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One of the core benefits of using PTC Mathcad for your engineering calculations has always been that you can type in and then read and review your calculations in natural math notation.

Equations you enter in PTC Mathcad Prime.

Once you grasp the fundamentals of how to use the spacebar to scope expressions, and how the cursor position dictates where and how an operator is applied to the scoped expression, you will be typing equations into PTC Mathcad as naturally as you would write them by hand.

When you look at an equation in PTC Mathcad, you can easily see which term is the numerator and which is the denominator, or what quantity is multiplied by the leading coefficient. The same cannot be said for formulas in spreadsheets, which is why many choose PTC Mathcad for their calculations rather than a spreadsheet software, like Microsoft Excel.

Verifying an equation in Excel demands a passion for keeping track of parentheses.

## A Problem with (and Solution for) Long Equations

But the truth is, if the equation is long enough, it can present problems in PTC Mathcad too. The equation below, for example, runs off the right side of the page into draft mode.

And equation runs off the page in PTC Mathcad.

The PTC Mathcad equation is certainly easier to comprehend than the same formula in Excel, but still presents a challenge. You can’t visualize your entire PTC Mathcad equation on a single page.

The good news is that in the PTC Mathcad Prime 4.0, released earlier this week, you can visualize your lengthy equations, in their entirety, on one page. We are introducing equation breaking to PTC Mathcad Prime 4.0. [PTC Mathcad 15 users, see the note below.]

Now, I can click any of the 4 supported operators and use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to toggle the equation break back and forth.

The long equation after equation breaking.

In this equation it makes sense to break the equation such that each piece of the logic has its own line. Not only is it easier to understand which expression gets applied based on the Boolean logic, but more importantly I can now see the entire variable definition on a single page.

## Compare and Decide

To be fair, Excel also allows you to line break formulas (ATL+ENTER). I can break the formula at the same place as I did the PTC Mathcad formula. I will let you judge its readability compared to its PTC Mathcad counterpart.

This ability to break equations at the 4 major operators adds yet another level of functionality in PTC Mathcad that strengthens one of the core benefits you receive by using PTC Mathcad. PTC Mathcad encourages you to show, solve, and secure your engineering calculations. Equation breaking allows you to show your equations exactly how you want to, within the space you have.