Although advertised as a WYSIWYGLaTeX-based word processor, it is actually a graphical user interface for editing LaTeX source files with the same ease-of-use of a word processor, while maintaining a screen view that resembles but is not identical to the eventual output that LaTeX produces. For instance, its display shows text wrapped to the width of the screen rather than to the eventual page width, and colored equations rather than the black-and-white rendering that LaTeX would normally produce. It also includes an integrated computer algebra system.
Because Scientific WorkPlace is based on LaTeX, it can be used to produce files in the house style of any scientific journal that also uses LaTeX, and the software makes it easy to change the overall style of a document in a single operation. It comes with many predefined styles, but installing a new style can be somewhat complicated.