Version alpha (April 6, 2000)

-- FREE ActiveX Control for MathLink--

What is ActiveML?

ActiveML is a free ActiveX control for MathLink, which can connect to a Mathematica kernel, make the kernel evaluate a string, obtain its result from the kernel, and disconnect the link to the kernel. If a graphic command is invoked, its result can be displayed on the control.

Since it uses ActiveX technology, you can use ActiveML with Internet Explorer, Visual Basic, Excel, PowerPoint, Windows Scripting Host, and many other Windows programs.

ActiveML can be used only in Windows 95/98/NT/2000.

Changes from the Previous Version

Properties, Methods, and Event

The properties, methods and event of ActiveML are listed below:

Property List

Obsolete properties are also listed and clearly stated as (Obsolete).  New properties are marked as (New).



Appearance (New) The appearance of the control's border: Flat when it is false; 3-D when true 
AutoSize (New) When true, the control is automatically resized to display its entire contents.
BackColor (New) Background color
BackStyle (New) Background style


(Obsolete) Use BackColor instead

BorderColor (New) Border color
BorderStyle (New) Border style
BorderVisible (New) When true, the control's border is displayed. 
BorderWidth (New) The width of the control's border


If true, the control is connected to the kernel.


(Obsolete) Use ForeColor instead


If true, the evaluation result is also displayed on the control; if false, it is not.

Enabled (New) When false, the control is disabled
Font (New) Specify font of the control. It is valid when DisplayTextQ is true 
ForeColor (New) Foreground color of the font on the control




Initial string to be evaluated when a Mathematica kernel is loaded and connected

Default string is as follows:

$Display := OpenTemporary[];
$DisplayFunction = (Module[{tmpstream = $Display, tmpfile}, tmpfile = tmpstream[[1]]; Close[tmpstream]; Display[tmpfile, #1, "Metafile"]; LinkWrite[$ParentLink, DisplayEndPacket[tmpfile]]]; #1)&;
SetOptions[ "stdout", PageWidth->65];
Format[LineBreak[_]]:= "";
Format[Continuation[_]]:= " ";SetAttributes[MessagePacket, HoldFirst];$CharacterEncoding ="Unicode";




Input string to be evaluated by the kernel


Message string from the kernel


Output string or evaluation result


Path to the kernel

Default string is as follows:

-linklaunch -linkname '\Program Files\Wolfram Research\Mathematica\3.0\MathKernel'


If true, an image is stretched to the size of the control; if false, it is not.





Method List

There is no change in the method names.




Connect to the kernel


Disconnect the link


Evaluate an input string in MathIn and get a result in MathOut


Stop an evaluation process

Event List

The following event did not exist in the previous version, so it is marked as (New).



MouseClicked(x, y)

(New) The event when the mouse left button is clicked. this event is fired and returns the horizontal and vertical position of the mouse, x and y

Test Environment

ActiveML was tested with Mathematica under Windows 98/2000 Professional Japanese version, and has been working all right with Visual Basic 6.0, Internet Explorer 4/5, Excel, PowerPoint, and Windows Scripting Host.

How to get and install ActiveML

ActiveML is FREE! Your comments are always welcome.

Getting ActiveML

Installation procedure

Uninstallation procedure


Sample: Using ActiveML with Internet Explorer

The first sample demonstrates how to use ActiveML with Internet Explorer 5.0.

First, type (or copy/paste) the following HTML source code and save it.

<TR ALIGN="center">
<TD VALIGN="center" BGCOLOR=#4040C0><FONT SIZE=5 COLOR=#FFFF00><I>ActiveML</I></FONT>

<BR><CENTER><INPUT TYPE="button" NAME="ConnectBtn" VALUE="Connect">
<INPUT TYPE="button" NAME="EvaluateBtn" VALUE="Evaluate">
<INPUT TYPE="button" NAME="DisconnectBtn" VALUE="Disconnect">
<INPUT TYPE="button" NAME="StopBtn" VALUE="Stop">

Sub Window_OnLoad() 'When the page is loaded
ActiveML.BackColor=&HF0F0F0 'Set the background color of the ActiveX control
ActiveML.Stretch=1 'Stretch images to the size of the control
ActiveML.Appearance=1 '3-D border style
ActiveML.DisplayTextQ=1 'Display the result on the control
ActiveML.MLParms="-linklaunch -linkname " & Chr(39) & "C:\Program Files\Mathematica\3.0\MathKernel.exe" & Chr(39) 'Set the Mathematica kernel pathname
End Sub

Sub ConnectBtn_OnClick() 'Connect to the Mathematica kernel
End Sub

Sub DisconnectBtn_OnClick() 'Disconnect the link to the Mathematica kernel
End Sub

Sub EvaluateBtn_OnClick() 'Evalution
If ActiveML.Connected Then 'If the control is connected to the kernel
ActiveML.MathIn=Input.Value 'Input is the input string. Copy it to MathIn.
ActiveML.Evaluate 'Invoke the evaluation command
Out.Value=ActiveML.MathOut 'Get the result in MathOut and copy it to Out.
Else 'If the control is not yet connected to the kernel
MsgBox "Not connected to Kernel yet.",0,"Connection error" 'Display the error message
End If
End Sub

Sub StopBtn_OnClick()
End Sub

<FONT SIZE=3 COLOR=#995599>Input:</FONT><BR>
<TEXTAREA NAME="Input" Rows=2 Cols=50></TEXTAREA><BR>
<FONT SIZE=3 COLOR=#995599>Output:</FONT><BR>
<TEXTAREA NAME="Out" Rows=3 Cols=50></TEXTAREA>


<OBJECT ID="ActiveML" WIDTH=350 HEIGHT=200 CLASSID="CLSID:AFAEAA62-054C-11D4-8A95-00400535F9E7"
<param name="Appearance" value="1">
<param name="AutoSize" value="0">
<param name="BackColor" value="16777215">
<param name="BackStyle" value="0">
<param name="BorderColor" value="0">
<param name="BorderStyle" value="0">
<param name="BorderVisible" value="1">
<param name="BorderWidth" value="1">
<param name="Enabled" value="-1">
<param name="Font" value="System">
<param name="Stretched" value="1">
<param name="ForeColor" value="0">



Execute the code or read it from Internet Explorer, and you get:

Press the [Connect] button and the control will be connected to the kernel. Type your command in the [Input] box. Press the [Evaluate] button, and you get its result in the [Output] box.


Images can be displayed on the control. If you invoke a Plot command, you get a graph on the control.

If the DisplayTextQ property is true (or 1; DisplayTextQ=1 in the source code above), evaluation results are displayed also on the control.

Add the following code (between "End Sub" and "-->", for example) and click the left mouse button on the control, and you will get the horizontal and vertical positions where the mouse button is clicked. The positions are measured in pixel from the top left corner.

Sub ActiveML_MouseClicked(x,y)
Out.Value="the horizontal position:" & x & Chr(13) &Chr(10) & " the vertical position:" & y
End Sub

By pressing [Disconnect], the link to the kernel is disconnected.

Sample: Using ActiveML with Windows Scripting Host

The second sample demonstrates how to use ActiveML with Windows Scripting Host (WSH). 

Note: Windows Scripting Host (WSH) is installed with Windows 98/2000.  In Windows 95, you have to install WSH from Microsoft Web site.

First, type (or copy/paste) the following source code and save it with ".vbs" file extension (for example, test.vbs).  Double-click the file in Explorer. After inputting an expression in an input box, you will get  the result in a message box.

Sub Compute()
Dim AMLobj
set AMLobj=CreateObject("ActiveML.AMLCtrl.1")
AMLobj.MLParms="-linklaunch -linkname " & Chr(39) & "C:\Program Files\Mathematica\3.0\MathKernel.exe" & Chr(39) 'Set the Mathematica kernel pathname
AMLobj.MathIn=InputBox("Input an expression")
MsgBox AMLobj.MathIn & " = " & Chr(10) & Chr(13) & AMLobj.MathOut
set AMLobj=Nothing
end sub


Double click the saved file and type "100!" in:

After pressing the [OK] button:

More Samples: Excel and PowerPoint

Known Bugs

The control cannot handle special characters and characters other than ASCII.

Microsoft Word cannot recognize  the "Evaluate" and "Stop" methods of the control name.

Contact Me

If you have comments or suggestions, please send e-mail to me.

If you have interesting ideas how ActiveML is used, please let me know by sending e-mail to me.


Visual Basic sample program “Mini FrontEnd” included in MathLink Developer’s Kits.

April 6, 2000  (c)Yuji Itaya