Wolfram Language Fast Introduction for Math Students
Get Started »

Entering Input

In a Wolfram notebook on the desktop or web, just type an input, then press SHIFT+ENTER to compute:

In[1]:=
X
2 + 2
Out[1]=

In[n] and Out[n] label successive inputs and outputs. The % symbol refers to the most recent output:

In[1]:=
Click for copyable input
1 + 2 + 3
Out[1]=
In[2]:=
Click for copyable input
% + 4
Out[2]=

After you perform a calculation, the Suggestions Bar will provide options for further computation:

Standard symbols work for mathematical operations:

(Use a space or * for multiplication, not the “x” character.)
In[1]:=
Click for copyable input
5 + 2*3 - 7.5
Out[1]=

Use parentheses (not braces or brackets) to show levels of grouping:

In[2]:=
Click for copyable input
((5 - 3)^(1 + 2))/4
Out[2]=

The Wolfram Language has about 5,000 built-in functions, covering many areas of mathematics.

Arguments to built-in functions are separated by commas and enclosed in square brackets:

In[1]:=
Click for copyable input
GCD[12, 15]
Out[1]=

If you don’t know what function to use, type = at the beginning of a line for natural-language input:

In[2]:=
X
plot a sine curve
Out[2]=

Lists represent collections of items and are indicated by { ... }:

In[1]:=
Click for copyable input
{1, 2, 3}
{x, y, z}

Lists are ordered. They can contain numbers, variables, computations or even other lists.

Many operations are applied elementwise:

In[2]:=
Click for copyable input
{1, 2, 3} + 2
Out[2]=

Starting at 1, parts of lists can be extracted using [[ ... ]]:

In[3]:=
Click for copyable input
{a, b, c, d}[[3]]
Out[3]=

Easily construct lists with functions like Range:

In[1]:=
Click for copyable input
Range[10]
Out[1]=

QUICK REFERENCE: Managing Computations in Notebooks »

QUICK REFERENCE: Free-Form & External Input »

QUICK REFERENCE: List Manipulation »