Using a Notebook Interface
If you use your computer via a purely graphical interface, you will typically double-click the Mathematica
icon to start Mathematica
. If you use your computer via a textually based operating system, you will typically type the command mathematica
to start Mathematica
|use an icon or the Start menu||graphical ways to start Mathematica|
|mathematica||the shell command to start Mathematica|
|text ending with Shift+Enter||input for Mathematica (Shift+Return on some keyboards)|
|choose the menu item||exiting Mathematica ( on some systems)|
Running Mathematica with a notebook interface.
In a "notebook" interface, you interact with Mathematica
by creating interactive documents.
The notebook front end includes many menus and graphical tools for creating and reading notebook documents and for sending and receiving material from the Mathematica
A notebook mixing text, graphics and Mathematica
input and output.
starts up, it usually gives you a blank notebook. You can start typing right away. Mathematica
by default will interpret your text as input. You enter Mathematica
input into the notebook, then type Shift+Enter
to make Mathematica
process your input. (To type Shift+Enter
, hold down the Shift
key, then press Enter
.) You can use the standard editing features of your graphical interface to prepare your input, which may go on for several lines. Shift+Enter
that you have finished your input. If your keyboard has a numeric keypad, you can use its Enter
key instead of Shift+Enter
After you send Mathematica
input from your notebook, Mathematica
will label your input with In[n]:=
. It labels the corresponding output Out[n]=
. Labels are added automatically.
You type 2+2
, then end your input with Shift+Enter
processes the input, then adds the input label In:=
, and gives the output.
The output is placed below the input. By default, input/output pairs are grouped using rectangular cell brackets displayed in the right margin.
documentation, "dialogs" with Mathematica
are shown in the following way:
With a notebook interface, you just type in 2+2
then adds the label In:=
, and prints the result.
You should realize that notebooks are part of the "front end" to Mathematica
. The Mathematica
kernel which actually performs computations may be run either on the same computer as the front end, or on another computer connected via a network. Sometimes, the kernel is not even started until you actually do a calculation with Mathematica
The built-in Mathematica
Documentation Center (), where you might be reading this documentation, is itself an example of a Mathematica
notebook. You can evaluate and modify examples in place, or type your own examples.
In addition to the standard textual input, Mathematica
supports the use of generalized, non-textual input such as graphics and user interface controls, freely mixed with textual input.
To exit Mathematica
, you typically choose the menu item in the notebook interface.