Using MAPLE

We are currently at the version Maple 15 at Villanova University and we use standard Maple worksheets with file extension .mw which have a clickable calculus interface with a complete range of palettes for creating Mathematical symbols and typesetting mathematical documents, context-sensitive right click menus to perform most of the usual mathematical tasks to the outputs of expressions or equations that we input into Maple, as well as many tools and interface facilitators that make it easy to do many activities without knowing syntax or commands.

Clickable calculus allows users to create 2-dimensional mathematics expressions in standard mathematical notation seen in textbooks [except for more strict function notation: cos(x) instead of cos x]. When these expressions are entered into Maple and evaluated, they produce output which can then be acted upon by right-click menus, allowing most elementary needs to be accomplished without knowing the command syntax (which can also be entered character by character as seen in Maple codes in textbooks which assume the classic interface).

The Maple Portal

When you install Maple, it puts two icons on your desktop. The second one is the Maple Portal shortcut which is just Maple opening to an example file in the example folder of the software folder C:\Program Files\Maple 15\examples\MaplePortal.mw
[You can also get this worksheet from the File menu, Open choice and then navigate to this worksheet.]
It summarizes all the extras Maple has for accomplishing many usual activities in most areas of mathematics usually encountered by college students, as well as providing direct links to online content for Students, Educators, or Engineer/Scientists.

WYSIWYG input, palettes, right click menus

With Standard Maple (.mw files), a variable width left frame in the Maple application window has numerous expanding palettes to insert input in standard math notation (Maple 2d notation as opposed to Maple 1d notation, i.e., Maple commands) into the input regions that makes it very attractive to use now for students and instructors, since one only needs to be able to do standard Windows clicking, tabbing and choosing to achieve most of the goals needed for the calculus, differential equations and linear algebra sequence. Right clicking on output expressions offers a long list of choices of operations one can apply to that expression. The Tools Menu gathers together for easy access all the extremely useful interactive tutorial applets commands and example task worksheets for calculus and linear algebra.

Opening worksheets on the web and email attachments

If you have Maple delivered through your Windows operating system as a local or networked application, other programs like web mail (attachments) or Internet Explorer (URL links on web pages) will know how to open it as a Maple worksheet automatically through its file extension. However, the Outlook webmail used by faculty when they are away from their primary computer, does not allow Maple attachments to be extracted properly (they are saved as empty files) and these files must be zipped before attachment by right clicking on their filename in Windows Explorer and selecting Send to Compressed (zipped)  Folder. However, Maple worksheets attached to Outlook webmail messages are extracted properly from the Outlook client email used by all faculty on their primary computers, and by all students using the Gmail Villanova Student Email platform.

If you do not have Maple installed locally or on your network (so you must use Citrix delivered Maple), Windows will not know how to open the worksheet attachment or a web link to a worksheet. [You can open the worksheet in WordPad so you see the underlying code and not the GUI interpreted worksheet, which is not very helpful. Maple .mw worksheets are to Maple like .htm documents are to Internet Explorer or any browser, namely just ordinary text files of at first confusing code called XML from which the software creates a screen image that you see.]

To open the file with Maple, you may have two options:

  • Save the file and open it outside the application by then opening Maple and using the File Menu Open File command to find it, which it can only do if the file has the correct file extension.
  • In Internet Explorer, copy the URL of the linked worksheet and then open Maple and use the File Menu Open URL command to directly open the file from the internet, which is much quicker than first saving locally the file. You should then save it locally if you make changes.

In Internet Explorer when you right click on the link to savea worksheet,be sure to keep the file extension ".mw" or Maple will not "see" the file when you try to open it using the File Menu, Open selection in Maple, or by double clicking on the file in Windows explorer.

Use a single user local version of Maple if possible!

If you are using Citrix supplied Maple through the web [i.e., not as a local windows operating system application] and choose to save a file locally, then you must save worksheets from the web to your C:\ drive or to a  local networked folder and open them separately in Maple. Citrix does not see your local My Documents folder or your Desk Top; its own My Documents and Desk Top folders are on the remote server under your user profile.

Citrixweb use of Maple [last resort]

The Citrix application delivery works with Internet Explorer or Mozilla once you download and install the client software (ICA Connection), which has a download link on the lower right part of the Citrix homepage if your computer does not yet have the software already installed. Wait for the window to appear asking for "Full Access" to your machine (the default "No Access" derails the application from accessing your computer for opening or saving files). Click on both "Full Access" and "Never Ask Me Again" for this application. This does not always come up BUT you can get to it once and for all once you have opened MAPLE in Citrix by the following setting:

  • To open and save Maple worksheets locally [Citrix only]
    You need to set the security on the ICA client by right-clicking on the ICA icon (you can't miss the red ball, balloon help identifies this icon as the Program Neighborhood Connection Center) on the lower right task bar tray (what is that called?), releasing on "Open Connection Center," and selecting the server name on the line above MAPLE from the tree, then clicking on "Security" and setting it to "Full Access," "Never Ask Me Again" for this application.

    This allows the Maple application access to the C: hard drive, URL memory stick drives (plug in before logging into citrix), possible network drives, etc, found in "My Computer" to open and save files but the "My Documents" folder seen inside Maple is a virtual folder on the network under your Citrix profile space and does not refer to your local hard drive "My  Documents" folder [except for math faculty]. If you want a local copy of your Maple worksheet to attach to an email for example, you must save it to a local folder or local network folder under My Computer [not My Documents or Desktop] or some local network folder. Similarly, your virtual folder "Desktop" is not directly visible to Citrix. Remember, right clicking on file icons only invokes the proper software to open them if your operating system knows about it, but Citrix Maple bypasses the operating system!
  • To print Maple worksheets [Citrix only]
    Citrix Maple should in theory print to the default printer of your computer, but if it does not, you may print to the virtual printer Adobe PDF  in the Printer selection window from inside Maple, which requests a location to save the PDF file: save it within My Computer, BUT exit the Adobe PDF file once it is created since the Adobe software itself resides on the Citrix server and does not know about your local printers available through your operating system. On your computer go to the location you saved the PDF, click on it to open your local Adobe program and print the PDF file to a printer you select from your local Printer selection window.