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Re: Mathcad

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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "G M" <newabhaju(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2004 1:42 AM
Subject: RE: Mathcad

> Dennis:
> You indicated that you use excel, mathcad, and Tedds.  My design
programs -
> wood, steel, conc, masonry, retaining wall, foundation - are in excel.  I
> have been wanting to develop a program to combine the various spreadsheet
> and automate the design process as much as I can.  While I do not want to
> reprogram what I alreaday have, I have been wanting to learn mathcad just
> because it looks so good in the printout.  Can you spread some insight
> which is better or if both (excel & mathcad) are recommended for the
> professional and why.  I have tons of database in excel and I rather not
> conisder mathcad if I cannot used the excel database.

I'm not Dennis, but I'll give you my $0.02 worth.

I tend to prefer Mathcad for "formal" calculations--i.e. those that I think
will need to be presented. Quite simply it is easier to present fully
annotated calculations in Mathcad than in Excel; aside from the written
annotations the fact that parameters (variables) and equations are formally
presented in natural mathematical language means that, to me, Mathcad is
actually easier to use as a calculation development tool.

However, this need not be an "either-or" situation. In fact it is not
difficult to integrate Excel and Mathcad. Excel is better for "array" type
processing--computations where a tabular format is more logical. It is quite
easy to embed Excel spreadsheet data and results of Excel computations in a
Mathcad sheet. Technically speaking you use Mathcad as the "container"
application and you have recourse to Excel-based data within Mathcad.

Please note that I have not really used TEDDS all that much. I did get a
TEDDS demo package a couple of years back, but I found the learning curve
was a bit steeper than I had time for. I know that Dennis Wish swears by
TEDDS, so I'll defer to him on that score.

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