September 2019

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


    Some further tips and technical support information to make sure our users get the most from Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook.
    The current version of Scientific Word, Scientific WorkPlace and Scientific Notebook is 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 when convenient; the installation instructions are here.


  1. Wrapping text:    Version 6.0 has significantly-improved capabilities for handling graphics. Among the new features, you can now wrap text around graphics – which may be rotated – and have them overhang into the margin (like this):

    1. Start a new document containing some sample text – you can use the lorem fragment from the Fragments panel or type .lorem. as in our June 2019 mailing Item 3
    2. Put the cursor where you want the graphic, and click on Insert – Image
    3. On the Image tab, select the filename and size of the graphic, choosing to work in inches or centimetres at the top.
      You can rotate the graphic 90° if desired (this shows in the PDF preview, not in the editing screen); in principle you can rotate either clockwise or anti-clockwise, but in practice rotating clockwise doesn't yet work correctly
    4. On the Placement tab, click the Location dropdown to choose Floating, Inline or Displayed (the same as in v5.5), or to place the graphic on the Left/Right of the page with the text flowing around it.
      Inside/Outside are intended for Book-class documents, where odd- and even-numbered pages are treated differently: Inside means near the binding margin/spine of the book, which on even-numbered left-hand pages would be on the right of the page and on odd-numbered right-hand pages would be on the left
    5. Use the Frame tab to set the Overhang parameter, the amount by which the graphic sticks out into the margin.

    You can re-enter the editing dialog by right-clicking the graphic and selecting Properties – Image Properties.
    Why not download and try out our sample Article-class document which shows a graphic rotated anti-clockwise, put on the left of the page with the text wrapping round to the right, and overhanging the margin by 1.5in.

  2. Current instructions:    It always pays to download the latest installation instructions, whether for version 6.0 or version 5.5, since our instructions evolve to keep up with new versions of the Windows/Mac operating systems. Recently a user asked:
    I just purchased a new PC. Can I use the same link below that I used previously to install SWP?
    while replying to an Email we'd sent him last October in which we'd advised him to:
    Simply follow the v5.5 Installation instructions to install on your new computer using [the v5.5 serial number]. You can install and use simultaneously on all your computers, for your own use only, according to the Fixed licence terms (Clause 2).
    So of course we said Yes, while also referring him to our August 2013 mailing Item 2. He tried the installation a couple of times but it ended up hanging, and there followed an exchange of Emails in which we attempted to pin down at which Step of the instructions it was failing.
    Long story short: we were working from the current v5.5 installation instructions, whereas the user had a hard copy downloaded at some time in the last 7 years – which didn't include the key point (at Step 2):
    Right-click the .exe file you downloaded (swp-pro550.exe, sciword550.exe or scinoteb550.exe) and select “Run as Administrator”.
    Once we were both working from the up-to-date set of instructions... success!

  3. v5.5 to v6.0:    Most v6.0 users were previously users of v5.5 and rightly want to bring their v5.5 documents with them. There are two main pitfalls to be aware of, and avoid, in doing so:

    1. To import existing Scientific Word/WorkPlace/Notebook v5.5 documents into version 6.0 you need to use File – Import TeX, not File – Open, as in our September 2015 mailing Item 6
    2. There were some issues with converting files from v5.5 to v6.0 in the early days (say, before v6.0.20) so please check you're using a recent build of version 6.0, either v6.0.29 or v6.0.30 (see the introductory paragraph above). If not, we recommend you upgrade your system with the latest build from our download page.

    If you're still having problems, please let us have the v5.5 .tex file wrapped up with its graphics (see our September 2014 mailing Item 5) – ie. send us the .rap file – together with a screenshot of the problem you experience when trying to import it into v6.0; this will help with the continual improvement of the conversion utility (see our October 2017 mailing Item 3).

  4. Fair Use Policy:    We're proud of our Unbeatable Expert Technical Support, and we love to help... after all, it's our USP.
    But just occasionally – perhaps a couple of times a year – we have to draw a user's attention to our Fair Use policy which provides some boundaries around our open-ended complimentary support. (Obviously this does not apply to our Annual Maintenance and Support Contract sites.)
    If you've been in touch with us a lot recently, why not give it a read through?

  5. Floating to Fixed:    One of our Annual Maintenance sites had upgraded their Scientific Word and Scientific WorkPlace Floating licence servers from v5.5 to v6.0, but wrote that:
    ...a couple of our Academics <snip> are quite insistent that they want to stay with version 5.5 and not v6 and are asking if they can still purchase single licenses for v5.5.
    They subsequently asked:
    Do we need to remove the existing installation of v5.5 and then reinstall with the new link or can we delete/rename the license file that runs from the license server?
    We replied with the following directions:

    Just delete the two-line licence file [in C:\swp55\Licenses] pointing to your server, change his serial number (to the one we supplied) from Help – System Features, and then Register from Help – Register.

    This information will be useful to other Annual Maintenance sites completing the transition to v6.0 who still wish to provide access to our software for faculty members permanently wedded to v5.5. (No criticism intended here: we've always quite liked v5.5 ourselves...)

  6. BibTeX problem:    We've come across a problem using BibTeX in v6.0 – depending on your Windows username (go to C:\Users to see your usernames). For usernames up to 8 characters (eg. mabb), everything works as it should. But for usernames longer than 8 characters (eg. christopher) then:

    Until this problem is corrected in a future version, the best workaround we can offer is this: once you've got your Bibliography and Citations in place (ie. the document is finished), you can delete the addresses shown in the graphics (ie. remove the addresses C:\texlive\2019\texmf-dist\bibtex\bib and \bst from the dialog at Tools – Preferences – TeX – General), close and re-open the document, and then select PDFpreview. If there's still a problem, save the document with a different name, then close, re-open and select PDFpreview. Why not try it on the sample document here (it should look like this)?
    An alternative workaround would be to set up a new short username on your computer, and switch usernames when you want to work on your BibTeX-dependent documents.

  7. Missing Emails:    Some of our users' Emails to us were recently filtered out by our ISP in error.
    We always reply within 24 hours, excluding weekends – ie. within 1 business day. And so if we ever fail to reply to you within 1 business day, please assume your Email has been incorrectly filtered out as spam, and send us a new one-line message asking us to look for your message sent on <DATE> at <TIME>.

  8. Thomas Cook:    With the sad collapse of a household name, we lost our October holiday booking. As a result, we may well be going abroad at short notice as suitable opportunities arise. With reliable WiFi pretty much everywhere these days, you'll perhaps never know whether we're solving your tricky Tech Support issues by the pool, on the beach – or unfortunately still from somewhere altogether more mundane.
    But if you'd like to know, our Holiday Closure page is here and will be kept updated with information as soon as we know...


We send this mailing to our users every couple of months or so; by the time the next one arrives you'll be able to smell the turkey cooking! Please just let us know if you no longer wish to remain on our mailing list, 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