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Plot Formatting Enhancements

Plot Formatting Enhancements

Plot formatting is by far the weakest point in Mathcad 15.0.  It took years to get even the capabilities for movable legends, hidden axis variable, and titling and axis labeling.  Prime needs to follow suit and, to be really useful, go few steps beyond.  Look at any high school or college engineering requirements for an acceptable plot and you will see the following:

1) Descriptive Title

2) Axes Labels

3) Axes numbering (both with a sensible interval between ticks and a readable font)

4) A legend - and legends don't go on the axis!  (Let alone, on both!)  They can be to the right or above/below the plot frame, but modern publications expect them to be embedded somewhere on the plot.

It's been three versions of Prime and we're not even meeting the basic requirements of a 2D plot!  Presentation is everything!  You can solve the most complex mathematical problem known to man, but if you can't present it, you won't be able to get your point across.  Read any of the books by Edward Tufte on graphical presentation of data - THIS IS IMPORTANT!  Mathcad and Mathcad Prime must have the flexibility to present data in a meaningful way.  Of course, data can all be exported to another program and the plots can be made there, but this creates extra steps and does not allow Mathcad to be used to prepare a publishing quality document.

I suggest getting Prime 4.0 up to speed with Mathcad 15.0 and giving your useers a few tools (infinitely placable legends, font selection and sizing on titles, lables, and axis numbering, numberical format choices on axis numbering, etc.).  You will have VERY happy users.  I myself might even quit using Mathcad 15 altogether...maybe.  This is a "gotta have" on my list.  These features should also extend to other plot types.

7 Comments
Amethyst

I agree with all above.  Each time the limitations are pointed out, MathCAD provides instruction on how 2D plotting works.  I ten send them a MathCAD v15 2D plot.  Their response, now we understand.  The information never seems to get the programers on the importance of the feature.  I have been unable to use Prime 3 for this sole reason.  No more maintenance funding, unitl the feature has been added. 

Sapphire II

One other feature (that I've never seen mentioned,) the ability to create one or more graphs grouped together and displayed in a seperate window (savable as jpeg.)  My coworkers using MatLab create these files and drop them into presentations and reports in minutes; I'm left copying and "pasting special" one at a time.  And that's even with the comments noted above which would be a great first step anyway!

Good points made by all;  I would like to add it would be "nice" to have the ability to drive plot and axis titles directly from functions and variables defined elsewhere in the worksheet, for example, automatically populate the plot title with all or a portion of the file/variable/functions/name(s) that are being plotted.

Topaz II

Why not vote gentlemen?

Garnet

I'd be happy just creating a single plot and be able to manually create and format all the necessary parts of a technical plot.  Enhancements can move on from there.

Newbie

Is there a running list of Prime deficiencies so the development teams can know where they should be working?

Plotting is the worst feature of Prime.    Plot labels and titles produce usable plots in Mathcad 15,  In Prime there are no plot labels or titles.  The documentation says to use text boxes but the boxes aren't attached to plots. so if you resize or reposition a plot the text box doesn't move with it.

The Mathcad to Prime converter can't even convert Mathcad plot axes with units without intervention,

Many Mathcad worksheets converted to Prime don't fit on a page.  In Mathcad you can specify the margin widths numerically.  In Prime your' choices are narrow, normal or wide.

Prime has this annoying blue graph paper background and there's no option to turn it off.

Prime doesn't allow subscripts or superscripts in text regions.  Why not?  That would seem to be the easiest functionality to implement.  WordPad, TextPad and Excel all do.

In Mathcad work sheets are tiled horizontally and vertically and all can be printed.  In Prime the only way to even see sheets to the right is to be in draft view and there's no way to print them.

In Mathcad 15 I can call a Matlab function (say a Taylor or Chebychev window) and populate a Mathcad variable.  No such capability exists in Prime.

Converting a Mathcad 15 worksheet to Prime takes hours.  Most of the red conversion flags are related to font substitutions and plot units but unless you look at every one you can't be sure.

In Mathcad the trace capability gave an x & y readout of the data of a plot.  In Prime it reports the position of the cursor in the plot area with no relationship to the plot itself

Garnet

Craig,

This section of the forum is specifically for listing Product Ideas and voting up the ones you see that you agree with as priority items.  In concept, PTC can then make decisions on what to work on first.  In concept, because I fear that not a lot of users visit this forum, and if they do, they don't vote.

I'd post your items in this enhancement area as new enhancement ideas and let people vote on them.  But first, I'd make sure that these items aren't already posted.  Looking at your items in order:

  1. Plots - Already posted.  Being enhanced in 4.0.  Look at PTC's Mathcad Road Map presentation from User World.
  2. Converting plots - post it.
  3. Page Margin Flexibility - Posted.  Vote it up.
  4. Background Grid - You can turn the grid off in Prime 3.0 and 3.1 by going to the Document Menu Ribbon and toggling the Show Grid button.  You can also change the size of the grid between two different sizes.
  5. Text subscripts/superscripts - Posted.  Find it and vote it up.
  6. Vertical Only Tiling - You can post it, but this is by design.  It works like the "Print single page width" option in Mathcad 15.  It allows the pages to the right to be effectively hidden so that you can hide mundane calculations from your Page view and Printed worksheets.  However, Prime doesn't give you a choice like Mathcad 15 did.
  7. Call Matlab Functions? - I didn't even know you could do this.  Is this a basic capability of Mathcad 15?  Post it.
  8. Conversion Tedium - I agree.  You should be able to filter what types of conversion issues are displayed and which are ignored. Post it.
  9. Plot Trace - Not sure what you are referring to in Prime; Plot tracing is not implemented.  Each series in Prime is now called a "Trace".  This plotting enhancement for Prime may already be posted under one of the many Plot Enhancement requests.