TI-Nspire For Dummies
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The TI-Nspire's redesigned keypad is organized into three zones: Navigation, Math & Numeric Keys, and Alpha Keys. Keeping this in mind may help you as you get acquainted with TI-Nspire. A basic understanding of the TI-Nspire keypad helps you understand how to start navigating through documents quickly and efficiently.

The Touchpad and the ten keys near the top of the keypad make up the Navigation zone. The keys in the Navigation zone perform a variety of functions that you will find are quite similar to their computer counterparts.

  • Escape: This key removes menus or dialog boxes from the screen. For example, imagine that you have just activated the Perpendicular tool on a Graphs page. To remove this tool and activate the Pointer tool, just press the [ESC] key.

  • Scratchpad: Allows you to do calculations and graphs without having any effect on the document. Your calculations or graphs can be saved into existing documents.

  • Tab: This key allows you to move to the next entry field in a dialog box. It also allows you to move around in certain applications. For example, pressing the [TAB] key in the Graphs application moves you from the entry line to the work area. In the Lists & Spreadsheet application, the [TAB] key moves you from one cell to the adjacent cell.

    Try pressing and holding [SHIFT] followed by the [TAB] key. This key sequence moves you backward through a dialog box, just as it does on a computer.

  • Home: This key displays the Home screen. The Home menu is where you can create a new document, access existing documents, and add pages to existing documents. It’s also where you can adjust your system settings.

  • Documents: This key activates the Documents management menu. Saving changes to documents, editing, and changing the page layout are just of few of the tasks that can be accomplished with this key.

  • Menu: This key displays the menu associated with the current application (called the application menu). If you are on a Graphs page, you see one menu. If you are on a Lists & Spreadsheet page, you see a completely different menu.

    Try pressing [CTRL] followed by the [MENU] key. This key sequence acts just like a right-click on a computer mouse — it provides you with access to the context menu, a list of the specific options available based on the current cursor location or active object.

  • Control: This key provides access to the secondary function or character located on a given key. For example, pressing [CTRL][ON] turns off your TI-Nspire Handheld.

  • Touchpad arrow keys: In the middle of the Navigation zone of the keypad is the Touchpad. If you look closely, you see the


    symbols clockwise from the top of the Touchpad. Simply put, pressing these keys allows you to move the cursor or pointer in any direction. Try swiping your finger lightly across the top of the Touchpad, which has the same effect as moving a mouse around on a mouse pad.

  • Click: Pressing this key selects objects on the screen, much like the Click button on your computer mouse. Press [CTRL] then [CLICK] to grab objects. Alternatively, you can press and hold the [CLICK] key momentarily to grab an object. This key will get a ton of use, because you have many clickable areas on TI-Nspire.

  • Delete: This key works just like the Backspace key on your computer. It deletes a single character of text or an entire selected object. Press [CTRL][DEL] to clear the entire contents of a field.

  • Shift: Pressing this key changes a lowercase letter to an uppercase letter. Pressing [CTRL][SHIFT] works like a Shift Lock key on a computer.

The Math & Numeric zone is centrally located on the keypad. The numeric keys are surrounded on both sides by math keys. These math keys have different functionality depending on whether you press the left or right part of the rocking keys. Many of these keys have secondary functions listed in small print above the keys.

The Alpha Keys zone is located near the bottom of the keypad. On each side of the alphabetical keys are special character keys. You may wonder why the keys are arranged in alphabetical order instead of like the keys on your computer. Most standardized tests require that calculators not have QWERTY (standard) keyboards.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Jeff McCalla teaches Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus at St. Mary's Episcopal School in Memphis. He is a T3 instructor for Texas Instruments and co- founder of the TI-Nspire SuperUser group. Steve Ouellette wrote the first edition of TI-Nspire For Dummies as well as CliffsNotes® Guide to TI-Nspire.

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