August 2022

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


    Here's our end-of-summer mailing with a selection of Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook Technical Support solutions, together with other information to help you get the most from your v5.5 or v6 system. As always, the latest version of the programs is available on our download page, with links to the current installation instructions.


  1. SW/P v6 to LaTeX 'glue':    The question arose recently how Scientific Word/WorkPlace v6 finds your LaTeX installation (eg. TeXLive 2022). The glue between the programs (on Windows) is specified in C:/Program Files (x86)/MacKichan/SW[P]/MSITeX.cmd, which says something like:
    rem @echo off
    if EXIST %USERPROFILE%\.tex\tlyear (
    set /P tlyear=<%USERPROFILE%\.tex\tlyear
    ) ELSE (
    if EXIST c:\texlive\tlyear (
    set /P tlyear=<c:\texlive\tlyear
    ) ELSE (
    set tlyear=2015
    if NOT EXIST "%USERPROFILE%\.tex" (
    mkdir "%USERPROFILE%\.tex"
    echo | set /p dummyname="%tlyear%" > "%USERPROFILE%\.tex\tlyear"
    set MSITEX=C:\texlive\%tlyear%
    set MSITEXBIN=C:\texlive\%tlyear%\bin\win32
    set MSITEXMF=C:\texlive\texmf-local
    set MSITEXMF_HOME=%MSITEX%\texmf-dist

    set PATH=C:\texlive\%tlyear%\bin\win32;C:\Program Files (x86)\gs\gs9.16\bin;%PATH%
    if EXIST %programfiles(x86)%\Inkscape (
    set INKSCAPE=%programfiles(x86)%\Inkscape\
    ) ELSE (
    if EXIST %programfiles%\Inkscape (set INKSCAPE=%programfiles%\Inkscape\
    Once you decipher the computer-speak, the opening lines (highlighted) tell Scientific Word/WorkPlace to look in the file tlyear, which might be in either C:\Users\[Christopher]\.tex\ or in C:\texlive\ . You can examine the file tlyear manually with NotePad or WordPad, and see that it currently says 2022; so Scientific Word/WorkPlace v6 will find the various files it needs in c:\texlive\2022 and its subfolders (the green lines above).
    This information might be useful to some of our users one day...

  2. v6 markers (again):    Our January 2022 mailing Item 1 prompted a user to report that even documents created from File – New – Standard LaTeX are not immune from the marker problem:
    Unfortunately, it’s more pervasive than you indicated: it can affect also the Standard Latex Article (and presumably also the other Standard Latex shells). To see this: start SW(P) with the Standard Latex Article. Optional: verify that you can insert a Marker. Replace the title with a new one. Save and close the document. Restart SW(P) and Re-open the saved document. Now Insert > Marker fails.
    I think this problem with the Standard Latex shells can be “fixed” at a cost of minor inconvenience. What you do is insert a second title (ie your real title) below the supplied one. When you typeset, you get the correct (second) title.
    We agree with both parts of his findings: see our sample SecondTitle document and its PDF. He continued:
    It looks to me as if the problem arises only for version 6.1+. So longer-time licensed users who have been updating may still be able to use markers with all shells, if they use the archived version 6.0.30 or earlier...
    This part we haven't checked; but v6.0.30 is still available in our programs folder.

  3. v5.5 or v6?    One of our new users asked for some guidance recently as to whether she would be better to use Scientific WorkPlace version 5.5 or version 6:
    I am familiar with v5.5, but haven't tried v.6 yet. <snip>
    I'd also like to know if you have any suggestion for me.
    We replied:
    Version 6 was a complete re-writing of the code base and has a somewhat different look and feel; several of our long-time v5.5 users who upgraded to v6 didn't like it and went back to v5.5 (see our Leap Year’s Day 2020 mailing Item 4). That’s why we wanted to give you the choice between the two options <snip>. 

    Principles to help decide:
    1. If you are co-authoring a paper with someone else using Scientific Word/WorkPlace, you will want to use the same version of Scientific Word/WorkPlace (v5.5 or v6) as your co-author. Transferring Scientific WorkPlace documents between v5.5 and v6 is not straight-forward
    2. If your purpose is to produce LaTeX output then v5.5 is more natural as it uses .tex as its native file format. With v6 you can import and export LaTeX file from the File menu into its .sci format
    3. Version 6 has some great new features: see 
    4. Version 6 can run on a 32-bit Mac (up to MacOS 10.14 Mojave) as well as on Windows, whereas v5.5 only runs on Windows
    5. Version 6 is more difficult to install (see the v6 installation instructions) but the v6 LaTeX installation (TeXLive 2022) is more up-to-date than version 5.5.
    We hope this is helpful.
    In the end it's your preference: we recommend you make the decision by trying the two versions in your 30-day trial.

  4. SW/P v5.5 on a Mac:    From time to time we've covered the options for running Scientific Word/WorkPlace on a Windows emulator: see our December 2009 mailing Item 2, February 2012 mailing Item 4 and January 2022 mailing Item 4. So we welcomed the feedback from a user installing Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 on an M1 chip Mac:
    Scientific WorkPlace 5.5 was tested on a virtual machine provided by Parallels Desktop 17 on a Macbook Pro with a silicon chip (M1 chip). Parallels was running Windows 11 OS.
    Everything seemed to work smoothly, so far.
    For completeness, she also noted:
    However, we have very superficially tested the software. On first look, everything seemed to work properly. The migration was done from VMWare virtual machine running Windows 10 on a Mac with Intel chip. This combination was working properly...
    We thought this information would be useful to others wondering about the M1 chip.

  5. SW/P v5.5, TeXLive & Windows 11:    After our May 2022 mailing Item 4(5), a user asked the following question:
    I am currently able to use SW5.5 and Texlive 2019 on Windows 10. But I have problem using SW5.5 and Texlive 2019 on Windows 11.
    We replied:
    We don’t understand how you could be using TeXLive 2019 on Windows 11, since it has not been possible to install TeXLive 2019 since Windows 11 was released on 5/10/21. From one of your graphics we’re supposing you mean TeXLive 2022, and that the question is about using Scientific Word v5.5 with TeXLive 2022 on Windows 11.
    We do not have direct experience of Windows 11, but we would be surprised if the instructions in our May 2022 mailing Item 4(5) – written for Windows 10 – do not work for Windows 11.
    The confusion might have arisen because the instructions to install TeXLive 2022 are contained in our installation instructions for version 6 – even though our May 2022 mailing Item 4(5) was about Scientific Word/WorkPlace version 5.5. In a further clarification we wrote:
    Yes, is for SW6.0. Step 3 of those instructions comprises:
    1. Part 3A: Install TeXLive 2022 – you follow this part only
    2. Part 3B: Install Scientific Word/WorkPlace v6you will not follow this part
    So you will be installing TeXLive 2022 from part 3A of the v6 installation instructions and connecting it to Scientific Word v5.5 following our May 2022 mailing Item 4(5).

    Once you have connected Scientific Word v5.5 to TeXLive 2022, try a simple document (eg. File – New – Standard LaTeX Article). When you know that this compiles correctly with TeXLive 2022, then you can add other style files, regenerate the filename database, and make sure that those style files work from within Scientific Word v5.5.
    Any confusion was resolved and he was able to run Scientific Word v5.5 with TeXLive 2022 on his Windows 11 machine.

  6. v5.5 labels:    Someone who's been on our mailing list for a decade or so Emailed with a couple of issues:
    1) If, by mistake, I delete a formula with a label (numbering), I can not reuse the same label. It says "The key you have entered already exists in this document". What can I do to be able to use the same label?
    2) If I copy something from the text and paste it in the box for a formula, sometimes it leaves it as it is, and sometimes changes it into Mathematics and I have to change to the initial form it manually. Is there any way to leave it as it is?
    Regarding the first point, it turned out that having accidentally deleted the equation with its key closing and re-opening the document allowed him to re-use the same key.
    In response to the second point we initially replied:
    I’m surprised if text pasted into a Display box (Insert – Display, or Ctrl-D) ever stays as text: the Display expects to display mathematics, and even if you click inside the Display and change to text mode (Ctrl-T) first, when you paste the text in it converts it to maths. A possible workaround is as follows:
    1. Open a display
    2. Change to text mode
    3. Enter two spaces (they show as two dots if you’ve got View – Invisibles turned on)
    4. Put the cursor between the spaces, and paste your contents in; it stays in text mode.
    before we realised that:
    If you want to combine text and maths inside a display then the easiest way is to nest a Table (Insert – Table) inside the Display; tables expect input to be text mode.

  7. Numbering v5.5 graphics:    Following on from our May 2022 mailing Item 5, the user still found that:
    I have a problem when i crossref the figures the numbering is different I don't Know why
    Once we'd received the .rap file (see our September 2014 mailing Item 5) we responded that:
    Your Figures do not show the automatic numbering because you have used Displayed graphics instead of Floating graphics. <snip>
    If you want the graphic to appear where you put it, you will want to use the option ‘Here’ rather than allowing LaTeX to put graphics at the top or bottom of pages, or gathering the graphics together on separate pages.

    Exceptionally we will give you complimentary access to module 4.1 of our v5.5 Training Course, showing how to use Floating graphics: .
    Note that when you renew your Individual Annual Maintenance after the initial 12 months, you will receive free access to the v5.5 Training Course videos: see our May 2021 mailing Item 6. Alternatively you can buy access to the v5.5 Training Course videos for £197 with Educational discount (if appropriate) to £147.
    That Module 4.1 of the Training videos is currently still available in our Training folder if you're quick off the mark...

  8. New machine?    This question keeps coming up!
    As I prepare to retire an ancient travel laptop, I want to see about transferring its current use of a v.5.5 permanent uncounted serial number to a new machine (not yet purchased).  Is this sort of thing still feasible?
    and the answer is:
    Yes: you should find everything you need in our Leap Year’s Day 2020 mailing Item 7. You can retrieve your serial number from Help – System Features.


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Christopher Mabb, Scientific Word Ltd., UK
Tel: +44 (0)345 766 0340; Fax: +44 (0)345 603 9443