# Entering Input in Notebooks

*Mathematica*'s notebook interface is a very powerful typesetting system that allows you to enter formulas as they are written in mathematical literature, using two-dimensional notation such as superscripts, subscripts, and so on.

Mathematical symbols and two-dimensional notation can be entered from the keyboard as well as through palettes.

Formulas entered in two-dimensional form can be used for input in *Mathematica.*

formula | keystrokes | result |

power | x Ctrl+^ 3 | x^{3} |

fraction | x Ctrl+/ 3 | |

square root | Ctrl+2 x | |

subscript | x Ctrl+_ 3 | x_{3} |

move cursor out of formula by one level | Ctrl+Space |

You can use Ctrl+6 as an alternative to Ctrl+^; on some non-U.S. keyboards, you may have to use Ctrl+6.

Note that on some operating systems, if the main Ctrl key is remapped, the keyboard commands discussed here will not work.

You can use formulas entered in two-dimensional form for input in *Mathematica*.

## Powers and Fractions

Type , then press Ctrl+^ to create the placeholder for the power.

Type the power , then press Ctrl+Space to move the cursor out.

Similarly, type , then the numerator of the fraction, , then Ctrl+/ to create the placeholder for the denominator.

Type the denominator and then press Ctrl+Space to complete the task.

You can select and edit any part of a two-dimensional formula.

## Tables and Matrices

Tables and matrices can be entered using the command Insert ► Table/Matrix. In the dialog box, specify the number of rows and columns. Press Tab to fill in successive entries.

Tables can also be entered directly from the keyboard.

Type parentheses around a table to display it as a matrix.

You can use Grid to preserve or create a matrix structure in evaluations.

## Special Characters

Every special character in *Mathematica* has a full name, such as \[Alpha]. Common characters also have short aliases using the Esc key.

character | full name | alias |

\[Alpha] | EscaEsc | |

\[Beta] | EscbEsc | |

\[Pi] | EscpiEsc | |

\[Integral] | EscintEsc | |

(differential operator) | \[DifferentialD] | EscddEsc |

You can enter the character using the full name, \[Alpha]. Once the closing square bracket is typed, the character is substituted for the full name.

You can also enter a character using its Esc alias. EscbEsc is the alias for .

Esc appears on the screen as and disappears when the substitution occurs.

Certain special characters are replaced automatically without pressing the Esc key. For example, is converted to .

You can also use TeX names as aliases for special characters, such as Esc\inftyEsc.

You can get a list of all special characters by choosing Palettes ► Special Characters. The name of each character is displayed in a tooltip when the cursor is over the character.