April 2019

Christopher MabbFrom: Dr Christopher Mabb, Scientific Word Ltd.
To: Our Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook Technical Typesetting list


    Some further tips and technical support information to make sure our users get the most from Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook.
    The current version of Scientific Word, Scientific WorkPlace and Scientific Notebook is v6.0.29; if you are running an earlier version (Help – About on Windows, or SW/P – About on a Mac) we recommend you update to the current version when convenient; the installation instructions are here.


  1. Existing MiKTeX:    A new user behind a heavy-duty banking firewall wanted to install Scientific WorkPlace without having to go online (see Is an internet connection needed to use Version 6?). He happened to have MiKTeX already installed, and so the question reduced to linking Scientific WorkPlace to the existing MiKTeX. We therefore recommended:
    Since you already have MiKTeX installed, use MiKTeX rather than TeXLive with Scientific WorkPlace. This means starting to install SWP as normal, but unchecking the box for TeXLive. Then afterwards, from Using MiKTeX with SWP/SW and Windows:
    From the Windows Start Menu find the MiKTeX group and start the "MiKTeX Settings (Admin)" program. Select the Roots tab and then click the Add button. Navigate to the directory c:\texlive\texmf-local and with this directory selected click OK. Then click the OK button in the admin program to add the files in this directory to the MiKTeX search and close the MiKTeX admin program.
    We added:

    The only other Scientific WorkPlace issues are that:

    • The online Activation will not work, and we will supply your licence file by Email for you, once you let us have your Computer ID from Help – Activate. You will then simply need to save this file license.lic in the location specified in Step 8 of our Installation Instructions. <snip>
    • You will want to turn off the WhatsNew panel at the right of the working screen, from Actions – Close, since this panel refreshes online
    which quickly got him up and running with his new licence.

  2. Use any font:    Two or three years ago we produced a Version 6.0 New Features video demonstrating how to select another font to use throughout the whole of the document. We shared information about this in our June 2016 mailing Item 4.
    But now, using the Tag menu, it's possible to select any font for any text. Our new 10 minute video playlist will take you through:

    We think you'll like this one!

  3. Acronis True Image:    A few weeks ago an experienced user sent an Email, including screen shots (thank you), saying:
    Something strange has happened to my Scientific Work Place software. When I startup v 6.029 I am faced with a notice that it is not licensed and warning me that its functionality will be curtailed.. On activating it I get the message that the software has been activated. Nevertheless when I start SWP again the same message appears...

    We asked to see the licence file, but there were no clues there. Just as we were scratching our heads, the user Emailed again with the solution:

    I believe I have made some progress in finding out what may have gone wrong and thought you should be told asap as it looks like a collision between Acronis True Image software and SWP. I first removed the license as you hinted at and reactivated. However, the same message appeared. After playing with the software to produce some answers to simple integrals and algebra I got a message from Acronis asking if SWP was a trusted programme. On answering yes and restarting SWP the message no longer appears. Now Acronis in its latest version is taking over some defence roles of the disc and perhaps this has been the reason...
    We weren't familiar with Acronis True Image before this exchange, and we made a note of the information for the benefit of our other users.

  4. Version 5.5 repair:    This one isn't new, but we last mentioned it nearly 7 years ago in our October 2012 mailing Item 7 – which was before the academic in question bought Scientific Word – so it's perhaps worth a refresher. Our recent February mailing prompted the user to get in touch:

    I wonder if you might help me with a question. I use Scientific Word 5.5 and recently typesetting has not worked properly on some documents, when in the past it has.
    The specific problem seems to relate to having subscript material that contains an inequality under an integral, intersection, sum etc.. So tex such as
    \bigcap_{H \leqslant G}
    is not rendered properly in the dvi. The dvi previewer reports
    Warning: font "msam8" ("msam8") not in font dictionary
    Such tex has rendered fine in the past (I have dvis and pdfs where it has worked).
    Do you know how to resolve this problem? And perhaps less importantly the why of it arising?

    It was straightforward for us to respond with the relevant links:

    Something has obviously messed around with your fonts: it could be a clean-up utility such as in our October 2012 mailing Item 7… or we’ve also seen it where simply installing new software has caused existing fonts to be forgotten.
    The solution is the Repair utility referred to in our July 2010 mailing Item 2. Simply start the downloaded Scientific Word 5.5 (73Mb) available here and then select Repair at the opening screen (as attached). But keep a backup first.

    Back copies of our mailings are available on our mailings page, which you can search with Ctrl-F / Cmd-F.

  5. v6.0 Word import/export:    A sensible enough request came in from a user of Scientific Word v6.0:

    I am just beginning to use the new Mac version of SW6.
    However I cannot manage to import a file in .rtf format, as was possible in the Windows SW5 version.
    Please advise.

    The last we'd heard, MacKichan Software were working on a more sophisticated route for Word import/export using XHTML rather than RTF, and the Email prompted us to pursue it with them. They responded:

    Since Word allows reading and writing in (X)HTML, and can use MathML to represent the mathematics, the plan is to use that to read/write MS Word files. <snip>
    Converting [between] HTML is not that hard, and we can probably do it fairly simply, but [not] to put it into 6.0.30. An unknown is that Microsoft made some changes (i.e. departed from the spec) in the MathML that they use...

    We regret that this does not provide users with an immediate "Yes, here’s how to do it". Our ball-park estimate would be 6-12 months for this to be fully incorporated into a future release of Scientific Word/WorkPlace (obviously after v6.0.30). At worst, in the meantime, you can always import your RTF into Scientific Word/WorkPlace v5.5 (see our June 2012 mailing Item 3) and then File – Import the resulting .tex file into Scientific Word/WorkPlace v6.0. Alternatively, if it's simply text, you can copy that across via the clipboard with Edit – Paste without formatting.

  6. What's New panel:    We notified this to our Annual Maintenance/Support Contract sites at the time, but for completeness we'll include it here.
    A few weeks ago there was a glitch with renewing the SSL certificate on MacKichan's website. This was of only minor relevance, since once a Scientific Word/WorkPlace system (whether a standalone machine, or clients obtaining licensing from a Floating licence server) is installed and licensed, it does not need further access to MacKichan Software's server in order to run. There were two consequences, however:

    1. MacKichan's website itself was unavailable
    2. Users saw this error message – and needed to keep clicking OK – when using Scientific Word/WorkPlace. This was caused, not by the licence itself, but by the What's New panel trying to load information from the inaccessible MacKichan website.

    The solution for point 2 above is to turn off the What's New panel; it's usually at the right of the Scientific Word/WorkPlace editing screen:

    You'll recognise that this relates to the second bullet point in the second quoted portion of Item 1 above.

  7. Incredible News!    An end to the woes of mathematical typesetting for ever!

    Well, it was a quiet Saturday in the office one day last year... and so if you have: click through on this link and prepare to smile.


That's all for now – thanks for reading! We send this mailing to our users every couple of months or so. More will follow in the Summer, or sooner if needed, to keep you up to date with the latest news of Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook. As always, please let us know if you no longer wish to remain on our mailing list, and we'll confirm your removal within hours.

This software is way too good to keep to yourself! Why not tell your colleagues and co-authors? Perhaps some Emails... maybe a blog post on a mathematics/economics forum? Even easier is to Share our Facebook page – or any of the Product pages on our website – with your Facebook friends. Thanks a lot.


Christopher Mabb, Scientific Word Ltd., UK
Tel: +44 (0)345 766 0340; Fax: +44 (0)345 603 9443
Email: christopher@sciword.co.uk
Web: https://www.sciword.co.uk/