April 2024

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


    Welcome to our Spring mailing, with a selection of Scientific Word/WorkPlace Technical Support solutions to help you get the most from your system.
    As always, the latest version of the programs is available on our download page, with links to the current installation instructions. We have recently updated the v6 installation instructions to take account of TeXLive 2024.


  1. Support continued to 2028:    In our June 2021 mailing Item 2, we committed to continue providing our Unbeatable Expert Technical Support and Training for the following 5 years until 2026. We are now extending that commitment until 2028 – with no intention that we'll necessarily stop then either.
    Judging by the recent demand for our services, that will be welcome news!

  2. Blurry fonts:    Our October 2022 mailing Item 2 seems to have slipped under the radar – even our own. So we didn't immediately recognise the issue when someone Emailed us saying:
    I really hope you can help me with this. I LOVE Scientific Workplace, and really want to keep using it, even though many people are switching to things like Overleaf, which are so much less convenient. <snip>
    My problem is: I just bought a brand new and powerful Lenovo computer with Windows 11, and all my software works great on it, except SWP55.
    1. Both the raw text file and the compiled DVI file now look much blurrier than before, with otherwise the same screen setting (I think). Do you think this might be because of Windows 11? Do you think SWP 6.1 would work better with Windows 11?
    2. <snip>
    Many thanks. I would be happy to pay for any consulting from you to make this work again on my new machine.
    Our initial response offered many possible solutions, before we remembered:
    PS. ...we responded to a similar request in our October 2022 mailing Item 2. It’s probably worth trying this first.
    In addition to the feedback from the user already noted in October 2022, we think it will be useful to record here the detailed steps that fixed the problem for this user:
    Sensational! I am so glad I signed up now. Just fyi, what fixed it was (both in the editor and the DVI window):
    1. Right-click on swp-pro.exe   [in c:\swp55\ ]
    2. ➔ Properties
    3. ➔ Compatibility
    4. ➔ Change high DPI settings
    5. ➔ Override high DPI scaling behaviour (at the bottom of that window)
    All resolved free of charge under the complimentary initial 12 months of our Individual Annual Maintenance.

  3. Before buying:    It's always better to resolve any concerns or technical issues before buying Scientific Word/WorkPlace. Here are some pointers we've given prospective users recently.

    Please also see our December 2022 mailing Item 1.

  4. Recurring problem:    Do you remember the user from our November 2023 mailing Item 2 who bought a new computer to solve a problem with doing a search? Seven or eight months later, the same problem recurred on his new machine (also Windows 10):
    All was good until just now. I'd used the program hours ago, without an issue. Now I cannot search. 
    I have run the 5.5 repair option twice, and it did not fix the problem.
    I have not installed any software, and the update log, pasted below, shows nothing new.
    Hmm – we didn't really have any ideas. We wrote:
    Here’s what I would try / look into:
    1. Reboot, obviously
    2. Does the problem occur on one document only, or on all your documents? Particularly try documents that haven’t been opened for a month or two. What about a brand new document (eg. File – New – Standard LaTeX – Standard LaTeX Article)?
    3. When you say “it can partially work depending on the font in the Control-Q box” – I’m not sure what that means. When you press Ctrl-Q, in the Find box you don’t get any font settings. Are you changing the search text using the Section/Body tag, or Text tag boxes at the bottom (from View – Toolbars – Tag)? Surely you want these on
      1. Remove Item tag (F2)
      2. Body Text (F3) and
      3. Normal (F4)?
    4. Open the .tex file with WordPad and see whether the characters in the subsection font (which it does find) are different in the .tex file from those in the body text (which it doesn’t find)
    5. More extreme: rename your Scientific WorkPlace folder c:\swp55 to (for example) c:\swp55OLD. Then reinstall Scientific WorkPlace, and
      1. Create a new document, enter some text, and try searching with Ctrl-Q
      2. Copy an existing .tex file across from c:\swp55OLD\docs, and try searching that on the new installation. That should help expose unknown problems: for example (only an example) if SWP saves search results in a file, and you’ve used all the available file space/size on your existing installation.
    Two or three hours later he got back to us:
    I realized that I had an odd issue with the computer.
    The browser tabs that accumulated did not function correctly. If I clicked on one, to open that web page, all I got was a blank, white screen. Using F5 did NOT change it, having no effect. If I copied the link to a new tab, it opened immediately. Something was wrong, but I had no idea what. 
    So I deleted all browser tabs and then rebooted as a matter of procedure. 
    It appears to have fixed the control-Q issue.
    It's sometimes worth casting the net more widely if Scientific Word/WorkPlace starts playing up.

  5. Make Title (v5.5):    Someone trying out the free 30-day demo was having a problem with the Typeset – Front Matter: he'd entered the Author, Title and Abstract in the Front Matter, but they didn't appear in the PDF document.
    Once we'd seen his document we were able to make the following suggestions:
    In the Typeset – Front Matter
    1. You need a “Make Title” command after the Title and Author
    2. Use a space between words at the end of a line, not a Carriage Return
    3. Use a Carriage Return at the end of a tag (eg. after the “Author” tag) and then use F2 to pop out of Author.
    Not including "Make Title" is a fairly common mistake that new users make. You can always start a new document from, for example, File – New – Standard LaTeX – Standard LaTeX Article, and then look in the Typeset – Front Matter to see the correct form to use.

  6. Mac (reminder):    Someone with an early copy of Scientific Word (v3: around 1998) wanted to try version 6, but Emailed to say:
    I have not been able to load the new version of Scientific word stem by step to my Macbook Air.
    We replied:
    Here are some pointers to resolving the problem:
    1. The Scientific Word/WorkPlace v6 Mac installation only works on 32-bit Mac operating systems: that’s up to Mac OS 10.14 Mojave.
    2. If your Mac operating system is Mac OS 10.15 Catalina or later, please see our October 2022 mailing Item 1 about using an emulator. There is additional information in our 12321 mailing Item 2.
    3. Alternatively, you could install the 30-day demo of Scientific Word v5.5 on a Windows machine, after which you would have to pay for licensing. This would provide the ability to typeset to PDF.
    4. As a further option: when your Scientific Word v3 produces the DVI output (which you print before scanning), can you not print instead to the Microsoft PDF printer (see screenshot)?
    We hope one of the options here is helpful. Do please let us know which your Mac operating system is (Apple menu – About This Mac – Overview: see screenshot) and which option above you would prefer.
    We subsequently added:
    Here are a couple of further points to consider:
    1. Since you have earlier papers you might want to revise for publication, you should be looking to use v5.5 rather than v6. The earlier versions 1.0 to 5.5 were all written using the same code base, and there would be relatively few problems editing a v3 document using Scientific Word v5.5. But v6 was a complete re-writing of the code, and transferring documents from versions ≤ v5.5 into v6 can be problematic. Please see our August 2022 mailing Item 3.
    2. You do need Administrator privileges to install either v5.5 or v6.
    3. After the 30-day trial, you could postpone any further decision-making for 12 months by taking out the low-cost Annual Subscription for a year. This is only available for Scientific WorkPlace; but Scientific WorkPlace contains Scientific Word, and also offers the Compute menu.

  7. Compile problems:    Another user of an early version of Scientific Word was on v4.1 (around 2002), which was before the Typeset – PreviewPDF option was added to the program in v5.0. When he clicked on Typeset – Preview to generate a DVI (= DeVice Independent) Preview, he:
    ...got a small screen that looked like it contained the LaTeX  code.  I tried closing it 3 times and on the third time I got the error message
    We replied that:
    The window you closed three times was the DVI compiler (also known as the DVI ‘formatter’) telling you there was a problem with your LaTeX code; you had to close it three times because the compiler makes three passes to resolve page numbers and cross references. In closing the window you lost the information it was telling you about what the problem is.
    When we subsequently saw the LaTeX output, it was saying it couldn't find My.tex; his .tex files were in the My Documents folder. We explained that:
    ...you’ve got a space in “My Documents” and LaTeX doesn’t handle spaces well. Later versions of Scientific Word included a work-around for that automatically, but your v4.1 doesn’t.
    We suggest you put your Scientific Word documents in C:\sw41\Docs (or whatever the folder was called for v4.1). You will probably also need to move any graphics to where Scientific Word can see them (eg. c:\sw41\Graphics\)
    In particular, be careful to avoid spaces in folders and filenames
    which enabled his document to compile.

  8. German version:    This started in a very ordinary way, with an Email from someone in Germany asking for help installing and Registering Scientific WorkPlace v5.5. So we replied as usual:
    There are two points to note:
    1. Licensing is machine-specific, and so you need to re-Register whenever you get a new computer. Please follow our v5.5 installation instructions; it sounds like you have already installed the program, and so you should click on Help – Register and then follow the installation instructions from Step 5.
    2. (To comply with Step 6 of the installation instructions being greyed out) Do not include your German dictionary (if you have it) when Registering: see our February 2014 mailing Item 2.
    This should enable you to Register; the test of a successful installation and Registration is having about a dozen lines saying “Available” at Help – System Features (see Step 12 of the installation instructions).
    If you still have problems, please see our Installation checklist (our January 2024 mailing Item 8).
    If you still can’t Register successfully, we will generate a licence file for you manually.
    But we were troubled by his serial number of the form 403-G0600 rather than 403-E0600, and we later Emailed back saying:
    We ran some tests to check your serial number 403-G0600-xxxxx-yyyyy-zzzzz, and we found that we also were unable to Register Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 with your serial number.
    We recall that about 15 years ago the German distributor, Additive Software, released a German language version of Scientific WorkPlace v5.5; we assume that the menus and dialog boxes were in German. All our serial numbers have got an “E“ (English) – see the format of serial numbers in our February 2019 mailing Item 1 – and it looks like serial numbers with a “G“ are only designed to work with the German language version supplied by Additive. Do you still have the CD of the German language version?

    To use Scientific WorkPlace, you will need to either:
    1. Install the German language version from the CD or download supplied to you by Additive when you bought Scientific WorkPlace, using your German serial number 403-G0600-xxxxx-yyyyy-zzzzz; or
    2. Use the English language version available on our website, together with an English version serial number of the form -E0600-. You can try this immediately using the free 30-day demo from our website and the 30-day Scientific WorkPlace v5.5/v6 serial number 418-E0700-19942-70825-23652. After the 30-days, English version licensing is available as either a permanent licence or a low-cost Annual Subscription.
    That did the trick. He replied saying:
    Thank you very much for your help.
    Using the old CD worked. The program now is running normalliy.
    Additive Software kindly sent us a .zip file of their German SWP v5.5 installation (Build 2890), which anyone with a 403-G0600 serial number might find useful; please let us know.

  9. Dr Bot:    We're testing our new colleague, Dr Bot, on the website – right hand side, at the bottom.
    Clever little chap: he'll answer you in your own language. And he works long hours. Why not try chatting to him now?
    Feel free to send us an Email to let us know whether he was helpful or not...


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