I am migrating some files from Scientific Workplace 5.5 (SWP) to LyX. SWP has extension .tex. In principle, I could import to LyX directly from a tex file generated by SWP.

However, I could also first "save as portable LaTeX" the file from SWP and then import the new file to LyX. Does this make any important difference?

Saving as from SWP is usually not available because a reader version of SWP does not allow to export or save files. So, I want to know if importing a tex file created normally by SWP (without saving as portable) will cause any problem to LyX.

Thank you

  • 1
    It is very important to save them as portable LaTeX, I'd even give them a new name. SWP has some magic comments in its native .tex format that no-one but SWP can understand. So it is important to have these converted to something taht standard LaTeX can understand. I would also be a bit worried to go directly from portable SWP to importing to LyX. There might still be stuff that LyX does not understand (remember that LyX does not understand all of LaTeX). I'd probably see if the SWP portable can be compiled via a standard non-LyX LaTeX editor first, and then try to import it afterwards.
    – daleif
    Commented May 13 at 14:18
  • Thank you. For completeness, could you please convert your comments into a answer?
    – Andre
    Commented May 13 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


With SWP upto and including version 5.x [1], SWP saves in a format what include some special comments about graphics etc (haven't looked at an SWP file in a while). Only SWP knows how to properly handle these. So for others to be able to handle/compile the same .tex file, we need to save it as Portable LaTeX (I'd save it under a new name).

Note that even after the conversion to Portable LaTeX it might still refer to some files that are now found in a common LaTeX installation. In most cases these can just be ignored/outcommented. It seems they were just some internal styling of a few things.

Given this, I would probably not attempt to import into LyX right after saving an SWP file to Portable LaTeX. I'd see if it actually compiles either using the command prompt (pdflatex file.tex) or using a normal LaTeX editor, like texmaker or texstudio.

If it compiles without errors. Then you can see if importing it into LyX will work. But do remember that LyX cannot handle all possible LaTeX documents. Plus there may be constructions in the imported file that LyX does not have a point-and-click interface for.

Good luck.

[1]: In version 6 SWP started internally to store things in XML (AFAIK).

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