If you know the name of the Maple command you want to use, then the method described above is probably the easiest to use for accessing Maple's on-line help. However, if you aren't sure of the command or you just want to learn more about what Maple can do, then the Help Browser can be very useful. One word of warning, however. The Help Browser has been known to crash the current Maple session so save your worksheet before you open up the Help Browser. If you don't do this, and your session crashes, you could lose some of your work.
To access the Help Browser, select the Help Browser item under the Help menu. This will pop up the Maple Help Browser dialog. This dialog has five list windows across the top, a text window with the title Synopsis below and two push buttons, labelled Help and Close, at the bottom. The left-most list window has the title Topic:, the other four list windows all have Subtopic: for a title.
You will still be able to work in your worksheet while the Help Browser window is displayed. In fact, you can copy examples from the help pages you display to your worksheet to try them out for yourself. This process is actually a good way to learn how to use Maple commands. To get rid of the Help Browser at any time, just click on the Close button at the bottom right of the Help Browser window.
When the Help Browser dialog first appears, the Topic list window will contain the list
Graphics... Mathematics... Programming... System...and the four Subtopic: list windows will be blank. This is the highest level of the Help Browser. To start moving down, choose one of the items in the Topic: list and click on it. The result will be a list in the leftmost Subtopic: window providing further subdivisions of the topic you chose. For example, suppose you chose the Graphics... item in the Topic: window. Then the list
2D... 3D... Animation... Approximations to Integrals... Differential Equations... Libraries and Packages...will appear in the leftmost Subtopic: window. Each entry is in bold and has an ellipsis (...) after it, so clicking on it will produce a list with further subdivisions on that subtopic in the next Subtopic: window. For example, suppose you chose the Animation... item. Then the list
animate animate3d display display3dwould appear. The entries in this list are in plain text, which means that each one corresponds to a Maple help page. Clicking on one of the items produces a synopsis of the command in the Synopsis window. For example, clicking on the animate item produces the following synopsis
create an animation of 2D plots of functionsAt this point, clicking on the Help button at the bottom of the Help Browser dialog will bring up the help page for the animate command. At the bottom of the page are examples of the command's usage. You are encouraged to copy these to your worksheet, using the copy and paste procedure with the mouse described in the first section of this manual.
As another example, click on the Mathematics... item in the Topic: window. This will produce a list of subtopics in the leftmost Subtopic: window. Click on the Calculus... item in this list and a list of further subtopics will appear in the next Subtopic: window. Click on the Differential Calculus... item in this list and you can learn all you want to know about the Maple diff and D commands and how they differ, as well as much more. Note that the last item in the list Newman-Penrose... is in bold and has an ellipsis, meaning that further subtopics exist for this topic. Help for the other items in the Differential Calculsu... subtopic list can be obtained by selecting one of the items and clicking on the Help button.