MathCAD worksheet 1 – First steps in MathCAD

Worksheet 1
MathCAD worksheet 1 – First steps in MathCAD
The aim of this worksheet is to introduce you to the mathCAD program and to start using
it to perform simple calculations.
By the end of the sheet you will know how to:
 Log into the campus computer system
 Start MathCAD
 Use MathCAD to perform calculations
 Enter simple equations
 Save your work
 Receive MathCAD sheets by email
Log onto the campus computer system.
You should log into the one of the laboratory computers using your id and password
allocated by Information Services.
Connect to Central Filestore
You have been allocated some space on the central computer system, referred to as your
M: drive (on the lab machines this is (for some mysterious reason) the Z: drive.) You
should use this as a place to save any files you wish to keep.
The local hard disk within the workstation you are using (the C: drive) may be cleared
out after you finish your session so don’t rely on being able to retrieve anything on the
Start MathCAD
MathCAD is started from the start menu, by selecting
Start Menu|Programs|Mathsoft Apps|MathCAD 13
The first time you start mathCAD, you may be prompted to enter details of a license
server. On the license dialog box, make sure the cursor is in the ‘Server’ box and type
winlm. Mathcad will ask if you want to register, answer no to this question and you
should then be into the program.
MathCAD will start up with an empty worksheet. Take some time to familiarize yourself
with the environment. The Title bar and menu bar on the screen should be familiar to
anyone who has used windows, as should the scrollbars to the right and underneath of the
working area. Underneath the menu bar is a toolbar with buttons to activate many of the
commonly used features of MathCAD.
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Worksheet 1
Make sure the Math toolbar is displayed. If it is not, pull down the View menu, select the
Toolbars item and then the Math entry. The Math Toolbar acts as a switchboard for all
the other toolbars in MathCAD. For the first exercises, we will be using the Arithmetic
and Evaluation toolbars, which are displayed or hidden by the top two buttons in the
Math toolbar.
Select the top two buttons in the Math toolbar to display the Arithmetic and Evaluation
toolbars. The toolbars are floating palettes which can be positioned anywhere on the
When you are starting MathCAD it sometimes helps to view the screen at a larger zoom
factor, making the elements of MathCAD easier to read. To do this, select
View|Zoom…|200% from the menu.
Use MathCAD to perform calculations
You can start typing simple calculations directly into MathCAD. Try the following
Simple arithmetic....
To get this....
1 23
Use these keystrokes
 7.75
7+ 3/ 4=
 2.5
7 + 3 <space> / 4 =
Note use of selection area to enclose 7+3 above line
3  4  12
3( 4
7  19
7 )  33
5  6  44
3 * ( 4 + 7 ) = or 3 * ' 4 + 7 =
1*2+ 3*4+ 5* 6=
You will notice that as you type, the MathCAD cursor changes form a red cross to a blue
box. The box encloses the term of the equation being edited and vertical line in this box is
the insertion point, where the next character will appear. You will need to spend some
time to familiarise yourself with how the selection box works. The following keys affect
the selection box whilst editing:
<Left arrow> moves insertion point or selection box to the left
<Right arrow> moves insertion point or selection box to the right
<Space bar> expands the selection box
<Insert> move insertion point to opposite end of selection box.
<Delete> deletes character to the right of insertion point
<Backspace> deletes character to the left of the insertion point
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Worksheet 1
In the following examples of powers and roots, watch how the selection box affects how
the powers are calculated.
Powers and roots
- to raise numbers to a power use carat (^) [Shift 6]
10  100
( 52 )
10 ^ 2 =
 5.093
 100
7  107
10 ^ 0.707 =
( 5 * 2 ) ^1 + 1 =
10 ^ 2 <space> + 7 =
- square root is generated by the backslash key (\)
- arbitrary roots are generated by holding control whilst pressing backslash <ctrl \>
2  2.414
2  1.732
1 + 2 <space> \ =
2  2.26
3 <ctrl \> 8 =
1 + 3 <ctrl \> 2 =
Save your work
Having spent some time using mathCAD, you should save your work onto the M: (or Z:)
Select File|Save As… from the menu and then select the M: drive from the “Save In”
pulldown on the dialog box.
Once the M: drive is selected, you can use the “Create New Folder” button to create a
sub-directory of your filestore to keep all your mathCAD files in. Having created a new
folder and given it a name which will help you remember what is in it, (PH15720 would
be good) save the mathCAD sheet you have just created as “Exercise1”.
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Worksheet 1
Receive MathCAD sheets by email
This course makes use of the email system to send you work, details of changes to
lectures and also, in some cases, for you to submit coursework. In this exercise you will
use you email account to receive a MathCAD sheet I have already prepared, store it in
you MathCAD folder on the M: drive and look at it using MathCAD.
Go to the web page and login using your userid and password.
In your inbox look for an email from [email protected], it will have the subject ‘Example
file for PH15720’.
Open the email and then select ‘Download’
Select ‘Save’ and then navigate to your mathCAD directory on the M: drive.
Save the file as ‘Example.xmcd’
Put away the mail program.
Return to MathCAD and select File|Open… and open the example file you have just
The file gives a few examples of simple use of MathCAD. Feel free to change it at will
and study it for inspiration.
Shut down MathCAD and logoff
Once you have finished experimenting with mathCAD, shut the program down and
disconnect your M: drive from the workstation.
The handouts and lecture notes may be found at:
and following the link PH15720 from there.
© dpl 2008