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May 2013

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


    Another selection of tips and the latest information for our database of Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook users:


  1. How embarrassing...    for the support staff who approached us saying:
    "A PhD student on a faculty owned desktop is
    unable to typeset anything to PDF. Every time he tries SWP completely
    crashes to desktop."
    Our standard suggestions were surprisingly to no avail:
    "So the first thing to do is to establish whether it's the user's installation of Scientific WorkPlace that's at fault (ie. all the documents will cause it to crash) or whether it's the document (ie. this document will cause a crash on other people's Scientific WorkPlace installation as well).
        If the former – use the Repair utility documented in our July 2010 mailing (https://www.sciword.co.uk/mailings/July2010.htm) Item 2. Also try choosing a different LaTeX compiler/formatter in Typeset – Expert Setting – PDF Format Setting (then the dropdown).
        If the latter – please let us have the document for inspection..."
    Then we discovered they were trying to typeset one of the documents in the online help \Common folder:
    "The documents in the Common folder are not intended as samples for Typeset – Preview PDF; welcome.tex won’t compile one anyone’s machine! Please try Typeset – Preview PDF with documents from SWSamples, such as checkout.tex ."
    Problem solved!

  2. Windows 8:    According to http://www.pcworld.com/article/2017395/windows-rt-vs-windows-8-pro-choosing-the-right-tablet.html :
    "Windows 8 Pro behaves the same whether it’s on a desktop, laptop, or tablet, and all of the software you rely on when using Windows will work on the Windows 8 Pro tablet."
    We haven't heard of any problems running our software on Windows 8 – but do please let us know your experiences.

  3. PDF to .tex?    We received the following enquiry via our website:
    "we can create scientific work place to pdf but can we create pdf to scientific work place?"
    No. If you Google this question you'll find lots of different responses – but they all end up pretty much agreeing there's no satisfactory way to recover the .tex file from a PDF document. We particularly like the blogger who asks whether it's possible to separate a cake into its ingredients...
    The moral of this story is: keep an extra backup of all your Scientific Word/WorkPlace (.tex) files.

  4. Short-term licences:    One of our users asked us about short-term licences for our software. We've never made a big thing about them (we think they're comparatively poor value) – but it is possible to buy 6-month and 12-month Fixed licences for 1/3 and 2/3 of the permanent Fixed licence prices respectively. This pricing structure is intended to steer users towards permanent licensing, yet short-term licensing might be of interest if you're organising a summer school, or a 12-month diploma course, and want to include 6- or 12-months' use of Scientific Word or Scientific WorkPlace bundled with your course.
    Further, you'd get Quantity Discount, so that – for example – you could buy 25 x 12-month Scientific WorkPlace student licences for just £2533, or £100 plus change per licence (plus VAT). Equivalent 12-month student prices for Scientific Word and Scientific Notebook are just £77 and £38 (plus VAT) respectively. We think this could well prove useful to some of our academic users.

  5. Version 6.0:    I have a copy of it on my laptop, but MacKichan Software are determined not to release it for public use until it is absolutely ready. We know this has been as frustrating for our users as it has been for us. May we simply remind you that:
    1. All new systems bought from September 2011 onwards will receive a free upgrade to v6.0 (Licence-only).
    2. We undertake not to invoice for Annual Maintenance in 2014 if, contrary to MacKichan's assurances, version 6.0 has still not been released by the end of 2013.
    3. And we apologise. Again.

  6. Days remaining:    Those with home use licensing associated with a campus-wide licence are sometimes caught unawares when their licence expires. It is always possible to check the number of days left remaining on your licence by clicking on Help – System Features. And we'd recommend you request a new licence once you're down to your last 30 days.

  7. Acrobat X and XI:    A user who's been with us for over 20 years pointed out an issue when a hyperlink (using the hyperref package) has a tilde ~ in the web address. Acrobat IX handles it just fine, but later versions of Acrobat X, and Acrobat XI, can fail to resolve the address correctly. Please download the demonstration file at https://www.sciword.co.uk/tilde.tex , click on Typeset – PreviewPDF and then try clicking the link: the result will depend on your version of the Acrobat Reader. We recommend you should not be in a hurry to 'upgrade' beyond Acrobat IX.
    This problem is documented at http://forums.adobe.com/message/5162453 and http://forums.adobe.com/message/4838085.

  8. Our USP:    As specialists since 1990, supplying only the Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook range of products, all systems (except Student systems) come with our matchless technical support included free of charge for those who buy directly from ourselves or through our approved resellers. You certainly won't get the same deal anywhere else (hey – we'll even price-match if you think you can buy Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook £5 cheaper) because our technical expertise is not available elsewhere – we’ve been demonstrating, selling and doing Tech. Support exclusively for this family of software since Scientific Word Ltd. was established in 1990.


We only Email you every two months – but please just let us know if you no longer wish to remain on our mailing list. Further news and tips in the Summer!

Christopher Mabb, Scientific Word Ltd., UK
Tel: +44 (0)845 766 0340; Fax: +44 (0)845 603 9443
Email: christopher@sciword.co.uk
Web: https://www.sciword.co.uk/