This is documentation for Mathematica 4, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.
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Mathematical NotationThe Unifying Idea of Mathematica

Mathematica and Your Computing Environment

Mathematica runs compatibly across all major computer systems, and lets you exchange data in many standard formats.

The standard Mathematica system consists of two parts:

KernelIcon The kernel—which actually does computations.

MathematicaIcon The front end—which handles user interaction and notebooks.

Mathematica notebooks are completely compatible across computer systems.

From within one notebook you can run several Mathematica kernels—on local or remote computers.

Mathematica notebooks allow importing and exporting of many formats.

You can export graphics and formulas to other programs in EPS, GIF, and so on, and then manipulate them.

Complete Mathematica notebooks can be exported in formats such as HTML, TeX, and RTF.

Notebook files contain only plain text and are completely portable.

Choose Show Expression from the Format menu to see the expression form of cells in this notebook.

Here is a typical cell in a Mathematica notebook.

This is what you get when you copy the integral into an external text application such as email.

Mathematica uses the Unicode standard to ensure portability of international character sets.

Mathematica provides system-independent functions for file manipulation.

This finds a list of all notebook files in your home directory.

Mathematical NotationThe Unifying Idea of Mathematica