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I am looking for the Mapping Node but it is not available under the Vector nodes menu or any other menu. I have Blender 2.77 which cooresponds with the manual version in the above link.

enter image description here

I also cannot find the Texture Coordinate or Gradient Texture.

Likely I am doing something wrong.

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Wrong node tree type

Blender has three built-in different node tree types: Material, Composite and Textures. They have some nodes in common, and some not. The ones you are looking for belong to the second group.

enter image description here

All the nodes you mentioned belong to the Material node editor, you can see that from the path of the page in the manual you linked:

enter image description here

Just switch from the Composite type editor to Material type editor and you should be able to find them.

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  • $\begingroup$ Brilliant. I have much to learn. $\endgroup$ – disconnected May 24 '16 at 20:15

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