March 2023

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


    Spring at last! Welcome to our March mailing with more Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook Technical Support solutions – whether that's v5.5 or v6. As always, the latest version of the programs is available on our download page, with links to the current installation instructions.


  1. Generating style files...    and package documentation; to the best of our knowledge we've never previously covered this LaTeX information.

    Suppose you want to make use of a package (.sty file) that's not available in your Scientific Word/WorkPlace v5.5 installation – for example, the bibunits package. So you Google it (eg. "latex bibunits package") and find your way to a page such as which invites you to
    Download the contents of this package in one zip archive.
    This gives you, which upon expanding yields the bibunits folder; for definiteness, let's suppose you save that as c:\sw[p]55\bibunits. This folder contains bibunits.ins and bibunits.dtx – but no bibunits.sty (which is the file you want). So you open the README file (for example, with WordPad) and it says:
    To produce the style
    latex bibunits.ins
    To produce the documentation
    latex bibunits.dtx
    Here's how you do that:

    1. Open Windows Command prompt (Start – Windows system – Command Prompt); see GeneratingStyle1
    2. Change to the folder containing the .ins and .dtx files (c:\sw[p]55\bibunits). You will need some basic familiarity with using DOS commands to change the folder:
      • Cd.. take you up a level
      • Cd\ takes you to the root directory
      • Cd \swp55\bibunits takes you straight to C:\swp55\bibunits (or Cd \sw55\bibunits, if you're using Scientific Word)
    3. Once you are in C:\sw[p]55\bibunits, type (or copy and paste): C:\sw[p]55\TCITeX\TrueTeX\runpdflatex bibunits.ins ; note the space between runpdflatex and bibunits.ins. This produces the required file bibunits.sty in the C:\sw[p]55\bibunits folder. See GeneratingStyle2.
    4. In the same way, type (or copy and paste): C:\sw[p]55\TCITeX\TrueTeX\runpdflatex bibunits.dtx ; this produces the documentation bibunits.pdf in the C:\sw[p]55\bibunits folder (although in fact this documentation PDF was already present in the folder when you downloaded it). See GeneratingStyle3.

    Once you've got your .sty file you probably know what to do from there. If you're not sure, feel free to re-read our May 2011 mailing Item 1 and July 2011 mailing Item 3 (second part).
    We have used bibunits only as an example for generating .sty files and documentation; we're not recommending you should use this particular package in your documents.

  2. List numbering:    A v5.5 user with Individual Annual Maintenance Emailed about some second-level lists – ie. numbered lists within a list (see our February 2010 mailing Item 3). She wrote:
    [I] would like to make use of enumerate. From the screenshot you will note that both lists are in Arabic. Is there any way how the second list can use alph?
    Since the user had complimentary access to the videos of our Two-Day Training Couse, the topics of which are listed here, we replied:
    This is covered in our Training videos Section 5.6 from 1m30s – 3m30s.
    Please let us know (and send us your document) if you need any further help
    subsequently adding:
    PS. You probably just want a TeX Field (Insert – Typeset Object – TeX Field) before the list saying:
    Note the roman numeral ii in enumii, since we're dealing with a second-level list.
    It may help to compare this item with changing the way of numbering figures, in our April 2009 mailing Item 3.

  3. Hyperref package:    We first mentioned this package in our September 2010 mailing Item 6, in the context of including links from the document to web addresses. Recently we had occasion to use the hyperref package to link bibliographic citations and references within the document.

    1. Adding the hyperref package (Typeset – Options and Packages – Package options – Add) to a document gives the forward links (in green) from the BibTeX citations to the bibliographic references. See hyperreftest2a.tex and hyperreftest2a.pdf (to see the coloured links you may need to download the PDF and open it in Acrobat, rather than viewing in your browser)
    2. We then used Typeset – Options and Packages – Package options – Go Native to add [backref=page] before {hyperref}. In addition to the forward links in green, this then also creates the backward links (in red) from the bibliographic references to the page numbers of the citations. See hyperreftest2b.tex and hyperreftest2b.pdf (again, download and use Acrobat).

    If your document has dozens of bibliographic references, this could be a useful aid in tracking back to find the citations in the body of your document.

  4. v5.5 'new features':    For most of us, version 5.5 is tried-and-tested, and v6 is new and different. But some users are a little bit behind the curve and still using version 5.0: hence the reference to version 5.0 in our December 2022 mailing Item 2. And so we were recently asked:
    What extra features would an upgrade to v5.5 provide <snip>?
    The additional features added with the upgrade from v5.5 to v5.0 are described here.
    And for those who've been using v5.5 for many years, some of the new features in version 6 are demonstrated here; but please see our August 2022 mailing Item 3 before deciding you'd be better with version 6 than version 5.5.

  5. Registering v5.5:    A few weeks ago, a user joining us from MacKichan Software and enjoying 12 months' complimentary Individual Annual Maintenance asked us for help:
    I own a SWP 5.5 licence and have recently found that I cannot 1. register it on a new computer 2. if I try to simply copy the licence file as suggested then it reports something like cannot register on this computer.
    We replied that:
    For version 5.5:
    • Licence files are machine-specific and cannot be ported from one computer to another.
    • The licence server does not like generating a v5.5 licence file on a machine for which it has already created a v6 licence file. But there is otherwise no reason why you should not be able to Register on a new/fresh computer. Please let us have your computer ID (SWP v5.5 – Help – System Features) and we will try to generate it for you.
    The user soon got up and running by carefully following the v5.5 installation instructions: the issue is almost always right-click – Run as Administrator at Steps 2, 9 and 12 (see our December 2019 mailing Item 4).

  6. Getting started with v6:    When users sign up for the free 30-day trial of Scientific Word/WorkPlace, we send them links to all kinds of resources, such as our Getting Started with Scientific WorkPlace v6.0 page. And for one new user recently who was still having problems, we recommended he watch:
    1. The introductory videos on our Scientific Word and Scientific WorkPlace pages
    2. Our v6 New Features, especially entering whatever symbols you want
    3. The Demonstration videos, although these are more about computation than entering text
    4. And we’ll give you complimentary access to Section 2 of our v6 Training videos.
    That got him started. When he replied:
    Very helpful videos! 
    I try to practice a little bit with skeching graphs, some fields remain gray and don't activate... What do I need to do to enable them? 
    Also, interested in knowing about the possiblities to import graphs and pictures?
    we further explained:
    The options on the Compute menu will only be available when you are in Maths mode, indicated by the red M. For this, your cursor needs to be in the mathematical expression.
    To insert a graphic, click on Insert – Image. Please let us have a short sample document, together with the graphic, of one that did not work.
    Some of those resources mentioned above will be useful to anyone trying out version 6.

  7. Activating v6:    Activation of Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook version 6 is not normally a problem once you've followed the v6 installation instructions. But one user wrote:

    After installing the Software it is not possible to reach the activation server. I think the reason is the Proxy-Server in the Network. How can I activate behind the Proxy-Server?

    We replied:
    To register/Activate on machines that have an issue connecting (or are not connected) to the Internet, we can supply an unlock code. The unlock code 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 WorkPlace:
    • click on Help – Activate. The computer ID is in the second box (version 6.0)
    Please Email this to us exactly (it is case sensitive), and we will reply with the licence file/unlock code. You will then save this file license.lic into the Licenses folder of your Scientific WorkPlace installation, described at Step 8 of the v6 installation instructions.
    But even with the licence file we sent, he couldn't get his Scientific WorkPlace v6 running. We further offered:
    Here are 4 further suggestions:
    1. Re-boot your computer if you have not done so since installing the licence file. This should not make a difference; but it’s an easy option to try, and it sometimes works.
    2. There is an alternative valid location for the licence file: see our December 2015 mailing Item 5. Please try saving the licence file we sent in the second location C:\Program Files (x86)\MacKichan\SWP\
    3. You could try a complete new install of Scientific WorkPlace, precisely following the v6 installation instructions. In particular, ensure you use right-click – Run as Administrator at Step 3B(ii) and Step 6 (bullet item). Instead of Help – Activate (at Step 6 second paragraph) you will use the licence file we sent you.
    4. After you have already tried all the above suggestions, we would be willing to log on to your computer remotely at a mutually convenient time. However, if all the above fails, we suspect it will be because of whatever caused you to write:
      “it is not possible to reach the activation server”
      We are therefore not confident that our logging on would resolve the issue if all the above steps have failed.
    In principle, the computer's online access should not be relevant. As we wrote to our Annual Maintenance / Support Contract list some months ago:

    For Fixed licences (including home use): There needs to be a connection to MacKichan’s licence server for the initial Registration/Activation; after that, the licence file sits on the user's computer (at the address given in the installation instructions for version 6.1 (Step 8) or at c:\sw[p]55\Licenses\license.lic for v5.5) and the user does not have to be online to use Scientific Word/WorkPlace.

    I'm not sure we ever got this one resolved...

  8. Using any font:    One of our v6 Demonstration videos here shows how to use Scientific Word/WorkPlace 6 with any fonts you choose; see our April 2019 mailing Item 2. But unfortunately, we discovered that on our current v6 installations – both Windows and Mac – the dropdown list of fonts from which to choose (at 1m 6s of the video) was empty.
    After some testing, it turned out that versions of Scientific Word/WorkPlace up to v6.0.30 show the dropdown list correctly; versions 6.1.0 and 6.1.2 don’t show the available fonts in the dropdown. You can check which iteration of version 6 you're using from Help – About (scroll down to the bottom of the panel).
    You can download and install whichever iteration of version 6 you want from our programs page. Obviously we recommend installing Scientific Word/WorkPlace v6.0.30 if using different fonts is important for you.


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