How Do I...
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Maple's Tutorials are designed to help you get started with Maple, learn about the key tools available in Maple, and lead you through a series of problems.
The How do I... topics cover essentials for doing mathematics in Maple. Learn more about Maple's tools and features, such as palettes and the Context Panel. Step-by-step examples are included to enhance your understanding.
Refer to Help > Quick Reference for basic getting started tips.
How do I...
...enter a simple expression?
...enter a function?
...enter a matrix?
...evaluate an expression?
...import tabular data?
...plot a function?
...plot multiple functions?
...plot a straight line?
...enter a complex number?
...solve an ordinary differential equation?
...work with random generators?
Tools and Features
Note for non-Windows users: The keystrokes given in this document are for Windows. There will be differences for other platforms. If you are using a different platform, see Shortcut Keys.
This section details the point-and-click tools and core features available in Maple to help you accomplish tasks quickly and easily. These features include palettes, the context panel, and assistants.
Maple has over thirty palettes containing an extensive collection of symbols, templates, and other features. These palettes are located beside the Maple workspace.
A template is an editable expression containing placeholders that can be easily overwritten. Use the Tab key to move to and highlight the next placeholder in a template, and Shift + Tab to move back to the previous placeholder. The How do I... section contains many examples where a template from a palette is used.
The Expression palette contains many common mathematical expressions—such as exponents, subscripts, nth roots, elementary functions, operators, and piecewise functions—as easily editable templates. See the How do I... subsection on entering a simple expression for an example of its use.
The Calculus palette, similarly to the Expression palette, contains buttons for constructing expressions—such as integrals, derivatives, dot derivatives, etc.
The Matrix palette is a tool used to insert a matrix template of a specified size, type, shape, and data type for entering a matrix quickly. See the How do I... subsection on entering a matrix for an example of its use.
By default, not all palettes are shown; to show a hidden palette, navigate to View / Palettes / Show Palette, and select a palette. For more information, see the Arrange Palettes help page.
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The Context Panel
One of the most useful features in Maple is the Context Panel, which offers context-sensitive options for the current selection. Together with inline evaluation, the use of the Context Panel is one of the fastest ways to perform a string of successive computations.
To access the context panel for a specific Maple object:
Make sure that the context panel toggle is clicked to open the context panel (in other words, with the context panel open the toggle should look like this:
Click the object. The context panel opens and contains common operations associated with the object; for example, the context panel for a matrix will include the inverse operation, and for an expression, the context panel will contain the simplify operation.
Before you proceed with the example below, be sure to familiarize yourself with entering simple mathematical expressions (see the How do I... subsection on entering a simple expression). Open a new worksheet in Document mode, and ensure that you are in Math mode.
Example: simplify and factor
Follow the steps below to simplify and factor the expression sinx2⋅x2+cosx2 ⋅x2+2 x+1.
Click any part of the expression (within the dotted outline) and the context panel is displayed. Select Collect / Name / x.
Click on the resulting expression and in the context panel select Simplify>Simplify.
If you were working with an equation, some of these functionalities would not be available. In such a case, you might be able to start by rewriting as an equation equal to zero and then working with the expression on the left-hand side.
Command and symbol completion is a feature that automatically suggests a command to use as you enter a phrase in Maple. To access the command completion menu, press Esc after typing the phrase. A popup list displays commands that begin with the phrase typed. Maple lists symbols, commands, functions, and package names that match the entered text. To insert an item from this list, select it with the mouse or navigate to it by using the arrow keys and press Enter.
For example, to get the Greek letter ρ (rho), type rho and press Esc. Select ρ.
This command completion list can include command completion templates. These provide the full syntax of common Maple commands including arguments, so that these commands can be easily entered. Simply choose the desired command completion template and replace the placeholders with the desired values.
For example, to get an integral, type int and press Esc. Select int(definite).
Equation Labels are automatically generated after executing a Maple command on a new line. The result returned is labeled so that you can refer to it later in the document. As an example, compute the reduced row echelon form of a matrix using equation labels. Maple's equation labels are automatically re-numbered in sequential order if any labeled result is deleted or moved.
Computing the reduced row echelon form of a matrix
Follow the steps below to find the reduced row echelon form of the three-by-four matrix 12364561578924.
Follow the instructions in either of the two examples given in the How do I subsection on entering matrices. Press Enter, and the resulting Matrix is labeled.
Now pass the Matrix as an argument to this procedure by typing a left parenthesis [(], followed by the equation label. To insert the equation label, double-click the label number of the matrix in step 1. Now type a right parenthesis [ ) ].
Press Enter. The reduced row echelon form of this Matrix is displayed and labeled.
An alternative way to enter the equation label is to use the shortcut key Ctrl + L and then type the label value into the Identifier field; in this case, since it is the first labeled result, the label value is 1.
Maple has many interactive assistants that provide graphical user interfaces to various Maple packages and functionalities. Here are some of the assistants available in Maple.
Solve for an unknown parameter in an equation whose other parameters are known
Compute regressions and fit curves on a collection of data
Display textual and graphical information about data sets, traverse data sets, and generate new data sets via standard operations on existing ones
Perform a series of operations on an equation
Import data from an external file into Maple as an rtable
Build installers for your own toolboxes, or return a Build command which you can store and execute later
Manipulate the libraries in a specified directory
Investigate and solve ordinary differential equations and ordinary differential equation systems
Graphically minimize or maximize an objective function under given constraints
Build a Maple plot interactively
Browse an extensive collection of physical constants and properties of chemical elements
View properties of over 200 special mathematical functions
Thermophysical Properties Calculator
Calculate state-dependent and state-independent properties for pure fluids, mixtures, certain incompressible fluids and the properties of humid air
Convert between over 500 units of measurement
Maple's help system provides extensive help on topics and commands in Maple. Access the help system from the Help > Maple Help menu item or enter a query in the search box in the worksheet toolbar and then press Enter.
Tip: You can also put your cursor in a word and press F2 to get help on that word.
The Plotting Guide provides a visual guide to Maple's plots and a summary of plotting features.
The sample application worksheets provide demonstrations of solutions to specific problems.
To see a list of applications, see either the index of applications and examples or the Math Apps guide.
Maple provides a number of example worksheets to supplement the examples in the help pages. Example worksheets demonstrate the syntax of popular commands and packages, such as solve, Calculus, and Linear Algebra, as well as more sophisticated topics such as lexical scoping. You can execute all the commands in the example worksheets.
To view a list of example and application worksheets, see the examples index.
Access the Maple User Manual and Maple Programming Guide within Maple.
From the Maple help system, expand the Manuals entry.
Expand the desired manual, and then select a chapter.
The chapter opens in Maple as a worksheet that you can execute.
The Application Center offers thousands of Maple applications, Maplet applications, tutorials, Maple PowerTools, MapleSim models, and Maple packages for free download.
Maple Primes is a web community dedicated to sharing experiences, techniques, and opinions about Maple and related products, as well as general interest topics in math and computing.
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