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help - open a help page

Calling Sequence

?topic or ?topic,subtopic or

help(topic) or help(topic,subtopic) or

??topic or ??topic,subtopic or

???topic or ???topic,subtopic or




information on the Worksheet Interface


list of all help categories


list of help files on specific topics


explanation of a specific topic


explanation of a subtopic under a topic




Subtopics can be two, three, or more levels deep (as in ?topic,subtopic,subsubtopic,subsubsubtopic).


Note: The recommended way to invoke help is to use the question mark.


When invoking help with the function call syntax help(topic), Maple keywords (reserved words) must be enclosed in backquotes or double quotes. For example, help(quit) causes a syntax error. Use help(`quit`) or help("quit") instead.


When using the question mark syntax for help, no quotes are required.


Commands entered in 1-D math must end with a semicolon. You can enter multiple commands on one line, separated by semicolons or colons.


When using the question mark syntax, no semicolon is required, and there can be only one command on each line.


For a package export, the function call syntax help(topic:-subtopic) or help(topic[subtopic]) ignores the left argument 'topic'. Use the comma notation help(topic,subtopic) instead.


The question mark syntax ?topic:-subtopic or ?topic[subtopic] does take the argument 'topic' into account.


In contrast to the question mark syntax, help evaluates its arguments. For example, a:=int: help(a); opens the help page for 'int'. Use '' or "" quotes to prevent evaluation.


Using the double question mark syntax (??) causes the topic to open with all of its sections contracted. Using the triple question mark syntax (???) causes the topic to open with the Examples section (if any) expanded, and all other sections contracted.


In the Command-line interface, collapsed sections of help pages do not display in the Command-line interface.

See Also

colon, colondash, Describe, example, keyword, makehelp, quit, quotes, TEXT, worksheet

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