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reading the documentation

The documentation for Macaulay2 is available in several formats and can be searched and viewed using the following functions:

Finding documentation nodes

  • about -- search the documentation
  • apropos -- symbols matching a pattern

Accessing documentation nodes

  • help -- view documentation nodes
  • viewHelp -- view online documentation in a web browser
  • infoHelp -- view documentation in Info format
  • ? Symbol -- view brief documentation of a symbol

Getting other information from documentation

  • examples -- list the examples in documentation

To begin, the about method allows for searching all documentation nodes whose title or content contains a given string:

i1 : about "Horrocks-Mumford"

o1 = {}

o1 : NumberedVerticalList

The apropos method is useful for finding all exported objects whose symbol matches the given regular expression:

i2 : apropos "(H|h)ilbert"

o2 = {Hilbert, hilbertFunction, hilbertPolynomial, hilbertSeries,
     installHilbertFunction, ProjectiveHilbertPolynomial,
     projectiveHilbertPolynomial, reduceHilbert, UseHilbertFunction}

o2 : List

While in Macaulay2, type help to get the documentation on a topic or function, or type viewHelp to open ~/.Macaulay2/index.html, which contains a list of all installed packages, in your default web browser.

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) or viewHelp "jacobian(Ideal)". Using help instead of viewHelp results in the help text appearing in your Macaulay2 session.

A useful tip: within Emacs, if you place your cursor on one of the resulting output lines that starts with a *, and press the return key, Macaulay2 will display that documentation node.

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