon lacks any computational abilities, since its focus is on creating documents. At the same time, Publicon also goes beyond Mathematica in some respects. It has a more elaborate graphical interface with special palettes for creating various document styles and inserting formatted input such as lists, tables, and numbered equations. In addition, Publicon provides support for adding notes, citations, and cross-references and for creating a bibliography.

Publicon also includes a series of document palettes for authoring documents in specific TeX or XML formats. For example, there are separate palettes for creating documents in the style of Physical Review, the journals of the AMS, and the BioMed XML format used for authoring biomedical research papers. Publicon is thus a convenient tool for authors who want to create technical papers for submission to specific journals, or to produce documents that are interoperable with TeX and XML.

The following figure shows the Publicon interface. When you start Publicon, you see a blank notebook as well as two palettes: the Typesetting palette and the Default document palette. The Typesetting palette contains buttons for entering mathematical notation and applying formatting changes. The Default document palette allows you to create a document formatted according to the default stylesheet.

The Publicon interface

Figure: The Publicon interface showing the Typesetting palette and the Default document palette.

The Typesetting palette

The Typesetting palette is a master palette that is composed of seven subpalettes. Each subpalette contains buttons for entering input in one of the following categories:

  • Mathematical notation
  • Shapes and symbols
  • Relational operators and arrows
  • Latin and Greek letters
  • Script, gothic, and double-struck letters
  • Fonts, alignment, and spacing
  • Lists and value display objects (for inserting the current date, time, and so on)

Only one subpalette can be displayed at any given time. You can easily switch between the different subpalettes by clicking a button at the top of the Typesetting palette. The button that corresponds to the currently selected palette appears in a darker color.

Document palettes

To author a document in a specific style, you use a document palette. Each document palette provides a point-and-click interface for implementing the styles defined in a specific stylesheet. There are different document palettes, for example, to implement a set of predefined styles suitable for articles, reports, or books. These palettes are all listed under the File → Standard Palettes menu.

In addition, Publicon includes a set of customized palettes, each of which implements the style of a specific journal. Some of the supported journal styles are listed below:

  • RevTeX: for journals of the American Physical Society (APS)
  • AMS-TeX: for journals of the AMS
  • BioMed Central: for biomedical research papers
  • arXiv: for physics and mathematics papers submitted to the arXiv preprint server

There are also three different document palettes that implement the LaTeX book, article, and report styles. These palettes are all listed under the File → Custom Palettes menu.

Clicking the New Document button at the top of any of these custom palettes creates a template document, with headings and front matter already formatted in the particular style. Thus, you can quickly create a document with the style and structure required by a particular journal. Once you have finished authoring your document, you can export the notebook as a TeX or XML file, in the submission format appropriate for that journal. For example, you can author a physics paper using the Physical Review document palette (see the following figure) and then use the File → Save As → TeX menu to automatically produce a TeX file formatted according to the RevTeX macro package.

Publicon: Authoring paper as APS journal

Figure: Authoring a paper in the style of an APS journal using the Physical Review document palette.

Exporting and importing MathML

Once you have created a document, you can save it in several formats using the File → Save As submenu. For MathML, the relevant format is XHTML+MathML. This saves the entire document in NotebookML format with all equations embedded in the form of MathML.

You can copy specific equations to the clipboard as presentation MathML and paste them into another application. To do this, select the equation and choose the Edit → Copy As → MathML menu command.

You can also copy MathML equations from another application, such as a Web browser, and paste them into a Publicon notebook. When you do this, Publicon brings up a dialog asking if you want to paste the markup literally (as a MathML string) or interpret it. If you choose to interpret the markup, it is automatically displayed in the form of mathematical notation.


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Copyright © CHARLES RIVER MEDIA, INC., Massachusetts (USA) 2003
Printing of the online version is permitted exclusively for private use. Otherwise this chapter from the book "The MathML Handbook" is subject to the same provisions as those applicable for the hardcover edition: The work including all its components is protected by copyright. All rights reserved, including reproduction, translation, microfilming as well as storage and processing in electronic systems.

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