In doing calculations, you will often need to use previous results that you have got. In Mathematica
always stands for your last result.
You will have noticed that all the input and output lines in Mathematica
are numbered. You can use these numbers to refer to previous results.
If you use a text-based interface to Mathematica
, then successive input and output lines will always appear in order. However, if you use a notebook interface to Mathematica
, as discussed in "Notebook Interfaces"
, then successive input and output lines need not appear in order. You can for example "scroll back" and insert your next calculation wherever you want in the notebook. You should realize that %
is always defined to be the last result that Mathematica
generated. This may or may not be the result that appears immediately above your present position in the notebook. With a notebook interface, the only way to tell when a particular result was generated is to look at the Out[n]
label that it has. Because you can insert and delete anywhere in a notebook, the textual ordering of results in a notebook need have no relation to the order in which the results were generated.