September 2020

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


    After the excitement of our 30th Anniversary and its month of Special Offers, welcome to our regular bi-monthly mailing of Tech Support issues from around the globe.
    The current version of Scientific Word, Scientific WorkPlace and Scientific Notebook is still v6.0.30. If you are running an earlier version (go to Help – About on Windows, or SW/P – About on a Mac; the build number is at the bottom) we recommend you update to the current version when convenient (but first see Item 1 below).


  1. New installation instructions:    Well, we knew what we meant by them, of course... but from time to time some users found that the installation instructions did not sufficiently distinguish between what they should do on Windows and what to do when installing on a Mac.
    Accordingly, we've produced new, more detailed, installation instructions for v6.0 here – at the same address as before. We think they're now totally clear and straight-forward; but do please let us know if any grey areas of uncertainty remain.

  2. WinEdt:    After 30 years focussed on one small family of programs we can certainly claim to be experts in our field of Scientific Word and Scientific WorkPlace – but we're careful to avoid claiming expertise beyond this core knowledge. Consequently, the following Tech Support issue was challenging for us.
    The UK-based academic, a Scientific Word user since 1997 (v2.5) had recently upgraded to Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 and v6.0 and found that installing them had disabled his existing WinEdt setup. He Emailed to say:
    I will continue to use LaTex through WinEdt interface all my teaching material and many research papers. There is life time worth of material that I am very comfortable editing via WinEdt. I find that none of those latex files compile anymore as .sty files and similar are not found.
    <snip> I wonder if in th eSCIWorkplace installation process I have over ridden settings for the use of LaTex through WinEdt on my computer.
    Is there a solution you can suggest? Perhaps a path I can define so that these .sty files can be accessed and my files compiled on Latex?
    We include our lengthy response here, both to demonstrate our reluctance to give advice beyond our specific expertise (while at the same time wanting to help the user) and because the thought-process we set out for him might be useful in similar situations for other users. We wrote:
    If we were experts in WinEdt our first lines of enquiry would probably be:
    1. What exactly is WinEdt failing to do: is it not compiling the document (so as to produce a PDF)? Or just not opening the PDF (in other words, is there a newly-created PDF file present where it should be)? See, in respect of Scientific WorkPlace v5.5, our April 2020 mailing Item 8 by way of comparison.
    2. If the former: Is it failing to compile all documents, or just some? What about a brand new one-line document? (In other words: it is only failing to find some .sty files you’ve used previously – or is it failing to find the compiler altogether?)

    However, WinEdt is not our area of expertise and we restrict the advice we give to our area of expertise (Scientific Word/WorkPlace). Since you say you are not a WinEdt expert yourself either, we strongly recommend you ask your WinEdt expert (the person who helped you install WinEdt in the first place) to pursue the following suggestions as possible ways forward. We do not recommend you do this yourself:
    1. Edit the WinEdt settings. This might be:
      • To point it to MikTeX 2.9, or to TeXLive 2020 (installed by Scientific WorkPlace) as the compiler (if the problem in 2 above is that it is failing to find a compiler)
      • Alternatively, the problem might be that WinEdt needs to be the default program Associated with TeX filetypes (as in the second graphic at The WinEdt manual (p1) says “Filetype associations can later be made, removed, or repaired (on a selective basis) through WinEdt’s Options -> Configuration Wizard. However, on Windows with UAC-enabled this will require starting WinEdt with elevated privileges”.
        Changing this setting might enable WinEdt, but might affect Scientific WorkPlace
    2. Install WinEdt and MixTeX on another computer as you had installed them initially on this machine; this would reproduce the WinEdt setup that you had on this computer before installing Scientific WorkPlace. This would allow you to run WinEdt and Scientific WorkPlace on separate machines
    3. Update WinEdt on this machine: see the WinEdt manual (p4). It’s possible that WinEdt will detect the presence of TeXLive 2020 (or MiXTeX 2.9) and install itself automatically as the default TeX system to work with the compiler/s available. The WinEdt manual (p2) says “After the TEX installation is successfully completed restart WinEdt and it will automatically detect your TEX System and connect with its accessories.”
      However, if this works if might affect Scientific WorkPlace (the same as bullet 2 of Item 1 above)
    4. Use System Restore to put your computer back to the middle of May before you installed Scientific WorkPlace – or whenever you know that WinEdt was working. This will remove Scientific WorkPlace, but should meet the urgent need of allowing you to compile the WinEdt documents. You would then decide which machine to install Scientific WorkPlace on when time permits.
    It’s worth noting that the conflict might only be with Scientific WorkPlace v5.5, since that also uses .tex as its native file format (Scientific WorkPlace v6.0 uses .sci as its native file format). It’s possible, therefore, that WinEdt and Scientific WorkPlace v6.0 might be able to co-exist on the same machine.
    In the event it was our third suggestion (above) that solved the problem. The user replied later that day:
    Thank you very much indeed for your exceptionally helpful reply with a number of suggestions. I updated WinEdt, and that worked perfectly. All my old latex files have begun to compile and the pdf files produced miss nothing. I am glad to have both SciWorplace and WinEdt/Latex working fine. Thanks very much again!
    We do like grateful users...   :-)

  3. SSL support error:    We've only seen this problem once, on a Mac. A prospective user from Hungary trying the 30-day demo of Scientific WorkPlace on MacOS 10.13 got the installation error message SSL support was not enabled and then, when compiling a document (by clicking on PDF preview), also had the error tcilatex.tex not found and the PDF was not produced.
    We are still in discussions with MacKichan Software about the exact cause of this, but we have been able to reproduce the SSL support error message by right-clicking – Open on immediately upon opening the Disk Image file .dmg (although this is not a step you would take when following our installation instructions for the Mac). More importantly, the directions we sent him solved the problem:
    We'll forward the SSL error to the developers as we've not seen that error before. The other error (failing to compile your document) probably arises because you had to complete the installation manually.
    1. The file tcilatex.tex is a legacy file from Scientific WorkPlace v5.5: it's possible we do not still include tcilatex.tex with the v6.0 installation of Scientific WorkPlace as it is not required for new v6.0 documents [Note: We do]. However, it will still be called by the line \input{tcilatex} in the Preamble of many documents imported from v5.5, so let's check whether you have tcilatex.tex and add it to your installation if not:
      1. Open Finder – Go – Go to Folder – /usr and navigate to /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/tex/latex/TCItex/SWmacros/  (see screenshots tcilatex1.png and tcilatex2.png)
      2. Check whether you have the files in /SWmacros/ shown in those graphics: if you do not have tcilatex.tex, please save the file tcilatex.tex there
    2. Update the TexLive Utility (background references at and In other words, open Finder and navigate to /Applications/MacKichan/local/bin/TeXLiveUtility; click to open it and then select:
      1. TeX Live Utility – Check for Updates; and
      2. Actions – Update all packages
    3. Finally, you should Regenerate your TeX filename database by opening Terminal, typing sudo texhash <Return> and entering your password (see texhash.png screenshot)
    4. You should now be able to compile the document without receiving this error (it’s possible you need to reboot first)
    as subsequently confirmed by the user. This is a Mac-only problem as far as we know, but do please inform us of any other sightings of this SSL support error message, whether on Windows or Mac. Thanks.

  4. Serial numbers:    Users are obviously less familiar than we are with the format of the various Scientific Word/WorkPlace serial numbers. A few weeks ago one of our professors in Ireland contacted us:
    Thanks for your earlier help on my SW 5.5 re-installation, but I have hit a new "license expiration" snag. <snip>
    my version 5.5 software told me that my trial was over and my Scientific Word license was expired. <snip>
    My version 5.5 license number is 315-E0700-xxxxx-yyyyy-zzzzz
    Not so: that's a 30-day trial serial number ("315"). It’s actually a number for v6.0 ("E0700"), though it will work on v5.5 too – see our May 2018 mailing Item 4. We simply reminded the user of the permanent v5.5 serial number we'd supplied him, and advised him to:
    1. Delete your existing v5.5 licence file c:\sw55\Licenses\license.lic
    2. In Scientific Word v5.5, go to Help – System Features – Change Serial Number and type (NOT copy-and-paste) your v5.5 serial number 300-E0600-xxxxx-yyyyy-zzzzz – OK – OK
    3. Click on Help – Register and re-register according to the v5.5 installation instructions (from Step 5)
    So here's a summary of the key points about Scientific Word/WorkPlace serial numbers:

    1. 30-day trial numbers start 315- (SW) and 418- (SWP) whereas Permanent numbers start 300- (SW) and 403- (SWP)
    2. For the format of v5.5 and v6.0 numbers (and all previous versions) please see our February 2019 mailing Item 1
    3. Please type the serial number when Registering (v5.5) or Activating (v6.0), rather than using copy-and-paste.

    That's it!

  5. v5.5 and Windows 10:    This question came from one of our users in Latvia who has been using Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 for well over a decade:
    I am still using version 5.5 and now am going to switch to Windows 10.
    Just because my old PC stopped working and I can get a new one only with Windows 10.
    So could you please clarify:
    1. Does SW 5.5 will work on Windows 10?
    2. Will it allow me to license my copy once again on new PC?
    We were able to give him good news on both counts:
    1. Yes, Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 runs on Windows 10; the v5.5 Installation instructions give a link at Step 2 to possible problems, but we don’t hear of anybody having problems in practice
    2. Yes, you can Register your system again on your new machine. The terms of the Fixed Licence [Clause 2] cover you to install on all your machines for your own use.
    We expect this will be useful information to many others still using v5.5 around the world.

  6. Past mailings:    We've not mentioned it for 7 years now (see our August 2013 mailing Item 6) so it's probably time for a reminder. All our past mailings as far back as 2006, containing a wealth of technical information about v5.5 and v6.0 of Scientific Word, WorkPlace and Notebook, are available from our Mailings page (which you can find on our website from Support – Past Mailings).
    If you're having any kind of problem with our software you're probably not the first person to have experienced it – and it's quite likely we've written up the solution at some point in the last 14 years! Hint: try searching the 'index' of topics on the Mailings page (Ctrl-F / Cmd-F on most browsers).

  7. Our congratulations    to Prof Sir Martin Hairer, the winner of the 2021 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics (see here). We particularly liked the description of his work as so brilliant it must have been downloaded to him by aliens...
    Sad to say we can't claim he's one of our users – though we did search the database!


We send this mailing to our users every couple of months or so; there'll be more from us later in the Autumn. But 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? 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