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Getting Help

Following this course should give you at least an overview of all of the aspects of Dyalog which are needed to solve problems and build applications. By the end, hopefully you'll start to feel comfortable solving problems, reading and writing APL, and at least have an idea of where to look when you need to do some systems programming or interfacing with the outside world.

To that end, here is a list of some of the resources available to you if you ever get stuck.

What does this thing do?

If you need help with a particular primitive or quad-name, the Dyalog online help can answer what does this do?-style questions. Press F1 in the session while highlighting a construct to go to its help page.

      ⍣              ⍝ Primitives
      ⎕THIS          ⍝ Quad-names
      HTMLRenderer   ⍝ Some keywords related to specific objects
Many of the keywords which have documentation pages are the names of GUI objects.

It is also possible to set a custom URL to use for queries when the interpreter doesn't recognise something. In the IDE for Microsoft Windows, go to Options → Configure → Help/DMX. Tick "Use online help for non-Dyalog topics" and set the custom URL of your choice. For example, you can try using, so that F1 brings up the aplcart website search for that term.

In the RIDE, F1 opens a browser window to the Dyalog online documentation.

The online help is a subset of the full materials available from the Documentation Centre.

Version Information

Documentation for previously released versions of Dyalog is still available online.

How do I do this?

This is a much more difficult thing to overcome. Sometimes you have an idea of what you want to achieve, but you either aren't sure what constructs are available to help you achieve it, or you aren't sure that the solution you've come up with is the best way to go about it.

If you need help with how to do something, try searching in APLcart, the searchable library of idiomatic expressions.

Has this been done?

We strongly recommend that you spend some time on a regular basis reading and exploring the existing APL media. As a language with a rich history, there have been a huge number of conferences, published papers and presentations where users and implementors discuss their activities and achievements. Some of these are listed on the further reading page.

Talk to humans

  • If you cannot find a solution on APLcart, please ask on Stack Overflow. There are a number of keen APLers who monitor this site and will eagerly answer any questions asked there.
  • Introduce yourself in the APL Orchard Stack Exchange chat room, where you can usually get same-day replies to your queries. To get permission to post messages, see
  • As well as Stack Overflow, the Dyalog forums are full of interesting discussions and are quite active.
  • The APL Wiki has hundreds of articles about both the history of APL, as well as specific language features and usage examples.