November 2023

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


    Here is our latest news, tips and technical support information to help you get the most from your Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook system; the items below are mostly about running version 5.5.
    As always, the latest copy of the programs – v5.5 Build 2960 and v6.1.2 – is available on our download page (see Item 7 below).


  1. Lost licence (cont.):    Our August 2023 mailing Item 4 recounted how we'd tried to help a user who had lost the details of his Scientific Word licence – giving him access to download the executable file and installation instructions, with options for locating his serial number: we don't usually have access to the serial numbers of people who didn't buy their licence from us.
    He subsequently sent us a photo of a CD booklet, which helped only...
    ...partially, because it doesn’t give a serial number; the format you’re looking for is shown in our February 2019 mailing Item 1. However:
    • The fact it’s a CD indicates it was either v5.0 or v5.5 (not v6, which was download only)
    • It appears to be a v5.5 CD.
    You can download the Scientific Word v5.5 program file here; and we recommend you follow the v5.5 installation instructions.

    You’re looking for a serial number in the form 300-E0600-xxxxx-yyyyy-zzzzz. Are you able to access your serial number in either of the ways we outlined in our earlier Email (below)?
    • Either: from any installation of Scientific Word on any of your past computers: either from within Scientific Word – Help – System Features; or from File Explorer by examining (eg. with WordPad) the file
      • c:\sw55\Licenses\license.lic (v5.5) or
      • c:\Users\[Name]\AppData\Roaming\SW[P]\Profiles\[cht11msu].default\license.lic (v6 Windows)
      • ~/Library/Application Support/SW[P]/Profiles/[pu0nd1yk].default/license.lic (v6 Mac)
    • Or: from the Email the licence server sent you on any previous occasion when you installed and Registered/Activated Scientific Word.
    Eventually the user remembered he'd kept a screenshot of his 300-E0600 serial number on his phone, enabling him to download the Scientific Word v5.5 program file and follow the v5.5 installation instructions to install.

  2. Diagnostic process:    Several months ago, a v5.5 user with our 12 months' complimentary Tech Support Emailed about an unusual problem:
    When I do a search with control-Q, I get just a few, and sometimes zero, hits , even though the searched term is abundant.
    The sample file he sent us worked perfectly here, and we recommended he run the Repair utility, last documented in our April 2019 mailing Item 4 – but to no avail. We then suggested he should:
    1. Install Scientific WorkPlace on a different computer, and see whether that gives you the correct behaviour. To install, carefully follow the v5.5 installation instructions.
    2. Thoroughly scan your computer for viruses. Then re-install Scientific WorkPlace
    and when that didn't work either, asked him to install on another computer as a control. Yes, the Scientific WorkPlace search function worked perfectly on his old Vista machine.

    Although we never got to the bottom of the original problem, the following diagnostic process might be useful to others. We wrote:
    We don’t know what the problem is with your main computer – we suspect either:
    1. A virus
    2. An over-aggressive virus checker / real-time security
    3. A hard disk fault.

    If you wanted to try different things in an attempt to identify the cause you could try the suggestions below – obviously before trying the Ctrl-Q search:
    1. Save the .tex file as another file with a different name (which could write it to a different part of the disk)
    2. Save the .tex file on a different drive (eg. D: drive, if your computer has one); and/or try saving to an external hard disk
    3. Start a new blank document (File – New – Standard LaTeX – Blank) and use File – Import Contents to bring in the contents of your document to search
    4. Pause real-time security for a few seconds while you try the Ctrl-Q searching
    5. Reboot your computer and stop all other programs running except Scientific WorkPlace
    6. Reboot your computer in Safe mode
    7. Install Scientific Word v5.5 from our download page, either as a (registered) 30-day trial or an (un-registered) Viewer version. Note that we can’t guarantee this will work using the free trial since you already have a SWP permanent licence assigned to your computer; but it’s worth a try.

    Failing all the above, your options are to:
    • Use your Vista machine
    • Accept the limitations of your current set-up and work around them
    • Buy a new computer
    and we reassured him about Windows 11. Twenty four hours later he bought a new computer.

  3. External class files:    A v6 user with our Individual Annual Maintenance said:
    I am writing to seek your assistance regarding the preparation of a paper for submission to a journal. The journal advises authors to use the NZJM-style file, along with a sample file, which I have attached to this email.

    Unfortunately, I am facing difficulties importing the sample file using Scientific Workplace. Could you kindly provide me with the necessary steps to import "sample.tex" with "nzjm.cls"?
    It turned out that the SWP v6.0 import filter was not sufficiently robust, and we outlined a way forward using Scientific WorkPlace v5.5:
    1. Following the instructions in SWP v5.5 online Help – Search – typesetting – typesetting specifications – ‘typesetting specifications from outside sources’:
      1. Create a folder C:\swp55\TCITeX\TeX\LaTeX\contrib\nzjm and save nzjm.cls as C:\swp55\TCITeX\TeX\LaTeX\contrib\nzjm\nzjm.cls
      2. Create a folder C:\swp55\Styles\nzjm and save a copy of C:\swp55\Styles\article\article.cst as C:\swp55\Styles\nzjm\article.cst
    2. Put sample.tex in C:\swp55\Docs (or in some other test folder)
    3. In Scientific WorkPlace v5.5, click on File – Import Non-SWP/SW LaTeX and select C:\swp55\Docs\sample.tex. This imports the document and gives the result shown in the screenshot attached
    4. Click on File – SaveAs and call it sample2.tex
    5. This should be sufficient; however, a bug in the Import means that if you try to Typeset – Preview PDF it won’t work, with the compiler saying
      ! I can't find file `C:'.
      l.16 \input C:
      This is because SWP does not correctly handle the ambiguity of backslash “\”, which is used both for a LaTeX command and also for the folder structure. You need to replace “\” with “/” in the folder structure as follows:
      1. Close the document sample2.tex
      2. Use File Explorer to go to C:\swp55\Docs, right-click on sample2.tex and open with WordPad
      3. Find the lines (about 20 lines down)
        \input C:
        And replace them with the single line
        \input C:/swp55/Docs/sample-defs.tex
      4. Save the document sample2.tex in WordPad, and exit WordPad
      5. Go back to SWP and re-open sample2.tex
    6. Click on Typeset – Preview PDF to produce the PDF attached, which is typeset according to the NZJM typesetting specifications.
    Note that we had previously covered point 5 above in our Midsummer's Day 2020 mailing Item 3(3).

    Another user – half a world away from the first – asked the same question a few weeks later, and we added:
    Second: The precise directions you require will depend on what files the Journal of <snip> have sent you. Is it just a .cls file they have sent? Or a .sty file? Or both? Possibly they have also sent you a sample .tex file to use?
    If you would like to forward to us the typesetting specifications they have sent you, together with a shortened copy of your .tex file (5 to 10 pages will be sufficient), we will respond with instructions tailored to this particular configuration. When sending us your document, please wrap the .tex file according to the instructions in our September 2014 mailing Item 5 and send us the .rap file.

  4. .cst file:    The first user above came back to ask about the .cst file governing the onscreen appearance:
    Could you kindly guide me through the process of changing the style of a tex file from "C:\swp55\Styles\amsart\amsart.cst" to "C:\swp55\Styles\nzjm\article.cst"?
    (see 3(1)b above). We replied:
    For a full understanding of the .cls, .sty, and .cst files please see our Midsummer 2020 mailing Item 3. We assume you do mean to ask about the .cst file (the screen appearance): these are relatively unimportant, as noted in the mailing item referred to above.

    When you try to change the style [using File – Style], you will receive a message similar to the screenshot attached. This tells you it is looking for the screen appearance you selected (article.cst) but in the C:\swp55\Styles\amsart\  folder. In fact, when you examine the opening lines of the .tex file with WordPad:

    %TCIDATA{<META NAME="SaveForMode" CONTENT="1">}
    %TCIDATA{Created=Tuesday, August 15, 2023 20:42:49}
    %TCIDATA{LastRevised=Tuesday, August 15, 2023 20:47:52}
    %TCIDATA{<META NAME="GraphicsSave" CONTENT="32">}
    %TCIDATA{<META NAME="DocumentShell" CONTENT="Articles\SW\AMS Journal Article">}
    you will see that no folder is specified for article.cst: it can only look in the folder relevant to the document class (amsart.cls) – ie. in the C:\swp55\Styles\amsart\  folder

    The solution is to put a copy of the .cst file you want into this C:\swp55\Styles\amsart\  folder. For the avoidance of doubt, let’s copy C:\swp55\Styles\nzjm\article.cst to C:\swp55\Styles\amsart\  and rename it as C:\swp55\Styles\amsart\nzjmarticle.cst.

    Then in Scientific WorkPlace v5.5, go to your document and click on File – Style – Advanced – Browse – C:\swp55\Styles\amsart. Select nzjmarticle.cst – Open – OK and click OK at the warning that it will save and reload your document. When you then examine the opening lines of the .tex file with WordPad it now says:

    %TCIDATA{<META NAME="SaveForMode" CONTENT="1">}
    %TCIDATA{Created=Tuesday, August 15, 2023 20:42:49}
    %TCIDATA{LastRevised=Tuesday, August 15, 2023 21:04:31}
    %TCIDATA{<META NAME="GraphicsSave" CONTENT="32">}
    %TCIDATA{<META NAME="DocumentShell" CONTENT="Articles\SW\AMS Journal Article">}
    Note that this should make no difference to the typeset appearance: it only changes the screen appearance.
    We're still not sure whether the user meant to be asking about changing the .cst file (governing the screen appearance) – or whether he was actually trying to change the typesetting specifications of his document (the .cls file governing the printed appearance). If it was the latter, he should start with the NZJM file sample2.tex created in Item 3(5)e–3(6) above, which typesets according to the NZJM typesetting specifications, and use File – Import Contents to bring in the contents of the document he already had: see, for example, our July 2011 mailing Item 1.

  5. Placement of figures:    A v5.5 user with Individual Annual Maintenance cover asked:
    I am currently facing an issue with placing figures in my document. Despite selecting the "here" option, the figures seem to appear on different pages. I have also attempted to adjust the size of the figures, but they still do not appear in the desired location. I would greatly appreciate your guidance on how to address this matter.
    The user had previously bought our v5.5 Training videos, and we replied:
    Have you watched the Training videos you bought in September 2022? Sections 4-1 and 4-2 deal with placement of graphics and tables...
    This is probably easiest to explain by giving you complimentary access to that Section 4.1 of our Training videos here. See also our November 2010 mailing Item 1 about the equivalent issue with the placement of tables.

  6. Beamer:    A user who had come to us after the closure of MacKichan Software sent us an impressive Beamer document, asking
    I wondering if I can get some help from you with this file.
    It is a talk in SWP beamer. I can't get it to compile, but
    I do not see what is wrong with it.
    Can you help?
    It took us a little while to figure out that the problem was all on the last page. We replied:
    The problem with your final slide is that you have not finished the Alert Step Bullet List before ending the frame: the EndFrame command is a bullet list item.
    To correct this, put the cursor at the start of the Transition and EndFrame line, and use function key F2 to pop out of Alert Step Bullet List; the document will then compile (see attached). We trust this gets you up and running – all the best.
    The screenshot we sent him, suitably anonymised, is here.

  7. A shaggy dog story:    A man we didn't know asked for help with a document we didn't have...
    I’m a <snip> who has written a book over many years and am getting ready to distribute it <snip>. I’ve just discovered an issue with the fonts. I thought they were Times Roman <snip> but they are actually Computer Modern, which is fuzzy and hard to read by comparison. I would like to convert the whole document to “real” Times font if possible.
    <snip snip>
    I’m using Scientific Workplace version 5.5E, serial number 403-E0600- <snip>
    In our reply we pointed out that:
    1. We cover this question for Scientific Word/WorkPlace v5.5 in our April 2009 mailing Item 1, with 3 sample files (both .tex and .pdf):
      1. Checkoutstandard – Computer modern (the font you don’t like)
      2. Checkouttimes – uses Times font for text but leaves mathematics in the Computer Modern fonts
      3. Checkoutmathtime – uses Times font for both text and mathematics.
      We suggest you compare the 3 PDFs to see which one gives you the fonts you want, and then use its .tex file as a sample for your documents. It may simply require adding one package to your documents.
    Several more issues arose; we wrote:
    1. You say “I don’t have the times package installed on my computer at present”. I think that’s probably not true, as shown by the following two tests:
      1. Do you have the file C:\swp55\TCITeX\TeX\LaTeX\required\psnfss\times.sty?
      2. Does the file checkouttimes.tex (available from our April 2009 mailing Item 1) compile successfully?
      The answers to a and b above should be the same; if Yes, you have the times package.
    1. You say “the font in the document you sent is slightly bigger than it is in mine, and that makes a very big difference in readability”. The typesetting specifications for most article and book class documents give the class options of using 10pt, 11pt of 12pt fonts; by all means change your document to 12 point. We cover this in our May 2011 mailing Item 2(1).
    But his answers to 1a and 1b were Yes and No. Even running the Repair utility did not help, and we made no progress until he reported that:
    I used the program disk to install SWP on entirely different Windows 10 computer, and I am getting the same results there.
    That prompted us to check:
    What Build No. is your Scientific WorkPlace v5.5? That might be printed on the front of the CD, but it will certainly be available from (within Scientific WorkPlace) Help – About Scientific WorkPlace. The latest Build No. which I have on all my machines is Build 2960 (see screenshot).
    If your Build No. is less that 2960 then we recommend you re-install Scientific WorkPlace from the downloaded Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 file (swp-pro550.exe, 95Mb) available from our download page; this will give you Build 2960.
    Finally – success! He wrote:
    I updated to the newer build and now I can compile and print your test file.
    <snip snip>
    I am very impressed with the level of support you’ve provided to a naïve user like myself!
    A bit of gratitude goes a long way... And the moral of the story? Use the latest copy of the programs – v5.5 Build 2960 and v6.1.2 – available on our download page.


We send this circular mailing to users every couple of months or so – we hope it's helpful. But please just let us know 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