General concepts

newRPL has two independent menus at all times on the screen, from now on referred to as Menu 1 and Menu 2. Each menu has 6 tabs, each associated with a corresponding key on the keyboard. Keys A through F correspond to Menu 1, and keys G through L are associated with Menu 2. On the screen, Menu 1 is the top row, while Menu 2 is organized in 2 rows of 3 tabs (second and third rows). The layout of the menu on the screen mimics the layout of the corresponding keys on the keyboard.
Each tab on a menu may contain anything: a system command, a program written by the user, variables, and tabs perform an action when their associated key is pressed. When a menu key is pressed in a shift or shift-hold combination, different actions are performed.
Each tab can therefore perform up to 5 different actions depending on how the user activates the key:

  • By itself
  • Left-shift mode
  • Left-Shift hold
  • Right-Shift mode
  • Right-Shift hold

There are system defined menus that are ready to be used, but also the user can create custom menus.


Using the menus

newRPL's main menu is activated with the key P. Pressing it will display the main menu in the active menu (the active menu is by default Menu 1, but this can be customized). The menu shows the main 6 tabs:

  • Math contains other math related submenus in various subjects.
  • Symb contains submenus related to manipulation of symbolic expressions.
  • Units contains submenus to work with units
  • Prog contains submenus regarding RPL programming.
  • System contains various system settings, flags and various hardware and user interface commands.
  • Vars shows the variables in the current directory.

Tabs that will open a submenu always have the first letter grayed out, while tabs that activate a command or other objects don't.


Activating any tab in the main menu will change the active menu into the corresponding submenu. In the main menu, activating a tab using any shift or shift-hold combination will display the submenu in the secondary menu (by default Menu 2). For example, after pressing P to bring the main menu, pressing:

  • A will show the Math submenu in Menu 1, the main menu is no longer visible in Menu 1.
  • RS-A will show the Math submenu in Menu 2, while Menu 1 still has the main menu available.

To go back to a previous menu in Menu 1, use right shift and the M key. To go back to a previous menu in Menu 2, use right shift-hold and M. The last 8 submenus are remembered by the system, so it is possible to use this key to go back multiple times.

All submenus in the system menu behave as described above. The Vars submenu is somewhat different, since it displays user variables and tabs with the first letter grayed out are directories. Activating a directory changes the current directory (see dirs) rather than changing to a different submenu. Even after changing to a different directory, the same Vars menu is being displayed. Therefore, the RS-M key doesn't go back to the previous directory (which might be the expected behavior), instead it goes to the submenu that was active before Vars.

When a menu needs more than 6 tabs, the last tab becomes NXT…. This can be found for example by going into the Units submenu in the main menu. Activating NXT… will show other 5 tabs, and pressing it repeatedly will cycle through all the available tabs in a menu. Using any shift with NXT… will show the previous 5 tabs, and pressing it repeatedly will cycle through tabs in the opposite direction.


The Vars menu

The Vars menu shows variables and directories, and is therefore quite useful and the user is expected to spend most of the time with Vars displayed in one of the menus. Tabs with the first letter grayed out are directories, while all other tabs are variables. Activating a tab with a variable has various effects, depending on when it's being used:

At the stack

Activating a tab in the Vars menu causes it to run XEQ on its contents. In most cases, this results in the contents being recalled to the stack. However, if the variable contains an RPL program, XEQ will instead run that program. If the variable is a directory name, it will become the currently active directory. Using the right shift with a tab (with or without holding it) causes it to run RCL on the variable, resulting in the contents being recalled to the stack. Using the left shift with a tab (with or without holding it) causes it to run STO, storing whatever is in Level 1 of the stack into the variable. The contents of the variable will be overwritten and there is no confirmation message, so it must be used with caution.

At the command line editor

Activating tabs while the command line editor is open has different effects depending on the active mode.

  • Direct mode 'D': Activating the variable will close the editor as if the user had pressed ENTER, then perform the same action as when at the stack (XEQ when by itself, RCL with right shift and STO with left shift).
  • Programming mode 'P': When pressed by itself, the unquoted name of the variable will be inserted in the editor. Using it with right shift will insert the quoted name and RCL, while using it with left shift will insert the quoted name and STO.
  • Algebraic mode 'A': When pressed by itself, the unquoted name of the variable will be inserted in the editor. Using it with right shift will insert the contents of the variable in the editor, while using it with left shift will close the command line and perform STO.

Regardless of the active mode, holding right shift and activating the tab will always insert the content of the variable in the editor. If the variable is a directory, instead of inserting its contents it will insert its name.

Activating a tab with a directory without any shift will always change the current directory without affecting the editor, allowing the user to navigate through directories while editing text.

While the Vars menu allows the user to enter into subdirectories, it does not provide any means to exit back into the parent directory. This is achieved with the UPDIR command (always accessible through the keyboard shortcut LS-Up, and to go directly to the home directory, the HOME command (also accessible always at LS-Hold-Up).


Customizing the menus

The system menu is always displayed in the currently active menu. To change the currently active menu, activate the main menu then go into System, Settings, Flags. There is one tab that reads either 1MENU or 2MENU indicating which menu is currently active. Activate the tab and the currently active menu will alternate between 1 and 2. When this tab indicates 2MENU, pressing P to invoke the main menu will display it in Menu 2.
The active menu is controlled by flag -11, set whenever Menu 2 is active. Named flags also exist to control this behavior. 'ACTIVEMENU2' SF will set menu 2 as the active one. Using 'ACTIVEMENU1' SF will set Menu 1 as active.

Menus are normally displayed with a black background, but the user can as well select to display them in a white background. This behavior is controlled by flags -15 and -16.