Beginning Graphing Calculator Tips


Graphing a function


1. Function notation


You may wish to define an equation as a function by giving it a function name. You can then refer to that function name in any subsequent graphs or functions you wish to create. It is not possible to just type a function like. To make Graphing Calculator understand that you are using the symbols as a function rather than multiplication, you insert a function by clicking the “Math” drop down menu and selecting “Function”. Alternatively, you can type “Ctrl-9” to insert a function.  That is, first type f (or any function name) and then “Ctrl-9”.


1. Graph the function by first entering the function as described above.


Note that entering the function does not graph the function. To graph the function, you must enter a new math expression. Then type and press enter to graph this function. Note that you must use the “ insert function” convention (Ctrl-M) when typing.


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2. Notice the buttons in the bottom right corner of the screen. These buttons allow you to  

    Zoom In and Zoom Out. Holding down the “Ctrl” button while clicking these buttons

    allows you to Zoom In/Out only along the horizontal axis. Holding down the “Shift”

 key while clicking these buttons allows you to Zoom In/Out only along the vertical





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3. If your mouse is over either the x-axis or y-axis, notice that the cursor changes to a hand

 icon. If you click and drag, you can shift the graph around on the screen.






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4. You can change the color of the graph of the function by clicking on the colored

 square to the right of the equation you typed in, holding down the mouse button, and

 choosing the desired color.














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5. Similar to the handheld graphing calculator, you can set the “Viewing Window” manually by

 clicking “Graph” and choosing “Set 2D Range”. Experiment with these settings.




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6. You can graph multiple equations at once. To insert another equation, we can click the “Math” drop

 down menu and choose “New Math Expression”. Alternatively, you can press “Ctrl-M” to insert a  

 new math expression.



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7. Experiment with graphing other types of functions and creating an appropriate viewing

    window. If you are not sure of how to type a particular function (e.g. absolute value,

 exponential, logarithmic, etc.), click the “Help” drop down menu and choose  

 “Recognized Functions”. Also, you can find selected functions under the “Math” drop

 down menu located at the top of the screen. Further, you can choose to have a Key

 Palette showing that provides select functions. To view the Key Palette, click “Math”

 and select “Show Keypad”.