May 2018

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


    Here's some further news and technical tips to help you get the most from your Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook system.
    The latest version is v6.0.28 with many updates listed below. However, we recommend you do not yet update to v6.0.28 – at least, not without reading Item 2 below...


  1. Version 6.0.28:    Here's the list of changes, updates and improvements in v6.0.28:

  2. Hold it!    You might remember the issue a couple of years ago when the release of TeX Live 2016 broke the MacKichan installer; this information was disseminated in our June 2016 mailing Item 2.
    We're sorry to say that the release of TeX Live 2018 has done the same thing; the problem appears to be the MacKichan installation routine's inability to create the 2018 subfolder of \texlive (and its subfolders).
    For installation of v6.0.28, please follow our standard v6.0 installation instructions in conjunction with the temporary instructions for manual installation of TeXLive. This will apply until v6.0.29 is released.
    The text in green below is now redundant.

    1. If you are trying to upgrade a Scientific Word/WorkPlace system from v6.0.26 or v6.0.27 to the latest v6.0.28 then simply uncheck the TeX Live Network Install module after accepting the licence agreement (where Ghostscript and Inkscape are probably also unchecked). This will allow you to run SW/P v6.0.28 with the existing TeXLive 2017
    2. If you are creating a new SW/P installation:
      • First install TeXLive manually. The page here links you to There you can download install-tl-windows.exe, which you should then Simple install – Next – Install.
        This process will take some time. After the unpacking, click Next on the blue TeXLive 2018 panel. (There are instructions, though not very good ones, at
      • After you have installed TeXLive, follow our v6.0 installation instructions. In Step 4 you should uncheck the TeX Live Network Install module after accepting the licence agreement (where Ghostscript and Inkscape are probably also unchecked).

    Note that the file C:\texlive\tlyear (you can open it with NotePad) tells you which version of TeXLive it thinks it's trying to use. On a Mac, it's the file ~/.tex/tlyear (you can open it with TextEdit).
    Of course, all this is just a temporary fix to get you off the hook – no doubt the next update of Scientific Word/WorkPlace will remove the problem.

  3. Beamer & PowerPoint:    As you know, Scientific Word/WorkPlace does not produce PowerPoint presentations, though it allows you to copy and paste maths in as graphics (coincidentally, one of the clips included in the Training videos demo from 2m30s to 3m10s). The closest Scientific Word/WorkPlace comes to PowerPoint is Beamer, but Beamer produces PDFs to project directly from the Acrobat Reader rather than by exporting to PowerPoint.
    An academic who has been one of our users for over 25 years wants to customise a Beamer theme so as to reproduce the appearance of a given university PowerPoint template, writing:
    As a quick fix I opened the template in LibreOffice Impress and exported it as a pdf, I then exploded it to separate pages and included them in the Beamer presentation as background images using default style and disabling the footer and navigation icons.
    It works but I wonder if there is a way to produce a Beamer theme that will reproduce this appearance just by adding \usetheme{university} to the preamble making it easier to convert presentations for use inside and outside the university.
    This is a non-trivial problem. If the university fails to commission a Beamer theme as a matching pair with its PowerPoint template, then our best suggestion is to ask the university to supply the

    involved, and commission a Beamer theme to be professionally produced by someone whose expertise is in LaTeX and Beamer themes matching PowerPoint. Googling “produce beamer theme to match powerpoint” yields some promising results...
    If any of our users have already solved this problem, do please let us know, and we'll pass the information on to the user concerned and include it for a wider audience in our next mailing. Thanks.

  4. v6.0 serial number:    Just a recap. that:

    1. A v6.0 serial number will Register a v5.5 system (although it will lose any British English dictionary your v5.5 serial number might automatically unlock), but
    2. A v5.5 serial number will not Activate a v6.0 system
    3. All those who bought v5.5 systems after November 2010 were eligible for a complimentary v6.0 upgrade, and our June 2015 mailing Item 4 gives details of how to obtain the corresponding v6.0 serial number
    4. The v6.0 systems we supplied in early 2015 were delivered as v5.5 serial numbers (so as to get the users up and running immediately), to be upgraded as above as soon as v6.0 was released.

    That's the background to the exchange we had a couple of months ago with one of our users in Finland:
    I bought or pre-ordered scientific workplace 6.0 from you some time ago and installed it but have not used it for a while <snip>. I tried today to use sci workplace 6 (mainly for the convenient math engine) but for some reason my licence doesn't work anymore. I tried to reenter the licence but sciworkplace didn't accept it.
    The details of our reply might be helpful for others:
    The licence and serial number below (E0600) are for Scientific WorkPlace v5.5; at the time of your Order the v6.0 serial numbers (E0700) had not been released. To obtain your E0700 serial number for v6.0, please see our June 2015 mailing Item 4.
    If you’re wanting to use the the Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 you’re familiar with, you can still use your v5.5 serial number (note that the licence file below is specific to the machine for which it was issued; you can register v5.5 on another computer as well if you’ve changed machines). Version 6.0 feels a little different being a complete re-write of the program, and will require the v6.0 serial number.
    In summary: best practice is to use v5.5 serial numbers for v5.5 systems, and likewise with v6.0.

  5. GDPR:    The General Data Protection Regulation comes into force this Friday 25th May.

    And if you'd like to read our GDPR Policy, just click here.


We send this mailing to our users every couple of months; we'll be in touch again in the Summer. 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...

Thanks for reading!


Christopher Mabb, Scientific Word Ltd., UK
Tel: +44 (0)345 766 0340; Fax: +44 (0)345 603 9443