New Feature – 5 New Angle Marks


This new feature has been inspired by a user request (thanks again Michalis!)

We have added five new angle marking options to FX Draw. The new marks are designed to allow you to easily mark angles as congruent.

The new marks are accessed by right clicking on an angle mark.

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Why Is My Text Red? / Why Aren’t My Equations Lining Up?

Question:

Why is My Text Red? OR Why Aren’t My Equations Lining Up in Word?

Answer:

When an FX Equation equation is inserted, it is inserted as a space, then the equation, then another space.

The equation between the two spaces is lowered to line up with where the text is.

Why the spaces? Because of a little quirk in Word. If you manage to get your cursor in between the equation and the space, any text you type will be lowered (quite dramatically). This looks something like this

Unfortunately, compared to the next text, the equations look as if they need to be lowered. Our macros set the text colour for this new text to bright red to make sure that you realise that you are in the wrong spot. If you see red, STOP and move the cursor to the other side of the space.

What sometimes happens is that users see the red text and change the colour back to black. Unfortunately ALL of the subsequent text that they type will be “lowered”. The equations will look like they are high where, in fact, it is the text that is too low.

You can reset the position of the text by selecting the text and going here…

but it is MUCH better to just never get the text lowered.

The best way to understand this behaviour is to have a bit of a play around with it. Try typing on either side of the space to get a feel for what is going on. We have found that customers do not have a problem with it once they understand it.

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How Do I Get Rid of The X’s That Are Added To My Flood Fills?

Question:
Whenever I use the flood fill tool, I get unsightly X’s added to the graphic. How do I get rid of them?

Answer:

The short answer is that you don’t get rid of them. They are part of FX Draw’s control system. They do not, however, show up on any generated graphics. You will only see them inside FX Draw while you are creating your graphic. The generated graphic has no X marks. It also removes other control elements like the grid.

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How Do We Update Efofex Products?

Question:

How Do We Update Efofex Products?

Answer:

There are two components to this question: checking for updates and installing updates.

Checking for Updates

Many software packages regularly “phone home” to check for updates. This can either be done by the program itself or by installing a separate “update checker” mini program that runs intermittently. Many computers have dozens of these mini update-checking programs running. Most update-checkers are well behaved but some are resource hogs or just buggy. Most schools do NOT want update-checkers running on their school computers as it can mean hundreds of computers running dozens of programs on a regular basis. This consumes bandwidth and any faults are dramatically amplified.

For this reason, we do NOT use update-checking programs. Our products check for themselves about once per week but only when they are run by the user. This minimises the impacts on systems but it does have a downside; the updates are reported by the program when it is running. If you try to download and install the update at that point of time, it will fail because you cannot update a running program. Just download the update to your computer and install it later, when the program is closed.

Many schools do not want ANY update checking to occur, so we give you the option to turn this behaviour off.

Even when checking for updates, the products do not report every update available. Many of our updates (and we can update products daily at times) address minor issues and inconveniences that affect very few people. As most of our users will not be affected by the changes, there is no point informing users of the change or forcing an update onto them. The programs will NOT report these updates to users. Only significant updates and upgrades are reported.

In summary, compared to most programs you might be using we inform you of updates infrequently and the checking will often be turned off. This is solely due to the environment that we operate in.

Installing Updates

Many software products automatically install updates, usually with your consent. We do NOT do this. Schools have told us loud and clear that they do not want this behaviour. They want to install software and updates on their own schedule. This makes life much simpler for school system administrators but does feel a little unnatural to users who expect software to update itself. While we would like to make it easier for users to keep their software up-to-date, we have decided to heed the demands of our customers and keep the process manual.

To install updates to our products you need to:

  1. Download the new version either because you have been informed of an update or because you have decided to install the latest version.
  2. Install the new version in exactly the same way you installed the initial version – straight over the top of the old version. You do NOT need to uninstall the previous version as all of our updates are designed to completely replace the old version.

It is probably a more manual process than you are used to but, again, this is due to the demands of our customers.

Getting the Latest Version

You can choose to turn on “Check for Updates” and wait for the products to tell you that there is an update available but you always have access to the latest versions from our downloads page.

Downloads Page

You don’t need to wait until you are told to go there, you can go any time you like.

  1. The latest version available and the date of its release
  2. A list of each version and the issues it addresses
  3. The download link

What We Recommend

  1. Turn on Check For Updates
  2. Download and install new updates whenever informed – more often if possible.
  3. If you do not want to turn on Check For Updates, install a new version AT LEAST ONCE PER YEAR – more often if possible. Schools using the FX MathPack subscription should schedule a new download every time they change their system image or input new registration details.
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Using The Connection System with PowerPoint for Word

Question:

How Do I Use the Connection System with PowerPoint for Word?

Answer:

As recently announced on our news feed, PowerPoint has started having trouble using our products as OLE objects (our traditional double-click to edit system). Until Microsoft fixes the issue (unfortunately it is nothing to do with us), you might need to use the Connection system to get your graphics into PowerPoint.

The Connection System is basically a managed version of Copy and Paste where FX Draw, Graph or Stat store all the graphics for a PowerPoint presentation in one file located in the same location as the PowerPoint file.

1. Open your PowerPoint file and make sure it is saved somewhere. Our products use the PowerPoint file name to create an appropriate file name for their data.

2. Open the Efofex product, we will use FX Draw for this example.

3. In FX Draw, choose PowerPoint from the Connect list.

4. FX Draw will go into Connect mode and will save its diagrams in a file with a file name based on the PowerPoint file name. FX Draw will automatically manage this file – saving as it goes. The file will be stored in the same location as the PowerPoint file with and fxd extension added to the file name. Note the filmstrip at the bottom of the FX Draw page which allows you to select an image from the collection in the file.

5. Draw your diagram and press the green check mark. The image will be pasted into your PowerPoint presentation

6. To create a new diagram, press the Add Graphic to File button (or add a copy of the current graphic using the next button along)

7. To edit an existing diagram, select it and copy it to the clipboard. Then change focus to FX Draw. FX Draw will compare the graphic on the clipboard to the graphics it has on file and automatically select the best fit. After you have edited, click the green check mark and your graphic will be updated.

At all times, you are really just copying and pasting. The green tick and finding the right diagram in the file are just there to make things quicker. There is nothing to stop you copying and pasting all by yourself.

We have created a video showing the Connection system operating between FX Graph and Word. The principle remains the same however. You can view the video here.

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Can I Attach FX Equation to a Keyboard Shortcut in Microsoft Word for Windows?

Question:

Can I Attach FX Equation to a Keyboard Shortcut in Microsoft Word for Windows?

Answer:

Yes you can. The following instructions are specifically for Word 2013, but the process is similar on earlier versions.

1. Right click on an empty part of the ribbon bar.

2. Choose Customize the Ribbon (shown above).

3. Choose Customize Keyboard ShortCuts

4. Select Macros (1) and then select InsertFXEquation (2). Click in (3) and press a key combination that you would like to use. I have chosen Ctrl+Shift+E. (4) tells you the command that that keyboard shortcut is currently attached to. I don’t use Revision Marks so I am happy using this. Finally, (5) assigns the keyboard shortcut.

Posted in Equation | Tagged | 1 Comment

Can I Get The Scale On My x Axis to Show Degrees?

Question:
Can I Get The Scale On My x Axis to Show Degrees?

Answer:

Yes you can.

In the CURRENT (as at May 1, 2014) versions of our products you need to do this…

1. Select Degrees as the Angle Measurement (see below)

2. Press the Trig Graph button (see below). This turns on “trigonometric graphing” and FX Graph/Draw will look for “angle cues”.

2. Now set up you x maximum so that it has an “angle cue”. This is a value like 360 degrees or 720 degrees.

FX Graph/Draw will detect maxima such as 360 as angles and will add the degrees signs as shown above.

HOWEVER

After reviewing your question, we have decided that in the current versions of the software, this has become too hard (it was actually a bit easier in FX Draw 3 and FX Graph 3). We know why this has happened – sometimes the automatic detection of angle cues was triggering unexpectedly (for example, someone might want a max of 90 outside of a trigonometric graph) – so WE made it harder to trigger.

Based on this decision, we have just implemented a new system. This will be available in the next release of FX Graph/Draw which will probably come out in the next week or so.

To trigger degrees signs in the new system, you just enter the x Max value as 360` (all Efofex products use the ` key to indicate degrees) and FX Graph/Draw will then:

1. Add degrees signs to the scale.
2. Automatically choose a scale that suits degrees (such as a tick mark every 30 degrees)

This seems more logical to us. It also means that you are no longer reliant on “angle cues”. You can now set x Maximum to anything and, by adding the ` you are forcing FX Graph/Draw to use degrees signs and suitable scales.

Thanks for your question. It will help make FX Graph/Draw better for everybody!

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