File Formats

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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.

GBF

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 http://www.ebible.org/bible/gbf.htm.

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

HTML

Hyper Text Markup Language

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

LitML

Liturgical Markup Language

The home page for this markup language is http://www.oremus.org/LitML/. This is described at http://hildormen.org/blogs/index.php/2004/09/22/p28 and http://hildormen.org/docs/LitML/Guidelines-LitML10-1.0.html.

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.

OSIS

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 http://www.bibletechnologies.net/20Manual.dsp.

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

PDF

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.

RTF

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.

STML

Sacred Text Markup Language.

This is a proprietary markup language used by sacred-text.com.

STEP

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 http://web.archive.org/web/20040204143502/http://www.crosswire.org/bsisg/ ; http://web.archive.org/web/20021019135604/www.crosswire.org/bsisg/ ;

ThML

Theological Markup Language

The specifications for this file format are available at http://www.ccel.org/ThML/.

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

USFM

Unified Standard Format Markers

This plain-text format is a common internal-use format within Bible translation agencies and Bible societies. It is the native format of Paratext. The rudimentary usfm2osis.pl utility may be used to convert Zefania XML to OSIS for import to Sword's native format.

USFX

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 http://ebt.cx/usfx/. There is no widespread use of this format and there are no plans for Sword to support it in any way.

XSEM

XML Scripture Encoding Model

This XML format was proposed by SIL. A comprehensive description of the markup language can be found at http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=XSEM&_sc=1.

The formal specifications can be found at http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/render_download.php?site_id=nrsi&format=file&media_id=XSEM_Source&filename=XSEM_Source.zip

The designers of this markup language were instrumental in the writing of the OSIS Specification and it has largely been deprecated in favor of using OSIS. There is no widespread use of this format and there are no plans for Sword to support it in any way.

XML

eXtensible Markup Language

This is generic family of markup formats. Links to a number of XML specifications can be found at http://xml.coverpages.org/xmlApplications.html. Each flavor has its own specifications. Sword supports markup in the XML formats OSIS and ThML internally

Zefania XML

This is the native file format of Zefania XML-based Bible study tools such as MyBible and BibleWorkPlace. The zef2osis.pl utility may be used to convert Zefania XML to OSIS for import to Sword's native 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 - used to encipher Sword modules
  • diatheke - a basic CLI Sword frontend
  • imp2gbs - imports free-form General books in IMP format to Sword format
  • imp2ld - imports lexicons, dictionaries, and daily devotionals in IMP format to Sword format
  • imp2vs - imports Bibles and commentaries in IMP format to Sword format
  • mkfstmod - creates a search index for a module
  • mod2imp - creates an IMP file from an installed module
  • mod2osis - creates an OSIS file from an installed module
  • mod2zmod - creates a compressed module from an installed module
  • osis2mod - imports Bibles and commentaries in OSIS format to Sword format
  • vpl2mod - imports Bibles and commentaries in Verse-Per-Line format to Sword format
  • vs2osisref - returns the osisRef of a given (text form) verse reference
  • xml2gbs - imports free-form General books in OSIS or ThML format to Sword format

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

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