Enter Math Expressions to Show Your Work

You can enter mathematical expressions in your work.

  1. In the Show My Work toolbar, click Insert Math.
    The toolbar changes to display buttons for entering math expressions.
    show my work answer with math tools displayed
  2. Use the keyboard and buttons to enter your math expression.
    To do this Do this
    Enter variables. Type the variable name. Variables are automatically italicized.
    Enter lowercase or uppercase Greek letters. Type a backslash (\) followed by the lowercase or capitalized name of the letter, for example, \delta to insert δ or \Delta to insert Δ.
    Display or hide additional buttons. Click Functions, Symbols, Operators, Calculus, Vectors, or Greek.
    Move the insertion point. Press the home, END, and arrow keys.
    Move to the next part of the expression. Press TAB.
    Move to the previous part of the expression. Press SHIFT+TAB.
    Copy the entire expression. Press CTRL+C.
    Note You cannot select or copy only part of the expression.
    Cut the entire expression. Press CTRL+X.
    Note This removes the entire expression. To undo, press CTRL+V to paste the expression.
    Paste the entire expression. Press CTRL+V.
    Important This replaces the entire expression with an expression that you previously cut or copied. There is no undo.
    Delete the character to the left of the insertion point, the selected expression, or notation such as fractions. Press BACKSPACE.
    Delete the character to the right of the insertion point, the selected expression, or notation such as fractions. Press DELETE.
    Delete the current part of the expression and its parent — for example, deletes an entire fraction. Press CTRL+DELETE.
    • You cannot select a portion of your math expression to cut, copy, or paste.
    • You cannot undo changes in your math expression.

Examples: Entering Math Notation

The following examples illustrate entry of some common expressions.

Expression Do this To display this
A simple expression with integers Type 2x+52500

2 x + 52500

A polynomial with a fractional coefficient
  1. Click fraction button
  2. Type 1 and press TAB
  3. Type 2 and press TAB
  4. Type x^2 and press TAB
  5. Type +4x+2

1 2 x 2 + 4 x + 2

A simple inequality
  1. Type x
  2. Click Symbols >
  3. Type -4

x -4

A square root Type sqrt(x


A cube root
  1. Click nth root button
  2. Type 3TABx

x 3

An expression involving pi and Euler's number Type \pi+e^2

π + e 2

The natural logarithm of an absolute value
  1. Click Functions > ln
  2. Type |x|

ln x

A complex number Type 2+3i

2 + 3 i

A vector in vector bracket form
  1. Click vector brackets button
  2. Type 12,15,22

12 15 22