April 2020

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


    With many of you still working from home, we hope this Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook mailing helps keep you in touch.
    The current version of Scientific Word, Scientific WorkPlace and Scientific Notebook is still v6.0.30. But if you are running an earlier version (go to Help – About on Windows, or SW/P – About on a Mac; the build number is at the bottom) our current recommendation is that you do not update to the current version at the moment; please see Item 1 below.


  1. TeXLive 2020:    TeXLive 2020 is now the version that will be installed by default next time you install or update Scientific Word or Scientific WorkPlace. You'll remember that the release of new versions of TeXLive in the past has been known to break the MacKichan installer (see, for example, our June 2016 mailing Item 2).
    This time round, until the MacKichan installer is modified (probably with v6.0.31) the filename database is not rebuilt correctly after installation and you will only be able to produce PDF Previews from Standard LaTeX documents (those created from File – New – Standard LaTeX – ), not from documents created from the Articles, Books, Presentations, Reports or Theses directories. Ordinarily, you would be able to rebuild the filename database manually following the instructions in Item 2 (2c) below; however, for the time being this gives you the "Cannot open" error referred to below, and the filename database is not re-built.
    We therefore recommend that you do not re-install Scientific Word/WorkPlace to obtain TeXLive 2020; rather, keep using TeXLive 2019 for now. If you need to reinstall Scientific Word/WorkPlace then please be sure to uncheck the "TeXLive Network Install" box, which comes immediately after accepting the licence agreement (3 steps in to the installation process). Please Email us if you need help.

  2. Adding packages / updating TeXLive:    These instructions for Windows supersede the information given in our May 2016 mailing Item 4:
    1. To add a package into the Scientific WorkPlace v6.0 document you're working on, click on TypesetOptions and PackagesPackage options, and then either:
      1. Click Add package (and select from the list of packages), or
      2. Click Go native, and type the package name inside {curly brackets} on a new line.
      The above instructions will work if the package you're wanting to use in the document is already installed in the TeXLive system on your computer.
    2. If you need to add packages to your TeXLive system (because the package you want for your document is not already installed), we suggest you first read the old instructions in our May 2016 mailing Item 4 for background information. You will then need to start with StartTeXLive 2020 (dropdown)TeXLive Manager* (or click on C:\texlive\2020\bin\win32\tlshell.exe*) and click FileLoad repository. When it says Done loading then click Close. Compare this with tlshell1.png.
      1. If your TeXLive Manager needs updating (see tlshellupdating1.png) then click on Update tlmgr and it will either:
        • update itself automatically or
        • give you instructions (see tlshellupdating2.png). To follow those instructions, click on your Windows Start button, type cmd and press Ctrl-Shift-Enter* (or click Run as Administrator*) to open an Administrator Command prompt (see tlshellupdating3.png). You will then type tlmgr update --self (Note: two hyphens with no space in between) and press Enter (see tlshellupdating4.png).
        After a pause it will tell you that the update has finished successfully; you can then go on to 2b below.
      2. Once your TeXLive Manager is up-to-date, then click on All, choose the package you want to install, and click on Install marked (see tlshell2.png, here showing how to install the environ package). [The radio button turns into a tick when the package is selected.] You will then go on to 2c below to assimilate this package into the filename database.
      3. To rebuild the TeX filename database (but first see Item 1 above regarding the temporary issue with TeXLive 2020) click on ActionsRegenerate filename database (see updatingdatabase1.png) and wait until you see the message mktexlsr: Done (see updatingdatabase2.png).
        [Check to make sure you did not get the Cannot open message (see updatingdatabaseerror.png); if you did, then the filename database has not been rebuilt and you will only have access to Standard LaTeX documents. Please Email us if you need help.]
        Then click Close.
    * Note that in the above process you will probably need to give permission to your Windows User Account Control when it asks "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?"

  3. Kaspersky:    A user contacted us via their university IT office to say:
    I thought I would report the issues I have been having with Scientific Word. Last month, I had to re-install Scientific word as the anti-virus (I am using kapersky) deleted the exe file as it detected a malware. The same happened a couple of days ago.
    We replied:
    So here are the relevant points:
    1. You’re the first person (certainly in the UK) to raise this issue, so we’re suspecting it’s something between your set-up and Kaspersky
    2. Our first response to an issue these days is always to ask the question: When you installed, did you follow the installation instructions precisely? Specifically, did you use right-click – Run as Administrator at Steps 3 and 6? See our Leap Year’s Day 2020 mailing Item 1
    3. If the answer to 2 above is Yes, then it sounds like you need to whitelist Scientific Word in your Kaspersky settings. (Why is this necessary? Scientific Word is a niche, specialist program, with far fewer users in the world than, say, Microsoft Word – and many of them are using other Antivirus/Firewall software – so Kaspersky does not have the data to know everything about Scientific Word.)
      I don’t know which Kaspersky version you’re running, but the instructions for whitelisting a program (in this case, Scientific Word) will be something like https://support.kaspersky.co.uk/11444 . If you’re not confident doing that yourself, you may want to ask your College IT officer to help you with that.
    We didn't hear any more; we're assuming no news was good news.

  4. v6.0 import:    Particular documents will sometimes cause problems when importing from v5.5 into v6.0 – but for one user the v6.0 conversion wasn't happening at all. We wrote:
    There are two ‘correct’ outcomes when importing:
    1. Either: After some time showing a message like this, the converted document opens in v6.0
    2. Or: After some time showing the message, you receive this error message.

    Please try to convert the attached v5.5 document checkout.tex (right-click – SaveLinkAs) as follows:
    • Open Scientific WorkPlace v6.0 with right-click – Run as Administrator, and then
    • Click FileImport TeX
    and let us know the result.
    The user then reported that, although she could now import the test document (checkout.tex) into v6.0, she was unable to produce the PDF Preview. There was some uncertainty whether – as in the Kaspersky example in Item 3 above – this was caused by her Antivirus/security software (Bitdefender). We responded:
    1. When you import the file checkout.tex into Scientific WorkPlace v6.0 it should create the file checkout.sci in \Documents\SWPDocs. Please try it again and check this file exists.
    2. When you then click on PDF Preview, the PDF file (checkout.pdf) should open in your PDF viewer. However, it’s possible that – even if the PDF is not displayed – the PDF has been created and saved alongside the .sci file in \Document\SWPDocs. Please check whether checkout.pdf exists in \Documents\SWPDocs. If Scientific WorkPlace has not created the PDF, we would need to see the log file to understand what is going on: please see our December 2019 mailing Item 7 (but first see point 3 below).
    3. To test whether the above problems are caused by Bitdefender, we recommend that – having come offine and turned off your router – you pause Bitdefender for 10 minutes (see, for example, https://youtu.be/ZPzRdaTdiTw) and then try again to import checkout.tex and produce the PDF
    which resulted in the user successfully importing this (and other) documents into v6.0 so as to preview the PDF.

  5. Recovering .sci file:    Someone Emailed from South America recently asking:
    ...a question I can not open my file, I get XML PARSING ERROR.
    We asked for the .sci file, and then – while encouraging him to save a backup of his document at least every hour – responded:
    The steps we took to recover the document (for you to follow if it happens again) were as follows:
    1. Try to open [NAME].sci with Scientific WorkPlace v6.0 and get the error message
    2. In File Explorer go to Documents\SWPDocs\[NAME]_work\tex and right-click – drag to save a copy of main.tex to the Desktop [this is the same principle as saving a copy of main.log, detailed in our December 2019 mailing Item 7]
    3. Go into Scientific WorkPlace and use FileImport TeX to import main.tex from the Desktop. The conversion will take two or three minutes before it re-creates the .sci file.

    We trust this gets you over the problem. If it happens again, please try to capture immediately the recollection of what you were doing to cause it to crash.
    We expect this will be useful to others as well.

  6. Symbols panels:    One of our Eastern European users wrote:
    I have for you one question on Scientific WorkPlace 6.0.30.
    I prefer to write mathematical text using Scientific WorkPlace 5.5, because Miscellaneous Symbols, Latin 1, Latin Extended-A etc. can be all on the screen, during the process of writing. Using Scientific WorkPlace 6.0.30, we can have the previously mentioned facility ?
    There were a couple of suggestions we were able to make to help:
    In Scientific WorkPlace v6.0:
    1. The Symbols panel can be detached from the sidebar using the Actions dropdown to have it floating anywhere on the screen. This only allows one of the separate tabs to be showing at a time; but you can have a second tab open from the toolbars (ViewToolbarsSymbol toolbar). This enables you to have any two of the tabs available simultaneously.
    2. In addition, the Symbols panel has a User tab where you can keep your most frequently used symbols on a single tab.

    We recommend you see our December 2019 mailing Item 5 (please both watch the first minute of the video and read the second half of the item). Hopefully this will go some way towards meeting the need.

  7. Merging:    We'd not been asked it before about v6.0:
    Does SWP has a "merge" function, to combine different files?
    We couldn't find a Merge function either! We Emailed to say:
    No, there isn’t a specific option to merge documents. In practice, you would open both documents, copy one to the clipboard with EditSelect All (or Ctrl-A) followed by Ctrl-C, and then paste it into the other document with Ctrl-V.
    Does that work for you, or is something else going on to prevent it?
    Hopefully that will stop users scratching their heads unnecessarily...

  8. v5.5 – no PDF:    Essentially this is the same issue for v5.5 as the second part of Item 4 above for v6.0.

    One of our commercial sites running v5.5 contacted us with what they thought was an installation/Registration issue, because when they clicked on TypesetPreview PDF they weren't seeing a PDF displayed. Yet the machine in question passed the test of a successful installation/Registration at Step 12 of the v5.5 installation instructions. We wrote that:
    ...what it was refusing to do was show you the PDF, because it was unable to access your Acrobat reader. <snip> The error message says: ‘Error while attempting to execute [find Acrobat 9]’. But, assuming the Scientific Word document (.tex file) has first been saved, then the PDF will have been created in the same folder – even if Scientific Word can’t access Acrobat to show it to you.
    This issue used to arise a lot with Scientific Word v5.5 when people updated their version of Acrobat. Our instructions for this are in the November 2010 mailing Item 3: you need to tell Scientific Word where it will find your Acrobat .exe file. However, if you install Scientific Word after Acrobat is already in place, Scientific Word finds it and links up to it automatically.

  9. The end of demon:    Well, we gave you plenty of notice: see our June 2015 mailing Item 9 and October 2015 mailing Item 3! We've now had notification of the final:
    decision to no longer allow customers to license usage of the Demon domain name from June 2020.
    That sciword.demon.co.uk address served us well for many years, from our venturing online in 1993 until we moved across to sciword.co.uk in 2015. And since then we've been providing automatic web forwarding and Email bouncebacks to help people make the change. But now, sciword.demon.co.uk is being consigned to the history books. It's the end of an era...
    So if you were planning on using it to contact us – please don't! Just reply to this Email. (Or click here instead!)


We send this mailing to our users every couple of months or so: it will be summertime – with life hopefully much more back to normal – when you hear from us again... But please just 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