File Formats

From CrossWire Bible Society
Revision as of 23:24, 3 September 2007 by Osk (talk | contribs) (deleted non-Sword software)

Jump to: navigation, search

The SWORD Project respects copyright, and other Intellectual property Rights. As such, conversion of material that is under copyright is not supported by The SWORD Project.

This page merely lists some of the more common file formats, and Bible Study Programs, and why conversion of their resources (if applicable) is discouraged.

EULA is the abbreviation for End User License Agreement. This is the agreement that governs the terms and conditions of using a product. As such, it is enforcible, in the United States, under contract law.

File Formats

Bible Study programs use a plethora of file formats. Even more have been suggested for use in creating Bibles, and other religious material. This subsection merely lists some of the most common of those formats.


General Bible Format

This file format is intended as an aid to preparing Bible Texts for use with various Bible search programs. The complete specification is at

This file format is used for creating some resources for The SWORD Project.


Hyper Text Markup Language

This is the basic language of the World Wide Web. Some Bible programs use it for their resources.


Liturgical Markup Language

The home page for this markup language is This is described at and

This is a descendant of, and complement to ThML. An additional influence is HTML 4.0.

The markup reflects its orientation towards liturgy and hymns.


Open Scriptural Information Standard.

The Open Scripture Information Standard (OSIS) is an XML schema for marking up scripture and related text, part of an "open scripture" initiative composed of translators, publishers, scholars, software manufacturers, and technical experts who are coordinated by the Bible Technologies Group. It is co-sponsored by the American Bible Society and the Society of Biblical Literature.

The specifications for this file format can be found at

This file format is used for creating some resources for The SWORD Project.


Portable Document Format

This is an ISO track file format for platform independent rendering of documents. As such, it is designed to be a "read only" format.


Rich Text Format

This is a file format that is "owned' by Microsoft, Inc. It is used as the markup language for presentation, bu several Bible Study Programs, and their related file formats.


Sacred Text Markup Language.

This is a proprietary markup language used by


Standard Template Electronic Publishing.

This file format was used by Quickverse between roughly 1996 and 2002. All material that was distributed in this file format is either under copyright, or has a EULA which prohibits format conversion.

Most of the documentation and specifications for this format can be found at ; ;


Theological Markup Language

The specifications for this file format are available at

This file format is used for creating some resources for The SWORD Project.


Unified Standard Format Markers


Unified Scripture Format XML

This XML file format is designed to provide clean conversions from Scripture to USFM compliant file formats. A more comprehensive description can be found at


XML Scripture Encoding Model

This XML format was proposed by SIL. A comprehensive description of the markup language can be found at

The formal specifications can be found at


eXtensible Markup Language

This is generic family of markup formats. Links to a number of XML specifications can be found at Each flavor has its own specifications.

Zefania XML

This is the native file format for Zefania XML related bible study tools. There are several tools that will convert material into this file format.

Utility Programs

Unless otherwise specified, the utility programs listed in this section do not work with file formats used by The SWORD Project.

GBF Tools

The SWORD Project

  • cipherraw
  • Diaspora
  • Diatheke
  • imp2gbs
  • imp2ld
  • imp2vs
  • mkfstmod
  • mod2imp
  • mod2osis
  • mod2vpl
  • mod2zmod
  • osis2mod
  • step2vpl
  • stepdump
  • vpl2mod
  • vs2osisref
  • xml2gbs

STEP Utilities

The specifications for STEP were publicly released. Some peopel created tools for this file format.

  • Step2RTF;
  • Step2VPL;
  • Stepdump;
  • STEPr;
  • The STEP Publisher's ToolKit;

ThML Utilities

  • cceldesktop.

Zefania Utilities

Link title