By now, hopefully you know about the free download of PTC Mathcad Express, a license-free version of PTC Mathcad Prime. And you probably know that it includes the fully functional PTC Mathcad Prime for 30 days.
However, there’s something you might not realize. PTC has just released PTC Mathcad Prime 4.0, which means the software now includes a new set of functionality that better enables you to show, solve, and secure your work. And that means that everybody gets another shot at a 30-day trial. That’s right: even if you’ve downloaded earlier trials, you can try PTC Mathcad Prime 4.0 free for 30 days.
That being said, 30 days is really not all that much time, especially if you are new to PTC Mathcad and are just trying to take your first steps toward using the software.
So it’s important that you take advantage of those 30 days and make sure to try out the premium functionality before the sands of time blow them away. To help you do just that, I’ve come up with a checklist of the 4 pieces of PTC Mathcad functionality that you need to make sure to check out before the clock runs out.
If you’re relatively new to PTC Mathcad, you might not think to use Collapsible Area in your first 30 days. These areas can hold chunks of calculations or text or constants or function definitions or whatever, and then can be collapsed to tuck it away from view.
That’s available in PTC Mathcad Express after the trial. But what is only available with a license, and what is also a new feature with PTC Mathcad Prime 4.0, is the ability to protect those areas, so that what’s inside those Areas cannot be edited or manipulated in any way.
It might not be the first features you think about when you download the PTC Mathcad Prime 4.0 trail, but make sure to try Area Protection features while you can.
Just right click within the area and select Protect Area. Moreover, you can lock the display state of that area to prevent others from viewing the contents. This is great for collaboration and sharing—keeping important calculations from being modified or seen by those who don’t need to see them.
Let’s be honest: during the first 30 days, you’re probably more focused on hammering out some calculations than you are on collaboration. And yet, we recommend you give collaboration due thought as well. You can learn more about area protection here.
Obviously, your calculations are not always just plug-and-chug. Often, you’ve got to do some solving of some sort. Whether you’re looking for a solution to a system of equations, maximizing/minimizing a complicated function according to a set of constraints, or solving a system of Ordinary Differential Equations, the Solve Block feature uses incredibly powerful solvers that will save you time, frustration, and errors.
Solve blocks are a PTC Mathcad construct that lets you solve any number of equations and unknown variables.
To get started with solve blocks, read the PTC Help Center for Mathcad.
Okay, I know that’s not very specific, but here’s what you need to know: About half of the hundreds of built-in functions in PTC Mathcad are only available with a license. So after 30 days are up, you won’t have access to the Data Analysis, Signal Processing, Statistics, or Curve Fitting functions (to name a few).. Just click the links above to find out more about each of these capabilities in the PTC Help Center.
Before you throw your hands up and say, “I’m not a programmer!” just hear me out. We call it programming, but really it’s a set of logical statements that help you add a ton of flexibility and power to your calculations. These Programming operators allow you to set conditions (if/then statements) to your equations, such that a different calculation will occur depending on the given situation. They also enable you to iterate through calculations using While and For loops. And, in keeping with the modus operandi of PTC Mathcad, it’s very intuitive to both construct and read.
The Programming functionality in PTC Mathcad is one of my favorite features and, in my opinion, one of the most powerful capabilities to go away once the trial is over.
Now, you should know that the above capabilities are not even close to an exhaustive list of what you’ll miss from fully licensed PTC Mathcad, so be sure to take a look at all that PTC Mathcad has to offer during your 30-day trial. This article by Tim Bond is a great starting point.
Do you feel like I’ve overlooked something? Leave me a comment below if you think there are other PTC Mathcad capabilities that should have made the list. And if you haven’t checked out PTC Mathcad Prime 4.0 yet, see what’s new and get your copy today.