Information about Numerical Recipes

Note: This is an obsolete page that applies to the older Numerical Recipes Second Edition. For more up to date information, visit our home page and click on the signposts that say "Links to further information".

  • General information
  • Upgrade information
  • Licensing and purchasing information
  • Information on redistributing Numerical Recipes
  • Numerical Recipes availability in other computer languages

  • General information

    Did you already look at "Quick Answers to the Most Common Questions" on our Home Page?

    "Numerical Recipes: The Art of Scientific Computing" is the title of a series of books developed by Numerical Recipes Software and published by Cambridge University Press.

    "Numerical Recipes" also refers to the copyrighted computer software that is in those books, and also sold separately, and is the trademark for that software. "NR" and "" are also trademarks of Numerical Recipes software.

    The books and software are available in a variety of computer languages, notably C++, C, and Fortran (77 and 90), but also versions in other computer languages.

    The C++, C, and Fortran versions contain about 350 separate routines for scientific computing.

    These documents give further information:

  • Table of Contents of the book.
  • Short Descriptions of the Routines, by Chapter and Section
  • Short Descriptions of the Routines, Alphabetical
  • Contents of the Numerical Recipes Multi-Language Code CDROM
  • Contact information for Numerical Recipes Software, and for related vendors/developers

  • Licensing and purchasing information

    Here's what you need to use Numerical Recipes on your computer:
    1. You'll need a copy of the main Numerical Recipes book (in Fortran, C++, or C) since it functions as the manual and user's guide for the software. The books are in many libraries and bookstores, or you can use our links to order them on-line from either Cambridge University Press or

    2. You'll also need to purchase the software. Although the programs are printed in the book, the book is intended as a text and reference book, for reading purposes only. The software is sold separately, "unbundled" from the book. (This helps us keep down the price of the book.) You can download and immediately purchase the software directly from our On-Line Store, or else purchase a CDROM or diskette published by Cambridge University.

    3. When you purchase the software, as above, you get a single-screen license. This lets you use the Numerical Recipes source code on a single computer screen (of the type of computer specified by the product that you buy) for each copy of the software purchased. If you or your organization want to use the routines on multiple screens, you can either purchase a multiple-screen license (easily done at the On-Line Store) or else consider the economies of scale of a site or organizational license.

    If you have a question about licensing that is not covered by the above, nor by the documents linked-to below, write to us through our web contact page.

    These documents give further information:

  • Single-Screen License Terms (this license comes with a software purchase)
  • Other Types of Licenses
  • Complete Price List for Licenses
  • Sample License Terms for a Typical Site License

  • Information on redistributing Numerical Recipes

    We receive a range of requests regarding redistribution permissions, and we try to apply a consistent and straightforward policy in answering these requests. Here are the most common cases: These documents give further information:
  • How to Obtain Further Permissions for Commercial Use
  • More About Copyrights

  • NR in Other Computer Languages

    C++, C, and Fortran (both 77 and 90) are the supported languages for the current (Second) edition of Numerical Recipes. However, there are authorized versions of Numerical Recipes in other languages, generally based on an earlier edition, that are in widespread use.

    The following table shows current availability (insofar as known to us) and contact information for these products. Follow the links in the table to further information, including ordering information.

    Language Book? Code? More Info
    Pascal yes on NR CDROM C.U.P.
    Basic (MS Basic) yes on NR CDROM C.U.P.
    Basic (TrueBasic) use above on NR CDROM True Basic Inc.
    Lisp no on NR CDROM email, mail or fax
    Modula 2 no on NR CDROM email, mail or fax
    IDL integrated into IDL product Research Systems Inc.
    Mathcad electronic book and add-on extension MathSoft Inc.