I like writing integrals symbolically instead of using Integrate[]. I suddenly seem to not be able to do this and am confused. I type \[Esc] int \[Esc] then \[Ctrl] + _ for my lower bound, and online it says use \[Ctrl] + % for the upper bound, but nothing happens. I've also tried using \[Ctrl] + ^ which here says it is a superscript, and that gets me somewhere. However, I get a syntax error.

So for the \[Ctrl] + ^ case, I'm typing \[Esc]int\[Esc]\[Ctrl]+_0\[rightarrow]\[Ctrl]+^1 2 \[Esc]dd\[Esc]x and I get the syntax error

Syntax::sntxi: Incomplete expression; more input is needed .

I've also tried putting parenthesis around the integrand, but it doesn't help. On the screen it looks fine:enter image description here

So why doesn't the \[Ctrl] + % do anything? And ultimately, how do I get this symbolic integral to evaluate? Thanks for the help.

  • $\begingroup$ You should use \[Ctrl] + % for upper bound, it works for me (M10.1, Windows 8.1). \[Ctrl] + ^ is a superscript, it's an index. $\endgroup$
    – m0nhawk
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 14:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Try Ctrl-5. On a US English keyboard the % sign is above 5. What is your keyboard layout? $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ \[Esc] int \[Esc] (\[Ctrl] + -) 0 (\[Ctrl] + 5) x \[RightArrow] Sin[y] \[Esc] dd \[Esc] y (\[Shift] + \[Return]) returned the expected 1 - Cos[x] (M10.0.1 Win7x64). Standard US keyboard. $\endgroup$
    – LLlAMnYP
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ When I type (in my US keyboard, M10.0, Windows 8.1) \[Ctrl]+% literally nothing happens. I have typed these several times in the past and have no issues. Even when I run old notebooks I see this formatting and it runs fine. $\endgroup$
    – user46348
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe a restart of windows or the kernel? Failing that I'm pressed to suggest anything else. $\endgroup$
    – LLlAMnYP
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


Instead of adding first a subscript and then a separate superscript, you need to add joint pair. Ctrl-% moves between the sub- and superscripts, but the actual keyboard shortcut may be dependent on your keyboard layout. Also try Ctrl-5.

You can look up the shortcut next to the Insert → Typesetting → Opposite Position menu item.

On my computer I see Ctrl-5 in the menu.


If you cannot resolve the keyboard behavior try an alternate input form; I propose:


To input:

enter image description here

Then use Tab to move between the Placeholder fields.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Strangely if one types '[esc]din', this is not offered as a completion $\endgroup$
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ @m_goldberg An oversight perhaps? It is shown in a Tooltip in the Basic Math Assistant palette. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it would appear so. I'm thinking of reporting it to WRI. $\endgroup$
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 16:21
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for this suggestion. The \[Tab] trick is neato. $\endgroup$
    – user46348
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 16:25

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