Questions About On-Screen Documents

Jonathan Lewin's picture

My various learning materials that are designed, at present, for the Version 5.x vintage of the MacKichan Software products are made in the form or fairly sophisticated hypertext. I have many hundreds of hyperlinks, most of which take the reader to the position of a marker in a document other than the one that contains the hyperlink.

Now when I look at SWP 6 on the computer screen, I don't see anything like the beautiful image that I see in Version 5.5. I notice, for example, that summation symbols, integral signs, and similar objects are not sized on the screen according to their position.
What I mean is that I can see how to make the size "large" or "small" or "automatic" but it doesn't seem to make any difference how the item actually looks on my screen.
I would have expected an "automatic" integral sign to look larger in display than in-line. But I'm not seeing that.

I think the different options will show when I make a PDF preview or print and perhaps when I make a HTML export.
I'm still working on learning the Version 6 features but I'm led to wonder whether, if I were to make HTML or PDF versions of my documents to show to other people (who today would be looking at the documents using Scientific Viewer or a paid-up MacKichan Software product), would my complicated system of hyperlinking be included automatically?

I certainly can see some disadvantages in expecting people to use SNB or SWP to do the on-screen reading of my material. Apart from the strange look of many mathematical objects, I worry about the clutter on the screen caused by all the toolbars and other resources, above, below, and o the sides. I can certainly close these in my own system when they are no longer needed but my readers won't get the benefit of that, will they?

Finally, I'm looking for ways of making my own custom screen styles (what we used to call cst files). Can we still do that?
I have some screen styles that include Calligraphic symbols and I really like those for the kind of mathematics that I type.

Many thank.

Barry MacKichan's picture

The default symbol size in a

The default symbol size in a display should be the larger size (for integrals, sums, etc.). We consider this a bug and will fix it shortly.

For version 6, there is no longer a Scientific Viewer product. Or, rather, the Scientific Viewer product is a browser. Early on, we recommended the Firefox browser for its internal support of MathML, but the rise of MathJax has made it possible to read our files in almost any browser. I suggest you produce your files by choosing File/Export to Web. For the smallest files, I suggest you choose the option "Zip file with refs for CSS and MathJax". Then unzip the file in the proper location on your site.

This assumes that the documents your students are viewing do not use MuPAD or VCam for viewing plots. It they need to do that, they will need SNB. What you seem to be asking for is some sort of information in the document which modifies the users environment. This is possible with some work. You can make a feature request for this.

Our old CST files have now been replaced by web-standard CSS files. This are roughly equivalent except that CSS files are vastly more evolved. There are many books and sites that explain the CSS standard.

What you are doing with hyperlinks seems like standard HTML hyperlinking, and I think it works without problem in SNB, SW, and SWP, but I will have to check with our testers to see if there are any bugs that you might be hitting.



Jonathan Lewin's picture

Many thanks Barry, I was

Many thanks Barry,

I was actually very glad to see that the earlier dependence on Firefox had been overcome because my encrypted video content that is accessed at present from SNB/SWP 5.5 documents requires the Silverlight player and only the Microsoft Internet Explorer supports this process. Strangely, even Edge can't handle it.

My approach to MUPAD and VCAM for most of my documents is to simulate the process in videos.

SNB reading on-screen will continue to play a major role though, particularly with more advanced students. They have to write math content and lay out their questions in documents I provide them and then attach these to email to me. Then I open the documents, write my input in them, and reply.

This has been very valuable for the students and also for MacKichan Software because it gives those students a strong incentive for buying SNB.

The idea of learning and using CSS files is a bit daunting but I'll give it a try. I'll miss that simple tag-appearance method, though.