Entering Input in Notebooks

The Wolfram System'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 the Wolfram Language.
x Ctrl+^ 3
x Ctrl+/ 3
square root
Ctrl+2 x
x Ctrl+_ 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 the Wolfram Language.
Powers and Fractions
Type x, then press Ctrl+^ to create the placeholder for the power.


Type the power 2, then press Ctrl+Space to move the cursor out.


Similarly, type +, then the numerator of the fraction, 1, 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.
add a column
Ctrl + ,
add a row
Ctrl + Enter
move out of table
Ctrl + Space
Editing in a table or matrix.
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 the Wolfram Language has a full name, such as \[Alpha]. Common characters also have short aliases using the Esc key.
full name
Esc a Esc
Esc b Esc
Esc pi Esc
Esc int Esc
(differential operator)
Esc dd Esc
Special characters.
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 β.


Esc appears on the screen as Esc 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.