I thought I would take up a little time to write about some of the new plotting features in Maple 11. This post will give an overview of what is in Maple 11 plotting - subsequent posts will give more details on the individual features. Let's look at each of the features mentioned on the plotting enhancements page. All of these are only for 2-D plots. This is a major new feature for Maple 11. In summary it means: everywhere you used to be able to put text strings on plots, you can now put 2D math. All of them can be controlled through the command line; for all except the tickmark labels you can edit them in-place. The full power of Maple math typesetting in available, just as it is in 2D input in the worksheet. This allows you to add lines, text and other annotations to your plots after you have created them. The full list of things you can add includes:
  • Lines (including arrows)
  • Text (including math)
  • Rectangles, ovals, diamonds and circles
  • Free-form drawing
There are three improvements in this area.
  • The plot code does a better job of getting closer to the number of tickmarks you asked for, without getting bad tickmark spacings.
  • You can now control the format of tickmark values by setting the 'numeric formatting' of the plot.
  • You can now control tickmarks,if you prefer, by setting the spacing between them rather than the number of tickmarks.
The most important of these are the often-requested solid symbols: filled squares, circles and diamonds. This is really a by-product of allowing math typesetting in plots; just as you can use Greek symbols, or local language characters, in your worksheet input you can now use them in plots too - enter them either from the palettes or from your keyboard, if it supports them, just as you would in worksheet input. The legend can now be placed at the top, left or right of the plot instead of just the bottom. You can give the position using the command line or throught the menus. We've also added a new 'caption' option which can be used instead of (or as well as) title. Captions work just like titles but are placed at the bottom of the plot rather than the top. Many of the things that you used to be able to do only on the command line you can now do through the interactive menus, including:
  • Adding and removing axis labels
  • Adding and removing titles (and captions)
  • Specifying tickmarks as multiples of Pi
Have fun trying these features out.

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