Clearing up Unit Confusion with PTC Mathcad

Once again, PTC’s Mathcad software is approaching a very exciting time, with the much anticipated launch of Mathcad Prime 2.0. Mathcad is already the industry standard software for solving, documenting, sharing, and reusing vital engineering calculations, but now we are pleased to say that we have reached a new level, by combining the clean and easy to use interface and environment of Mathcad Prime, with more advanced functionality than any Mathcad product.

Highlighted here is just one of Mathcad Prime 2.0’s brand new features, the Excel component. Mathcad allows for a seamless and meaningful integration of Mathcad and Excel, and enables you to integrate an Excel spreadsheet within a Mathcad worksheet. You can watch the Excel Component Demo, below, created by Mark Walker and then read a discussion I conducted with Andrew McGough, a Senior Product Definition Engineer at PTC, to discuss this feature in detail. (Please note there is no sound on the demo, but text boxes at the bottom, to take you through the video.)

How is the Excel component in Mathcad Prime 2.0 unique?

“This is the first time an Excel component has been available in Mathcad Prime. Users really wanted this to be an added component to Mathcad Prime 2.0 so we made sure to incorporate it. I believe it is an upgrade from the Excel component in earlier versions, because the functionality has been cleaned up a lot, in part due to the re-designed user interface of Mathcad Prime.”

What do you see as the improvements for the Excel component?

“When I first began using the Excel component in Mathcad 15.0, I realized there was an opportunity to improve the UI when we added it to Mathcad Prime 2.0. In Mathcad 15, there are a lot of menu options and dialog boxes that you need to navigate through before you can begin to manipulate data and calculations. The representation of the Excel component in the Mathcad 15 worksheet isn’t very descriptive; you have to open more dialog boxes to understand the input and output properties. There’s nothing really in front of you.

In Mathcad Prime 2.0 we put all of the information in front of the user in the worksheet. Instead of hidden properties in dialog boxes, the inputs and outputs are now directly visible in collapsible Input and Output sections of the Excel component are displayed above and below the Excel data table itself. Input and output expressions are used to define the input and output data properties that reference cells of data and calculations in Excel using standard Excel syntax. The Excel component is also clearly visible in the task ribbon, so it’s easy to find and navigate to. And if you’re new to Mathcad Prime 2.0, you can simply hover over the properties for “Tool Tips” that teach you how to interact with the Excel component.”

Can you tell me about the integration between Mathcad Prime 2.0 and Excel and how it works?

“The Mathcad Prime 2.0 Excel component opens an external version of Excel where you can edit in an actual Excel worksheet, which then automatically updates the related Excel component in your Mathcad Prime 2.0 worksheet. It also uses the same syntax that Excel does so it’s easier to integrate the two. When you want to incorporate Excel calculations and data into your Prime worksheet you can either copy a range of cells from your Excel worksheet into your Excel component worksheet or simply edit the calculations and data directly.

It should be exciting for users to actually be able to see the data and properties that they’re manipulating. That’s what Mathcad is all about, making calculations easy to read and follow.”

Stay tuned to learn about more benefits of the Mathcad Prime 2.0 Excel Component.