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Documentation / Mathematica / The Mathematica Book / A Practical Introduction to Mathematica / Running Mathematica /

1.0.2 Text-Based Interfaces

Running Mathematica with a text-based interface.

With a text-based interface, you interact with your computer primarily by typing text on the keyboard.

To start Mathematica with a text-based interface, you typically type the command math at an operating system prompt. On some systems, you may also be able to start Mathematica with a text-based interface by double-clicking on a Mathematica Kernel icon.

When Mathematica has started, it will print the prompt In[1]:=, signifying that it is ready for your input. You can then type your input, ending with Enter or Return.

Mathematica will then process the input, and generate a result. If it prints the result out, it will label it with Out[1]=.

Throughout this book, dialogs with Mathematica are shown in the following way:

The computer prints In[1]:=. You just type in 2 + 2. The line that starts with Out[1]= is the result from Mathematica.

In[1]:= 2 + 2


Section 0.5.1 discusses some important details about reproducing the dialogs on your computer system. Note that you do not explicitly type the In[n]:= prompt; only type the text that follows this prompt.

Note also that most of the actual dialogs given in the book show output in the form you get with a notebook interface to Mathematica; output with a text-based interface looks similar, but lacks such features as special characters and font size changes.

Section 1.3 gives more details on running Mathematica with a text-based interface. To exit Mathematica, either type Control-D, Control-Z or Quit[ ] at an input prompt.