- MacKichan Software

- Technical Support Pages

- Free Trial Versions

SWP 6.0.17 on MS Win

=====================

Set Alignment

=============

Set Alignment (on the edit menu) seems to

have no visual effect on a displayed set of

equations (equation array). In SWP55, the alignment

is made visually correct on screen. However, the SWP6

typeset output can be correct, though the fact that

the on-screen appearance doesn't change means

that you're experimenting in the dark.

Minor Display Issue

===================

The text of a Definition appears in an upright

font in the editor; the text of a Theorem is in

italics. When typeset both environments are in

italics (Std Latex Article). Maybe you should

change the way Definitions appear, to match the

typeset appearance? (I don't know if other

theorem-like environments have similar issues;

of course it's pretty minor).

Comment on math Help

====================

In the help file, the TOC is very broad: for

example, "Entering and Editing Mathematics".

In fact, this topic contains lots of

sub-topics (sub-sections). It is a pain to

have to scroll through the entire section in order

to try and find the thing you're looking

for Help on. I think it would be useful

to show the sub-topics as well (at least one

more section level). Presumably this should

be very easy to achieve.

Entering Theorems etc

======================

The Help tells you to select the appropriate

Theorem object from the Structure Tags. Then

"(3) Type the statement of the theorem and

press Enter". This isn't quite right. When you

press Enter, you're still in the theorem environment.

You need to press Enter *again* to get back into

plain Body Text mode. You can in fact see this

if you pay attention to the Status Bar: I think

the Help (and the manuals) ought to give the Status

Bar and its uses more prominence than they do.

Line breaks in inline math

==========================

I was a bit surprised to find that when I entered

P(X) near the end of a line, the line got broken after

the "(". This does not display the "math intelligence"

that one would like to see; and as far as I can remember,

it never happened in SWP55. (It was sufficiently

jarring that I'm sure I would have remembered it

if it had).

Fractions in Math Displays

==========================

It's quite common for the denominator of a

fraction to be some variant of what's in the

numerator. So it makes sense to type the numerator,

and then copy-and-paste it into the denominator

for further editing.

I have never been able to do this. What I get

when I paste is the entire fraction. Can copying a

part of a fraction be done? In SWP55 it is

completely straightforward.

Copying Display lines

=====================

Suppose you have a 2-line displayed set of

equations (an equation array). It seems impossible

to copy (say) just line 1 of the display to be pasted

into another display. If you select the first line

with the mouse and then do Ctrl+C for copy, you

seem to get the entire display. (In fact you get

it as a display, so when you paste you get a severely

nested display, which I take it is almost never what you

want). In SWP55 this is completely straightforward to do.

Subscripts and Fractions in Displays

======================================

I find it impossible to close out a parenthesis

after a 2-level subscript in a fraction.

Try the following: start a display, enter a

fraction template (Ctrl+/). In the numerator type

P(X and put an "N" subscript on the X and an "i" subscript

on the "N". At this point you want to exit subscripting

to close the parens. I can't do this. If after

the subscripted "i" I press the right arrow,

I find that the ")" is placed after the fraction.

(I think this may also happen with a 1-level subscript,

but I was working with two). Again, is there some

way to do this? The only solution I've found is to

type P() and then go back and insert the

material inside the parenthesis. But this is

an unintuitive way to enter math.

In SWP55 I never had this difficulty.

Conclusion

==========

The preceding arose while I was attempting

to use SWP6 to write myself some notes on a

proof of the Hammersley-Clifford Theorem

in statistics. I have to say that in trying to

enter and work with somewhat complicated

display math expressions, I constantly had

the feeling of fighting the system to get

what I wanted. (This was not so in inline math or

in text). I eventually exported the SWP6 work into

SWP55 where, though allowance must be made for my greater

experience with SWP55, I made more progress in 15

minutes than I had in an hour with SWP6. I don't

believe that familiarity is the whole story: some

things just work much better in SWP55.

The inability --- if that's what it is --- to copy

lines from equation arrays and fractions is an especially

serious impediment to productivity. You should not

have to re-type lines each time you want to re-use

them: that's the whole point of having a word-processor.

If you can't solve this problem via selection-by-mouse

then I think you need to address it via a context menu item.

Perhaps there are ways to do the things I had problems

with in SWP6, ways that might not be obvious to

an SWP55 user. If so, I'd certainly like to know

about them. And I suspect that others would too.

- Login to post comments

## I echo pretty much everything

I echo pretty much everything here. Most importantly, despite having used SWP 6 quite a lot now for writing, it still takes me far longer to do anything in a display than with 5.5. My highest priority of the issues mentioned in this post is to sort out the copying and pasting issues that are mentioned - I have ended up re-typing lots of complicated expressions in displays because copying and pasting rarely gives me what I want.

The other major problems I have with editing displays are:

1. Frequently when I delete characters, I get the dreaded "invalid markup" message. The obvious way to handle that is to use Undo. But in a display, Undo seems just to remove all the contents of the display and the only way I have found of getting it back is to close the document without saving it and re-open it, which is very slow.

2. Also when I edit displays, SWP not infrequently crashes and I have to re-open it. This is slow and, although, one can access the unsaved document again, it is often not saved at a useful point. So the only effective way I have of working is to frequently use PDF Preview to see that the content corresponds to what I want and then save the document.

On the positive side, there is an easy solution to the issue mentioned under "Subscripts and Fractions in Displays". If you hit the spacebar after the "i" subscript, the cursor moves back to the level of the "N" subscript. Hit the spacebar again and the cursor moves back to the main line without leaving the numerator, so you can type the ")". But I think I learnt that only from some comment on this forum - certainly not from Help where I find it very difficult to locate useful information.