FX Draw has always provided a rich set of tools designed specifically for mathematics teachers. Now we are giving you the world!
The February 1 release of FX Draw includes a new Earth geometry tool that allows you to quickly create diagrams showing distances between locations using either great-circles or travel on lines of longitude and latitude. You can even animate your diagram in real time to demonstrate the mathematics involved.
A database of over 13000 locations is provided which you can search by name, latitude or longitude. This allows you to quickly create questions to suit the needs of your students.
We have created a short video to show the tool in action. You can view the video here.
We have released a new version of FX Equation that greatly improves its usability.
The new vertical mode splits your screen vertically instead of the traditional horizontal split. This makes it much easier to manage long solutions.
If you don’t like the new view, you can always switch back to the old style by pushing the horizontal style button (see above).
We have also added line highlighting which shows you the line currently being edited. Combined with greatly improved side-by-side scrolling, it is now much easier to create long equations without getting “lost”.
We have added Pareto graphs to both FX Stat and FX Draw to support the NSW (Australian) curriculum. If you use Pareto graphs in your teaching, make sure that you download the latest release of FX Draw Tools.
Recently we began receiving reports that Word files using graphics from our products, being created on Mac computers, were becoming outrageously large. For example, a file which would be about 300kB when created on a Windows version of Word was about 40MB on a Mac.
Our investigations indicate that Microsoft has made a change to the Mac version of Word which causes it to internally save graphics in the extremely inefficient TIFF format. On a Windows machine, Word saves the exact same image in the highly efficient PNG format. This difference accounts for the huge file size discrepancy. This problem is nothing to do with Efofex products, any image placed on the clipboard will be treated in the same way. Our products just tend to highlight the problem (so we get the blame). We have NO idea why Microsoft has made this change.
While we have reported this strange behaviour to Microsoft, we are not expecting any action soon – Microsoft simply does not work that way. We anticipate that, at some stage in the future, Microsoft will reverse this change and file sizes will revert back to what they should be.
While we have no way of changing Microsoft’s software, we can help mitigate the problem. In the latest versions we have included a new beta feature which compresses docx Word files. We do this by opening up the file, finding all of the graphics stored as TIFF files and converting them to PNG files. This can often lead to file size reductions of up to 99% with no loss in image quality.
As this is a beta feature, we have made it non-destructive. If you use the compressor, you will see a new version of the file created in the same directory (Geometry Test.docx would become Geometry Test (compressed).docx.) Your original file is untouched and we implore you to check that the new file opens BEFORE deleting the original file.
The new feature is available on both the Mac and Windows versions of our products.
If you use the Efofex Word toolbars on Windows, we have made a change to the support we offer.
Up until the October 29 release, we have included support for using OLE on PowerPoint. This support added a layer of complexity to the OLE service and we have determined that providing this support was a large part of the issues that some users were experiencing with OLE. As very few people use OLE with PowerPoint (it is now a much better idea to use the new, Graphics ID system with PowerPoint) we have decided to remove the PowerPoint support for future releases.
If you use our toolbars in Word on your Windows machine, we recommend that you download the latest release. It is likely that your experience of OLE will be improved.
Today we have launched a rebranding of our FX MathPack and FX SciencePack subscription products. From today they will be known as FX Draw Tools and FX Science Tools.
Nothing Else Has Changed
The price has not changed.
The products included in the subscriptions have not changed.
The processes have not changed.
Only the names have changed.
Why have we made the change? Simply because the FX MathPack name was causing confusion and did not reflect the primacy of FX Draw as our main mathematical product. The new name makes it clear that the subscription is really for FX Draw and you get some bonus tools added in at no extra charge. FX SciencePack was renamed FX Science Tools for consistency.