Thursday, May 22, 2014

WordMat v. 1.07 released

This is a quick fix release.
Scientific notation was broken in v. 1.06.

A few other minor improvements for units was also implemented.

Unit warning

Though this version solves equations the same whether units are on or off. Only turn on units if you actually need it. Many variables are reserved and you will experience problems if you use them as normal variables.
The reserved variables that often cause problems are all the one letter units:
A - Ampere
C - Coulomb
F - Farad
H - Henry
J - Joule
K - Kelvin
L - Liter
N - Newton
S - Siemens
T - Tesla
V - Volt
W - Watt
g - gram
m - meters
u - mass unit

These equations will then fail when units are on:
    E = m g h
    sin(C) = 1/2

Whenever you solve an equation and units are on. WordMat now checks for these variables. WordMat supports a lot more units and combined with all the prefixes the list is very long. But now WordMat checks the most troublesome.

If you experience a strange problem. Check if units are on! 

Below are some general tips on using lists not related to this version in particular.

Hint: Listseparator

You can set your desired list separator in settings, but regardless WordMat tries to spot list separation from the context.
A comma is always a listseparator if there isn't numbers on both sides of the comma, even if comma is set as the decimalseparator.
Examples for the following settings:  listseparator as semikolon and decimalseparator as comma

  f(2,3) is a function of one variable of the number 2,3
  f(2, 3) is a function of two variables of the two numbers 2 and 3   (The space after the comma makes it a decimal separator)

Using Lists

A list is an ordered set. The elements are enclosed in square brackets
[1, 2, 3, 4]

Lists has many applications. In many operations you can use lists just as you would numbers:
Example 1: list as argument to a function

Example 2: Operations on lists

Example 3: Referencing items in a list
These examples require a special setting: Go to settings | Notation | Subscript   checkmark 'Is list/matrix index'

FYI this index method to reference items in a list also works for vectors and matrices. Though these needs two indexes l1, 1

Example 4: Maxima list functions
You can access all the builtin functions of Maxima.
There are many more functions to manipulate lists. To see all Maxima functions,  find the following in the right side of the WordMat menu: Manual | 'Help for Maxima commands'

Example 5: Converting tables to lists
In the WordMat menu find 'Table'. Below there are two functions to convert a table to a list and reverse.
Place the cursor in a table and press 'Table -> list'
A table is always converted to a nested list:
Once you have the list you can manipulate it according to the methods described above, and then convert it back to a table.

Monday, May 19, 2014

WordMat version 1.06 released

I'm pleased to announce the release of a new version of WordMat.
All the new features and improvements are listed below.

Equation solver

In this version the equation solver has been thoroughly tested and improved, specially for systems of equations.
This is an ongoing process. For every release teachers and students send me equations that either can't be solved, are solved incorrectly or are missing solutions. The equation solver is then improved to accomodate these equations. The equations are kept for testing of future versions.
Equation solving in WordMat is done by Maxima, but the builtin solver is very weak, and does not support solving within real numbers. This means that the equation solver had to be programmed separately within Maxima. It is now quite good, capable of solving many complex equations.
Whenever the equation solver is changed, there is a chance it will cause problems for other equations. This was the case for version 1.05. Though it was improved in some areas, problems arose in others. Version 1.06 remedies these problems.
Please let me know if you locate any problems.

Spanish Translation

WordMat is now almost completely translated into english and spanish. You can find an occasional danish sentence though.
Thanks to Igor Capetillo for the spanish translation.


Unit handling is now much smoother. Unit-support can be turned on/off without delay (alt+e), and equation solving is not impaired when units are turned on.
In previous versions Maxima loaded a unit-module whenever units where turned on. The only way to turn it of was to restart Maxima. This caused a delay for the user when units where turned off/on. WordMat now launches an extra Maxima-process for handling units. It only causes a slight delay when units are turned on the first time. All calculations are first handled by the non-unit maxima, and then passed for unit-conversion to the unit supporting maxima process.

Here are a few examples of how WordMat can handle units:

Multiplication sign

Mathematicians hate the star operator (*) which serves as a multiplication sign on computers.
Using WordMat you could insert a proper multiplication sign (cross or dot depending on setting) using the keyboard shortcut alt+g.
In this version the star operator is automatically converted to a dot or cross. No more need to use alt+g.

Equal signs

WordMat can return results of calculations exact or numerically. Numeric results where always preceded by a ≈. Whereas exact result where preceded by a =.
Now WordMat checks if the results are exact. Hence 2/5=0.4  not  2/5≈0.4
WordMat is also less likely to return two identical results in auto-mode.


WordMat can convert Math to Latex. Place the cursor in an equation and press alt+t to convert to Latex.
To convert all equations in a document + more check the symbols-menu.
The conversion accuracy has been improved a lot in the last two versions of WordMat. Basically because I need it to create Moodle questions.

With this version of WordMat it is now possible to create entire documents which resemble documents created using Latex. WordMat installs a Latex template which can be accessed when opening Word. The template should be available under 'user'. If you can't find it there you can open it manually from documents. It will be in a folder called 'Custom Office templates' (depending on your local language).

This is possible because WordMat installs Latex similar fonts
  • Latin Modern    (LM Modern 12 in the font-chooser)
  • Latin Modern Math
Adds a similar bibliography style: Bibword   (Choose IEEE)
Also the template adjust margins and turns on hyphenation etc.
In WordMat version 1.05 numbered equations where introduced (alt+m twice). These fit nicely in a Latex document.


When Microsoft released Office 2007 and the 'new' equation editor, only 1 font was supported  - The Cambria Math font.
This caused some problems, because not all documents are set in calibri/cambria ;-) and it doesn't look good if the math are in a different font.
One solution was to convert all equations using MathType which can be set in any font.
However more compatible Math fonts are now emerging.
As described above there is now a Latin Modern Font available for Word, used to create Latex-documents.
WordMat also installs two other Math fonts:
Both of these are 'times new roman' like fonts designed for math. 
The XITS-Font is an attempt to improve on the STIX-font.
Choose them from the font-chooser or set a default math-font using the following procedure:
  1. Place the cursor in any math expression.
  2. Click the rightmost Design tab in the ribbon (Under equations - not the leftmost Design tab)
  3. Locate the group called 'functions' in the left side
  4. Click the tiny arrow in the lower right hand corner
  5. From the topmost dropdown list you can choose from the 4 available fonts
    Cambria Math
    Latin Modern Math
    STIX Math
    XITS Math

WordMat for Mac

I get a lot of requests for a Mac version of WordMat. The work is progressing. I expect the first version to be ready for next school year (august-september 2014).
The Mac version will have some limitations compared to the windows version. So far the following is working almost as the Windows version:
  • Statistics
  • Regression
  • Graph plotting using the Excel-sheet
  • Triangle solver
  • Formulae
Most of the problems communicating with Maxima has been resolved, but not completed yet.
Another problem is that Visual basic (VBA) for Word on a Mac doesn't support unicode. This could turn out to be a large limitation as a lot of mathematical symbols are unicode. Hopefully I will find a workaround.