Frequently Asked Questions

Using Wolfram|Alpha

How can I get started with Wolfram|Alpha?

Browse the Examples by Topic page, take the tour, watch Stephen Wolfram's introduction screencast, or just type something you want to compute or know about into the input field at the top of the page.

What can I do with Wolfram|Alpha?

Many, many things. Check out the Examples by Topic page and the Visual Gallery of Examples for a few pointers. Or visit the Blog or Community Forum to see what others are doing.

Why doesn't Wolfram|Alpha understand what I asked?

You might need to ask it differently, or it might be that Wolfram|Alpha doesn't yet cover what you're asking about. Try making your query the minimum number of words needed to communicate. Try different words or notations. And be sure to check your spelling.

How can I get help with Wolfram|Alpha?

Check out our Resources & Tools, join the WolframAlpha Community Forum, visit the Wolfram|Alpha Facebook page, or contact us.

How do I report a bug or give feedback about Wolfram|Alpha?

Just use the feedback form on the bottom of every results page. You can also have discussions on the WolframAlpha Community Forum.

Is there a manual for Wolfram|Alpha?

Wolfram|Alpha works by taking free-form linguistic input, so there's no need for a manual as such. Check out the Examples by Topic to get a sense of what Wolfram|Alpha can do.

How can I optimize my queries to Wolfram|Alpha?

Use as few words as possible to communicate. Use unambiguous whole words. Just describe what you're interested in; you don't need to explicitly ask a question. For more guidance, take a look at the Examples.

How does Wolfram|Alpha deal with linguistic ambiguity?

It ranks possible interpretations, gives results for the one it thinks is most plausible, and gives links to click to get other ones. It often uses your location to rank interpretations—say, favoring cities that are near you.

When Wolfram|Alpha prompts for input, what can I enter?

Pretty much anything you could put into the main Wolfram|Alpha input field. For instance, if you're asked for a density, you can either give an explicit number, or a response like "water".

Will I always get the same answer to a particular question?

Usually, but not necessarily. Some results are time-dependent, or may depend on your location. In addition, Wolfram|Alpha is continually being updated and enhanced.

How does Wolfram|Alpha know where I am located?

It uses GeoIP, tracing back from the IP address it picks up when your browser contacts the Wolfram|Alpha server. The location it deduces should be correct to within about five miles.

Why does Wolfram|Alpha use the wrong location for me?

Wolfram|Alpha deduces your location from your IP address. If you are using a VPN, satellite internet, or some other complex form of network, you may have to correct your location explicitly by including it in your input.

How can I tell Wolfram|Alpha my location?

Wolfram|Alpha should automatically know your approximate location from GeoIP. If for some reason it does not, you can include a city or latitude, longitude specification in your input.

Does Wolfram|Alpha handle languages other than English?

Not yet. This is planned for the future.

Can I interact with Wolfram|Alpha graphics?

With a Wolfram|Alpha Pro subscription and the free Wolfram CDF Player plugin, you can get dynamic versions of existing Wolfram|Alpha output with interactive controls, 3D rotation, animation, and much more, right in your browser. Learn more »

Can I get data from Wolfram|Alpha in spreadsheet format?

Wolfram|Alpha Pro's data download supports more than 60 formats, including CSV, XLS, and more. You can view a list of all supported download formats here.