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December 2013

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


    Christmas once again! We hope you enjoy this latest batch of news and tips for our family of users of Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook, and those trying-before-buying:


  1. WMF2eps:    There's a graphics utility called wmf2eps desribed in the online Help – Search – wmf – wmf2eps – installing and configuring the WMF2eps print driver. This utility enables you to save graphics and plots in .eps rather than .wmf format when you export to Portable LaTeX. It requires installing and configuring the WMF2eps print driver as documented in the online Help, and then clicking on Typeset – General Settings – Portable LaTeX Graphics Settings to set the export options.
    It turns out, however, that the WMF2eps instructions are not sufficient for Windows 7/8 or Vista; someone who's been using Scientific WorkPlace for over a decade Emailed us to say:
    "I need to export graphics as .eps files. All settings seem to be OK (eps selected as output graphics in General settings, WMF2eps Printer Driver installed and configured) and yet as soon as I try to save (!) a portable file the message is "Could not export eps file". When I try to create pdf repeatedly an emf is produced and stored in the graphics folder."
    We replied, letting him know that further information for using WMF2eps with Windows Vista or Windows 7/8 is available at http://www.mackichan.com/techtalk/737.htm:
    The wmf2eps program
    Additional files are needed to install the wmf2eps printer driver when using Windows Vista or Windows 7. The wmf2eps home page now includes the additional files. The new files and steps to use the files are included in a self-extracting download file. To add the needed files:
    1. Download the self-extracting file wmf2epsvistawin7update.exe and save it in the directory where SWP, SW, or SNB is installed.
    2. Run the download and use the installation directory as the target directory.
    3. Overwrite files when prompted.
    4. Start SW and from the Help menu select Search.
    5. Enter wmf2eps to locate the wmf2eps index entry and then open the topic Installing and Configuring the WMF2eps Printer Driver.
    6. Follow the information in the help topic for the version of Windows that you are using.
    We hope it's helpful for other users too.

  2. Setstretch:    We mentioned the setspace package (which superseded the doublespace package) in our September 2009 mailing Item 3. Its power seems to be largely overlooked by users, so here's a simple example: all you need is the setspace package (Typeset – Options & Packages – Package Options – Add – setspace), and the appropriate command/s of the form:
    The sample document has three such commands: one in the Preamble, one before Section 2 "Using This Shell" and one before Section 6 "Theorem-like Environments"; click on Typeset – PreviewPDF to see the effect. You can, of course, make the multipliers in curly brackets whatever you want.
    Don't get tripped up by the package name (setspace) being different from this command (setstretch). Further information is available in the online Help – Search – setspace – setspace package – changing the typeset line spacing.

  3. Surface Pro:     We were asked recently whether Scientific WorkPlace will run on the Microsoft Surface tablets. At that point, we didn't know – but the developers at MacKichan Software responded:
    "The Surface Pro runs Windows 8, so our programs would be expected to run on that computer.  I haven't seen this myself, but I believe customers have been successful.  This can be tested using the trial.

    The Surface runs a special version of Windows and programs must be created especially for this version.  Our programs would not run on the Surface.  Pretty sure that's true as earlier this week we had a customer having issues with a Surface.
    Also, this thread on the forum indicates the program runs on the Surface Pro: http://forum.mackichan.com/node/849."
    We strongly recommend that you read the page referred to above, and be sure to take advantage of our free 30-day demo first before deciding on this combination. For the download, just go to our v5.5 demodisk web page at www.sciword.co.uk/demo.htm and select the demo you require: Scientific WorkPlace is 95Mb.

  4. User Account Control:    User Account Control is a security feature of Windows to prevent malware making unauthorised changes to your computer. The only problem is – it can prevent the correct installation of Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook.
    We recently had a computer technician at one of our UK universities report that, following the re-formatting of a computer, the newly reinstalled Scientific WorkPlace (v5.0) was giving an error message:
    "Scientific WorkPlace has stopped working.
    A problem caused the program to stop working correctly..." etc.
    We recommended reinstalling (as the Administrator, of course) with User Account Control turned off (Start – Control Panel – User Accounts – Change User Account Control Setting, followed by a reboot if instructed to do so). Result: another satisfied user!
    Please also see our November 2010 mailing Item 4.

  5. Must-have accessory?    Another UK university recently bought multiple individual copies of Scientific WorkPlace (we think our October 2013 mailing Item 3 might have something to do with it). After the third sale within a week, we pointed out that – at that rate – they'd have been better to buy 5 systems together and get the 10% Quantity Discount.
    Apparently some of the department's users couldn't wait for the university audit to complete, and insisted on getting their copy now! It's nice to know that there are discerning users out there for whom we're simply a must-have accessory!

  6. Graphics resolution:    Back in October we had an interesting exchange with a user at a multiple-user site who was not happy at the quality of graphics after compiling to PDF:
    "hi i want to import a figure from matlab. i tried to import it by the command "import picture" in different forms . the problem is that i am not satisfied with the quality when i complie the file. is there any other way to improve the quality? thank you"
    This could have been for any one of several reasons documented in our past mailings (search for "graphics"), which we began to work through and eliminate one by one. It was true: the graphics quality wasn't great – but in the end it turned out that the user was generating low-quality .bmp files to start with. We were left replying:
    "I think that’s all we can do then – Scientific WorkPlace cannot make your graphics appear higher resolution than they are originally."
    That really would put us up there with the must-have accessories...

  7. Uninstalling?    We really can't see why anyone would want to!
    For those who do want to, Uninstall information is on all our program pages at http://www.scientific-word.com (and http://www.scientific-workplace.com and http://www.scientific-notebook.com):
    "To uninstall the program (if required) click on Start – Control Panel – Programs and Features – Scientific Word 5.5 – Uninstall."
    A couple of weeks ago, someone Emailed who wanted to uninstall after a 30-day demo, saying Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 was not showing in the list of Programs and Features (and he included a screenshot to prove it). The reason is unclear – though we suspect it was related to the user running Scientific WorkPlace inside a Windows emulator.
    However, it's always possible to uninstall from the distribution CD: just drop in the CD, click on Run setup.exe, enter your serial number, click on Install(!)... which then offers the choice of Modify/Repair/Remove (and select Remove to uninstall). You'll recognise that this is essentially the same information as our July 2010 mailing (Item 2).
    But we still can't see why you'd want to  ; - )

  8. And a Merry Christmas!    Tinsel and turkey, sausage and stuffing, cards and carols, presents and people, apples and oranges, bells and baubles, chocolates and candles, singers and sleighbells, games and greetings, fairies and firelight, parties and parcels, drinks and drunks, snowballs and snowmen, friends and family, poinsettia and postmen, chestnuts and Christmas cake, cooking and baking, traditions and trifle, decorations and dinners, mirth and merriment, robins and reindeer, sledging and snow, Scrooge and Santa, Dickens and Tiny Tim, pudding and pine needles, holly and holidays, fun and festivities, mince pies and mottoes, laughter and luxuries, skating and shopping, crowds and crackers, gifts and glitter, trees and toys, dates and figs, nuts and raisins, roses and wrapping up, paper hats and paper chains, frost and fairy lights, stars and snowflakes, partridges and pear trees, kissing and mistletoe, customs and cheeriness, office do's and time off work...
    Because Jesus was born. He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9v6).


Thanks for reading! We send this mailing every two months or so as a courtesy to our users – please just let us know if you no longer wish to remain on our mailing list. Further news in the New Year – or as soon as version 6.0 is released.

Christopher Mabb, Scientific Word Ltd., UK
Tel: +44 (0)845 766 0340; Fax: +44 (0)845 603 9443
Email: christopher@sciword.co.uk
Web: https://www.sciword.co.uk/