Mathcad Prime 3.0 is planned for release in the latter half of 2013, promising stronger documentation and presentation, and delivering capabilities that will help engineering teams achieve higher efficiency through standardization and re-use. I had the opportunity to sit down with Mark Walker, Director of Product Management, to discuss Mathcad Prime 3.0 – as well as take a look at an early development build of the software.
Walker and the Mathcad team have received a lot of feedback from early adopters of Mathcad Prime, and a common theme of requests called for better documentation and presentation. Here are a few feature-level updates that the Mathcad team is actively developing keeping in mind this theme:
- Templates: Templates help teams standardize both the presentation and content of design documentation. The ability to also manage shared templates ensures documentation compliance. It also ensures adherence to design guidelines across team members, by building design checklists and references that leverage the breadth of the available worksheet features, as well as the new ones planned for introduction in Mathcad Prime 3.0.
- Math-in-text: Improved by the new UI paradigms of the environment, this feature building off of past versions of Mathcad allows authors to create live math regions in-line with their textual presentations, offering a tight and readable flow to their reports when required.
- Superscripts/subscripts in text, Greek character support: This is complementary to the returned support of math-in-text. The reality is that such characters are not only required within the live math regions of a worksheet – they are also required within the textual descriptions that surround and describe them.
- Spellchecker: Mathcad Prime 3.0 is planned to include a spellchecker for all pertinent ship-to locales, including user-expected behaviors such as identifying misspellings as they are typed.
- Math-specific formatting and highlighting: Currently available for text regions only, the expansion of region formatting to math regions will allow customers’ entire documents to be fine-tuned to fit the page better, maintain consistency in presentation, and improve readability. This will help users to draw a reader’s attention to specific results of the worksheet.
- Text styles: Text styles allow forusers to quickly control the presentation of their worksheets in an ad-hoc fashion, but can also be combined with templates to become more prescriptive when generating certain types of reports or analyses.
- Improved ad-hoc copy/paste between other applications: It is a common practice for some engineering teams to collaborate by copying Mathcad content (e.g. plots) and pasting them into an email for transmission. Similarly, Microsoft PowerPoint is a common medium for conducting design reviews, and Microsoft Word remains a common final documentation format for extended teams. Mathcad Prime 3.0 will support the direct copying of content to be pasted into all of those mediums.
Walker assured me that they have been listening to the feedback from early adopters of Mathcad Prime 1.0 and 2.0, again aiming to focus on this strong documentation and presentation theme. While those plans comprise the primary part of the release plan, customers should expect two major integrations for Mathcad Prime 3.0 as well: an improved integration with Creo, and a newly introduced integration with Integrity.
Stay tuned for the next couple of days and check out my next blog post on Mathcad Prime 3.0 functionality features.