December 2019

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


    You can pretty much smell the turkey cooking! So here's our Christmas mailing with further news, tips and support information to help you make the most of your Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook.
    The current version of Scientific Word, Scientific WorkPlace and Scientific Notebook is v6.0.30. 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) we recommend you update to the current version when convenient; the installation instructions are here.


  1. Brexit:    We anticipate that the UK's exit from the EU will have relatively little impact on our supply of Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook. Since all our software is delivered electronically there will be no import/export problems; the only issue will be correctly charging and accounting for VAT, as follows:

    1. Our UK customers: No change – we will continue to charge you UK VAT after Brexit
    2. Our non-EU customers: No change – we will continue to supply you without charging VAT after Brexit
    3. Our EU customers: There will be no immediate change – we will continue to charge you EU VAT during the transition period from 31st January until 31st December 2020.
      And after 1st January 2021? That will depend on the future trading relationship, which is expected to be negotiated during 2020.

    At least, that's our understanding. But we'd welcome input from anyone who might understand it better...

  2. macOS 10.15 Catalina:    Catalina was released in October. Please do not upgrade your Mac to Catalina [or higher] just yet, as this version of the operating system is incompatible with 32-bit programs such as Scientific Word and Scientific WorkPlace. This follows on from our June 2019 mailing Item 2 (first paragraph) with its link to this information.
    Barry MacKichan writes:
    Apple has just launched macOS® 10.15 Catalina, which does not run 32-bit programs and therefore does not run the current versions of the MacKichan Software programs. We strongly recommend against updating to Catalina at this time.
    We are currently working to modify the programs so that they will run on Catalina. We will send out an announcement when they are usable with Catalina.
    We know this may cause problems for many of you; please accept our apologies.
    For further information, please read Apple's announcement and the relevant Wikipedia page. You might also find it useful to read about possible workarounds on PCMagazine's page How to Run 32-Bit Apps in macOS Catalina.

  3. Double-click .sci:    A user at one of our Annual Maintenance sites asked us last week about opening Scientific Word by double-clicking on the .sci file, instead of with File – Open (we assume under Windows 10). Our reply applies equally to Scientific WorkPlace, with the appropriate substitution of SWP for SW:
    To open an .sci file with Scientific Word by double-clicking:
    1. Go into File Explorer and right-click an .sci file
    2. Choose Open with
      1. If SW is showing, select that
      2. If SW is not showing, select ‘Choose another app’. Select ‘Always use this app to open .sci files’. Click on ‘More apps’ and scroll down to the bottom. Select ‘Look for another app on this PC’. Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\MacKichan\SW  [you may need your Tech Support’s help to have permission to go there]. In the right-hand of the dialog select ‘SW – application’. Click on Open
    3. The .sci file you selected will open in Scientific Word
    4. Close Scientific Word
    5. Double-click an .sci file to make sure it opens in Scientific Word
    The user had found that double-clicking an .sci file did indeed open Scientific Word, but showing a blank new document (and possibly without opening the .sci file he'd clicked on). In this case, please see Item 4 below.

  4. Right-click:    We've had several Tech Support problems recently for which the solution has been to right-click – Run as Administrator when opening from the Scientific Word/WorkPlace desktop icon:

    1. At Step 6 of the v6.0 Installation Instructions, so as to be able to Activate correctly
    2. At Step 12 of the v5.5 Installation Instructions, so as to get the dozen or so lines saying "Available" (see our February 2013 mailing Item 5)

    The common denominator seem to be Windows 10 on University machines where the user does not have Administrator privileges. If you were unable to right-click – Run as Administrator for the initial installation (at Step 3 for v6.0; at Step 2 for v5.5) then it is likely that Scientific Word/WorkPlace is not correctly installed; in this case, you will need to ask your University IT/Tech Support department to give you Administrator privileges on your machine, or to come and install the program for you.

    However, it seems to be the case that once the program has been correctly installed (with right-click – Run as Administrator) and then opened once with right-click – Run as Administrator, it will subsequently run correctly with a simple left-click on the desktop icon.
    Even if not, it might be possible to use Windows to run Scientific WorkPlace always as the Administrator: right-click the desktop icon – Properties – Shortcut – Advanced – Run as administrator – OK.

  5. Available symbols:    Someone wanting the free 30-day trial Emailed to ask:
    ...can we use symbols used in mathematical logic with the fonts provided with SW, this because some maths software provide "classical" maths symbols but not any of the specific ones used in logic (p.e. satisfiabilties, unusual symbols of order relations, old german font, hebraic letters,...)
    Assuming Wikipedia's List of logic symbols would be sufficient for an initial test, we replied that:
    Scientific Word is a WYSIWYG interface to LaTeX, so any symbols available in LaTeX should be available in Scientific Word
    and recorded a playlist of two videos to make the case. If you're interested in the different ways you can get any mathematical symbols you want in Scientific Word/WorkPlace, please click here and watch in 720HD.

    Recording this video brought to light a previously unreported b*g, in that the User palette of the Symbols panel (for keeping together your most commonly-used symbols) is not robust when using right-click – Add. We noted in our b*g report that: doesn’t retain symbols added to it when detaching and reattaching the panel to/from the left sidebar – and (not surprisingly, therefore) not when closing and re-opening Scientific WorkPlace.
    It turns out that there are two ways of adding a symbol to the User palette: one of them works robustly, and one of them doesn’t. We subsequently added that:
    1. I was right-clicking on the symbol and selecting “Add symbol to User palette”. This appears to work, in that the symbol now shows on the User palette, but the symbol is lost from the User palette on detaching the panel, moving it to the other sidebar or closing and re-opening SW/P (it will survive moving the panel Up or Down on the sidebar).
    2. Dragging the symbol to the word “User” is robust, and leaves the symbol on the User palette permanently.
    Curiously, if you use the first way (right-click and Add) for one symbol, followed by the second way for another symbol, the second symbol ‘locks in’ the first one and both symbols now survive detaching and closing/re-opening the Symbols panel.

  6. Equation alignment:    An interesting problem arose from a user asking:
    I have the two display equations below. How would I align these two equations at the “d” character?
    and attaching a Scientific WorkPlace screenshot. Our summary paper of this issue covers:

    1. Setting the Alignment
    2. The pitfall and its solution
    3. Correcting it if you get the alignment wrong
    4. Fine-tuning any spacing issues.

    Why not download the Scientific WorkPlace document here, and try it for yourself?

  7. log file:    Whenever Scientific Word or Scientific WorkPlace fail to compile and generate the PDF in response to clicking on PDF Preview, we really need to see the log file to diagnose the problem (see our July 2015 mailing Item 5). The difficulty is that the log file so created is in the 'working' folder, which is removed once you close the document in Scientific Word/WorkPlace.
    We recently sent the following brief pointers to someone trying the 30-day demo; they might help a wider audience too:
    ...after you try (and fail) to compile a document called, for example, NAME.sci, open the log file \SWPDocs\NAME_work\tex\main.log with WordPad (Start – Windows Accessories – WordPad) and then save the file to your Desktop (File – SaveAs – Desktop – main.log). This file will still be there after you close Scientific WorkPlace.
    A longer form of the instructions would be as follows (the particular new document shell you choose at No.1 is not significant):
    1. Open Scientific WorkPlace, and click File – New document – Presentations – Slides_Beamer – OK
    2. Click on File – SaveAs, make the address \Documents\SWPDocs\ and call the file AAA111 with type SWP Documents. Click Save
    3. Check File Explorer to make sure that the file AAA111_work is in \SWPDocs [see log1.png]
    4. In Scientific WorkPlace, click on PDFPreview, the 4th tab at the bottom [see log2.png]
    5. Go back to File Explorer and click on SWPDocs\AAA111_work\tex\ to make sure main.log exists [see log3.png]
    6. Right-click on SWPDocs\AAA111_work\tex\main.log and select Copy. This copies the file to the clipboard [see log4.png]
    7. Go to the Desktop; right-click on the Desktop and select Paste, to put the copy of the file main.log on the Desktop [see log5.png]
    8. You may now close Scientific WorkPlace. In File Explorer the folder SWPDocs\AAA111_work will now be empty, but the file main.log will still be on the Desktop
    9. Please Email the file main.log to us as an attachment.
    If you are missing the file main.log, please send us a screenshot; to distinguish between the files main.aux, main.log, main.tex etc. in log3.png and log4.png, right-click on the heading (eg. the word Name) and make sure that Type is selected.

  8. Google Scholar:    Usually we know the answers to Tech Support questions pretty much straight away. That wasn't the case when someone Emailed from Russia asking: to export bibtex file from google scholar to scientific workplace?
    But after some help from Google we were able to reply that:
    The page here gives you steps to export a BibTeX database (.bib) from Google Scholar (Steps 1 to 7)
    and direct them to put that database file with their other Scientific WorkPlace .bib files in the C:\texlive\2019\texmf-dist\bibtex\bib\ folder (or a subfolder).
    We hope this will be helpful to others wanting to use Google Scholar too.

  9. Christmas:    You'll have gathered over the years that we really believe it...
    He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village, and worked in a carpenter's shop until he was 30. Then for three years he became a wandering preacher.
    He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn't go to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never travelled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.
    He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
    Two thousand years have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned – put together – have not affected life on this earth as powerfully as that One Solitary Life.
    With our best wishes as the world celebrates his birth.


We send this mailing to our users every couple of months or so: expect to hear from us again in the depths of winter. 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