New Support For EmPower Students

Nearly 20 years ago we were told that FX Equation was the perfect mathematical tool for students who had trouble “writing” mathematics. The ability to just type, with minimal formatting, and have FX Equation automatically format it into readable equations and text is simply unmatched. The same features that make FX Equation the most efficient equation editor for mathematics teachers, makes it powerful for these students.

Since then, we have helped thousands of students who struggle to write mathematics. Students with conditions as diverse as cerebral palsy, quadrilpegia and dysgraphia have all benefited. We have even had a number of students going to higher level mathematics and engineering. Our free, EmPower program has been an outstanding success and is something we are very proud of.

Then came MultiDocs.

One of the main pillars of the MultiDocs system is the inclusion of an inline calculator which permits you to automate many of the calculations you need for solutions. This inclusion has proved problematic for examining bodies who need to ensure that any approved accommodation does not provide an unfair advantage to students. The inline calculator definitely provides such an advantage.

To address this, we have now added an “Exam Mode” to FX Equation which disables any problematic features. This will make it much easier for our EmPower students to gain approval from examining bodies.

You can find more information about our EmPower program, and the new Exam Mode, on our Empower page.

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MultiDocs Moves On In Leaps And Bounds

It has been a few months since we last wrote, but we have been busy! MultiDocs are moving on and are becoming simply the most efficient way to design and use mathematical materials.

If you are interested in creating MultiDocs, we recommend that you look at our Efofex Insiders newsletter where we announce some of the more esoteric additions to the capabilities. Recently we have added articles on new parameter types (which allow you to select from sets or divide numbers into random “buckets”), new calculator commands (which allow you to extract numerators and denominators or find the most common element) and a new display style (which allows you to show simplification of calculations).

If you want to turbocharge your productivity, MultiDocs are simply unmatched! Take a look at them today.

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MultiDocs Ready for Prime Time!

We have spent our summer break (we are based in the Southern Hemisphere) working hard to make the new MultiDocs systems ready for use by ALL of our customers. The capabilities of the system have been expanded while the usage for most teachers has been simplified. The Word toolbar, for example, now has two modes: Simple Mode, which allows any teacher to quickly load and regenerate an existing MultiDoc or build their own from our FX Library materials

Simple Mode Toolbar

and Expert Mode which gives you access to all the power of the MultiDocs system. This is ideal for anyone creating their own MultiDocs materials.

Expert Mode Toolbar

The more we have worked on the new system, the more convinced we are that MultiDocs represent a paradigm shift in how schools create and manage their mathematics assessments. The ability for ANY teacher (not just the “Efofex Guru”) to quickly load and regenerate a test or exam, getting a completely new version with fully-worked solutions (if created by the author) is truly game-changing.

If you haven’t had a look at the new system, please take the time to quickly peruse the MultiDocs website. It could dramatically improve your productivity.

Introduction to MultiDocs

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FX Library Moving To Modules

FX Library is a collection of pre-written MultiDocs materials that you can use as exemplars to create your own questions or directly in tests and exams. FX Library is your best source of regeneratable MultiDocs materials.

Up until recently, we have provided the materials as one question per file. Feedback from teachers has indicated that this is not as useful as a module of materials on the same content.

While we may still release individual questions as individual documents, the majority of our materials will be released as modules in the future.

A module is a collection of questions/materials on the same topic. The questions will range from simple to complex and should allow you to quickly create your own regeneratable materials. All questions come with fully worked solutions. Simply download a module and begin cutting and pasting into your own document.

Current modules in FX Library

Modules are like chapters of a book so they take longer to write. We will be working feverishly to increase the amount of materials available.

Soon, we will be looking for authors to help us produce a comprehensive library of materials for you to use. More details to come soon!

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Efofex Insiders For More Information!

We have been very busy over the last few months, adding significant new features to our products. Our Efofex Insiders newsletter details all of the finer details of the new options. This week we have already uploaded 5 new articles containing details on using parameters for bivariate data, grouped data, frequency tables and an number of other options.

If you want access to all of the technical changes to the software, our Efofex Insiders Newsletter is the place to be! We will continue to report on more general changes and development themes in our general newsletter.

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New Display Commands For FX Equation/Equation Tool

FX Equation has had the box command for many years. It allows you to create empty boxes or put boxes around various parts of your equation.

Cancelling Parts Of Your Equation

FX Equation has also had a “strike-through” system which tried to allow you to “cancel” various parts of an equation. This was always a difficult task programatically but the addition of parameters to our products has made it impossible.

In the latest versions, we have deprecated (still available but not recommended) the strikethough system and replaced it with explicit cancel and strike commands.

cancel(x2) will cancel using a diagonal line.
strike(x2) will cancel with a horizontal line.

For example, if I type…

(cancel((x-2))(x+2))/(strike(x-2))

FX Equation will produce the following.

The new system is far more reliable.

New Underlining Commands

As part of this upgrade we have also added two new underlining commands, ul() and dul(). These underline and double-underline components of your equation.

x2+ul(3x)-dul(4)

By selecting the dul or ul part of the command you can change the colour of the underline. Ideal for marking the “answer”.

ArcUnder Command

FX Equation has had an arc command for a number of years. This allows you to add an arc above a component of your equation. The latest releases add an arcunder command.

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Statistics on MultiDocs

We have been working feverishly on expanding the types of mathematics that can be regenerated using MultiDocs. Our recent efforts have added the ability to create most statistical graphs and perform most statistical calculations.

Visit FX Library and type Statistics in as the search term. This will provide you with a small selection of the new features available. So far we have uploaded a bivariate data question, a cumulative frequency question and a question involving stem & leaf plots.

Like all MultiDocs, our examples are regeneratable at the push of a button. Here’s a graph from the bivariate data question – three different versions of the question in seconds!

MultiDocs are the most exciting addition to Efofex since the release of FX Draw. If you haven’t investigated the power of the new system, we strongly recommend that you take a look!

MultiDocs – Powered by Efofex

As always, our Efofex Insider’s Newsletter will keep you up-to-date with the technical side of changes.

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Efofex Toolbars Return To PowerPoint

Our new MultiDocs system has allowed us to rebuild support for PowerPoint. The latest versions of our products can now insert toolbars into your copy of PowerPoint on both Windows AND Mac.

PowerPoint on Windows
PowerPoint on Mac

Even better, the new toolbars provide access to all of the MultiDoc features. You can create self-modifying mathematical PowerPoint presentations or just use our products more efficiently.

Adding the toolbars to PowerPoint is more complicated than Word. In the Help menu of any of our products, go to Manage Office Integration.

Extra Steps Required

This button will provide all of the details to get you started.

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MultiDocs/Parameters Grow In Power

The last few months have seen continued frenetic development in our MultiDocs system. The ability to create self-modifying mathematical documents (think one test with multiple versions at the push of a button) is the most powerful and exciting development from Efofex since FX Draw.

In recent weeks we have added new classes of parameters that allow you to create data sets and perform calculations on the sets. You could create some random data; draw a graph; calculate some summary statistics and write a comprehensive statistics question. Once complete, you push a button and get a totally new version of your question.

We have also release a selection of new videos to help you get your head around the new ideas. The nice thing about MultiDocs is that you use them to create your own documents; you can use MultiDocs written by others (see our FX Library) or just ignore them completely and keep using our products as you always have.

Take a look at our MultiDocs introductory materials now.

MultiDocs – Powered by Efofex

Full details of the powerful new features are available in our more technical, Efofex Insiders blog.

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Major New Parameters Command

The latest versions of FX Draw and FX Equation have added an IF command. This represents a major increase in the power of the parameters system and allows authors to create significantly more powerful MultiDocs.

An example If command might look like this…

{if($d=0,”Cannot divide by zero”,$n/$d)}

If you included this command in a question, the inline calculator will look:

  • Look at the value of the $d parameter
  • If $d is zero, the command will add the words “Cannot divide by zero” to your equation.
  • If $d is not zero, the command will divide the value of the $n parameter by $d and output the answer.

In addition to the new IF command, we have added a number of other Boolean commands that make it easy to write conditions for IF commands. These include:

  • And
  • Or
  • Xor
  • Nor
  • Not
  • IsEven
  • IsOdd
  • IsInteger
  • IsComposite
  • IsPrime
  • IsFactor
  • IsNatural
  • IsCube
  • IsSquare

The new IF command is available for use now but we anticipate that its power will allow us to add a variety of new features. Keep an eye out!

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