Mathcad Prime 7.0 was released in March of 2021. I wanted to highlight some of the new features and experiences of both our customers and myself of using the updated software.
The Improvements are as follows:
- Easy conversion of legacy Mathcad worksheets to Prime 7.0, without the need to install the legacy version of the application
- Control calculations with drop-down menus for variable definitions
- Directly save worksheets in PDF format
- Usability and functionality improvements
- Comprehensive help guide for Mathcad API
- Symbolic engine enhancements
Prime 7 converter:
With all previous versions of Mathcad Prime, you had to also have Mathcad 15 installed in order to convert sheets from Mathcad 15 format (XMCD) to Prime format (MCDX). The introduction of this feature certainly simplies the process. One customer has told me “P7’s document conversion process is a lot more reliable than previous Prime versions and makes a much better job of preserving the original layout”. A video on how to use the Converter can be found here.
From a technical standpoint when installing Prime 7.0, opt-in to install the converter by clicking the tick box highlighted below:
The Combo-input box is one the most noticable additions to Prime 7.0. If you are familar with the radio button from Mathcad 15, this is what those inputs will be converted to in Prime 7.0. The combo box essentially allows you to select pre-definied variables and variable values from a dropdown within mathcad. So if you want to use the same sheet of calculations but for a variety of materials or range of values, you can have all of these in a dropdown list
Save to PDF:
There’s the ability to save a worksheet straight to PDF, previously customers would have had to print to PDF. One of our customer really emphasised how much time this saves.
Stability and Functionality Improvements:
On the subject of usability, one of our customers reported “a massive improvement in the ability to edit a worksheet”, citing that “you now remain on the same part of the page when changing scaling and when switching between draft and document views.” and that “Despite being faced with some complex worksheets over 100 A3 pages long – it was very stable and never crashed on me”. In terms of performance enhancements, some examples of this include the improvement of the speed of the Solve function and expanding Series to support binomial series. A full list can be found in the Mathcad Prime 7 help.
There’s now a comprehensive API guide which can be found in the Mathcad help. This is a method for Prime to communicate with other Windows applications which also includes applications that you can write yourself. The guide contains downloadable examples that can be compiled and run, as well as a list of commands that can be used in the API. The API guide can be found here. Please note you will need a PTC e-support account to view this.
The new symbolic engine was created by PTC and implemented in Mathcad Prime 6.0 so it is important to note that if you have been using Prime 6.0 already, you should not see much difference in Prime 7.0 with regards to symbolics. The reason behind the implementation of this new symbolics engine is due to the expiration of a contract PTC had with a 3rd party that previously supplied the symbolic engine for Mathcad. For users currently any version prior to Prime 6.0, you may see a difference in the way answers display for your symbolic calculations are displayed in Prime 7.0. A positive of this move is that PTC can now update and enchance the symbolics in Prime in response to customer feedback. On the PTC website it says that ‘This release already contains over a dozen such user-identified improvements’. It is worth noting that these changes will only be noticed if you use symbolic calculations within Mathcad which only applies to some users. For more info on why this is happening can be found here. Mathcad 15 to Prime 6.0 end of sale is a topic for another article.
So what difference might you see? Below is an example sybolically solving a system of equations in Mathcad Prime 5.0:
Below is an example of symbolically solving a system of equations in Mathcad Prime 7.0:
As you can see it is just a difference in how the results are displayed. Both correct answers.
Finally, for more detail on any difference between prime versions this can be found in a document created by PTC here.
Special thanks to our customers for the detailed feedback we have received on Prime 7. Did you find this article useful? If you use Mathcad Prime 7 I am interested to hear your feedback/thoughts and experiences.