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reading the documentation

The documentation for Macaulay2 is available in several formats: text format while in Macaulay2, in info format, and the most important, html format.

The following functions for available for accessing the documentation.

While in Macaulay2, type help to get a summary of the most useful ways of obtaining help on a topic or function. TypeviewHelp to start the web browser (if necessary) and to point it at the page index.html in your .Macaulay2 directory. For help on a specific topic, e.g., the jacobian function, use viewHelp jacobian or viewHelp "jacobian" or if you want the documentation for jacobian of an Ideal, use viewHelp (jacobian,Ideal)

Using 'help' instead of 'viewHelp' results in the help text appearing in your Macaulay2 session. A useful tip: in emacs, if you place your cursor on one of the resulting output lines that starts with a '*', and press return, then you will get help on that topic.

Reading the info form of the documentation in emacs is perhaps better than using infoHelp, because the preferred way of running Macaulay2 is also in emacs. If you do so, we recommend configuring the emacs variable Info-hide-note-references so its value is hide. The reason is that the Macaulay2 documentation sets up hyperlinks with all the required text already in them, but if Info-hide-note-references is set to t, then it will insert See or see in front of the hyperlink unless it sees that word (or in) already present in the text.

The function apropos is useful to find functions and other defined symbols which match a search string. For example, to find all symbols in Macaulay2 which contain the string 'deal', use

i1 : apropos "deal"

o1 = {expectedReesIdeal, fittingIdeal, graphIdeal, icPIdeal, Ideal, ideal,
     idealizer, isIdeal, isMonomialIdeal, MaximalIdeal, monomialCurveIdeal,
     MonomialIdeal, monomialIdeal, monomialSubideal, reesIdeal, reesIdeal,
     specialFiberIdeal, symmetricAlgebraIdeal}

o1 : List

To find all documentation nodes whose contain a given string, use about.

The documentation for most functions comes with example code. You can obtain the text of this example code using examples.