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Using Palettes

Palettes allow you to input special characters and mathematical notation; they are like extensions to your keyboard. Some palettes also do evaluations.
If the Basic Input palette is not open, you can open it from the Palettes submenu of the File menu.


This is the Basic Input palette

To enter a Greek letter:

1. Click the button on the palette to place an in the notebook.

2. Click the button to place a .

To enter an integral:

1. Click once in the blank section of the notebook to display the cell insertion bar.

2. Click the integral button on the palette to insert an integral template. The first placeholder box is selected, indicating where text will be placed.

3. Fill in the integrand by typing Tan[x]Courier. Press to move to the next box and fill in the variable of integration xCourier.

4. Press to have Mathematica evaluate the integral.

For more information

  • Input in notebooks: The Mathematica Book, Sections 1.10.1 and 1.10.2.
  • Special characters: The Mathematica Book, Sections 1.10.2 and 3.10.1.
  • Creating your own palettes: The Mathematica Book, Section 1.10.12.


  • To do some algebraic manipulation:

    1. Open the Palettes submenu of the File menu, and choose the Algebraic Manipulation palette.

    2. Drag over the output to select it.

    3. Click ComplexExpand[ ] .

    The selected text goes in the area indicated by the black placeholder box .

    4. The input is automatically evaluated. Notice that a separate cell is not created; the output replaces the input. This is called evaluating in place.

    T I P S

  • You can also enter subscripts and many other common mathematical symbols using palettes.
  • To open other palettes, choose Palettes in the File menu.
  • Pressing selects placeholder boxes cyclically until you have filled them all in.
  • The arrangement of open palettes is preserved from one Mathematica session to the next.
  • Integrals like (a+x) dx require parentheses, as in standard mathematical notation.
  • To close an open palette, hold down the third mouse button while the cursor is on top of the palette. When the menu appears, choose File Close .