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Document 546

Choosing a document shell

Version: 3.x, 4.x, 5.x - Scientific WorkPlace & Scientific Word

Every SWP and SW document begins with a document shell. As you choose a shell to open a new document, keep your typesetting needs in mind, especially if you expect to create a complex document. Your installation includes an extensive collection of general purpose and specialized shells for documents of various types:

  • Articles—short documents intended for publication in scholarly journals or conference proceedings.

  • Author Packages for AMS—articles intended for publication in journals or conference proceedings published by the American Mathematical Society (AMS).

  • Books—large documents intended for publication as a separate volume.

  • Exams and Syllabi—short documents intended for use in the classroom.

  • International---non-English documents, including German, Russian, Japanese, Greek, and Chinese. You can write and typeset documents in languages that use a non-Roman character set in two ways:

    • using XeTeX, an adaptation of TeX and available with TeXLive, which provides a comprehensive collection of TeX programs, packages, and fonts, including support for many languages. Use XeTeX to create typeset PDF files.

    • using the Omega/Lambda typesetting included in SWP and SW. There is no pdfOmega program, so creating a PDF file from such documents isn't possible from within the program.

  • Other Documents—miscellaneous document types including faxes, letters, memos, overhead transparencies, slides, and some books and reports, usually developed for earlier releases of SWP and SW.

  • Scientific Notebook—documents created with Scientific Notebook. Documents created with these shells are intended for printing without the benefit of typesetting.

  • Standard LaTeX—documents created with the LaTeX base document classes without the addition of any packages.

  • Style Editor—documents created with shells developed using the Style Editor.

  • Theses—documents that fulfill thesis formatting requirements at several universities.

In addition to using the shells provided with the program, you can create your own shells.

Make sure the shell you choose produces the type of document you want to create. Don't attempt to write a book using a letter shell or an article using a report shell. Make sure that the shell contains the tags appropriate for your work. If you need theorem environments, choose a shell that has theorem and theorem-like item tags.

If you're unsure of your typesetting requirements, choose the Standard LaTeX shell for the type of document you need. These standard shells provide the greatest flexibility and portability. You can achieve almost any typesetting effect by beginning with a standard shell and adding LaTeX packages as necessary.

Important We strongly recommend that you begin all new documents using one of the standard LaTeX shells, unless you have a compelling reason (such as publisher's instructions) to do otherwise.

A Gallery of Document Shells, provided on your program CD as a PDF file, illustrates the appearance of sample documents that have been typeset with each shell provided with the program. Examine the samples and take note of the features they illustrate, such as the absence or presence of headers and footers, the placement of page numbers and footnotes, the size of the margins, the appearance and placement of the headings, the extent of the front matter, the use of single or double columns, and the use of single or double spacing. When you find a shell that looks appropriate, open and print a new document with the shell to see if it meets your requirements. The closer the shell fits your requirements, the easier your typesetting tasks will be.

Last revised 07/06/067. This document was created with Scientific WorkPlace.

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