Desmos Online Graphing Calculator – Freedom Scientific
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Desmos Online Graphing Calculator


The Desmos Graphing Calculator is a free online math tool widely used by teachers and students to plot equations and learn math concepts. Use it to plot data, graph functions, evaluate equations, and create classroom activities. Additional information can be found on the Learn Desmos page.

Desmos is accessible with the JAWS screen reader and can be used with refreshable braille displays. Visit the Desmos Accessibility page to learn about the built-in accessibility settings and to configure JAWS and Fusion.

Graphing Functionality

The Desmos Graphing Calculator is a versatile tool with extensive graphing functionality. Here are a few examples of tasks you can perform and the steps to complete them. Visit the Learn Desmos Graphing page for additional details and resources.

Create and Explore a Graph

For a smoother experience, Desmos suggests turning off character echo and setting forms mode to “semi”. Settings may change with future JAWS updates.

To create and trace a graph, do the following:

  1. Visit the Desmos website then locate the graphing calculator.
  2. Write one equation per line in the edit boxes provided— “expression 1”, “expression 2”, etc. The graphs will be immediately displayed.
  3. Press ALT+T, then H to trace a graph. An audio trace indicator will play.
  4. Use the arrow keys to explore the graph.
  5. Press ALT+S for a summary of the points of interest. This summary is available either within or outside of trace mode.
  6. While in trace mode, press TAB to navigate through those points of interest. Sometimes you will need to press SHIFT+TAB to hear them.
  7. Press ESC to exit trace mode.


To Adjust Graph Settings, do the following:

  1. From the edit box, press TAB twice to navigate to the graph settings menu, then press the SPACEBAR to activate it.
    Available adjustments include:

    • Display size
    • Reverse contrast
    • Braille mode
    • Grid or no grid
    • Grid or no grid
    • Cartesian grid
    • Polar grid
    • Arrow
    • Axis numbers
    • Minor grid lines
    • Show or hide x-axis
    • X-axis label
    • X-axis minimum
    • X-axis maximum
    • X-axis step size
    • Same options for y-axis
    • Angles radian or degree measure

  2. Press ESC to exit graph settings.
  3. Press TAB to zoom in/out if needed.


To create a Table of Values, do the following:

  1. Navigate to edit boxes.
  2. Press SHIFT+TAB twice to navigate to the “edit expression list button” and execute it by pressing the SPACEBAR. JAWS should indicate “edit list mode” is on.
  3. Press TAB three times to locate “convert to table” and press the SPACEBAR.
  4. Press TAB to navigate through the table values. Do not use table commands.
  5. To find a specific value, press TAB or DOWN ARROW to a row with a blank edit box and type the value you wish to find. Press TAB to hear the resulting value.
  6. To return to the graph, press SHIFT+TAB until JAWS speaks “undo.” Press the SPACEBAR to activate the button.
  7. Clear the graph and all expressions by pressing CTRL+O. You are now ready to start a new graph.

Create and Explore a Graph Video Tutorial

Compare Graphs

Understanding the properties of graphs is critical because it will make problem solving easier both in advanced course work and in employment. Desmos allows for comparing graphs in sequence or analyzing a single graph with changing parameters.

Compare graphs using the list method:

  1. Consider y=ax^2.
  2. Type the list of values you wish to display for the letter an enclosing item in square brackets. Separate list elements with comma.
    Example: a = [1,2, 3, -3, -5]
  3. Press ENTER.
  4. In expression 2 type the equation you wish to graph.
    Example: y=ax^2
  5. Trace by pressing ALT+T, then H. You will hear the graphs traced in sequence.


To compare graphs using sliders, do the following:

  1. Clear the graph by pressing CTRL+O, followed by ENTER.
  2. Type equation in expression 1: y=ax^2.
  3. In expression 2, set a single value for a. Example: a = 3. If there is a default value there, delete it and replace it with your value.
    The graph of y=3x^2 will be displayed.
  4. Press ALT+T, then H to hear the graph.
  5. Press S while in trace mode to activate the “slider trace mode”.
  6. Press RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW to change the value of the slider a.
  7. Press H to hear the graph.
  8. Repeat the last two steps to hear the graph using different values of the slider a.
  9. Press ESC to exit trace mode.

Compare Graphs Video Tutorial

Export a Graph

Communicating graphs to peers or colleagues is imperative today. The ability to export a clear graph allows for proper homework submission. In the workplace, this kind of communication adds to your ability to work with colleagues especially now that teamwork is so prevalent. Communication is key to success.

After graphing a function, export the graph into Word:

  1. Press SHIFT+TAB to locate “share” and press ENTER.
  2. Press the TAB key several times until you locate the Download button.
  3. Alternatively, press INSERT+F5 for a list of form fields, then press the letter I to locate “image download.” Press ENTER twice. This will place focus near the Download button and will require fewer presses of the TAB key to locate it.
  4. Navigate to your Word document.
  5. Insert a picture by pressing ALT+N, followed by P, then ENTER.
  6. Navigate to the address bar by pressing ALT+D and type the first few letters of the word “download.”
  7. Press DOWN ARROW once to locate the downloads folder and press ENTER.
  8. Execute the Find file command by pressing ALT+N and type “des” to locate the Desmos files.
  9. Press DOWN ARROW until you locate the correct file, then press ENTER. Focus will be on the graph. If you lose that focus, press CTRL+SHIFT+O to access a list of objects and select the graph by pressing ENTER.
  10. Press the APPLICATIONS key followed by Z to navigate to the size tab.
  11. Press ALT+A to verify “lock aspect ratio” is checked.
  12. Press TAB to navigate through the fields until you locate absolute Height and type 2.5
  13. Press TAB to navigate to the width to ensure it changed. If it did not, navigate to lock aspect ratio again to check that box for the correct width and height. Press ENTER to close the dialogue box.


To add and edit alt text, do the following :

  1. Press the APPLICATIONS key followed by A to navigate to the alt text field. If there is text in that field, press CTRL+A to select the text and either delete it or type new alt text to replace the existing content.
  2. Press CTRL+SPACEBAR, followed by C to close the navigation menu. Closing the navigation menu is critical to adding alt text to the image. If you forget to close the navigation menu, you will experience difficulty adding alt text to the image for the next graph. Should that occur, press F6 to switch to the Alt Text pane.
  3. Press CTRL+END, followed by ENTER to continue writing your document on a new line.

Export a Graph Video Tutorial

Quickly Export a Graph into Word Using Print Screen

Print screen works best when a student is doing homework and needs to produce a lot of graphs.

After creating a graph, do the following:

  1. Press PRINT SCREEN to copy the graph to the clipboard.
  2. Navigate to your Word document.
  3. Type “1.” (or a # applicable to the graph). Type the math problem then press ENTER.
  4. Paste the graph into Word by pressing CTRL+V.
  5. Your cursor will be placed at the end of the pasted material. Press SHIFT+LEFT ARROW to select the graph. You can also press CTRL+SHIFT+O to navigate to the list of objects and navigate to the end of the list to locate your graph. Once there, press ENTER.
  6. Press the APPLICATIONS key, then press UP ARROW to locate “size and position.” Press ENTER to select this option. Alternately, press Z after pressing the APPLICATIONS key to open this dialog box.
  7. Press ALT+A to verify “lock aspect ratio” is checked. Press TAB to navigate through the fields to locate absolute Height and type “2.5” then press TAB to the width field. Verify it changed. If it did not, navigate to lock aspect ratio again to check that box for the correct width and height. Press ENTER to close the dialogue box.


To add and edit alt text, do the following:

  1. Press the APPLICATIONS key followed by A to navigate to the alt text field. If there is text in that field, press CTRL+A to select it and either delete the text or type new alt text to replace the existing content.
  2. Press CTRL+SPACEBAR, followed by C to close the navigation menu. Closing the navigation menu is critical to adding alt text to the image. If you forget to close the navigation menu, you will experience difficulty adding alt text to the image for the next graph. Should that occur, press F6 to switch to the Alt Text pane.
  3. Press CTRL+END, followed by ENTER to continue writing your document on a new line.