I have entered a matrix by Insert->Table/Matrix->New.

After adding it to code, Mathematica wrote a remark: "Assuming a matrix | Use a list of lists instead".

Value is already looks as list of lists. Clicking "list of lists" does not change anything visible.

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    $\begingroup$ In Mathematica, a matrix is just a list of lists, so don't worry. This just means that the suggestions bar offers suggestions for matrices. If you clicked on "list of lists", you'd see different suggestions. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 11:53
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    $\begingroup$ strictly, a matrix must be 2d with equal length sub lists. functions such as linearsolve will only take proper matrices. $\endgroup$
    – george2079
    Nov 18, 2014 at 12:33

1 Answer 1


The suggestions bar tries to offer a useful set of follow-up operations based upon the type of a result. In the case at hand, the result is a list of lists. But it so happens that all of the sublists are the same length, which happens to be the representation of a matrix in Mathematica. So the suggestions bar has guessed that the user has a matrix in mind and has offered follow-up operations that make sense for matrices.

However, it also realizes that it may have guessed in error. The user might be thinking about a simple list that, by sheer coincidence, has sublists of equal length. Hence the offer to treat the result as a list of lists instead. If we accept that offer, we are shown operations that make sense for nested lists:

suggestions bar screenshot

... along with the option to switch back to the matrix operations we were shown in the first place.

The suggestions bar does quite a bit of this inferencing. The goal is to read the user's mind -- but to give back-up options in case the mind-reading facility picks up the wrong signals ;)


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