Getting Started with Cassiopeia

We assume you have Cassiopeia, FrontBase and LaTeX installed on your Mac and that a default database is setup as outlined in the Installation and Setup document. This document is supposed to give a brief overview of the most frequently used features of Cassiopeia and intends to get you started quickly. Successive tutorials will go into further detail (links at the bottom of this page).
  • Creating Documents
  • Sections and Subsections
  • Equations

Creating Documents

After starting Cassiopeia the first step usually is to choose Database - Log On from the menu to log into the database.

Unless you have created additional user accounts or set a password for the default user ROOT, leave the username field unchanged and the password field blank and simply click on OK.

Once logged in the following object browser window appears.

Note: Cassiopeia can be made to automatically login with a default account whenever the application is started. This is explained in the Autologin section of the Central Database document (you might want to check this out later).

After logging into the database a document can be created by choosing Database - New Document (Command-N) from the menu. A panel appears asking for the title of the document. Specify a title and click on OK. The document window appears and you can start typing text.

If you make up your mind and would like to rename your doument choose Database - Rename from the menu and specify a new title.

Please note the little black dot in the center of the red bullet in the window title(s) after modifying a document. This black dot indicates unsaved changes. Choose Database - Save from the menu or simply hit Command-s to save changes to the database. You should become used to hitting save fairly often when editing documents. If you have performed unwanted changes either use Command-z (undo) or hit Command-u to discard all changes and revert back to the latest saved state in the database.

Close your document and choose Database - Open Document from the menu.

Documents and books aren't autofetched when the document manager is opened. This makes sense since you might have hundreds of documents in the database (especially if sharing the database with colleagues in a multi user setup) and you are currently interested in a small subset or even a specific one only. The document we have created above has "first" in its title. Type "first" in the search field and press Enter. There it is again.

Should you ever want to fetch all documents in the database simply click into the search field, leave it blank and press Enter. Doubleclick on the document listed in the tableview to reopen it, do some modifications, hit save and close it again. Suppose you expect to work fairly often with this document. It then makes sense to put a bookmark for this document on the object browser window. You can do so by Ctrl-dragging the document from the tableview to the object browser window.

When you let go the yellow ball over the blue object browser window a so called enterprise object - actually an alias for an object in the database - is created. A doubleclick on the alias opens the viewer for the object referenced by the alias, in this case the document window. Bookmarking allows fast access to frequently used documents and books. A document or book can also be bookmarked by opening it and then pressing Command-Shift-B.

Sections and Subsections

Publications usually have some inner structure of sections and subsections. You can create a section by choosing SDM - Create Section from the menu or simply hitting Command-Shift-S. A panel appears and asks for the title of the section. Type some title and hit Enter.

Note the black dot indicating unsaved changes. Don't forget to hit save from time to time. Now type a few words and hit Command-Shift-S again to create another section.

Now hit Command-Shift-G to open the table of contents drawer. You can doubleclick on any entry in this drawer to get to the corresponding section quickly.

You can also drag up and down sections in the drawer to change their location within the document or to make them a subsection of some other section.

Close the drawer by hitting Command-Shift-G again. Let's assume we make up our mind and would like the section Analysis be a subsection of Preface instead of a sibling. To accomplish this singleclick on Analysis in the document and choose SDM - Section Down in the menu or simply hit Command-Shift-D.

Note that Analysis appears in a smaller font now indicating it to be a subsection of Preface. Hit save and reopen the TOC drawer with Command-Shift-G. Note the small triangle to the left of Preface in the TOC drawer.

Click on it to expand, click once more to collapse again. Now hit Command-p to open the print document panel
and click on the brown wheel in the top right corner to generate LaTeX for your document. The generated LaTeX is shown in the textview below the option checkboxes. Cassiopeia compiles the LaTeX in the background and opens the resulting PDF in

Try out a few of the options on this panel. We will go into further detail with regard to LaTeX generation in a forthcoming tutorial. A detailed introduction to structuring documents and currently available text objects (emphases, images, enumerations, abstract, ...) can be found in Documents.


The equation editor of Cassiopeia is integrated directly into the text system. All symbols and parts are available via easy to remember key strokes or via Tools - Palette making the creation and modification of formulas as seamless as possible. See Equation Editor and Quick Reference for a detailed discussion of entering and editing equations. The section in this document is intended to give you a brief overview only.

Hit Enter once or twice to place the cursor on an empty line. Then hit Command-y. This creates an equation and gets you into equation mode.

Note the small gray rectangle representing an empty formula. Also note that the formula is horizontally centered automatically. Do not insert TABs or spaces before creating a formula. Cassiopeia will take care of the alignment automatically. Also note that the blinking cursor is gone indicating that we are in formula mode. Type the letters "y" and "=".

Cassiopeia automatically takes care of spacing within equations as well so don't enter spaces or tabs here either. Note the small red cursor. It moves while you type and indicates the current insertion point within the equation. The equation editor is MathML content markup based. This means that Cassiopeia tries to make sense of what you type. The two characters we have typed make no sense so far. Cassiopeia recognizes the equal sign as a binary operator requiring a left and a right operand. We have a left operand but the right operand is not yet specified. That's why the equal sign appears with a green background indicating an unsatisfied operator.

Enter two more charaters: "3", "x". The green background vanishes. Cassiopaia is satisfied with what we have typed. Hit Return or Esc to leave formula mode.

Note the autospacing to the left and right of the equal operator. Also note the autospacing between the 3 and the x. Never try to alter this behaviour by inserting spaces and or TABs. LaTeX will take care of presentation issues following its own set of rules anyway when it comes to printing. This allows us to concentrate on content alone.

Now press the left cursor key until the cursor is located directly behind the equation as shown here.

Press the left cursor key again. This enters the formula from the right and gets you back into equation mode.

Press the cursor down key and use the left and right cursor keys to navigate through the equation. Place the insertion marker between the equal sign and the 3 and enter "5" "x" "+".

We could have also placed the cursor anywhere into the equation with the mouse by clicking on the desired location. Hit Enter to leave formula mode and save changes. Press Command-p and generate a PDF to see the current state of your document after processing it with LaTeX.

Note that LaTeX has a slightly different idea with regard to spacing. That's fine. Our aim is to enter content as efficiently as possible. We let LaTeX handle the issues of presentation in printable publications. Make sure you have left the equation mode. Now Alt-doubleclick on your equation. Cassiopeia tries to simplify the equation, succeeds and inserts the result in a new line. Alt-Doubleclick on the simplified equation. This gets us yet another simplification.

If you want to duplicate an equation without alteraration just doublick on it (without pressing the Alt key). The rule based simplificator has automatically simplified equations in the example above. Cassiopeia can also take derivatives and integrate to some extend as will be seen in a forthcoming tutorial. Now hold down the Command and Shift key simultaneously while doubleclicking on the last equation. This opens the equation inspector.

Check the numbered checkbox. The inspector is closed and the equation is suffixed with a number.

Press Command-Shift-M followed by a space and a few words. Your document should look as follows.

You have just created the first half of a link. MARK represents the origin of this link. We need to specify the target now. We do so by clicking into the last equation and then pressing Command-Shift-L to complete the link creation. The place holder MARK is replaced with (Eq.). The red color indicates the presence of a link.

Doubleclicking on such a link brings you to the target even if it is embedded in another possibly not yet even opened document. Hit save and press Command-p (click on the brown wheel) to see how the LaTeXed document looks like.

Note that LaTeX takes care of equation numbering. Get back to your document in order to enter some more equations. Press Command-y and then enter "z", "=", Ctrl-r, "x" now press cursur up, cursor right and enter "+", "x", Ctrl-h, "2" <Return>. You should have

Some structures require the use of parameters. If you want to create a vector you need to specify the dimension. If you want to create a matrix you need to specify the number of rows and columns. This can be acomplished using parameter strokes.

Click into your document, press Command-y to create a new formula and then enter "r", Ctrl-a v, "=", Ctrl-v, 3, <Return> Your document should look similar to the following now.

We are still in equation mode. The insertion point is in the top most cell of the vector of dimension 3. Just type something like "r", Ctrl-l, "0", "c", "o", "s", Ctrl-g, "w", "t" to fill the first cell.

then use the right cursor key to move to the second cell and type "r", Ctrl-l, "0", "s", "i", "n", Ctrl-g, "w" t to fill it with contents as well.

Finally move to the third cell, enter "t", Ctrl-h, "3" and hit <Return> to leave formula mode.

We have made use of the quick stroke Ctrl-h for the power funtion and the quick stroke Ctrl-l for subscript. Moreover we have typed very naturally the three characters "s", "i", "n". The educated guess of Cassiopeia was that we most likely meant the sin-function instead of the product of three identifiers and has chosen the appropriate font to reflect this idea. Press Command-p and click on the brown wheel to get the document latexed.

Theres is one further parameter stroke we would like to introduce here. Create a new formula and then for creating a 3x3 matrix type Ctrl-x, "3", ",", "3", <Return>

then fill the cells with whatever content you like. If such a matrix is used in an equation a problem occurs.

Cassiopeia tries to make sense of this equation. The identifier A (left operand of the equation operator) has the identifier class StandardScalar per default. The 3x3 matrix (right operand of the equation operator) is very obviously of a different class. There is no equal operator defined with StandardScalar on the left and Standard3x3Matrix on the right (see Core - Operators). We can solve this dilemma by explicitly assigning an identifier class to the letter A. Press Command-Shift-C to open the context drawer.

In the context drawer click on Add, enter A in the Identifier field and choose Standard3x3Matrix for the class.

The green background behind the equal operator vanishes. Cassiopeia is satisfied. This might look unnecessarily complicated at first. But remember that we are dealing with content markup and expect as much assistance as possible from the system. This requires us to be precise and give Cassiopeia a hint here and there.

The upper half of the context drawer allows us to assign document categories to the document. Open the form Core - Document Categories, create a few categories of your choice and then Ctrl-drag one or more of them to the categories tableview on the context drawer.

Save changes, open the document manager and try to retrieve your document by selecting a document category and clicking on Fetch.

You can define as many document categories as you like and multiple document categories can be assigned to each document and book. This together with the creation, owner and title filter allows to retrieve documents very efficiently even with thousands of documents in the database.

This quickstart tutorial could give a brief overview only. We recommend to continue reading

Advanced topics for technical users are discussed in
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