Tips & tricks

Good points to remember (Cheat Sheet)

  • Capital letters matter: X is not the same as x.
  • Space can be a multiplication sign: ax in y = ax + b is interpreted as a new, previously undefined variable. Instead, use y = a x + b or y = a*x + b.
  • Use up and down arrows in the input bar to scroll through previous commands.
  • Pressing Enter will move the text cursor to the input bar.
  • F3 will copy a selected object's definition to the input bar for easy redefinitions.
  • The input help is found under the little triangle  to the right of the input bar.
  • Use Arrow keys to control sliders, numbers and points.
  • Set the increment in the Properties dialogue, on the Slider tab.
  • Use Shift-Arrow for fine-tuning with 1/10 of the increment.
  • Use Ctrl-Arrow for larger jumps with 10x the increment.
  • Use Alt-Arrow for really large jumps with 100x the increment.
Points, lists, and commands:
  • Points are written within parentheses: (3,5), (4.7,3.52), (a,f(a))…
  • x(A) and y(A) returns the x- and y-coordinates for point A.
  • Lists are written within curly braces: data = {A,B,C,D,E}.
  • Commands have square brackets and capitals: Intersect[f,g] but ordinary parentheses are also allowed: Intersect(f,g).
Alt key:
  • Alt-a gives , Alt-b gives , etc. Alt-o gives the degree sign 360°.
  • Alt-i gives you the imaginary unit i, Alt-p gives , and Alt-e gives e = 2,718…
  • Alt-2, Alt-3… give you whole number powers. Use ^2.5 for other powers.
  • Indexes are typed with an underscore: S_1 = .
  • Special characters are found under the alpha sign  to the right in the input bar
Graphics window:
  • The axes have names: xAxis and yAxis.
  • x(P) and y(P) gives you the coordinates of the point P.
  • Ctrl-Drag the axes to zoom and Drag the background to pan.
  • Escape de-selects any selected objects and activates the selection tool (the arrow).
  • Rename objects immediately after creation by just starting to type the name.
  • Double-click objects to redefine them
  • Drag from the Algebra window to the Graphics window to create a text label.
  • Hide or show objects by clicking the visibility button  in the Algebra window.
  • Ctrl-F will erase tracks from tracing objects.
  • F9 will recalculate random numbers
  • Ctrl-Shift-S opens the spreadsheet. Ctrl-Shift-2 opens Graphics Window 2.
  • View > Keyboard to get a virtual keyboard on-screen.
Make use of the user manuals, guides, and forums online. Links are in the Help-menu.