FAQs: Student Graphing

Below are frequently asked questions from Desmos students just like you!

How do I represent a fraction?

To enter a fraction, try using the "/" symbol on your keyboard. Or, you can use the Desmos keypad.

Fraction symbol on the keypad. Screenshot.

 

To convert a decimal to a fraction, use the icon to the left of the expression line in the graphing calculator and on the right in the scientific and four function calculators.

Decimal convert to fraction toggle. Screenshot.

How do I plot a point?
You can plot points one at a time, a few on a line, or all in a table, whichever you prefer. To get started try typing in a coordinate pair in the expression list such as \((2,1)\). For more information check out this article on plotting points.
Point plotted at \left(2,1\right). Screenshot
How do I connect points?
You can connect points using a table or the polygon function. To get started, create a table using your point values. Next, click and long-hold the icon in the y-column header. To connect points, toggle the line feature on. To connect the points using one of the other methods, check out this article on connecting points.
Animation showing how to connect coordinate points from a table using the table styling menu.
How do I graph a line?
Enter the equation of the line you would like to see graphed. Try \(y = 2x + 3\). You can also enter equations that are not solved for \(y\). Try something like \(3x - 4y = 1\).
Graph of two lines. Expression line 1: y=2x+3.  Expression line 2: 3x-4y=1. Screenshot.
How do I graph only part of my equation?
To limit the domain or range (\(x\) or \(y\) values of a graph), you can add the restriction to the end of your equation in curly brackets {}. For example, \(y = 2x \{0 \lt x \lt 3\}\) would graph the line \(y = 2x\) for \(x\) values between 0 and 3. To learn more about domain and range restrictions check out this article on restrictions.
Graph of y=2x\left\{0<x<3\right\}. Screenshot.
How do I shade portions of my graph?
To shade portions of your graph, replace the equal sign with an inequality sign. Try using <, >, ≤, or ≥ to explore how the shading changes as you use the different inequality symbols. To find more information on how to shade portions of your graph check out this article on inequalities.

 

Explore this graph.

Expression line 1:x^{2}+y^{2}<4. Expression line 2: y\ge2x+10. Expression line 3:y\le2x-10. Screenshot.
How do I change the viewing window so I can see my graph?
To adjust the viewing window you can use the plus and minus signs located in the top right of your window to zoom in and out.

For more extensive data, you may find it easier to manually adjust the domain and range of the viewport. To do so, click on the wrench to open the Graph Settings menu and choose which axis you'd like to adjust. For more information check out this article on graphs settings.

Graphs Settings Menu. Screenshot.
How do I change the style/color of the graph?
Long hold the colored icon to the left of the expression/equation. The color and style menu will appear. You will be able to select the style of the line and color. If you would like a custom color in your style menu use the rgb or hsv functions. To learn more about custom colors check out this article on more colors.
Line styling Menu. Screenshot.
How do I add an image to my graph?
To add an image to your graph, start by opening the Add Item menu and choose Image from your desktop files. For more information check out this article on adding items to a graph.
Add item menu with arrow pointing to 'Add image' icon. Screenshot.
How do I find a line of best fit/run a regression?
Try the regressions tour in the help menu (?) to get started creating curves of best fit. If you want to learn more, check out the Regressions article.
Calculator help menu with tours called out. Screenshot.
How do I change from radians to degrees?
Click the graph settings wrench in the upper right, you'll see a radians/degrees toggle.
Calculator settings menu with radian/degree toggle called out. Screenshot.
How do I share my graph?
If you're logged into your account at desmos.com/graphing, you can press the "Share" button in the upper right (looks like an arrow), and we'll show you some options for sharing your graph.
Calculator Sharing Menu. Screenshot.
How do I solve equations on Desmos?
To solve your equation graphically, graph both sides in separate expression lines. By clicking on the intersection point(s) between the two lines, you'll find the solution as the x-value(s) of the intersection point(s).

 

Check out this example.

Graphing calculator with expression line 1: y=5x+2, expression line 2: y=-1 and the point of intersection identified as \left(-0.6,-1\right). Screenshot.
How do I find important points on a graph (like intercepts, maximums, etc.)?
If you click anywhere on the line/curve, you'll see gray dots appear at interesting points. This includes intercepts, intersection points, and so on.

Click on a gray dot to open the coordinates at that point - click the point again to hide the coordinates.

One tip - to see the coordinates on your curve, it's best to enter the expression explicitly.

Animation showing points of interest.
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