The Maple interface has a long list of palettes and even handwriting recognition for finding symbols and one can edit mathematical expressions to make them look like real mathematics without being limited by the executable Maple syntax. Context sensitive right-click menus allow one to do most elementary mathematical operations without knowing any syntax.
This "Clickable Calculus" makes Maple easier for elementary users. It also has an easily accessible Math Dictionary.
It has a tools menu with Assistants (dialog windows to import and analyze data), Tutors (Java applet windows that guide you through many calculus and algebra routines), and Tasks (that uses Help to guide you in accomplishing a list of mathematical tasks).
In document mode, one can freely create a mathematical report without the constraint of input, output and text regions, much like a MathCAD worksheet.
Worksheet mode allows one to see the input region syntax popped in by right-click menu choices, giving more information about what Maple is doing and allowing easy editing of command parameters.
Math (2d) versus Maple (1d) notation in the input region
When the cursor is in an input region, the"text" and "math" entries in the tool bar will toggle between Standard Math Notation and Maple Notation. Standard Math is preferred for using the (floating, more limited) palettes to input expressions. Maple notation shows you the Maple syntax of the input expression. You can also use the Format Menu and choose convert to change from 2D Math input (the old Standard Math Notation) to 1D Math input = Maple input, if you want to learn the Maple command syntax for a WYSIWYG math expression.
An important tip for 2D Math input is that you must use the right arrow key to continue inputting an expression after raising to an exponent or dividing by a denominator (using the forward slash for division, asterisk for multiplication), in fact you can use all 4 arrows to move around an expression to edit its various pieces, while when entering from the palette, the tab key moves you through the characters to be replaced.
- Student[Calculus1] is very useful for Calc 1 and Calc 2.
- Student[MultivariateCalculus] is helpful for Calc 3 for tasks involving a scalar function of 2 or more independent variables.
- Student[VectorCalculus] is helpful for Calc3 for doing vector calculus tasks, i.e., those tasks involving vector functions of one or more independent variables.
- VecCalc is an external package to accompany Stewart Multivariable Calculus CalcLabs, available on citrixweb.
Linear algebra packages:
- LinearAlgebra utilizes the new way of doing vectors and matrices in Maple, available from the palette insertion.
- Student[LinearAlgebra] uses the same structures but aimed at teaching linear algebra with additional Tutor commands. In both cases commands are named by joining together capitalized key words, like "ReducedRowEchelonForm". Here it is useful to use command auto-completion so one can just type the first few characters and then Control, Space Bar to bring up a list of all commands starting with those letters to select from with the mouse (only one starts with "Red"). This feature is case sensitive.
- See the Help Menu description.