Collapsible Areas: A Mathcad Prime 2.0 Feature We DON’T Want to Conceal!




In the past few weeks, I have written about a number of new and updated features that will be available in Mathcad Prime 2.0. I have covered topics like the Excel Component, 3D plots, Symbolic calculation, and performance. This post is all about Mathcad Prime 2.0’s Collapsible Area feature. I will discuss what Areas are, how they can be used, and how you can interact with them.

When working with large analyses, engineering calculations can expand for many pages. Engineers often focus on one part of a calculation at a time, while still leveraging prior computations. Collapsible Areas allow you to manage content better by collapsing (hiding) details that are not essential at the moment, thus improving productivity and quality.

Collapsible Areas help you to hide complex math, whether it be for organizational purposes or for presentations in which you don’t want to show all of the detailed math used to find your solutions.

Collapsible Areas are sections of a worksheet that you are able to put plots, definitions, or even complex programs into. Areas act as a container that keeps everything together and are a great way of organizing content within a worksheet. If you need to add content above them, you can easily drag an Area and all its content further down the worksheet to allow for more space. When you shift a Collapsible Area down, it also moves all of the calculations below it, retaining the formatting you’ve already done.

To insert an area into your worksheet, you simply press “ctrl”, “shift”, and “a”. An area appears in your worksheet, as pictured below:

 

You can also go into the “Document” tab of the Ribbon and select “Area” at the far left of the ribbon:

 

Collapsible Areas get their name, because you can collapse the content within them and “hide” it from view. You do this by pressing the minus sign on the left. You can always reopen the area to view and share the hidden content by pressing the plus sign that appears when the area is collapsed. Below is an example of what the open and closed Collapsed Areas look like together.

Note the plus and minus signs indicating whether an Area is open or closed. You can create labels to mark the Areas or simply leave them blank. You can always see if there is a Collapsed Area in a worksheet by the prominent horizontal line and the plus sign that appears on the left-hand side of the worksheet.

 

Another feature of Collapsible Areas is that you can copy and paste the area and its content both when the area is collapsed or expanded, into different sections of the same worksheet, or in a new worksheet altogether. You can also choose to print with or without the Areas. Collapsed Areas appear as gray lines.