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Viewer, Browser, and Inspector: Interactive Manipulation

After a plot command is executed in a MuPAD® notebook, the plot will typically appear below the input region, embedded in the notebook. To "activate" the graphic, click it once with the mouse cursor. The "Tool Bar" at the top of the window will change and the "Command Bar" at the right side of the window will be replaced by two sub-windows labelled "Object Browser" and "Properties", which we will refer to as the "object browser" and the "property inspector." If they are not visible, you may need to activate them with the icon .

In the object browser, the graphical tree of the plot as introduced in the preceding section is visible. It allows to select any node of the graphical tree by a mouse click.

After selecting an object in the object browser, the corresponding part of the plot is highlighted in some way allowing to identify the selected object visually. The property inspector now displays all attributes the selected object reacts to. For example, for an object of type Function2d, the attributes visible in the property inspector are categorized as ‘Definition,' ‘Animation,' ‘Annotation,' ‘Calculation,' and ‘Style' with the latter split into the sub-categories (Style of) ‘Lines,' (Style of) ‘Points,' (Style of) ‘Asymptotes.' Opening one of these categories, one finds the attributes and their current values that apply to the currently selected object. After selection of an attribute with the mouse, its value can be changed:

There is a sophisticated way of setting defaults for the attributes via the object browser and the property inspector. The ‘View' menu provides an item ‘Hide Defaults.' Disabling ‘Hide Defaults,' the object browser changes from

to:

At each node of the graphical tree, default values for the attributes can be set via the property inspector. These defaults are valid for all primitives that exist below this node, unless these defaults are redefined at some other node further down in tree hierarchy.

This mechanism is particularly useful when there are many primitives of the same kind in the plot. Imagine a picture consisting of 1000 points. If you wish to change the color of all points to green, it would be quite cumbersome to set PointColor = RGB::Green in all 1000 points. Instead, you can set PointColor = RGB::Green in the PointColor defaults entry at some tree node that contains all the points (e.g., the canvas). Similarly, if there are 1000 points in one scene and another 1000 points in a second scene, you can change the color of all points in the first scene by an appropriate default entry in the first scene, whilst the default entry for the second scene can be set to a different value.

A 3D plot can be rotated and shifted by the mouse. Also zooming in and out is possible. In fact, these operations are realized by moving the camera around, closer to, or farther away from the scene, respectively. There is a camera control that may be switched on and off via the ‘Camera Control' item of the ‘View' menu. It provides the current viewing parameters such as camera position, focal point and the angle of the camera lens:

Section Attributes for plotfunc2d and plotfunc3d provides more information on cameras.

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