Using MAPLE

We upgrade to the current version of Maple each summer at Villanova University working with 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-panel 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-panel 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).

WYSIWYG input, palettes, right "Context Panel" menus

A variable width left column frame in the Maple worksheet 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 icon selection and to achieve most of the goals needed for the calculus, differential equations and linear algebra sequence. Once can mouse drag the palletes to the top which are most useful for our university mathematics: Expressions, then Common Symbols, then Calculus, then Matrix, leaving the first two open for ready use. A variable width right column frame called the "Context panel" provides a context sensitive menu appropriate for the current output expression (or equation) which offers a long list of choices of operations one can apply to that expression. Thiscan be hidden or recalled by the >> or << icon at the top right of the worksheet window.  

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.

For a detailed survey of the Maple interface and useful pop up tutors, see this document.

You can probably safely ignore the rest of this web page.

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 a web browser (URL links on web pages) will know how to open it as a Maple worksheet automatically through its file extension.

If you do not have Maple installed locally or on your network (so you must use Citrix delivered Maple through vDesktop), Windows or a MAC 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 if it is not installed locally, you may:

  • Save the file and openMaple in vDesktop and use the File Menu, Open File command to find it, which it can only do if the file has the correct file extension: .mw.

Use a single user local version of Maple if possible!

If you are using Maple through vDesktop and a web browser [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.

VDeskTop (Citrixweb) use of Maple [last resort]

The VDeskTop application delivery works with the usual browsers. See

  • See the vDesktop web page for how to use that interface and access files on your local computer.
  • To print Maple worksheets [vDesktop only]
    vDesktop delivered Maple should in theory print to the default printer of your computer, but if it does not, you may Export to PDF from the File Menu, which requests a location to save the PDF file: save it within My Computer. 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.