Help - Inserting a Problem

The Input Box

The input box is located just beneath the scientific pad.

There are different ways to insert a problem; The scientific pad, Latex or via copy-paste. All of the above eventually lead to your problem being displayed within the input box. This helps to check if it was inputted and understood correctly.

After the problem was inserted, you can hit "enter", or click "go".

Using the Keybaord + Keyboard Shortcuts

For many cases, you will not need anything but the keyboard. Trigonometric functions, basic arithmetic operations, letters and numbers can be written regularly.

Multiplication, Superscripts and Subscript are three commonly used signs that are not explicitly present on the keyboard. They can be inserted, though, using simple keyboard-shortcuts:

Multiplication is inserted with the "*" character ("shift"+"8").

Superscript can be inserted with the "^" character ("shift"+"6")

Subscript can be inserted with the "_" character ("shift"+"-")

All of the other mathematical elements can be inserted with the keyboard as well, with a language called Latex. Latex is a widely used form of writing mathematical scientific expressions. To learn how to write a specific expression, present on the pad, with Latex, just hover over it and a window will appear with the Latex form.

The Scientific Pad

The Scientific pad enables to insert elements that are not in the keyboard, without having to know Latex.

The pad has two states. The first is the default, or compact state. The pad is in the compact state when you first enter the solutions page.

This pad covers the great majority of common symbols that are not present on your keyboard. Click the sign you want to insert and it will immediately pop up in the text box.

If there is a symbol, or a short expression, that isn‘t in the default pad, chances are that it can be found in the full pad. In order to open the full pad, press the full pad link on the top-left of the basic pad.

The full pad is...well... fuller.

On the top tabs you can see the different groups of signs that Symbolab supports. Each tab contains symbols representing that particular group.

Another important aspect of the full pad is that the first row doesn‘t change between groups.

The reason being is that these symbols are prevalent in all groups.

Let us go over the different tabs:

The basic pad has a few extra symbols, like absolute value, and a few basic trigonometry signs. These, together with the compact pad, cover whatever you need for Algebra and Calculus.

The rest of the pad is for either symbols used in advanced math or for common expressions that contain basic symbols numerous times (A triple integral, for instance).

Lower Case Greek Letters

Upper Case Greek Letters

Trigonometric and Hyperbolic Functions

Comparison Operators:

Advanced Accents:

Complex Calculus Expressions

Differential Equations:

Physical Constants:

Chemistry: Coming soon...



Some of you may know Latex. If that is the case, you can make great use of it in Symbolab. The input box supports nearly all of the Latex symbols.

In order to insert a Latex expression, just write it into the input box. Don‘t forget the ‘\‘ character preceding each Latex expression. When you are done, hit the space bar, or any non-letter key on the keyboard. You can also copy chunks of Latex from a document and paste it into the input box (more on that in the copy-past section)

If you want to learn how to insert a sign from the pad using Latex, hover over it for a second.

Caution: Since we want to show any part of the Latex input the instance we understand it, you should look at the input box after each symbol is entered.

The following links provide great sources to learn Latex:

Copy Paste

Sometimes the problem you want to solve is already written somewhere else. In that case you can copy and paste it into the text box. Symbolab supports Latex completely. It also supports less formal forms that are used in various forums. In the later case, though, especially when the text isn‘t written very meticulously, you sometimes need to modify it after pasting.

Using Templates

For some problems, you need more than just entering expressions. You have to specify what it is you want to do with the expressions. If you want to do a certain operation on the expression, state it in the beginning of the textbox. For example, if you want to compute the slope of a function, start the input with the word "Slope"

If you also want the operations to be done at a certain point, or value, add ", at" and specify the wanted value.

Regardless, there is no need to remember or start experimenting if you‘re not sure. You can find the appropriate topic in the topic menu, located on the left side of the screen, and the template will automatically be added in the text box.

Moreover, when reaching a topic from the menu, you can use the examples to get a better understanding of both the extent of coverage, and the input forms being supported. Bellow you can see an example of entering a derivative at a point problem.

Inserting Conditions and Multiple Expressions

In order to insert a system of equations, insert a comma (‘,’) between each expression.

Adding conditions, or additional data into a problem varies between topics:

To specify a value, or a point, for which an operation is done, add ", at" and the point.

When adding initial conditions, it is enough to add them at the end of the main expression with a comma separating each part.

There are a few ways to specify the wanted range of a trigonometric equation. Generally speaking, all the scientifically acceptable methods for stating a range are supported by Symbolab, as long as a comma separates the main expression and the wanted range.
For example, in order to state that the range of x should be between 0, and 2\pi, inclusive, you can use the following forms:

\sin \left(x\right)+\sin \left(\frac{x}{2}\right)=0,\:x\in \left[0,\:2\pi \right]
\sin \left(x\right)+\sin \left(\frac{x}{2}\right)=0,\:\forall 0\le x\le 2\pi \:
\sin \left(x\right)+\sin \left(\frac{x}{2}\right)=0,\:0\le x\le 2\pi

If you are not sure how to input a certain problem, go to the appropriate topic in the topic menu, located on the left side of the screen. There you will find examples of different conditions inputs.

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