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Searching "roll up" on this site gives me only How do I convert Mathematica's suggestions to usable code which mentions the icon but says little about it.

I found nothing on it in the Mathematica documentation. Clicking a link for "Search all Mathematica sites" gave

Sorry, but no results matched for '"roll up inputs"'. Please try again.

I even searched the documentation for the phrase "combine several actions into one input expression" which is tied to this icon in one of the tutorials. But I cannot find a description of the use of the icon.

Where is it described?

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  • $\begingroup$ reference.wolfram.com/language/guide/… $\endgroup$ Jan 24 '17 at 20:36
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    $\begingroup$ @SimonWoods Yes, that page uses the phrase ""combine several actions into one input expression." But that page does not explain how it works. $\endgroup$ Jan 24 '17 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ Oh I see. It looks like that's all there is in the documentation. The only other reference I could easily find is in this Wolfram blog post but there's just a brief mention: "If you want to repeat the sequence of computations here, you typically want to 'roll them up' into a single line—which is what the spiral icon in the Suggestions Bar does" $\endgroup$ Jan 24 '17 at 20:54
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    $\begingroup$ I find the suggestion bar is often useful. I have not had any problems with it such as others have reported. I think the user is expected to learn what it can do by experimenting with it, which I often do. I have been pleasantly surprised by some the things I have learned from these experiments. The roll-up button seems to do something like run FullDefinition and then make back substitutions. I have not found it very useful. $\endgroup$
    – m_goldberg
    Jan 25 '17 at 0:02
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    $\begingroup$ I see no significant reason why this question should be closed. Logically a professional consultant close doesn't follow when good answers have been provided. $\endgroup$
    – Feyre
    Jan 25 '17 at 8:33
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For those that don't know, the roll up button in the suggestion bar is the highlighted button in the following image:

enter image description here

The roll up button is activated when several suggestion bar actions have been used consecutively. In the following example I am doing some image processing using only the suggestion bar; I start from an image and I apply some transformations that I find in the suggestion bar beneath the previous output.

Mathematica graphics

Now I have the option to use the "roll up" button to compound all the suggestion bar actions that I've taken into one command. If I use the roll up button on my example above, I get:

Mathematica graphics

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Do yourself a favor, and disable that suggestions bar immediately, and never, ever look at it again. Some extremely serious bugs have been identified in connection with the presence of the suggestions bar (see, e.g., here, and references therein), which causes the frontend to silently mangle your input and produce incorrect results. These issues exist in version 10 and 11 of Mathematica. You have been warned.

So, to answer your actual question: Don't worry about finding information on how to use that icon; you should not use it in the first place.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes I disable the suggestion bar whenever I am really working with Mathematica. But when I am exploring Mathematica to see what it can do, the suggestions open new avenues to me. It seems that "rolling up input" is a different issue though. What does it mean anyway? $\endgroup$ Jan 24 '17 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I may not be using "disable" the way you do. I go to "preferences" and uncheck the "show suggestions" box. Do you mean something more extreme than that? $\endgroup$ Jan 25 '17 at 0:47
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    $\begingroup$ No, that's what I meant, nothing any more drastic. $\endgroup$
    – Pirx
    Jan 25 '17 at 0:59
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    $\begingroup$ As an aside, whoever down-voted the above answer of mine might want to consider explaining why they did so. Just to be clear, I really don't care about the downvote itself, but I and perhaps others too could learn more if people commented rather than leaving some unexplained downvote. $\endgroup$
    – Pirx
    Jan 25 '17 at 1:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Pirx I didn't downvote, but I might look at this answer and think it doesn't actually answer the question. I don't have an answer either, and I also disable the suggestions bar, but I don't have an answer for "what is the suggestions bar doing here?". $\endgroup$
    – Jason B.
    Jan 25 '17 at 2:54

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