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


    Here's some further news, tips and technical support information to help our users get the most from Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook.
    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; the updated installation instructions are here.


  1. 12/3/21:    Anybody who loves numbers as much as most users of Scientific Word/WorkPlace will have enjoyed the pleasing form of today's date. Apart from next February 22nd, we probably won't get a better date for 24 years.
    We've scheduled a mailing for 12/3/45...

  2. 64-bit Mac:    Further to our December 2019 mailing Item 2, here is the information we have been sending to anyone who has recently enquired about the 64-bit Mac operating system:
    1. Scientific Word/WorkPlace v6.0 does not run on 64-bit versions of the Mac operating system (Mac OS 10.15 Catalina, Mac OS 11 Big Sur and later). The most recent version which will run Scientific Word/WorkPlace is the 32-bit Mac operating system 10.14 Mojave; this information is shown in the system requirements in our April 2015 mailing Item 1. In our December 2019 mailing Item 2 we advised users not to upgrade to the 64-bit Mac operating systems.
      This information is also shown in the ‘What’s New’ panel typically at the right of the Scientific Word/WorkPlace editing screen.
    2. If you have already upgraded to Mac OS 11 Big Sur, then you could either:
      1. Revert to an earlier version of the Mac operating system no later than Mac OS 10.14 Mojave. But this is not straight-forward and will wipe all the data from your computer – you might be able to restore your data if you have maintained a backup with Time Machine; or
      2. Buy a second hand Mac running the 32-bit version of the operating system no later than Mac OS 10.14 Mojave, and install Scientific Word/WorkPlace on that machine; or
      3. Follow the advice we gave in our December 2019 mailing Item 2. Our link there takes you to PC Magazine's page How to Run 32-Bit Apps in macOS Catalina which says:
        If you need to run a 32-bit app, Apple unofficially recommends either that you keep an old Mac on hand that runs a pre-Catalina version of the OS or that you partition your current Mac so that it can start up with an older macOS version as well as Catalina. Both methods work, but both seem to me inconvenient and time consuming. There are, however, better alternatives.
        The easiest method is this (but keep in mind that it costs money): Buy a copy of Parallels Desktop.
        That's to say, install Parallels Desktop in the Catalina/Big Sur operating system, install an earlier version of the Mac OS such as 10.13 High Sierra or 10.14 Mojave (or install Windows 10) within Parallels Desktop, and run Scientific Word/WorkPlace in that 32-bit environment.
        Further to this option, you might find this page and video useful.
    For background information, these links will also be of interest: but they don’t hold out much hope for the solution we want – a 64-bit Scientific Word/WorkPlace for the Mac – before next year.

  3. Fixed width tables:    In Scientific Word/WorkPlace v5.5, a table by default uses Automatic Width, whereby the width of each column will be determined by the text in that column. You can change the table to Fixed Width by highlighting all the cells (or all the cells of a particular column), then right-click – Properties – Column width, unchecking "Use Automatic Width" and specifying the column width for that column (eg. 1in). Note that this disables any horizontal alignment you have chosen for these cells.

    The downside is that the Scientific Word/WorkPlace editing screen then isn’t able to show both the parameter you’ve specified for the width (in our example, 1in) and the contents of the table cell. It will still Typeset – PreviewPDF correctly; but it makes editing the contents of the table cells difficult once you have chosen Fixed Width. This issue can arise with LaTeX tables generated automatically with a fixed width by an external program.
    Our recommended solution is as follows: scroll down to the cell of the table you want to edit, and right-click either to the right or to the left of the 1in TeX Field (but within that table cell). Select Properties, and it will show you the Cell Contents. You can make the changes to the cell contents, followed by OK.
    Why not download the sample document FixedWidth.tex with PreviewPDF FixedWidth.pdf? (You will need to open the .tex document in Scientific Word/WorkPlace v5.5, not just look at the PDF, to understand all the points covered here.)

  4. Learning SW/P:    The options for learning effective use of Scientific Word/WorkPlace v5.5 are broadly as follows:

    1. If you have more time available than money, you should both:
      1. Follow the steps at https://www.sciword.co.uk/SWeasystart55.htm or https://www.sciword.co.uk/SWPeasystart55.htm, especially Item 7  [15 hours], and
      2. Then work through our knowledgebase of past mailings from 2008 – 2015 (and the v5.5 items in later mailings)  [40 hours]
    2. If you have more money available than time, you can have ongoing recourse to our expertise as either:
      1. A Support Contract  [£1600/month + VAT], or
      2. Paying for our Consultancy Time on an hourly basis  [£500/hour + VAT]
    3. For many people the best balance between time and money is to study the videos of our £4000+ v5.5 Training Course. The topics covered are listed here and a sample video is available here  [£147 + VAT, plus 4 hours].

    Of course, you can mix and match the options above.
    For learning Scientific Word/WorkPlace v6.0, follow the steps at https://www.sciword.co.uk/SWeasystart60.htm or https://www.sciword.co.uk/SWPeasystart60.htm, and focus on the mailings from June 2015 onwards.

  5. Mailing clarification:    In recent years we have sent our bi-monthly mailing as the long substantive Email followed half a day later by a two line message saying "If the mailing didn't arrive please see it on our website here" – to gather up those whose ISPs had filtered out our long Email as spam. We've recently moved to a new mailing service, and the follow-up mailing is probably no longer necessary.
    To be removed from our mailings, please Reply by Email. That's better than clicking the link for Unsubscribing, as we regenerate the mailing list from the database each time.

  6. Lockdown:    We will continue to honour the offers we made in our March 2020 mailing and on our Remote Access page until Lockdown is lifted in England (currently scheduled for 21st June 2021). For a summary of those possibilities, please see our December 2020 mailing Item 1.


That's all from us for the moment; we send our circular mailing to users every couple of months or so. But please just let us know here if you no longer wish to remain on our database, and we'll confirm your removal within hours. (That's better than only unsubscribing from this mailing, as we regenerate the mailing list from the database each time.)

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
Email: christopher@sciword.co.uk
Web: https://www.sciword.co.uk