June 2024

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


    It's the height of Summer! But for those of you still working, here's another mailing with Scientific Word/WorkPlace Technical Support solutions to help you get the most from your system. Most of these items refer primarily to v5.5.
    As always, the latest version of the programs is available on our download page, with links to the current installation instructions.


  1. Installation:    Here are three installation-related questions we've responded to from different users:

    1. Downloading the executable file: An Asset Manager at a Business School in Europe Emailed us asking:
      I have a teacher whose new computer I reinstalled, but unfortunately the Scientific Word 5 executable file is corrupted and unusable.
      Do you have a backup of this executable?
      In our reply we double-checked the version:
      ...Scientific Word v5.0 serial number of the form 300-E0500-xxxxx-yyyyy-zzzzz <snip>. The executable you want, sciword500.exe, is available to download at https://www.sciword.co.uk/programs/ .
      If you meant Scientific Word version 5.5, the serial number is of the form 300-E0600-xxxxx-yyyyy-zzzzz and the executable is sciword550.exe.
      If you meant Scientific WorkPlace, the executable is swp-pro500.exe (v5.0) or swp-pro550.exe (v5.5).

    2. The correct serial number: We were helping this user re-install their Scientific WorkPlace v5.5; but then he sent us a screenshot of v6 with the message:
      ...now that our IT Dept is back, I am also trying to get version 6 up and running. They informed me of the following:
      “Your license for Scientific Workplace 6 is 403-E0600-<snip>”.
      Unfortunately, this does not work during the activation process.
      We pointed out that:
      Version 6 won’t install because you have a v5.5 serial number; the format of serial numbers is given in our February 2019 mailing Item 1.
      You could try the free 30-day trial using the 30-day v6 serial number available here; but see our August 2022 mailing Item 3 – many v5.5 users have not liked v6.
      For completeness: please also see our May 2018 mailing Item 4.

    3. Modules Available: In this case, we'd written:
      We understand you have now successfully Registered Scientific WorkPlace v5.5, and have 10 or 12 lines saying “Available” at Help – System Features.
      The user replied in German (he was using the German version of Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 referred to in our April 2024 mailing Item 8):
      Ich weiß nicht ob es trotzdem ein Problem noch ist, dass die Meldung „verfügbar“ auf Hilfe-Systemfunktionen nicht erscheint, es scheint ja alles zu funktionieren.
      Ich möchte Ihnen für Ihre aufwendige Unterstützung danken.
      (I don't know if it's still a problem that the message "available" doesn't appear on the help system functions, everything seems to be working. I would like to thank you for your extensive support.)
      We pointed out that:
      The dialog box at Help – System Features (https://www.sciword.co.uk/images/SWP-SystemFeatures.png) should look like the screenshot here. Please send me a screenshot from your computer if it does not look the same as this.
      which seemed to be the source of the confusion; in the German version it looks like this. Lost in Translation...

  2. Moving toolbars (v5.5):    A user of Scientific Notebook was trying the 30-day demo of Scientific WorkPlace, and Emailed us saying:
    I thus decided to reinstall SN on my Windows 11 system. Most of it seemed to work except for the placement of the toolbars. It bugged me enough that I decided to investigate. I eventually stumbled on your website and downloaded SW <snip>. I had managed to have the toolbars almost right so life is OK.
    We replied:
    To resolve your issue with the toolbars we will temporarily give you access to module 1.2 of our Scientific Word/WorkPlace Training videos, at https://www.sciword.co.uk/training/1-2.Toolbars-Checkout.mp4 . You’ll only need to watch the first two minutes to be able to make the toolbars behave.
    The videos of our £4000+ live Training Course are available by download: click here for pricing and other information.

  3. Surface tablet:    This user Emailed us around the New Year – probably about his late Christmas present:
    I am getting a new Surface tablet, and need to download Scientific Work Place version 5.5 on it.
    We replied:
    I hope I’m not about to give you bad news… but I’m not 100% confident Scientific WorkPlace will run on the Surface tablet since I don’t think it runs the full version of Windows: see our December 2013 mailing Item 3, and the page here. So all we can suggest is that you try it and see.
    and gave him our standard installation information. His response will be of interest to anyone wanting to run Scientific WorkPlace on a Surface tablet:
    I have good news for you–and possibly for other Surface tablet users (?)–I have been using a Surface tablet with a keyboard that attaches to the tablet, and have been using Scientific Workplace on it for years. I am emailing you on a Surface tablet which I bought in 2019 on which Scientific Workplace is running.
    I do not use the pen that comes with the tablet, nor do I use my fingers on the screen (feels a bit icky!) I simply use the Surface tablet like an ordinary laptop with a keyboard. <snip>
    I will let you know if I experience problems installing it though. The last time this happened I am pretty sure MacKichan was around...

    Incidentally (I have forgotten) how does one run a program as "administrator"? Is there a key one holds down or something?
    He never came back to us to say he'd had problems with the installation. We replied:
    To run-as-Administrator on a traditional desktop or laptop, you right-click with the mouse on the filename or app and select Run as Administrator from the pop-up menu.

    I don't use a Surface tablet myself, but this video might help: https://youtu.be/5bSH3IHH11A .
    It's amazing what Google knows!

  4. Right justification:    Some questions stretch our lateral thinking. Try this one:
    I am typesetting my book with Scientific Word, and the publisher that I am submitting to requires that the text block be fully justified. My book is being typeset as if it were \raggedright, and I cannot see how to make it fully justified. Can you help me fix this?
    We couldn't see a problem: the document compiled without error and gave nice right-justified margins. We wrote back:
    We note you are running Scientific Word v4.1, which was released in 2002; see our February 2019 mailing Item 1 for the format of serial numbers.
    Your .tex file (minus the graphics, since you did not wrap the .tex file) compiles with v5.5 to produce the PDF attached. Which is the text block you are referring to? Or do you get a different result on your system with v4.1?

    He sent us a screenshot of how it looked on his machine, and said:
    ... in your version, the text is right justified. I am attaching snips of the preview of the start of Chapter 2 in my version of Scientific Word. As you can see, it is not right justified. I’m not sure what to do at this point.
    And then we understood:
    Your screenshot looks like you are using the inferior File – Preview (or Print) instead of the professional Typeset – PreviewPDF (or PrintPDF) using LaTeX.
    The Direct Print algorithm on the File menu is only really included in Scientific Word/WorkPlace to give consistency with Scientific Notebook, which doesn't have the professional LaTeX option available on the Typeset menu.

  5. Text in a box:    A user from Italy asked us:
    I'm prepring a book (Standard Latex book) with SWP 5.5. I would like to insert some text in a box frame along the body text, but I don't see how to do it. Have you please any suggestion?
    Our first response said:
    Putting text inside a box is fairly easily achieved by adding the fancybox package: Typeset – Options and Packages – Package Options – Add – fancybox; see sample PDF. The sample .tex file is at c:\swp55\SWSamples\PackageSample-fancybox.tex; also see the online Help – Search – boxes – boxes and lines – drawing boxes with the fancybox packages.
    The user came back to us saying:
    ...apparently fancybox does not accept math and doesn't know when to go to the next line: I would have to box both text with some math and also single as well as multiline equations, so that possibly I would have to use something else.
    and we said:
    I think that means you probably didn’t see p2 of the PDF we sent you. By comparing:
    1. The PDF
    2. The .tex document [eg. c:\swp55\SWSamples\PackageSample-fancybox.tex], open in Scientific WorkPlace (double-click a TeX box to see its contents)
    3. The .tex document, open in WordPad
    you will be able to see what to do. The easiest way will probably be to copy into your document the box that’s closest to what you want, and then edit the contents.
    The hard part is knowing the LaTeX required to go inside the TeX Field. You can find that by writing your maths in a separate document, saving it, and then opening the .tex file with WordPad.
    Depending how thoroughly you want to get to grips with this, the documentation for the fancybox package is available at Help – Search – fancy – fancybox package – package documentation.
    In the end the user adopted a simpler approach, simply inserting the text he wanted to be boxed between two horizontal lines.

  6. Marking subsections:    A user with a Support Package wanted help with cross-referring to subsections and numbered lists:
    I'm in the process of writing an outline of a computational procedure using Numbered List Items. I can cross reference the various levels using their names, e.g. "as in Section 1a3" Is there a way of tagging the sections that is analogous to the way SW tags equations? Then, if I insert a new subsection the Numbered List Items change automatically but the "as in Section 1a3" remains even if it becomes "as in Section 1a4"
    We replied:
    I think this is probably what you’re asking [see .tex file and PDF].

    1. You need to have the section/subsection to generate the numbering, and then
    2. Insert – Marker allows you to capture the relevant section/subsection number; that’s like adding a key to an equation.
    3. You can then Insert – Typeset Object – Cross reference to select that marker name from the dropdown list.

  7. v5.5 bibliographies:    A couple of users recently have needed help with BibTeX bibliographies in Scientific Word/WorkPlace v5.5. We told them:
    ...so you might find our June 2023 mailing Item 2 helpful, together with the page at https://www.sciword.co.uk/bibtex.htm and the document https://www.sciword.co.uk/training/​BibTeXBibliographyStyles.tex . We’ll also temporarily re-upload the relevant module of our Training Course: https://www.sciword.co.uk/training/6-2.BibTeX.mp4 (watch from 4m30 – end). The topics covered in the Training Course videos are shown here.
    With respect to maintaining your bibliographic information, the BibDB utility (which is supplied with Scientific Word/WorkPlace v5.5 but is not installed in the default “Typical” installation) is a fairly basic electronic card index, and was superseded some time ago by the rather more sophisticated JabRef (see our June 2009 mailing Item 3).

    One user Emailed saying:
    I attach a short tex document with citations, which point to a bib database that I created with JabRef, which is also attached. It will not work, it does not recognize the entries. Previously, when I created bib databases using Overleaf (which during creation is again less convenient than JabRef), and then used those in SWP55, there was no problem. This time I copied and renamed one of those Overleaf-created bib databases, and then added items in JabRef, and it does not work. Any ideas what’s going on?
    We pointed out that:
    ...our Email [above] gave you a link to the document at https://www.sciword.co.uk/training/​BibTeXBibliographyStyles.tex . If you search that document for the ‘econometrica’ bibliography style, you will find a short section saying:
    BibTeX bibliography style for Econometrica. Must be used with the harvard package.
    Your document asks for the bibliography to be typeset in the econometrica style – but you had not added the harvard package to your document.
    Another user said:
    SW v5.5 now works, the files do compile ... with the exception of the bibliography! One last effort: how can I get it to work?
    I have manually changed the command \bibliographystyle{plain} to \bibliographystyle{plainnat}, because in previous times it did the trick, and I have changed the name of the .bib file, alas to no effect.
    We replied:
    Did you watch module 6.2 from our Training videos to which we gave you complimentary access in our Email [above]? The reason your document did not generate the bibliography is described from 00:40s – 00:50s: you need to select Typeset – Bibliography Choice – BibTeX. Then, having put your .bib file in C:\sw55\TCITeX\BibTeX\bib (or a subfolder) you click on:
    • Typeset – Compile PDF – Generate a bibliography – OK, followed by
    • Typeset – Preview PDF
    which enabled her document to compile and display the references as she wanted them.

  8. Can't decide?    A prospective user recently asked:
    I'm in the process of writing my dissertation and need to have the ability to easily create and enter mathematical equations in my MS Word document. The current word plugin I use is rather cumbersome to use and slows down my documents a great deal.

    I'm not sure what the difference is between Scientific Workplace/Notebook and Word. Can you guide me to a place on your website where the differences are clearly defined?
    We Emailed back saying:
    We’re assuming you will be trying version 5.5, unless you have a particular reason to want version 6. For the difference between these versions, please see our August 2022 mailing Item 3.

    Please note that all our programs are standalone programs running on your computer. They are not add-ons or plug-ins for MS Word.
    The three programs are as follows: You might also find the “Choosing the product” page helpful.

  9. Reviews:    We don't go asking people to write reviews for us, preferring to let our reputation for Unbeatable Expert Tech Support spread naturally by word of mouth. But occasionally people say such nice things we think it's time we had somewhere to put them; see our December 2022 mailing Item 5.

    A few days ago we received this review from Dr Margaret Hawton of Lakehead University. Strictly it wasn't entirely unsolicited: she had taken our 30-day demo and offered to write us a review if we could help her with a licence she already had on an old machine. And after we got her up and running free of charge, we reminded her. She wrote:
    As a longtime user of Scientific Workplace I was delighted to learn that I could download SWP from Scientific Word Ltd, UK. It has been an indispensable aid to my theoretical physics research for the last 20 years. SWP is a delightfully easy to use what-you-see-is-what-you-get program that produces Tex/LaTex markup files that can be posted on arXiv and submitted directly to journals. There are many examples of my SWP produced files on arXiv/quant-ph.

    I recently downloaded SWP 5.5 from SW Ltd and was provided with clear instructions for implementation of all its features on my new home computer. I highly recommend SWP and the tech support provided by SW Ltd UK.

    You can quote me if you like or suggest where I might post the above review, but I don't want to open a facebook account..
    The absence of anywhere for users to leave such reviews finally spurred us to action after nearly 35 years; so now we're welcoming reviews on Trustpilot. No bribes, no inducements, no free samples – we're only interested in genuine authentic opinions.
    To leave your review, go to https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/​www.sciword.co.uk; we’ve only just set up our Trustpilot account, so you’d be one of the first. Thank you.


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