5 Tips to Transition from Excel to PTC Mathcad

The vast majority of PTC Mathcad users, new and old, used Microsoft Excel prior to using PTC Mathcad for their engineering calculations. Users and companies that have gone through, are going through or are thinking of going through the transition could have tens or even hundreds of calculations built in Excel. In a perfect world those Excel spreadsheet would magically be turned into a professional looking PTC Mathcad worksheet with natural math notation, unit awareness, documentation, etc. While it may seem a daunting task, the light at the end of the tunnel is bright given all the benefits of having a PTC Mathcad worksheet instead of an Excel spreadsheet. To make the transition smoother here are some tips that will allow you to transition your prehistoric Excel spreadsheets into modern PTC Mathcad documents.

1. Utilize Range Variables

PTC Mathcad uses range variables to do a multitude of things. One of which is to define a range of values in which to evaluate a function (or functions) over. How many of you have done something like this before in excel? Type in cell A3 ‘0’, type in cell A4 ‘0.1’, highlight the two cells, grab the corner and drag down.

In a spreadsheet all values need to be evaluated on the screen in order to be referenced in another cell. PTC Mathcad works differently, the values do not need to be evaluated on the screen in order to be referenced in a calculation. This allows PTC Mathcad users to simply define a range and create functions that use the range as an argument. You can call the force or torque function at a given time like shown below or evaluate it across the entire range on a plot without needing to have all the values shown on the screen.

The value of using a range variable instead of dragging your values down column ‘A’ becomes even more valuable when you want to change the range you are evaluating over, or change the step of the range. In PTC Mathcad you simply change a number to update the range. Good luck changing the step size from 0.01 to 0.001 on a range that goes from 0 to 100 in Excel. So for scenarios like this, be aware you do not need to manually create and evaluate all the numbers in PTC Mathcad.

2. Transitioning to a units aware engine