6.8.1 Normal Language Modes

The d N (calc-normal-language) command selects the usual notation for Calc formulas, as described in the rest of this manual. Matrices are displayed in a multi-line tabular format, but all other objects are written in linear form, as they would be typed from the keyboard.

The d O (calc-flat-language) command selects a language identical with the normal one, except that matrices are written in one-line form along with everything else. In some applications this form may be more suitable for yanking data into other buffers.

Even in one-line mode, long formulas or vectors will still be split across multiple lines if they exceed the width of the Calculator window. The d b (calc-line-breaking) command turns this line-breaking feature on and off. (It works independently of the current language.) If you give a numeric prefix argument of five or greater to the d b command, that argument will specify the line width used when breaking long lines.

The d B (calc-big-language) command selects a language which uses textual approximations to various mathematical notations, such as powers, quotients, and square roots:

 | a + 1    2
 | ----- + c
\|   b

in place of ‘sqrt((a+1)/b + c^2)’.

Subscripts like ‘a_i’ are displayed as actual subscripts in Big mode. Double subscripts, ‘a_i_j’ (‘subscr(subscr(a, i), j)’) are displayed as ‘a’ with subscripts separated by commas: ‘i, j’. They must still be entered in the usual underscore notation.

One slight ambiguity of Big notation is that

- -

can represent either the negative rational number ‘-3:4’, or the actual expression ‘-(3/4)’; but the latter formula would normally never be displayed because it would immediately be evaluated to ‘-3:4’ or ‘-0.75’, so this ambiguity is not a problem in typical use.

Non-decimal numbers are displayed with subscripts. Thus there is no way to tell the difference between ‘16#C2’ and ‘C2_16’, though generally you will know which interpretation is correct. Logarithms ‘log(x,b)’ and ‘log10(x)’ also use subscripts in Big mode.

In Big mode, stack entries often take up several lines. To aid readability, stack entries are separated by a blank line in this mode. You may find it useful to expand the Calc window’s height using C-x ^ (enlarge-window) or to make the Calc window the only one on the screen with C-x 1 (delete-other-windows).

Long lines are currently not rearranged to fit the window width in Big mode, so you may need to use the < and > keys to scroll across a wide formula. For really big formulas, you may even need to use { and } to scroll up and down.

The d U (calc-unformatted-language) command altogether disables the use of operator notation in formulas. In this mode, the formula shown above would be displayed:

sqrt(add(div(add(a, 1), b), pow(c, 2)))

These four modes differ only in display format, not in the format expected for algebraic entry. The standard Calc operators work in all four modes, and unformatted notation works in any language mode (except that Mathematica mode expects square brackets instead of parentheses).