December 2022

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


    Welcome to our Christmas mailing to start the Christmas holidays and help you get the most from your professional technical typesetting / scientific word-processing software – whether that's v5.5 or v6 (or in Item 2 below, version 5.0). As always, the latest version of the programs is available on our download page, with links to the current installation instructions.


  1. Decision-making:    The process of getting the right configuration of our software reduces to just three choices:

    1. Program: Choose between Scientific Word and Scientific WorkPlace
    2. Version: Choose between the latest version 6 and the mature, tried-and-tested version 5.5
    3. Licence: Choose either a permanent licence or an annual subscription.

    Why not go to our decision-making page and follow the various links to read more about these options? And if you've still got questions, just drop us an Email – we look forward to hearing from you.

  2. Version 5.0:    A user running the 2003 version 5.0 of Scientific Word who is taking up our offer of 12 months' complimentary Technical Support (see our August 2021 mailing Item 1) Emailed to say:
    I just acquired a Windows 11 laptop for travel, installed my original SW version 5.0 build 2570 from the original CD <snip>. Happily it all worked right away on the new laptop; I could open old SW tex files copied from my main Windows 10 computer and also write new files.
    The SW on my main laptop was upgraded to v5.0 build 2606 <snip> and I was wondering whether I could upgrade my implementation on the Windows 11 laptop with this build...
    We replied:
    If you go to our programs page at you can download the Scientific Word v5.0 program file sciword500 (the third filename down); this installs Scientific Word v5.0 Build 2606.
    To install, we recommend you follow the installation instructions for v5.5. We strongly recommend you keep a backup of your existing v5.0 installation, just in case the downloaded version doesn’t work; you can do this by renaming your folder c:\sw50 to c:\sw50backup.
    The programs page contains versions 5.0 and 5.5 of Scientific Word, Scientific WorkPlace and Scientific Notebook (for Windows only), as well as versions 6.0.30, 6.1.0 and 6.1.2 (for Windows and Mac).

  3. v6 cursor:    One of our SWP version 6 annual subscription users sent a screenshot (similar to this) of the Scientific WorkPlace editing window in which the cursor is at the end of a system of equations. He said:
    When I chose to display [(1.5)] and typed the text, I could not find how to continue typing texts under [(1.5)]. I just want to start a new paragraph, but I can not drag the cursor to the next line. I'm wondering if you can help me to deal with it?
    We responded that:
    With your cursor at the end of expression [1.5], use the right-arrow to move the cursor out of the expression. It will help you to watch the video on our Scientific Word page at; note especially when the time is at 1m25s.
    We encourage all our Scientific Word/WorkPlace version 6 users to watch both the SWdemo and SWPdemo videos; choose full-screen mode and 720 resolution.

  4. v5.5 subdocuments    (see the previous discussion of subdocuments in our November 2021 mailing Item 5 and October 2022 mailing Item 5): Someone got in touch with a subdocument graphics issue:
    I want to make use of subdocuments. For some reason, when I copy and paste a graph into a subdocument, it works for the first time when I run the subdocument <snip>. When I run the master document, the graph looks strange (it has been cut off) in the subdocument. It is also "blank" when I run the master document.
    We were able to reproduce the problem with the user's documents, and in the first instance we responded:
    Interesting problem – we’d not come across that in all these years. For each of the master document and subdocuments, you will need to:
    1. Open the document
    2. Click on Typeset – Output Choice – PDF – OK
    3. Make a change to the document (eg. add a space and then delete it)
    4. Save the document.
    This is documented, although not entirely correctly, in the online Help – Search – subdocuments – subdocuments – graphics missing from PDF files. <snip>
    Of course, you need to start with a graphic that looks like you want, whether brought in from File – Import Picture, or from the clipboard. In our opinion, it’s better to work with files of which you have the original on your computer, rather than something copied from the clipboard: if something goes wrong and you need to recreate the Scientific WorkPlace document, it’s easy if you still have the original graphic, but not if you’ve lost whatever was on the clipboard.
    It turned out that this wasn't quite enough information to resolve the problem: in order for the master document to have access to the graphics, you need to have first compiled/previewed the individual subdocuments. We added:
    You need to compile each subdocument first in order to generate the PDFs of the graphics. For the avoidance of doubt:
    1. You should put the graphics for documents in \Subdoc2 in the Subdoc2\graphics folder. For example, put GraphA.jpg in Subdoc2\graphics.
    2. Use File – Import Picture to put GraphA.jpg into your subdocument.
    3. GraphA_1.pdf (or similar) will be created in Subdoc2\graphics by Scientific WorkPlace when you compile the subdocument.
    4. You will then be able to compile the master document.
    Starting from Typeset – General Settings – PDF Graphics Settings, we recommend using the settings shown in the MasterSub1 and MasterSub2 screenshots.

  5. Testimonials:    From time to time people say nice things in thanking us for the help we've given them.
    Sometimes they even send testimonials and invite us to use them in our publicity.
    If there were a prize for such things – which there isn't – this would win our 'Unsolicited Testimonial of the Year' 2022 award:
    If you have a place for testimonials, here is one:
    If you are planning to purchase Scientific Word or Scientific Workplace, I highly recommend you do so through Scientific Word Ltd, in the UK. ( The company is expertly run by Dr. Christopher Mabb, who has used the program himself and its antecedents since 1985, while writing his PhD thesis (in mathematics). Dr. Mabb went out of his way in helping me to license the program, even though we are thousands of miles apart.
    Dr. William C. Parke, Professor of Physics Emeritus,  The George Washington University
    Thanks William. Glad we got you up and running!

  6. Movable type printing:    The Gutenberg printing press (around 1440) was a necessary forerunner in typography of Scientific Word and Scientific WorkPlace; without it, you wouldn't be reading this now.
    For the 400th anniversary of its invention, Felix Mendelssohn wrote the Gutenberg Cantata; and part 2 of the Cantata was subsequently adapted to Charles Wesley's Christmas carol "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing":
    Hark! The herald angels sing,
    “Glory to the newborn King!
    Peace on earth and mercy mild,
    God and sinners reconciled.”
    Joyful, all ye nations rise,
    Join the triumph of the skies,
    With th’angelic host proclaim:
    Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
    Hark! The herald angels sing,
    “Glory to the newborn King!”

    Christ by highest heav'n adored,
    Christ the everlasting Lord!
    Late in time behold Him come,
    Offspring of a Virgin's womb.
    Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
    Hail the incarnate Deity,
    Pleased as man with man to dwell,
    Jesus, our Emmanuel.
    Hark! The herald angels sing,
    “Glory to the newborn King!”

    Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
    Hail the Son of Righteousness!
    Light and life to all He brings,
    Ris'n with healing in His wings.
    Mild He lays His glory by,
    Born that man no more may die,
    Born to raise the sons of earth,
    Born to give them second birth.
    Hark! The herald angels sing,
    “Glory to the newborn King!”
    If the pandemic taught us anything, it's that physical life isn't enough on its own: Jesus himself said "You've got to be born again spiritually" (John 3v7). So if you're reflecting on the meaning of Christmas, this carol offers some important clues:
    In comparison, even movable type printing isn't all that exciting.

  7. So now it's time...    to go put the turkey in the oven and celebrate his birth. Merry Christmas!


We send this circular mailing to users every couple of months or so. But please just let us know here if you no longer wish to remain on our database, 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