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October 2013

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


    Welcome to our Autumn edition of news and tips for the regular users and triers-before-buyers of Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook:


  1. Graphics and captions:    There was a time when it seemed that no edition of our bi-monthly mailings would be complete without a graphics question, producing a ready resource of graphics-related information users can refer to on our Past Mailings page. Then, for the last 18 months or so, there's barely been a mention of graphics. But a couple of months ago, someone with our 30-day demo of Scientific WorkPlace Emailed:
    "I got the picture in place as you suggested, thanks. But I can't see how to get a caption associated, nor how to resize the picture (if that is possible)."
    We replied:
    "To add a caption, right-click on the graphic and select Properties. Then on the Labeling tab, enter your caption in the bottom box marked Caption Text, and use the Placement radio buttons to select whether the caption should go above or (usually) below the graphic; it is possible to have both, though I don’t know why you’d want to.
        Back on the Layout tab, select the Placement of your graphic as InLine (the graphic is like a word in the paragraph), Displayed (centred on a line of its own) or Floating (activates the automatic numbering, Fig. 1 etc, and permits cross referencing using the Key you enter on the Labeling tab).
        You can re-size a picture by using the scaling (or the size) dialog boxes on the Picture Properties tab – or by dragging the black boxes that appear around the graphic when you left-click on it."
    We expect there are other users glad to have these points clarified.

  2. Version 6.0 screencast:     We know you're keen for information about the long-awaited version 6.0. So – hot off the press – here's the new version 6.0 screencast (20 mins).
    As a complete re-write of the code, version 6.0 is obviously different in many respects from previous versions... not just that it now runs on Mac and Linux in addition to Windows (the screencast itself was recorded on a Mac). There's lots of new functionality, and many existing features streamlined and made more intuitive, but – for those who are familiar with version 5.5 – you'll find it reassuringly still the same program. Click the link and see for yourself!
    And we'll let you know, the moment it's available to buy.

  3. Licence Calculator:    In preparation for the release of version 6.0, we've recently made changes to our Licence Calculator. The pricing was set several years ago when the exchange rate was in the low $1.30s; now, with £1 worth around $1.60, we've pegged our prices to the pound/dollar rate, resulting in a significant price reduction of around 15%. The slight downside is that prices fluctuate day-to-day – but we think it's worth it to bring you the best prices available online, in addition to our Unbeatable Expert Technical Support!
    And since all version 5.5 systems bought now include the complimentary v6.0 upgrade, there's never been a better time to buy your copy of Scientific Word, Scientific WorkPlace or Scientific Notebook! We've hinted before (Item 6) that version 6.0 is unlikely to cost less than version 5.5 (don't say we didn't try to help!).

  4. Multiple passes:    We made reference in the December 2010 mailing (Item 5) to the lastpage package, allowing you to number pages in the format "page n of m". The package requires two passes of the compiler in order to calculate and process the total number of pages correctly. Most documents will automatically take two or more passes of the compiler anyway, in order to resolve cross-references, create Tables of Contents etc; if not, you can manually increase the number of passes from 1 to 2 as the formatting starts (ie. after you click on Typeset – Prevew PDF, click the up arrow on the compiling dialog box).
    Just occasionally, a document only takes 1 pass of the compiler, and compiles so quickly that there is no time to increase the number of passes before the formatting is finished. Then what? In helping a user recently, we gave this response:
    "...we expected that with a larger document you would have time to increase the number of passes manually. If not, you can go to Typeset – General Settings and check the box to ‘use old .aux files if possible’; this means that two runs with the compiler will serve the same purpose as one run with two passes. <snip>
    In future, first save the document and then run Typeset – CompilePDF twice before Typeset – PreviewPDF. Be aware that if you omit the two compiling stages, LaTeX will still fill in the total page number (from the previous compiling) but it may be incorrect – this probably won’t be too critical until your final version of the document."
    Use this one with caution!

  5. Logarithms:    A user with Scientific Notebook has reported what at first sight appeared to be a b*g:
    "I get a strange result when I ask scientific workbook to verify
    ln(xy)=lnx+lny is false "
    In other words, when he entered:
    and clicked Compute – Check Equality, the program responded "is false". (Your school days may be a long time ago, and your use of log tables a dim and distant memory. But this is not the answer you'd expect...) We were able to shed some light by replying:
    "Ahh – there’s a little wrinkle in the online Help – Search – log – log – logarithmic functions, computing: in the section Properties of Logarithms it explains:
    You can demonstrate properties of logarithms with Simplify and Combine. First, you must restrict the variables to positive values. In mathematics, type assume (it will automatically turn gray), then evaluate the expression assume(positive).
    Once you do that it’s business as usual, and things work as expected. Sorry for the inconvenience."
    Try it and see! Please remember to unassume(positive) afterwards, as the online Help indicates.

  6. LaTeX:    We get asked some interesting questions! For example, the other week:
    "what is main purpose of latex in computer system?"
    Our reply:
    "Thanks for your question. LaTeX is a document markup language – it’s the international standard for typesetting mathematical documents: you can read all about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaTeX. Our program Scientific Word gives an easy Windows interface to the power of LaTeX.
        Why not try the free 30-day demo of Scientific Word? Simply go back to https://www.sciword.co.uk/scientificword.htm for the download..."
    That being the case, you might want to refresh your memory about how to import LaTeX files created outside Scientific Word/WorkPlace, which we covered in our February 2013 mailing (Item 6). It's a question we get asked quite a lot...
    The correct answer, of course, is to buy your co-author a copy of Scientific Word   ; - )

  7. Leftmark:    We've mentioned the fancyhdr package a couple of times in the past – see the November 2010 (Item 2) and December 2010 (Item 5) mailings. But we haven't previously made reference to the \leftmark feature of this package, which allows a running header showing the (changing) section name and number... so here's an example. Just click Typeset – PreviewPDF to see the result at the top of pp2-5, then look in the Typeset – Preamble to see how the effect is achieved (you also require the fancyhdr package). Now try removing the \nouppercase, and Typeset – PreviewPDF again.
    Further details are in the fancyhdr package documentation, available from the online Help – Search – fancyhdr – fancyhdr package – package documentation (see p8, noting that \leftmark gives the chapter name and number when used in a book class document).

  8. 30-day demo survey:    Lastly, if you have taken up our offer of a free 30-day trial in the last year or so, we'd love you to complete our brief 30-day demo survey to let us know how we performed. It's all anonymous and, with only 10 questions, takes about 3 minutes. Will you do that for us?
        We know you're busy – so we've included a little gift at the end of the survey, just to say Thank you for your time...


Thanks for reading! We only send this mailing every two months or so – but please just let us know if you no longer wish to remain on our mailing list. Further news and Christmas greetings in December – or when version 6.0 is released...

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/