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Re: Help with pasting with Basic Input Palette

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg38568] Re: [mg38550] Help with pasting with Basic Input Palette
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murraye at>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 02:15:01 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <>
  • Reply-to: murray at
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In general, the keystroke combination Ctrl Space gets you out of special 
input modes (such as inside a square root, or superscript position, or 
subscript position).  This works whether you use the palette or use 
keyboard shortcuts to produce the special input form (e.g., Ctrl 2 to 
get into square-root mode).

Another approach in your situation is this:  First type the expression 
whose square-root you want.  Second select it (with the mouse).  Third 
click the square-root entry in the Basic Input palette.  That will not 
only put the original expression under the square-root sign, it will 
also automatically return you to normal input mode, outside the 

The key to understanding the preceding behavior (of first typing the 
expression whose square-root is desired) is the little FILLED-IN square 
under the square-root symbol in the Basic Input palette.  That filled-in 
   symbol is SelectionPlaceholder.  According to Section 1.10.12 of the 
Mathematica Book (printed or on-line):

    In general, [SelectionPlaceholder] serves as a placeholder
    for your current selection. When you press a button that
    contains [SelectionPlaceholder], the [SelectionPlaceholder]
    is first replaced by your current selection, and only then
    is the result inserted into your notebook.

Contrast SelectionPlaceholder with Placeholder, which appears on the 
Basic Input palette as a small square that is NOT filled in.  The latter 
represents input you ordinarily type AFTER you have clicked the palette 

Diana Mecum wrote:
> Hi math folks,
> This is a really simple question. I searched the help documentation, but was
> not able to find an answer.
> I have the Basic Input palette displaying. This is the default one which
> comes up when you first start Mathematica.
> When I try to insert a square root symbol, I press the square root icon.
> Then I type "3", and try to continue to also add the square root of 27
> seperately. I can't figure out how to get out of the square root field. I
> can not proceed to add a seperated square root, so end up typing Sqrt[x] of
> all my numbers.
> Can someone help?
> Thanks,
> Diana
> --
> =====================================================
> "God made the integers, all else is the work of man."
> L. Kronecker, Jahresber. DMV 2, S. 19.

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01375

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