Math and Text formatting in PTC Mathcad Prime 3.1 part 1

PTC Mathcad Prime is built upon a long product history which has been creating customer facing, aesthetically pleasing documents for over 30 years. The ability to mix free body diagrams and bitmap graphics with text, graphs and live math in natural math notation is appealing to many engineers for many different reasons. These reasons are mostly derivatives of the fact that PTC Mathcad generates a human readable document.

Let’s look at the feature set of PTC Mathcad Prime as it pertains to documentation. I’ll break this down into two buckets…math and text. This week’s post will cover math formatting.

Math formatting

On the Math formatting tab you’ll find most of the options for controlling the presentation of your math content.

The first thing to notice is the font face selection is PTC Mathcad UniMath Prime. PTC Mathcad Prime comes with two fonts which are installed when the product is installed. You can select any font for your math variable. Much like text fonts, you can select a default font for the entire worksheet and still overwrite individual math regions with another font, so a global font and a local font or fonts.

PTC Mathcad Prime does not have the issue earlier versions of PTC Mathcad had in that a variable definition can have one font selected for a region and reference that variable in another region with a completely different font and the result of that variable can have yet another font in a third region. PTC Mathcad Prime does not see them as different variables.

The font options should be fairly familiar since PTC Mathcad Prime is a .NET application and it uses font UI controls much like other .NET applications (MS Office) including: font face, font size, font color, font background color. In addition you have control of the number’s presentation: General, Decimal, Scientific and Percentage. You can also control the number of decimal places to the right of the decimal point and select a variety of displays for complex numbers (I, j, polar-rad, polar-deg)

PTC Mathcad Prime also lets you override the default font settings for variables, units, constants, functions, system and keywords. By default units are blue:

You might want to change that

BTW, control-z, undo, works on font selections as well.

PTC Mathcad Prime has consolidated most of the math symbols and operators onto the Operators and Symbols group on the Math tab. You’ll find the degrees operators, currency symbols and math constants.

Other blogs have been written about PTC Mathcad Prime’s unicode ability and how this can be used to add math symbols. I’ll repeat my favorite unicode trick… the plus minus symbol, can be added via the character map. In the character map UI, with the PTC Mathcad UniMath Prime font selected, type plus minus in the bottom search text box and click select, then copy. This will add the unicode character to the clipboard. Now in Mathcad Prime, type a double quote, and in between the 2 double quotes pace your cursor and hit control-v to past the unicode character.

Now place your cursor to the right of the left double quote and backspace. You now have a math region with plus minus. You can do this with vector symbols or really any symbols, smiley face included.

I want to use this opportunity to plug a related feature coming in PTC Mathcad Prime 4.0, equation wrapping. In PTC Mathcad Prime 4.0 we’ll be reintroducing equation wrapping, though on a larger scale than in MC15.0. In the legacy product you can only wrap equations by inserting a special addition operator that extends the equation to the next line down. In PTC Mathcad Prime 4.0 you’ll be able to wrap existing equations on addition, subtraction, multiplication and inline division operators as well as naturally break equations at those operators as you write them. Formatting a long equation in your worksheet will become a whole lot easier (and nicer to look at).

Check out part two of this blog which focuses on text formatting.

Try it out for free in PTC Mathcad Express.