Astro Utilities and Mathcad FAQ
Last Updated June 22, 2002 . New items marked by "".
Because the Astro Utilities are Mathcad worksheet files, it makes sense to combine the Astro Utilities and Mathcad FAQs into one. Users can reference this single FAQ without first determining if they have a Mathcad problem or Utilities problem. Note the following:
MOSTLY ASTRO UTILITIES PART OF THE FAQ
MOSTLY MATHCAD PART OF THE FAQ
MOSTLY ASTRO UTILITIES PART OF THE FAQ
“Save As” under the Mathcad File menu can save worksheets in HTML format. This save takes each region and converts it into a JPEG graphic. Worksheets saved like this look exactly like their live Mathcad counterparts but can be quite large for downloading purposes. The conversion method employed in the Astro Utilities was to use the RTF option, under “Save As,” to create a file. In this format all graphics and equations are saved as graphics and text stayed text. This file was imported into an HTML editor for formatting and saving. Though there was a big savings in file size, as compared to the HTML save, the RTF conversion required much manual labor to duplicate the look of the original Mathcad files.
There is no page-to-page bookmark support in Mathcad 8 SE. But, the Search Book option (binoculars on book toolbar) can take you to a specific region in a worksheet.
The directions that follow refer to Mathcad 8 and any other version that uses a similar search system.
The directions found in the latest downloaded product are valid. The only change from the first distribution is the use of the PayPal system, which allows the use of Credit Cards and other transfers to pay for registration.
These pages are normally accessed off of the Input User Constants page by clicking the button or as the last few pages in the "next/previous" browse sequence. Starting with version 2000.3 of the Astro Utilities, these pages can be saved through the "Annotate Book" options in the Book menu. Make sure "Annotate Book" is checked and then choose "Save Section" after entering in the constants. Users of prior versions can save by choosing the "Save As" option under File menu or the disk icon in the toolbar. This procedure is outlined in Saving User Constant Entry Pages ... . It is recommended to upgrade to the latest version and use the "Annotate" option.
The Astro Utilities Modification History document lists file and functionality changes made in each version.
MOSTLY MATHCAD PART OF THE FAQ
This free version of Mathcad is actually the full version, neutered so that it can’t save any worksheets. It will run the Astro Utilities fine and allow you some file IO (user constants in the Utilities), through use of read/write components.
A region in Mathcad is an invisible rectangle that contains text, math, or text with embedded math regions. They are automatically created as you work and can be made visible by use of the View/Regions menu option.
At times problems develop when using tab characters to space text in the Utilities. When placing the insertion point to edit tabbed text, there was a mismatch between the displayed position and the edit point. New typing appear a few spaces behind the edit point. Attempting to delete characters deleted text a few spaces back. This does not always happen and I have as yet to determine what other factors may contribute to this phenomena.
This has happened to you when you open a worksheet and see garbled characters trailing from one of your regions into the margins. It may appear that several regions are overlapped with extended ASCII charters sprinkled in. Lucky you there is a simple solution, offered to me by Mathcad tech support: View/Zoom and decrease magnification as much as possible then View/Zoom to normal magnification. The regions should look normal now.
The symptoms here are that Automatic Calculation is checked under the Math menu but math regions fails to show results and there is no hour-glass to indicate that results are being calculated. The workaround here is to close and reopen the worksheet. This should re-establish the Auto Calc functionality.
Occasionally, with Mathcad closed, double-clicking on a Mathcad file (“HBK”, “MCD” and “MCU” extensoins) in Windows Explorer causes the splash screen to display briefly but the application does not show on the screen or the taskbar. There is a similar problem with Mathcad open when the files are clicked and nothing happens. In this instance closing Mathcad first seems to work (even though the system has to go through the time and trouble of closing and re-loading Mathcad!). I chalk both of these up to operating system problems – anyone else have an idea?
This ASCII file contains the names of the worksheets that make up a Mathcad Electronic Book. The filenames are listed in the order a user would see them when hitting the "next/previous" arrows on the toolbar. (Complete details on HBK files can be found in your Mathcad documentation or on the MathSoft website.) Do not use "8 character DOS compatibility filenames" in the HBK. For instance recent versions of Windows will allow you to create files named: "My Book Table of Contents.mcd" and "My Book Introduction.mcd." When viewed in a DOS directory listing the "compatibility" names may be: "MYBOOK~1.MCD" and "MYBOOK~2.MCD." If you move these files to a new directory the "compatibility" names may change because files sort themselves alphabetically to determine the "~1, ~2, etc." sequence in the new location. I've also found that the "next/previous" arrows will gray out if you use the "compatibility" names and view a file out of the HBK sequence. For instance you may use the "next" arrow and reach a "Table of Contents" page to jump further into the book and find "next/previous" disabled. Normally the Book viewer can "find its place" in the sequence after such a jump.
See the next section for help in assembling a search index.
The last step, after building an HBK file (see above), is to create a search index for the Electronic Book. This requires compilation of an index file (TXT) of phrases, regions, and filenames, as detailed in the MathSoft documentation on their website. The region numbers for the search index are exposed by clicking a region and pressing <ctrl><shift><L> all-at-once on the keyboard. You must do this in Mathcad - not the book browser. The number appears on the prompt bar. Region numbering after a reference statement (to another file) is incremented by the number of regions in the referenced file. In Mathcad 8 (and probably other versions) the search index routine in the book browser does not count the included reference regions when locating a region on a page.
Therefore the author-compiled index file must contain the region counts as if the reference statements do not exist. The simplest way is to delete the reference statements on a file before doing region counts. Of course you must NOT SAVE THE FILE in this form.
If you've already created the index file and discover that it has the region/reference count problem, you can save time by noting a region's count before and after deleting the reference. The difference is the amount to subtract from your existing counts. Note that the reference statement represents all the regions on the included page and its presence does not increment the region count beyond that. Strangely, if you check the region number of the reference, it will be the highest on the page. Multiple references on a page will have the same region number.
For an easy way of compiling your index and handbook files into a search index, read about the M-dex freeware program for authors using Mathcad 8 (won't work with Mathcad 200x E-Books).
References are a way that one Mathcad file can include another without showing it. You can double click the visible reference link on a page to open the included file. At one point, I moved the Astro Utilities source files a “lower” directory and found that some of the reference links created a duplicate directory in the reference path: “xxxx\source/source\myfiles\xxxx”. In this example “/source” should not have been there. One tip-off is the forward slash “/” that is out-of-place with the rest of the path. I ended up manually fixing all my links!
In a test, Mathcad 8 Standard and the free Mathcad Explorer were installed on one machine and found to conflict in the use of registry keys. I suggest uninstalling all Mathcad programs and reinstalling the one that is best for you. Mathcad Support sent me this reply when I queried them about this problem: "Mathcad 8 has a built in patch file that will restore the registry settings. In your Mathcad directory locate the file regall.bat. Double click to run this file. Now you can run the Explorer and Mathcad. If you uninstall Mathcad Explorer you will need to repeat this process."
Errors in the manual are addressed at the Mathcad Support page on Mathsoft.com. Missing manuals can also be downloaded from there. Check out their FAQ and send tech support your questions.