• To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
• Subject: RE: Mathcad 2000 Question
• From: "Bill Allen" <Bill(--nospam--at)AllenDesigns.com>
• Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 14:15:34 -0700
||I disagree.  EXCEL, can be easy to follow if you document your
||equations.  If all you do is have input fields, and calculate your
||answer with one complicated equation in one cell, with no comments, it
||is very hard to follow.  But if you write out the equations
||to the side,
||and/or show intermediate steps (as if you were doing it by
||hand), it can
||be easy to follow.

I agree, this is the best way to work in Excel, but it takes more time to do
this in Excel than it does in Mathcad. An additional "hurdle" is the
constant cell width makes a set of calculations (other than a table)
difficult. From my experience, anyway. And, in Mathcad, the equations look
more like hand calculations than in Excel.

||
||EXCEL has the added benefit that if you set up the problem correctly,
||you can use the solver routine to solve for any particular variable.
||For simple example, with a spreadsheet for designing a concrete beam,
||you could solve for the required reinforcing, given an
||assumed size and
||depth.  Alternatively (Fy, F'c, etc. staying constant), using the same
||spreadsheet, you could solve for the depth assuming the
||reinforcing and
||width of beam.

You can do similar things in Mathcad and more (including roots of equations
and Calculus). One of the main features I would like to see improved is
something similar to VLOOKUP. Of course, I haven't spent much time learning
about Mathcad (like working through many of their tutorials or taking one of
their online classes), so my skills could definitely use some improvement.

With Excel, it definitely has more restrictions, IMO.

But, to each his/her own.

Regards,

Bill Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)
ALLEN DESIGNS
Laguna Niguel, CA
http://www.AllenDesigns.com

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