README FILE MathSpad
This directory contains the distribution of MathSpad version 0.60.
MathSpad is an experimental program and this is the beta release.
If you install it and encounter problems with the program,
we can't guarantee immediate help (although we'll try). A mailing
list is available to ask questions or make suggestions.
MathSpad is a document preparation system particularly oriented to the
production of articles involving large amounts of (non-standard)
mathematical material. It is an interactive system designed to make
on-screen mathematical calculation a pleasure rather than a chore.
MathSpad generates LaTeX output. Existing LaTeX documents can be
incorporated directly into a MathSpad document, no special conversion
being required (or performed).
The fundamental idea introduced by MathSpad is that individual users
can compose their own ``stencils'' specifying mathematical and
non-mathematical notational conventions, in particular the screen
layout and how to convert the MathSpad document to LaTeX. Fractions,
superscripts, subscripts, different fonts, different sizes, displayed
equations and lots of other mathematical (and non-mathematical)
structures can be used (and defined).
Version 0.31 was first released in January 1994 but is no longer supported.
Version 0.31 files can be easily converted to 0.60 format, but not the other
To install MathSpad, you need a UNIX operating system, the X window
environment, an ANSI C compiler and a C++ compiler. If you don't have them
all, you can still try to install it, but I can't guarantee that it will
The distribution is available in the file mathpad-0.60.tar.gz . This file can
be unpacked with the command:
gunzip -c mathpad-0.60.tar.gz | tar xf -
Having unpacked the system, the installation should be simple. The
will check out your system, compile everything and install it in the proper
place. Afterwards, you have the option to report the installation problems,
so I can adjust the installation procedure and help you if you want that.
If there were no problems, you might still want to send an acknowledge that
it was a successful installation, because I'm interested in the success rate
of the installation script and how portable it is.
After successfully installing the program, you can test it easily with
which causes a welcome document to appear on your screen. This document
explains more about the system and how to get started.
The distribution contains a copy of the system manual as a MathSpad
document. It is hoped to publish the manual in book form in which form screen
dumps will be included.
The system manual is also available for online help. You can use the 'Help'
key to get context sensitive help. If you don't have a 'Help' key, either
use xmodmap to define one or edit the file `emacs.mpk' in the lib directory.
It is possible to produce a hard copy of the manual using the standard system
features. In order to respect our copyright you should however NOT do so.
If you would like a hard copy of the manual before its official publication
please write to us stating the purpose for which the manual will be used.
We will supply academic users and non-profit organisations with a postscript
version of the manual provided that guarantees are given that it will not be
used for commercial gain and the number of copies to be made is agreed in
There is a mailing list which can be used to ask questions and to make
suggestions. To subscribe to this list, mail a message to
email@example.com with the body (not the subject):
You can mail the messages to
to reach the complete group (even if you're not subscribed).
If you have any problems installing the program, or with its use please
report them to
We will try to react as soon as possible.
||A mathematics-capable word processor with LaTeX output