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1  A first session

To run xcas ,

You should see a new window with a menubar on the top (the main menubar), a tab, a line with buttons (including a status button) and a large space for this session. The cursor should be in what we call the first level of the session; that is, in the white space at the right of the number 1 just below the session menubar (otherwise click in this white space). Type, for example, 30! then hit the return key. You should see the answer and a new white space (with a number 2 at the left) ready for another entry. Try a few more operations; e.g., type 1/3+1/6 and hit return, or use the Graphic menu, Curves then plotfunc, etc.

You should now have a session with a few numbered pairs of input/answers, each pair is named a level. The levels created so far are all command lines (a command line is where you type a command following the computer algebra system syntax). Inside Xcas, there are other kinds of levels, the most frequently used being comments, programs, geometry (2-d or 3-d) and spreadsheet levels.

The most important editing operations are:

Online help may be accessed using the main menubar Help->Index (short help, click on Details for more help inside your browser) and Help->Manuals. If you know a function name, you can also type the beginning and hit the tab key (at the left of the Q key on a qwerty keyboard).

You can save your work using the Save button or the File menu; this menu provides other disk and printing operations.

The software configuration parameters are grouped in three sections: Cas (computer algebra system), Graph (geometry and graphics), and General (everything else). The main menubar Cfg items will help you modify the configuration (for the Cas configuration you may also hit the status button, in the middle of the buttons line at the top of the session).

The buttons at the top of the session, just below the tab are:

In the next sections, we will explain in more detail the capabilities of the Xcas interface: online help, the different kinds of levels, the management of sessions and the configuration.

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