Getting Started with Scientific Word v5.5
30 years' Product Experience

Getting Started with Scientific Word v5.5

    We trust you've now got your 30-day Scientific Word trial registered, converting the Viewer version into a full working system. The test of a correct installation is that when you click on Help – System Features you have a dozen or so lines saying "Available".
    If you haven't registered, you'll only have one or two lines saying "Available", which means you still only have the (non-functioning) Viewer version. Registration takes just 30 seconds by the Web option, plus a re-boot: click on Help – Register – By an automated web service (you only need give a first name, together with the serial number we supplied).
    The opening screen can look a little bit daunting at first – so here are our directions for getting started using Scientific Word straight away. Following these steps now will be time well spent:

  1. To start a new document, click on File – New – Standard LaTeX – Standard LaTeX Article (or Blank Standard LaTeX Article). Save your documents by clicking on File – SaveAs, and putting them in c:\sw55\docs. This is also where your PDFs will be produced when you click on Typeset – Preview PDF. (Please be sure to use Typeset – Preview PDF, rather than File – Preview/Print, for professional LaTeX typesetting.)

  2. Make sure you have the important toolbars showing: click on View – Toolbars and check Standard, Stop, Math Templates, Symbol Cache, Math Objects, Symbol Panels, Tag and Fragments (then Close). You can then position these toolbars wherever you want – at the top, bottom, left or right of the editing screen – by dragging them with the thin grey strip around the buttons: see the possible toolbar layouts in the sample screenshots at and (recommended placement).

  3. Be sure to locate these two key elements before you start:
    • The black T/red M (top row of buttons on the screenshots) signifies text or maths mode respectively: you can change from one to the other by clicking on this button (or Ctrl-T or Ctrl-M).
    • The Item tag pop-up, at the left hand end of the bottom row of the screen (just to the right of the green arrow) is where you'll create bullet lists, numbered lists, theorems etc.
    You can find these described in more detail at (pp1-2).

  4. While you're getting to know Scientific Word, make it easy for yourself by showing Invisibles (spaces and carriage return), Helper lines (around displays), Input boxes (such as when creating a fraction) and Markers (labels for cross-referencing). You can turn all these on, individually, from the View menu.

  5. Here's how to enter subscripts and superscripts, for example :
    • Ctrl-M to change to maths mode
    • Type the x from the keyboard
    • Ctrl-up arrow for the superscript (or Ctrl-down arrow for subscript)
    • Type 3 from the keyboard
    • Spacebar to exit the superscript, and
    • Ctrl-T to return to text mode.

  6. To import LaTeX files created outside Scientific Word, use File – Import Non-SWP/SW LaTeX rather than File – Open. And to share your documents with co-authors who don't yet have Scientific Word, click on File – SaveAs – Save as type – Portable LaTeX.

  7. We strongly recommend using the on-line tutorials to learn more:
    • Help – Contents – Learn the Basics (several introductory topics), and
    • Help – Contents – General Information (many more detailed topics).

    Following the steps above will get you off to the best possible start. And if you really want, the manuals are available at, though we don't think you'll need to read them...
    Now please enjoy your 30-day trial of Scientific Word v5.5! We'll look forward to hearing from you when you're ready to buy your permanent licence, which will cover you to use either this mature, tried-and-tested v5.5 and/or the new and even-more-powerful v6.0.


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

Dr Christopher Mabb

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