Mathcad provides unbeatable functionality for various groups of people - whether it be engineers, data scientists, mathematicians, or business people. No matter your discipline, there's something for everyone. Here are four features that everyone should master to maximize their productivity and efficiency.

Reading Files

A majority of us work on teams that require a lot of collaboration with various departments, suppliers, and customers. Because of this, we have to exchange data with them. Microsoft Excel is the standard for spreadsheets, but you might also receive data in comma-separated values (CSV) or text files. With Mathcad, you can import these formats and more, using both built-in functions and dialog boxes to help you. Also, you can create Excel components directly in a worksheet with configurable inputs and outputs.

To get started: Navigate to the Input/Output tab. Then choose from the icons in the Data Import/Export group. Also explore Functions > Reading and Writing Files in PTC Mathcad Help

Matrix and Vector Operations

After you input an Excel, CSV, or text file, you often need to process its data. This involves manipulating the cells using operators and functions. Vector and matrix operators enable you to extract columns, rows, and individual elements from the imported data.

Mathcad includes over 50 standard functions for identifying the minimum/maximum values, extracting submatrices, finding matching values, and looking up values. Of course, you also have standard matrix math like cross products, determinants, and eigenvalues. You can even create new matrices from existing vectors and matrices.

To get started: Navigate to the Matrices/Tables tab and choose from the Vector/Matrix Operators and Vector/Matrix Functions icons. Or, explore Vector, Matrices, and Tables and Functions > Vector and Matrix Array Characteristics > About Array Characteristics Functions in PTC Mathcad Help.

User-Defined Functions and Programs

Mathcad is equipped with over 400 built-in functions: such as the aforementioned vector and matrix functions. Some other powerful groups of functions in Mathcad include areas like statistics, differential equations, data analysis - but these aren’t enough. Many people need the ability to create their own user-defined functions for their applications, forming complex expressions involving constants, variables, pre-defined functions, and mathematical expressions including calculus. User-defined functions enable you to specify inputs. These can be numbers, text, variables, and matrices – and then perform these calculations on the values you send to the function.

Programs take user-defined functions to the next level by incorporating loops and conditionals. Loops like traditional computer programming for and while constructs allow you to repeat actions multiple times. Conditionals allow you to decide which actions are taken based on whether something is thought to be true or false. These capabilities augment your engineering calculations with an additional level of intelligence and control.

To get started: In PTC Mathcad Help, explore Tutorials > Task 3-4: Defining and Evaluating Functions and Custom Functions

Plotting and Graphing

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Human nature makes us want to absorb information as quickly as we can; skipping past equations, hard data, and text explanations in order to get right to the answer. It doesn’t matter how good your data and equations are if you can’t convey the correct conclusions to your stakeholders and audience. This is why plotting and graphing are such important skills to master.

The standard plotting functions enable you to create 2D X-Y plots, contour plots, and 3D plots. These plots can contain multiple traces of different data sources and you can control colors, axes, and tick marks to format your results.

The Chart Component introduced in Mathcad Prime 5.0 enables you to create full featured, richly formatted 2D plots. It also provides an option for a secondary y-axis, which has its own scale, configuration options, and formatting options. Plots created with the Chart Component can be completed with titles, legends, axis labels, grid-lines, and borders, each with its own formatting, so they're ready for publication in reports, articles, and web pages.


Learn more about Mathcad here.