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Documentation / Mathematica / Getting Started / Working with Notebooks /

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, choose it with File RightTrianglePalettes RightTriangleBasicInput.

The Basic Input palette

To enter a Greek letter:

Click the Alpha button on the palette to place an Alpha in the notebook. Click the Theta button to place a Theta.

To enter and evaluate an integral:

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

2. Fill in the integrand by typing Tan[x]. Press TabKey to move to the next placeholder box and fill in the variable of integration x.

3. Press ShiftKeyKeyBarEnterKey to have Mathematica evaluate the integral.

For more information

Bullet Input in notebooks: The Mathematica Book, Sections 1.10.1 and 1.10.2.

Bullet Special characters: The Mathematica Book, Sections 1.10.2 and 3.10.1.

Bullet Creating your own palettes: The Mathematica Book, Section 1.10.12.

To do some algebraic manipulation:

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

2. Drag the cursor over the output to select it.

3. Click the ComplexExpand[FilledSquare] button.

The selected text replaces the black placeholder box FilledSquare. A new input cell is created to preserve the old output.

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


Bullet You can also enter subscripts and many other common mathematical symbols using palettes.

Bullet To open other palettes, choose File RightTrianglePalettes.

Bullet Pressing TabKey selects placeholder boxes cyclically until you have filled them all in.

Bullet The arrangement of open palettes is preserved from one Mathematica session to the next.

Bullet Integrals like Integral(a + x) DifferentialDx require parentheses, as in standard mathematical notation.