Moving Scientific Word and Scientific WorkPlace v5.5 files to the Mac

Windows metafile graphics

The standard on Windows for non-bitmap graphics files is that of Windows metafiles. Since these are supported only on Windows, they must be converted to a portable form before they can be read on OS X. This process has to be done on Windows. The following is one way to do this.

Step by step instructions

  1. The process will be easier if you create a new folder, or directory, on the Windows computer. We suggest that it be a subfolder of the C:\swp55\docs folder. We can call it Temp.
  2. If your v5.5 document is in a .rap file, copy it to the Temp directory. If it is a .tex file, you want to move it and the files it references (graphics, plots, subdocuments, etc.) to the Temp directory. Probably the easiest way to do this is to make a .rap file with SW or SWP 5.5, and move the file to the Temp directory.
  3. If you started with a .rap file, or if you made a .rap file in step 2, open the .rap file in SW 5.5 or SWP 5.5. This will populate the Temp directory with the .tex file for the document and all the ancillary graphics and plots.

There are now two possible paths you can take. The second path (path B) requires that you install SW or SWP version 6 on the Windows machine. It is not necessary to install TeX. The first path (path A) does not require this.

The next step depends on the path you take.

Path A

  1. Using version 5.5, open the .tex file in the Temp directory. If you are using a master document with subdocuments, open the master document .tex file.
  2. In version 5.5, click 'Typeset' and 'Output choice', and click on the 'PDF output' radio button. Click 'OK'.
  3. Save the document by clicking on 'File/Save'. If that option is disabled, type a space and a backspace somewhere in the document.
  4. Preview the PDF of the document by clicking on 'Typeset/Preview PDF'. Save the document again. At this time, there should be a 'graphics' subdirectory of the Temp directory. The contents of that directory should consist of PDF versions of all the Windows metafiles in your document. They are the reason for this exercise.
  5. Copy the Temp directory to your Mac. It may the easier to make a zip file of Temp, copy the zip file, and decompress it on the Mac.
  6. On the Mac, run SW or SWP version 6 and choose 'File/Import TeX' and select the main .tex file in the Temp directory. You should end up with a .sci file which you can save or edit and then save.

Path B

  1. Install SW or SWP version 6 on the Windows computer. It is not necessary to install TeX.
  2. Run version 6 and choose 'File/Import TeX' and select the main .tex file in the Temp directory.
  3. Your document should appear in SW or SWP. Save it in the location you choose.
  4. You may now transfer the saved document (with the .sci extension) to the Mac and open it with SW or SWP version 6.


In Path A you previewed your document using pdfTeX. PdfTeX requires that all vector graphics be converted to PDF files. By choosing the PDF output choice, you told the program to save these PDF files; normally they are written to a temporary directory and eventually removed. On the Mac side, these files will be read instead of their WMF equivalents.

In Path B, you loaded your document into version 6 on Windows. In this case, all Windows metafiles are converted automatically to PDF files at load time.