This is documentation for Mathematica 8, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.
View current documentation (Version 11.1)
Mathematica Sessions
Mathematica provides a uniquely powerful interactive environment for building up arbitrarily complex computations, under convenient interactive or programmatic control.
Components of Mathematica
Kernel — core computational engine
Front end — notebook interface system
Executing Computations
Shift+Enter evaluate input
Ctrl+Shift+Enter evaluate selection in place
expr; evaluate expression, but do not print the result
(= at beginning of input) — use free-form linguistic input
% most recent output expression (%%, %%%, ... for earlier outputs)
%n n^(th) output expression
Control+L copy down an input line (InsertInput from Above)
Getting Help
F1 bring up help about a function
?name give information about functions, symbols, etc.
Alt+. abort a running calculation (EvaluationAbort Evaluation)
EvaluationQuit Kernel quit the kernel, keeping the front end running
Off switch off a message or a group of messages
Quiet run a computation "quietly" without outputting messages
Directory current directory
Names names of known symbols
EditPreferences set global front end preferences
FormatStylesheet pick the stylesheet for a notebook
FormatOption Inspector set options for notebooks
$Post  ▪ $Path  ▪ $CharacterEncoding  ▪ $TimeZone  ▪ $RecursionLimit  ▪ ...
Kernels & Contexts
EvaluationKernel Configuration Options set up additional local or remote kernels
EvaluationNotebook's Kernel choose the kernel to connect to
EvaluationNotebook's Default Context define scope of symbols