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 Palettes BasicInput.
The Basic Input palette
To enter a Greek letter:
Click the button on the palette to place an in the notebook. Click the button to place a .
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 to move to the next placeholder box and fill in the variable of integration x.
3. Press to have Mathematica evaluate the integral.
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 button.
The selected text replaces the black placeholder box . 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."