November 2018

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


    Welcome to our latest collection of news and technical tips for our Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook users.
    The current version of Scientific Word, Scientific WorkPlace and Scientific Notebook is v6.0.29; if you are running an earlier version we recommend you update to the current version when convenient; the installation instructions are here.


  1. Accents over characters:    A student trying the Scientific Word 30-day demo Emailed to ask:
    How do I type "y hat" in Scientific word? Thanks.
    We Emailed back with the following instructions:
    To type accents over mathematics, such as y hat, first change to Maths mode with Ctrl-M (or Cmd-M on Mac), then enter the character:
    Right click on the character, and select Properties – Character Properties, then choose the accent required and click OK
    and attached a sample document as both a Scientific Word document and its PDF [and here is the HTML Export].
    For reference, you might want to compare this with the v5.5 instructions in our August 2013 mailing Item 3.

  2. Dropbox:    Over the summer, one of our academic sites reported a problem with a user's Scientific WorkPlace files getting corrupted: his opening his SWP files directly from Dropbox (double-clicking on the file from the Dropbox folder to open SWP).
    We were pleasantly surprised if opening by double-clicking was the only circumstance in which problems arose when working from Dropbox. We agreed that we could:
    ...see how working on a document in the Dropbox folder could cause problems: Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 is auto-saving the document every few minutes according to the parameter set at Tools – User Setup – Files – Miscellaneous – Create Quick-load Backup Files, and Dropbox is automatically syncing… so I can see potential for problems there. <snip>
    I’m pleasantly surprised if that issue can be resolved simply by opening Scientific WorkPlace first...
    Note that in version 6.0 of Scientific Word/WorkPlace the auto-save parameter is set in seconds according to Tool – Preferences – General – General – Automatic saving.
    This was the first time we'd come across users opening SW/P files directly in Dropbox, whether using version 5.5 or version 6.0: we'll be interested to hear of other users' experience. Anybody??

  3. Manuals?    Or online Help?
    One of our users from the early 1990s (Scientific WorkPlace v2.0) Emailed us this week, asking whether:
    All good questions, which others might be asking. We responded that:
    Virtually no-one uses manuals (or DVDs) for software these days, and so it is unlikely that the manuals will be revised; there is no Scientific WorkPlace DVD. A better source of help is to use the online Help. Clicking on:
    Help – Scientific WorkPlace help – (Search) – Image – Adding images
    gives you the screenshot you see in practice.
    We therefore can not recommend the printed manuals as a good investment; if you really want the two manuals (Creating Documents and Doing Maths) we do have them available for the difference between the new-user ‘Boxed system’ and ‘Licence-only’ prices – ie. £30 + £10 Carriage + VAT. However, you will in any case receive a complimentary manual set when taking up the Live Training for v6.0
    Please feel free to get in touch if you also would prefer real printed copies of those manuals...

  4. Automatic backups:    You'll remember from our December 2015 mailing Item 6 that Scientific Word/WorkPlace keeps a working directory [filename]_work (to be found in \SW[P]Docs) as long as you're working on the document [filename].sci. (This was useful in the early builds of version 6.0 in case Scientific Word/WorkPlace crashed, since it would allow you back in to how your document looked just before it crashed.)
    In the same way as v5.5, version 6.0 also retains your previous saving of a document as a .bak file. As we wrote to someone recently:
    In addition to your manual backups, in the same folder as your .sci file there will be a file [filename].bak. You can (keep a copy then) rename this as, for example, [filename]2.sci; this will open as your previous successfully saved document.
    To rename the file, simply open \SW[P]Docs in Windows File Explorer or the Mac Finder, then right-click – Rename.
    Be aware that if something goes horribly wrong with your document and you then inadvertently save it twice, you will have over-written your good backup file with the damaged .sci file.
    Keep lots of manual backups/copies!

  5. Spaces in filenames:    We've not mentioned this issue for 7 years – see our February 2011 mailing Item 2 – but since Scientific Word/WorkPlace rely on LaTeX for their professional typesetting, it's still the case, even in version 6.0, that spaces in filenames will mean your graphics go missing. The last person to raise this said:
    when I insert an image and preview in pdf, it appears as
    V2.pdf V2.pdf V2.pdf V2.pdf V2.png V2.png V2.png V2.png V2.jpg V2.jpg V2.jpg
    what am I doing wrong?
    It turned out the graphic in question had a name of the form:
    XYZ V2.png
    LaTeX doesn't know what to do in this situation: it throws away the XYZ and then cannot find a graphic called V2.png so it just keeps saying it!
    As we noted in 2011, the solution is straightforward: simply use copies of your graphics with single-word names.


That's all for now. We send this mailing to our users every couple of months or so; more will follow in the New Year – or when a new build of Scientific Word/WorkPlace is released. As always, please 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