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Books for Mathcad?

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Newbie

Books for Mathcad?

Can anyone recommend a good introductory text book for mathcad (I've got Mathcad15). I need something that covers the math operations, with plenty of fully explained examples (with keystrokes etc)? I use Mathcad as a math person (not an engineer). Many thanks. Peter Kirby.

17 REPLIES 17
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Re: Books for Mathcad?

If you are new to Mathcad I would suggest looking through the help menus. There are loads of different examples, tips....ect.

Your are at the right place if you want to learn Mathcad. If your stuck, search through the forum or create a discussion with your question.

Mike

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Re: Books for Mathcad?

I have attached a few documents/worksheets which might help.

Even if your not ready to look at programming yet, the document might help with the Mathcad terminology.

Mike

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Re: Books for Mathcad?

You should try and get a copy of the Version 11 user manual, which was a proper book. It is also available as a pdf. You may need to search the web for a copy of it.

Also books.google.co.uk/books?isbn=0750667028

Engineering with Mathcad: using Mathcad to create and organize ...

Philip
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Re: Books for Mathcad?

Hi Peter,

ProE user myself and looking to try out Mathcad at some future stage but I did get our boss to buy the Tristar Quick Reference Guide for Mathcad. I had this bought at the same time as some ProE WF5 Quick Reference Guides. All the quides are spiral bound and mostly deal with one topic per page.

Anyhow looking through the Mathcad QRG seems to show a consistent approach to presenting information as it does for ProE. The book is about using the tool rather than showing you how to be a maths whizz. Worth a look on line to see what you think.

And no I do not have any financial interest in Tristar other than buying some QRGs from them.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Brent

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Re: Books for Mathcad?

Thanks Brent and everyone else. I think this will put me on the right track. Regds, Peter.

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Re: Books for Mathcad?

peter kirby wrote:


...I use Mathcad as a math person (not an engineer)...

Sorry, but it will be better use for "a Math person" not Mathcad but Maple or Mathematica software

But "a Math person" can use Mathcad too. See for example my Math animations

We have in Russia very interesting and useful forum (PlanetPTC PlanetWolfram PlanetMathWorks PlanetWaterlooMaple) where Mathcad, Maple, Mathematica, Matlab live together - see http://forum.exponenta.ru. A visitor of this can get an answer by using an appropriate software

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Re: Books for Mathcad?

what is the best book to use to find different techniques for using mathcad to solve algebra & trig. 

problems? Would like to use the programming features to do multiple problems of the same type.

 

I am retired structural/civil eng and just found out about mathcad. Using it to help my daughters in college

but I really enjoy learning & using new programs. I am an old fortran IV programmer.

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Re: Books for Mathcad?

Mathcad is not a programming language, don't think of it like FORTRAN.

 

Think of Mathcad like the old "paper and pencil" way--You write out the equation, but the tablet does the actual math (no calculator or slide rule required!)

 

Unfortunately, Mathcad is currently in a state of flux:  PTC bought Mathcad, intending to make it a module that attached to their 3D modeling software,  They were surprised at the number of us who use Mathcad as a mathematical "design tool," to tabulate engineering calculations.  How, or whether, Mathcad will survive this transition as a "stand alone" program is still being hotly debated.  The new versions (Prime) are still not as powerful as the last "old" version, 15, although Prime version 4.0 was just released.  A short perusal of this forum will illustrate the general dis-satisfaction with the current state of affairs; a number of long-time power users are planning or contemplating abandoning Mathcad.

 

There is a "free" alternative youy might want to try, SMath.  And I'm sure you can find others.  SMath is web based, and has a lot of the features of Mathcad (and more and more ex Mathcad users.)

 

I've used Mathcad for close to thirty years; it's a great program for those of us who think in basic equations,

F = m a    will actually work, Mathcad tracks and converts units, so 5 slugs times g (9.8 m/s^2, built-in constant) will give you a value in units of force.

 

Welcome to Mathcad.  (For solving multiple problems of the same type investigate functions!)

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Re: Books for Mathcad?

For a retiree, Mathematica is relatively cheap, and it's very powerful: https://www.wolfram.com/mathematica/pricing/home-hobby-individuals.php.

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Re: Books for Mathcad?

I think the constant criticism prime gets vs V15 is completely exaggerated. I am a long terM user of mathcad since 1997. I developed my own electronic handbooks and programs up to V15 and now have transitioned to Prime 4.

I much prefer using prime now on a daily basis. I agree some functions and uses need to be brought to prime.

Everyday use of prime for me is a pleasure and I prefer it to 15. I like the simplicity of the tool bar, the multi threading ability, and general GUI.

Engineers are Nealry always reluctant to change and use new software.


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Re: Books for Mathcad?

It's refreshing to hear that someone prefers Prime!

 

I use both; I have many years of analysis in Mathcad documents, and a group of "new" engineers who have decided that they will learn Prime and not bother with learning the old editor.  My biggest frustration happens when one of the old files gets translated into Prime aand I have to sort thru ten pages to determine why it doesn't calculate and how to fix it.  (Did you know that Mathcad 15 will still open and execute a sheet built in Mathcad on a Macintosh computer?)

 

I'm also frustrated when I can't save a Prime file back one version to pass to someone else who doesn't have the same version as I, or when someone with a newer version than mine sends me a ten page pdf or xls file because he can't save back to my version.

 

I'm glad you like multi-threading; I want the calculation to work and provide the answer and don't (apparently) do enough calculations that require multi-threading to know whether it's in use or not.  (A version 15 file and a Prime file usually calculate just about the same, I don't time things as a rule.

 

I spent a fair amount of time learning the keystroke shortcuts in 15, haven't got that far in Prime yet, but searching thru the GUI to find a function is still a frustration. I think the last major editor shift was from version 7, and I remember a similar level of frustration.

 

My biggest gripe with Prime is that it's missing things I was used to:

  • The ability to reset a zero tolerance
  • Titles and legends on graphs (bad as they were, they were there.)
  • Grid lines on graphs.   (I mean, really?)

I'm glad you prefere Prime!  I'm also glad that soon I won't have to worry about this!

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I agree the legacy issue is a real pain and definitely worse in mathcad vs other programs like word or excel. This is exasperated when we have significant ip tied up in mathcad functions and sheets. I agree if it is not possible to open a legacy prime sheet that is unacceptable and ptc need to resolve this.

I converted all my old v15 sheets to prime using the converter. It could be worse but at least if we dedicate time it can be done. A script to batch process this should be provided by ptc.

We all have to move on. Prime is fundamentally a completely new engine, based on the latest .Net framework and will only get more and more powerful. Multi threading for instance which can't be done in V15. Personally, I think it's best to adopt new technology and put up with teething issues. I use REVIT also - we hate some of the things it does but accept eventually it's going to get there.

I think the graph items you dislike are not really important. I agreee it's not acceptable you cannot open prior versions of prime in a newer version. But not being able to open a newer version of prime on an older is the norm and has been for any software, per autodesk other vendors.

Prime 4 really is a **bleep** good product and is a total new engine toV15
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@tslewis wrote:
I converted all my old v15 sheets to prime using the converter. It could be worse but at least if we dedicate time it can be done. A script to batch process this should be provided by ptc.

Valid point.  But when the ip is spread across multiple servers (different password protected different servers) that becomes challenging and time consuming.  And what about that one file, on that old CD backup, in the back of the bottom drawer in your desk?

 


@tslewis wrote:
I think the graph items you dislike are not really important 

Much of the use of calculation is to present results; "the bridge won't fail", "the part broke because. . .", "this new process. . ."    Results are usually presented in either documents or published in journals.  Formatting and legibility requirements for these venues cannot be met by version 15; Prime is far worse.  So, we/you can use Prime to calculate a result.  How do you create the graph?  Long ago (remember typewriters?) engineering companies employed graphic artists to make presentation quality graphs--the engineer would make a graph (remember graph paper?) and pass it to the artist who would recreate it in presentation form.  Prime was advertised (early on) as a presentation level improvement; never mind that it couldn't make tables of contents, references, footnotes etc. (see Richard's lament over sub- and super-scripts.)  No, graphs aren't really important!

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@tslewis wrote:
I agree the legacy issue is a real pain and definitely worse in mathcad vs other programs like word or excel. This is exasperated when we have significant ip tied up in mathcad functions and sheets. I agree if it is not possible to open a legacy prime sheet that is unacceptable and ptc need to resolve this.

But not being able to open a newer version of prime on an older is the norm and has been for any software, per autodesk other vendors.

You misunderstand. Any version of Prime can open a worksheet created in an earlier version of Prime, and can convert worksheets from Mathcad 15 and earlier (they may only work after some hand fixes, or they may not work at all, but they can be converted). However, you cannot save to a file format that is compatible with an earlier version of Prime. So if you have Prime 4, and someone else has Prime 3, it is impossible for you to share a worksheet with them. There is other software for which that is also true (e.g. Creo, Solidworks), but it is certainly not the norm.

 


@tslewis wrote:
I converted all my old v15 sheets to prime using the converter. It could be worse but at least if we dedicate time it can be done. A script to batch process this should be provided by ptc.

The converter can take as many files as you want in one go, so I'm not sure what you are asking for that is not already provided. Depending on what is in the worksheet, some of them may need to be fixed up by hand afterwards, and some may be unfixable, but you can leave the converter to run overnight if necessary, on thousands of files.

 


@tslewis wrote:
We all have to move on. Prime is fundamentally a completely new engine, based on the latest .Net framework and will only get more and more powerful. Multi threading for instance which can't be done in V15. Personally, I think it's best to adopt new technology and put up with teething issues. I use REVIT also - we hate some of the things it does but accept eventually it's going to get there.

I agree, we all have to move on. But not necessarily to Mathcad Prime. I am now looking at the much larger learning curve of moving to Mathematica or Maple, because I do not believe that "eventually it's going to get there". At least, not in my lifetime. PTC has been working on the development of Prime for almost a decade now (seriously!), and it's still got really basic limitations. Granted it has some features that Mathcad 15 does not, although multi-threading is not as important to me as, for example, mixed units in matrices. For me, those advantages just don't overcome the serious limitations though.

 

Something that you may want to know, regarding continuing access to your own IP, is that starting next year PTC is moving to a subscription only model. So if you are looking to get new capability in Prime 5.0 and beyond, be aware that any IP you create in that software will only be accessible if you keep paying PTC, every year.

 


@tslewis wrote:
I think the graph items you dislike are not really important.

We all have different needs, and if the missing features are not important to you, then Prime will work for you, and may indeed be your best option. The gripes about Prime come from those people for whom the missing features are a problem, and for them Prime is not a viable option. Contributors to these forums, like any other technical forum, tend to be power users that use almost every feature in the software, so when those features were stripped from the software there has been a vocal backlash. And, indeed, a desertion. Many such users are long gone, and will never come back. PTC knows this, but they don't really care about our opinion. We are a minority, and we will just move on to other software packages that meet our needs. PTC will happily slam the door behind us, because we will no longer be on the forums complaining.

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Re: Books for Mathcad?

Most people don't like to switch to new software, for the very good reason that there's usually a learning curve. That's really a non-issue for Prime though, because the learning curve from Mathcad 15 is miniscule. I don't believe that anyone is sticking with Mathcad 15 just because they don't like to switch software.

 

People don't like Prime for two reasons: the interface, and the large number of missing or inadequate features.

 

I'm glad you like the interface, but I don't. In Mathcad 15 inserting an operator is one click. Inserting a graph is one click. To insert text I just start typing. In Prime it's two clicks, or three if I'm not on the right tab, to insert an operator or a graph. If I want to insert some text I have to click on the math tab, then click to insert a text box, and then I have to click on the text formatting tab to format it. It's a time wasting interface.

 

Which brings me to the missing features problem. Sure, you can click on the text formatting tab, but if what you want is a superscript or a subscript, all you can do is stare forlornly at the screen, and wish. It's a WSIWYG math package, and we still don't have superscripts and subscripts in text! For anyone doing image work, there's no picture viewer (yes, I have used Mathcad for this). The 2D graphs are poor, but the 3D graphs are so poor they are all but unusable! There's no controls or scripted components available (which I also have used a lot). And the list goes on (it's a long list!). A good number of my worksheets could not be written in Prime. There is simply no way to do what I need. And then of course, since you brought it up, there's no handbooks. Handbooks are useful, because they are much more than just a collection of functions. The dead, static, help in Prime is no substitute, even when PTC bothered to move the information from a handbook to the help.

 

So, in summary, I don't think the criticism Prime gets is exaggerated at all. I think it's entirely justified. If you don't mind hunting and pecking through the ribbon interface, and you don't use the missing features (and you evidently don't, or you would not find using Prime a pleasure) that's fine for you, but it's a show stopper for others, including me.

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Re: Books for Mathcad?

Just to add, in today's age, software is never going to stay still, we all have to continuously learn unfortunately. We adapt or become irrelevant
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