Leap Year's Day 2020

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


    Leap Year's Day! Surely that's worth a mailing with the latest information you need to get the most from 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. Installation instructions?    It's been known for our users to think the installation instructions are only for people who are not very bright! It's not true: those people don't use Scientific Word/WorkPlace at all – our users are typically high calibre academics or researchers with two or three degrees. The installation instructions are for bright people who don't want to be wasting time wondering why the program is not behaving itself.
    The principal non-negotiable, in the installation instructions for both v5.5 (Steps 2, 9 & 12) and v6.0 (Steps 3 & 6), is right-click – Run as Administrator. If you don't have sufficient privileges on the computer to do that, then all bets are off as to the result; we strongly recommend you don't just proceed anyway, but ask your university/company IT support either to install the software for you, or to give you sufficient privileges. See our December 2019 mailing Item 4.

  2. v6.0 licence file:    Occasionally, users have problems Activating v6.0 (Step 6 of the v6.0 installation instructions) – usually because of firewall restrictions (the firewall is objecting to Scientific Word/WorkPlace obtaining its licence file during Activation from a non-https: address). In this case, we will happily generate your licence file license.lic for you, and send it by Email for you to save in the location specified in Step 8 of the instructions: this will be of the form

    Note that AppData is a hidden folder – so you won't see it in c:\Users\[Name] between 3D Objects and Contacts (or whatever the first few lines are when sorted alphabetically). You can either:
    1. Tell File Explorer to show hidden items (View – Hidden items), or
    2. Add \AppData in the address box at the top and press Return.

    When you next open Scientific Word/WorkPlace you will get the gold seal from Help – License Information.

  3. Sigma or Summation?    Here's an interesting issue that arose when a user upgraded to v6.0 on the Mac. He wrote, referring to the v5.5 Creating Documents manual:
    ...you provide on page 360 Appendix B Keyboard Shortcuts a useful summary of shortcuts. But substituting control s for command s does not work: I tried to insert a sum with the keyboard sequence "command s followed by s", command s immediately induces a save command! Any get arounds for this?
    We replied:
    1. ...on p362 it says the commands for a Greek letter sigma is Ctrl-g followed by s or S (for lowercase or uppercase sigma). This is till true in v6.0, with the change from Ctrl to Cmd. So on the Mac, Cmd-g followed by s or S gives you the Greek letter sigma; you said "I tried to insert a sum with the keyboard sequence 'command s followed by s'", but any command starting Ctrl-s or Cmd-s is going to trigger the Windows or Mac commands to save the document. Similarly, Ctrl-i or Cmd-i gives an integral
    2. Note that the Greek letters entered as above do not resize when put in a Display (as distinct from the summation operator)
    3. If you want the summation operator sigma, then you should use either:
      1. From the mouse, point and click at the sigma on the Math toolbar (View – Toolbars – Math toolbar)
      2. With the keyboard, enter Ctrl-spacebar (NOT Cmd-spacebar) to bring up the Macro dialog at the bottom left of the screen, and type sum (followed by Carriage Return)
    4. Another option would be to save your own operators or characters as fragments; calling them back is quite efficient if you give them short two- or three-letter names. See our video 2h-Fragments <snip>; the second half of the video discusses how to create your own fragments. These videos were recorded on a Mac
    5. We also recommend you download the version 6.0 copy of Creating Documents from our manuals page and work through Chapter 5 (p67)
    We hope this will of interest to others too.

  4. v5.5 files on v6.0:    A university in the process of upgrading multiple Scientific WorkPlace systems Emailed to ask:

    One question will 5.5 files run on version 6?

    You would certainly expect so, wouldn't you... But because v6.0 is a complete re-writing of the code (whereas v2.0 to v5.5 were all bolt-ons to the original v1.0 code base), here's the answer we actually gave:

    Let me give you a thorough answer to v5.5 files running on v6.0:

    1. In theory, of course, the answer is Yes
    2. Any issues arise from the fact that v5.5's file format is .tex; whereas for v6.0 – to incorporate the new functionality – the file format is a .sci folder which contains a tex file
    3. We covered this issue most recently in our September 2019 mailing Item 3
    4. Files are brought from v5.5 into v6.0 using File – Import TeX, and exported from v6.0 to v5.5 using File – Export TeX
    5. For straight-forward documents there are no problems. But the reality is that complicated v5.5 documents (especially those which started life as hand-written LaTeX imported in to v5.5 rather than being created by Scientific Word/WorkPlace) can cause problems
    6. While the v6.0 import/export is pretty good, you would ideally only want to do it once when you upgrade from v5.5 to v6.0. You wouldn't want to be working on the same document, sometimes with v5.5 and sometimes with v6.0. Ideally, co-authors should be using the same version of Scientific Word/WorkPlace.
    Clearly, all our v6.0 users have done this transition, but it's the issue about which we get some real dissatisfaction with v6.0.
    But lest we've over-egged the pudding, why not download the free v6.0 demo and try importing a v5.5 document for yourself?

  5. Missing Bezos:    An error message we'd not seen before:
    package bezos not present in repository
    came up when a user newly installed v6.0.30 on a MacOS 10.14.3 (so not the Catalina problem). He asked:
    During installation an error message appeared - I attach a screenshot. Should I be concerned about this?
    The answer is that Yes, you should be concerned about any error message during installation. We wrote:
    I'm supposing your Scientific WorkPlace will not work on account of this error, but it's worth testing it.
    1. At Step 8 do you get the gold seal?
    2. Try opening a new document (eg. File – New – Standard LaTeX – Standard LaTeX Article) and compiling (PDF preview at the bottom of the screen, or Cmd – Shift – P). Assuming it doesn't work, please let us have the log file: our instructions for this (December 2019 mailing Item 7) are written for Windows, but it's similar on the Mac: the log file will be in Documents/SWPDocs/[filename]_work/tex/main.log
    But we were wrong: his system was working fine. We forwarded the issue of the missing bezos package/s to MacKichan Software, and they responded:
    Yes, that's the case. I've made appropriate changes that will appear in the future, but I don't know what that schedule will be. This is caused by changes on CTAN...
    The packages from bezos that we were using are accents and dotlessi.
    In this case, it wasn't a problem.
    But in general: you should be concerned about any error message during installation.

  6. Licensing v5.5 manually:    (including a reminder not to include the British English dictionary)
    One of our commercial Annual Maintenance sites Emailed to say:
    We're encountering an issue with a new user regarding their licence [on 5.5]
    I've attached a screenshot of the unlock page they're seeing. Are we able to manually licence, as per the attached?
    Version 5.5 Tech Support – retired in June 2017 – is still readily available to our Annual Maintenance and Support Contract sites, and we offered them these two options:
    1. Easy Option: We can supply the v5.5 licence file license.lic for you to save in c:\sw55\Licenses. This is specific to the computer in question, and so we need you to provide us with the computer ID as well as the serial number of the program. To obtain the computer ID, go into Scientific Word and (for v5.5) click on Help – System Features. The computer ID is in the System box.
    2. Better (independent) Option: Go to http://licensing.mackichan.com/Activate from any web browser and enter the required details (only Scientific Word; 5.5; computer ID; Serial number; Email address are required) to obtain the licence file both in the browser window and by Email. Please see our February 2014 mailing Item 2: don't include a British English serial number. You'll get the licence information between asterisks, eg.
      FEATURE SW mackichn 5.5 permanent uncounted \
              HOSTID=COMPUTER_ID=a1b2c3d4 TS_OK SIGN="0037 5903 2A7C 0F13 \
              44E4 1D18 3F5C 1E00 06DD BB92 B4D3 0F2F B3BB CFD9 F737
      FEATURE British_English mackichn 5.5 permanent uncounted \
              HOSTID=COMPUTER_ID=a1b2c3d4 TS_OK SIGN="0017 6F4C 1DF5 8F0C \
              E96F 572D A985 5300 02AE 679F 7E0D 1A32 2040 EFA0 EFA3"

      ## 300-E0600-xxxxx-yyyyy-zzzzz##

      And you can then either:
      1. Save the text between the asterisks (including the blank line before the final asterisks) to a file called license.lic (Note the American spelling) and put it in c:\sw55\Licenses. To create file called license.lic with NotePad it's easiest to start by copying and editing an existing license.lic from another computer, or copy-and-rename packages.lic from the same folder; or
      2. Type the 15 blocks of 4 characters (highlighted [the characters generated for your computer ID]) into the 15 spaces at "Unlock code" (and repeat with the 15 blocks of 4 characters for the British English spell checker, if the serial number had previously been linked with the British English dictionary)

  7. Changing computers:    A user who's been using Scientific WorkPlace since the last century recently bought a new computer and – after having a look at v6.0 – chose to transfer his v5.5 to the new computer.
    Here's our comprehensive summary of the information needed to transfer everything as seamlessly as possible:
    To move your v5.5 setup to a new computer you will certainly need to reinstall and Register. You will also want to read the following mailings:
    1. August 2013 mailing Item 2 (Transferring to a new computer)
    2. February 2014 mailing Item 2 (British English dictionary, when Registering v5.5 on a new computer)
    3. February 2015 mailing Item 5 (Making the new installation look like the previous computer)
    Once the British English dictionary is installed on your new computer according to the installation instructions, you can transfer the words saved in your personal list by copying across the file c:\swp55\brtuser.clm; the additional words for the American English dictionary are in c:\swp55\enguser.clm.
    And, in order that his trial of v6.0 had not been wasted time, we suggested he export any work written in v6.0 to .tex using File – Export TeX (in v6.0), and then open the .tex file in v5.5 before copy-and-pasting into his preferred v5.5 document shell.

  8. Windows S:    A new subscriber to the 30-day demo of Scientific WorkPlace wanted to know:
    Is there a plan to certify SWP for s level security on Win10?
    MacKichan Software responded with:

    Windows S requires that applications are available via the Microsoft Store. We do not, and do not currently anticipate, being available via the Microsoft Store.
    As far as I know, our products, or TeX Live or MiKTeX, cannot be used with Windows S.

    We don't envisage that changing. But if it does, this bi-monthly mailing is the place you'll hear it from us first!


We send this mailing to our users every couple of months or so: the nights will be getting light when you hear from us again... 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
Email: christopher@sciword.co.uk
Web: https://www.sciword.co.uk