How to Use Mac OS X Grapher


Mac OS X Grapher is a utility for creating 2D and 3D equation graphs. It's a terrific tool for exploring math and performing analytical tasks at any level. With Grapher, you can evaluate an equation at a specific point, find the point at which two equations intersect and compute common integral values for an equation.

Graph an Equation and Perform Analyses

  • Double click your hard drive icon. Click "Applications," "Utilities" then double click Grapher" to open the program.

  • Select the 2D or 3D graphing environment. Get a preview by clicking on a graph type.

    Choose the correct type and click "Open."

  • Type your equation into the text box at the top of the main Grapher window and hit "Return" to have the program graph your equation.

  • Click "Equation" to use the evaluation, integration, differentiation, find root and find intersection analytical tools.

  • Save your graph by clicking "File" then "Export" and choosing a file type. Copy your graph to the clipboard by clicking on the equation in the text window, then clicking "Edit" and "Copy As." Now you can paste your equation into another program.

  • Create an animation by choosing "Create Animation" from the "Equation" menu. Export your animation by clicking on "Movie," "File" and "Save As."

Change the Look of Your Graph

  • Move your 2D graph by choosing the "Move Tool" from "View" and dragging the graph. Move your 3D graph by clicking the "Command" key and dragging the graph.

  • Change colors, lines, 3D graph frames, axes and other graphics using the Inspector window. Click on the "Inspector Icon" or select "Window" then "Show Inspector."

  • Click "Grapher" then "Preferences" to view options to change text size and fonts. Click the equation that appears and use the symbol, fraction, exponent and limit sliders to adjust the relative sizes of the text.

  • Insert arrows, ovals, rectangles and text by clicking "Objects" and making your selection.

Tips & Warnings

  • OS X Grapher includes templates, special characters and operators to make equation building easier. Click "Equation" on the menu bar, then "New Equation from Template" to work from an equation template. Click on the symbol at the right of the text box for access to special characters and operators to use in your equation.
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