December 2020

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


    Here's some lighter reading at the end of a difficult year to ease you into the Christmas holidays and help you get the most from your professional technical typesetting / scientific word-processing software.
    The current version of Scientific Word, Scientific WorkPlace and Scientific Notebook is still 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; the updated installation instructions are here.


  1. Coronavirus update:    We will continue to honour the offers we made in our March 2020 mailing and on our Remote Access page for a further 3 months – at least until the end of March 2021. To summarise, this provides:

    1. Access to our Unbeatable Expert Technical Support, even for version 5.5
    2. Fixed price Technical Support Remote Access sessions using Quick Assist (for Windows 10) or Remote Assistance (for other versions of Windows)
    3. Fixed licences available in instalments, with the option either to terminate at 6 and 12 months or convert to a permanent licence
    4. £50 discount off the v5.5 Scientific Word/WorkPlace Training Course videos when bought with the above Fixed-licence-by-instalments and complimentary access to Section Two (about 45 minutes) of the version 6.0 Training videos.

    We're just doing our part to keep things moving as easily as possible in these strange times.

  2. More right-click?    A user who has been on our database for over 25 years (since Scientific Word v2.5) Emailed recently with an irritation:
    I have come across a strange phenomenon. When I open my aging copy of SW5.5 I get a message about not registering properly (or some such). Never been a bother, so just a mild irritation. However, I have been using Windows 10 and find the following:
    I boot up <snip>
    I open SW55
    I do some editing and roaming and stuff
    I close SW55
    Some time later I open SW55 again except that it won't, neither from the icon nor from clicking on a file name.
    So I reboot
    We replied with what we believe was the appropriate link:
    Well, no promises… but this sounds a bit like the point we covered in our December 2019 mailing Item 4 (last paragraph). Perhaps you’ll be kind enough to let us know whether this solves the problem?
    although travel and quarantine issues mean we don't yet know for sure. But it's an easy fix to try if anyone has a similar issue.

  3. Importing LaTeX:    One of our users was wanting to import some LaTeX expressions into a Scientific Word/WorkPlace document (there is no difference between the two in this regard):
    I have a few paragraphs written in latex with mathematics typeset in the standard way (eg. $\frac{x}{y}$ etc). I’d like to read this into Scientific Word [/WorkPlace], and continue drafting.
    Could you suggest the way I can do this which avoids having to compose these equations afresh
    Our response started by assuming the user was referring to v5.5:
    1. Either: Copy the expressions (eg. $\frac{x}{y}$) to the clipboard. In Scientific WorkPlace go to the place you want to insert the expressions and click Insert – Typeset Object – TeX Field. Paste in the expressions and leave the Encapsulated box unchecked, unless you want Scientific WorkPlace to leave it as a TeX Field; click on OK. You’ll see the grey TeX Field in your document. When you click Typeset – Preview PDF the expressions will be typeset with the rest of the document.
      When you save, close and re-open your document, Scientific WorkPlace will interpret and display the expressions in the TeX Field, if possible; if it is not possible it may at worst cause the document to crash (unlikely). In this case, revert to a copy of the document and this time when Inserting the TeX Field, check the Encapsulated box; this prevents Scientific WorkPlace looking inside the TeX Field to try to understand it – it simply passes it straight to the compiler.
    2. Or: if you have expressions saved in a .tex file (see, for example, some-tex.tex attached) you can import these into a Scientific WorkPlace document using File – Import Contents, and they will be immediately interpreted and displayed. (Note the risk of crashing your document if Scientific WorkPlace cannot interpret the contents, as above.)

    Version 6.0 is similar, with the following variations:
    • The Encapsulated box defaults to checked, whether you actually check it or not: Scientific WorkPlace does not interpret and display the contents you have imported.
    • Scientific WorkPlace does not offer the File – Import Contents option.

    It may be that these have both been omitted from v6.0 because they run the risk of crashing the document, as described above. A workaround, if you want to be able to see the mathematics you have imported, would be to use File – Import Contents to bring the LaTeX into a v5.5 document, and then use File – Import TeX to open the v5.5 document in v6.0.

    MacKichan Software confirmed that this is the expected behaviour, writing:
    ...the Version 6 document source is xhtml with MathML. Interpreting LaTeX only happens when a document is imported. To get the visual form of LaTeX entered into a TeX field, you would need to export and then import to create a new document. Probably best to only do this with the fragment of LaTeX rather than the whole document <snip>.
    So, not a bug, but a side effect of the new native document format.

  4. It's Christmas...    but not as we know it. You might have seen this doing the rounds; we’re reprinting it with kind permission of the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth.
    The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the way we conduct our lives, with many new rules and restrictions governing our health and safety. One area of concern is your Christmas Crib. Although there are several weeks to go before Christmas, you will need to start planning now. You will need to begin with a thorough risk assessment to ensure your Crib is COVID-secure. Here is some further guidance:

    1. A maximum of 4 shepherds only are permitted in the Crib
    2. Shepherds must wear facemasks (unless exempt) and strictly observe social distancing (2m or 1m+ with mitigations)
    3. Jesus, Mary and Joseph form a family bubble and thus may be placed together
    4. The ox and the ass need Declaration of Non-Contamination Certificates, obtainable from the Department of Agriculture
    5. The Three Wise Men, since they come from a non Schengen Area, will be subject to a 14-day quarantine, whether or not they have tested negative for Covid
    6. The straw, moss, palm branches and other decorations must be disinfected, with hands washed for 20 seconds after handling
    7. Angels flying over the Crib are now forbidden, owing to the aerosol effect produced by the batting of wings
    8. Shepherds are permitted provided they are not more than 70 years old or suffering from underlying medical conditions or in another vulnerable category
    9. The inn, along with other businesses in the hospitality sector, is closed until further notice
    10. For 2020 only, a Pontius Pilate should be added to the Crib to explain to authorised participants the protocols for washing and sanitisation of hands.
    Hopefully 2021 will be a happier time for us all.


That's all from us for the moment; we send our circular mailing to users every couple of months or so. But please just let us know if you no longer wish to remain on our database, and we'll confirm your removal within hours. (That's better than just unsubscribing from this mailing, as we regenerate the mailing list from the database each time.)

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