May 2021

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


    As we come towards the end of Lockdown in the UK, here's our latest news, tips and technical support information to help you get the most from Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook. Many of this batch of questions relate to v5.5 rather than v6.0.
    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 current installation instructions are here.


  1. Co-authoring:    Further to our October 2016 mailing Item 6 about co-authoring, a prospective user Emailed to ask:
    My co-author uses swp 5.5. Can we work on the same document (I have the option to use swp 6.0)
    We replied saying:
    Honestly, you don’t want to be using two different versions of Scientific WorkPlace: see our Leap Year’s Day 2020 mailing Item 4. In theory it’s possible, since Scientific WorkPlace v6.0 has the ability to import and also export the .tex format of Scientific WorkPlace v5.5; but in practice the conversion is not smooth enough to use for co-authoring a document with frequent exchanging of the document. You really do need Scientific WorkPlace (or Scientific Word) v5.5.
    If you have a Fixed Licence of Scientific WorkPlace, that covers you to run either/both Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 and v6.0 with the same serial number. But if your access is by a network Floating Licence, then that doesn’t give you access to v5.5.

    Possible solutions:
    1. If this is a short-term project, you might solve the problem by installing our free 30-day demo of Scientific WorkPlace v5.5
    2. If it’s a medium term project, you could be interested in our Coronavirus Offer to buy a 6-month Scientific WorkPlace Fixed Licence for 1/3 the price (with possible extension in 3 x 6-month instalments)
    3. If you decide to buy a permanent Scientific WorkPlace Fixed Licence up-front, we will throw in complimentary access to the videos of our £4000+ Scientific Word/WorkPlace v5.5 Training Course. Just go to to watch the Promo sampler and get all the details.
    We hope this is helpful, even though it’s not exactly the answer you wanted to hear.
    Note that our various Coronavirus offers end on 21st June 2021, the date when all restrictions are due to be lifted in the UK (see Item 5 below).

  2. Viewer version:    Until you Activate your copy of Scientific Word/WorkPlace v6.0 (or Register, for v5.5), the software will run as a Viewer version. This gives some functionality, but it doesn't allow saving of documents.
    Someone who recently downloaded the free 30-day demo in Saudi Arabia Emailed to say:
    Save filethis version doenot save files
    In our reply we said:
    Thanks for downloading the 30-day trial of Scientific WorkPlace. Did you download the installation instructions and Activate (v6.0: Step 6) or Register (v5.5: Step 4)? Until then you’ve only got the non-saving Viewer version.
    Do please confirm that the installation instructions get you up and running.
    Surprisingly, we don't seem to have mentioned this before in 15 years of mailings.

  3. Booktabs:    The LaTeX booktabs package gives extra functionality for producing beautiful tables.
    A user ran into problems compiling a document containing a number of LaTeX tables which had been generated using an external program and imported into Scientific WorkPlace v5.5. He Emailed saying:
    I can get SciWord5.5 to compile the basic table
    The commands  that I cannot get to work are:
    \multicolumn{1}{c}{ yyyy } \\
      & A & B & C & D$ \\
    It was an interesting question. We pointed out that:
    Those commands require the booktabs package, which isn’t included with Scientific WorkPlace but which we are attaching for you. Simply save booktabs.sty into the folder C:\swp55\TCITeX\TeX\LaTeX\contrib\booktabs\  (which you will need to create). The file booktabs-sample.tex will then compile to give you booktabs-sample.pdf.
    For information, I entered your table into an un-Encapsulated TeX Field, and you’ll see that after reloading the document it has separated out the caption. Note that you can edit your table by highlighting and selecting right-click – Properties:
    • I’ve changed the Floating placement to ‘Here’ (on the Layout tab)
    • You can put the caption beneath the table on the Labeling tab
    • The body of the table is on the Contents tab.
    You will also find useful information by going to our Past Mailings page and searching (Ctrl-F) for tables. For example, you might find our 11111 mailing Item 5 interesting… We trust this is what you wanted!
    with the following PS:
    I should have said: To add the booktabs package into another document, you will need to Go Native: Typeset – Options and Packages – Package Options – Go Native and then type (including the curly brackets)
    For a more sophisticated solution, see our December 2011 mailing Item 5 to add booktabs to the dropdown list. (Apologies if you knew this already.)
    Why not download the .tex file and check to see how the errors manifest without the booktabs package (Typeset – Option and Packages – Package Options – booktabs – Remove) when you compile?

  4. Screen colour:    One of our UK academic users wanted to change the Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 screen appearance to show particular equations in colour. He wrote: comes up correctly when I compile it, but I’d like to see  on the screen too. Is there an easy way to do that?
    This challenging request required quite a detailed response (you might first want to refresh your understanding of .cst files from our Midsummer 2020 mailing Item 3):
    For using colour, you’ll want to start with our May 2011 mailing Item 3. This only takes you as far as you’ve got already – having the PDF preview in colour; a good place to start is with the PackageSample-color document in \swp55\SWSamples\ .
    To get the screen appearance a different colour you will want to clone the definition of a Tag. You can choose either/both 'a Tag which applies just to some text' and/or 'a Tag which applies to a whole paragraph'.

    We’ll start with a Text Tag (selected from the 3rd pop-up at the bottom of a SWP window):
    1. Click on Tag – Appearance – Type List – Text tags: we’re going to choose one of these to clone
    2. Click normalsize – Clone Tag and give it a name (eg. blue maths)
    3. Click on Tags – blue maths
    4. Click on Tag Properties Math – Modify – check the Math color box:
      1. Either click the Light Red drop down and select your new colour (eg Light Blue), or
      2. Edit Color – OK
    5. Don’t click OK again [that would overwrite the current .cst file]
    6. Click on SaveAs, and give your .cst file a name (eg. My blue) – Save
    7. Close the Tag Appearance dialog
    Select the maths text you want to be blue, and choose the Text tag pop-up – blue maths.
    With the text tag I haven’t found an obvious way to make the fraction bar or the brackets blue.

    And/or a Paragraph tag (2nd pop-up):
    1. Click on Tag – Appearance
    2. Click Body Text – Clone Tag and give it a name (eg. Body text with blue)
    3. Click on Tags – Body text with blue
    4. Click on Tag Properties Math – Modify – Math color:
      1. Either click the Light Red drop down and select your new colour (eg Light Blue), or
      2. Edit Color – OK
    5. Don’t click OK again
    6. Click on SaveAs, and give your .cst file a name (eg. My blue) – Save
    7. Close the Tag Appearance dialog

    You can see which .cst file you’re using from File – Style; we’re now using the ‘My blue’ style for our document, which gives us the additional options of using either/both:
    • Text tag ‘blue maths’ for small amounts of text (fiddly, because subscripts and superscripts need changing individually)
    • Paragraph tag ‘Body text with blue’ (but this applies to a whole paragraph; it won’t pick out one term of an expression)
    In the screenshot here the first paragraph is using the 'Body Text with blue' Paragraph tag (so all the maths in that paragraph is blue) – you can see the name in the second pop-up box – while in the displayed question eqn1 we have coloured some of the individual characters blue using the 'blue maths' text tag (with the third pop-up shown open).

  5. Coronavirus Offers:    The special offers we introduced in March last year to provide Remote Access Tech Support and Working from Home licensing during Lockdown expire on 21st June 2021. This means that Tech Support for v5.5 – retired in June 2017 but temporarily reinstated in our March 2020 mailing (Item 1) – will no longer be available to Standard users.
    As noted in our May 2017 mailing (Item 8):
    This does not apply to Premier users, Annual Maintenance sites and Support Contracts for whom we'll be continuing to provide our 2-hour service.
    To meet the ongoing need for v5.5 Tech Support for Standard users with Fixed licences, we are therefore extending the Annual Maintenance contract to cover individual Fixed licences: see Item 6 below.

  6. Individual Annual Maintenance:    We are launching individual Annual Maintenance contracts for Fixed licences to provide v5.5 Tech Support for Standard users. In response to one such person asking:
    What will happen after the end of lockdown if I have a question ? Will you offer some “paid-for” support ?
    we replied:
    Well, in theory people who have been using Scientific Word/WorkPlace v5.5 for several years shouldn’t need any Tech Support now! For the ones who do, we are willing to extend the Annual Maintenance agreement, common for University Site Licensees, to individual Fixed licences such as yours. For an annual payment of 20% of the [Scientific WorkPlace Commercial/Educational] licence value (ballpark figure: 20% of £570 = £114 + VAT), Annual Maintenance provides:

    • [Automatic provision of upgrades to the latest version – not applicable after 30th June 2021]
    • Premier Technical Support – usually within a couple of hours – including for version 5.5 even beyond June 2017
    • Receive bi-monthly mailings, together with additional Annual-Maintenance Technical mailings
    • Live Training 75% discount, limited to small groups of four
    • Complimentary access to the Training videos (complete v5.5; gradual release of v6.0)

    As you can see, that would among other benefits give you access to the videos of our £4000+ v5.5 Training Course, which themselves cost £147 + VAT! If you’re nervous about using Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 without support then we recommend that you go into the Annual Maintenance agreement now while you don’t have a problem: trying to sign up for Annual Maintenance when you already have a problem would be like trying to buy car insurance when you’ve already crashed the car… we wouldn’t be very interested in that.
    Technical Support is, as always, subject to our Fair Use policy.

    Alternatively, you can manage without, knowing you can buy our Consultancy time if you should need it – though that is fairly expensive at £500/hour + VAT.
    Annual Maintenance is intended to be renewed year by year: some of our University campus-wide site licences have been on Annual Maintenance continuously for 20 years... <snip> you’ll be getting the same benefits for yourself for less than £150 a year, except with a guaranteed 24 hour turnaround instead of the target 2 hours we aim to achieve for them.
    So: To avoid confusing the two (Annual Maintenance and Consultancy Time), there's a 30-day lead time before your 12-month Annual Maintenance cover is active. So if you want to take up this offer we recommend you let us know by this Friday 21st May in order that your Annual Maintenance will be active from 21/6/21 to 21/6/22 once the temporary Lockdown arrangements expire.

  7. Terms & Conditions:    After more than 30 years' trading, we were finally asked about our Terms & Conditions by a University that we'd not previously supplied, before buying their v6.0 Floating licence.
    We don't suppose you're interested... but our Terms & Conditions are now here!


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