PTXprint – easy PDFs for trial scriptures
What does it do? Everything that Paratext’s PrintDraft feature can do, but a whole lot more, a whole lot easier, and much faster!
Designed to be a companion for Paratext, PTXprint is a stand-alone program which allows you to create high quality PDFs for trial publications of scripture. It has a multitude of easily configurable options allowing a whole range of outputs. It is built on the same technology (XeTeX) as PrintDraft, but the macros have been enhanced significantly and the interface has been made user-friendly – thus enabling anyone to produce scripture for testing within their local context.
How can it help me? Use it to try out different layouts, text sizes, verse numbering systems, etc. to find out what the community likes so that the final professionally typeset product will be something that the community loves. After all they are very unlikely to get a second typesetting. Use it for UNS testing printouts. Use it for checking the impact of adding illustrations. Use it to produce diglots with the national language alongside the vernacular.
You have complete control! Just about everything you can think of, from Page Size to Column Settings, Font Sizes to Line Spacing; from Picture Positioning to Paragraph Adjustments; Fancy Intro Outlines to Table of Contents for multi-book PDFs. All these features and dozens more can easily be enabled or disabled as needed, and settings adjusted to meet your specific requirements. The resulting PDF is regenerated within seconds. An entire New Testament takes less than a minute!
Rapidly create scripture PDFs for quality trial publications
- Accesses Paratext projects directly
- Configurable page sizes, margins, columns
- On-grid column balancing
- Combines multiple books into a single output PDF
- Flexible book order, for example to allow NT Books+PSA+PRO+Glossary
- Left-to-Right, Right-to-Left as well as Top-to-Bottom text flows are supported
- Numbers and digits in any Unicode-compliant script
- Complete control over footnotes and cross-references
- Various glossary markup options
- Filtered Glossary option (only show glossary entries for books in publication)
- Glossary entries can be included in the footnote area for assisting with comprehension testing
- Automatically generated Table of Contents
Advanced Typesetting Features
- Advanced options for handling illustrations – including image quality, positioning on page, and scaling
- Advanced options for making page adjustments using Paragraph Adjust Lists
- Introductory Front matter and Back matter (such as Glossary and Index books can be included)
- Semi-Automated Diglots
- Decorative borders
- Colour in text (which could be used to mark the words of Jesus in red, for example)
- Complete Graphite Writing System support
- Font Features are supported
- Fallback font for missing characters in primary font
- Fancy introductory outlines
- Margin verses
- Configuration settings can be saved and shared with other users
- PDF/X-1a:2003 compliant output
“What you have here is amazing and I’m sure it’s going to be used all over the world”
How does it work? PTXprint generates the .tex template based on your preferences and then calls XeTeX to do the actual page layout. XeTeX is controlled by a set of macros that have been optimized for scripture. The TeX macros shipped with PTXprint have been enhanced to provide additional functionality that the Paratext macros do not provide.
- Windows / Linux.
Hints for a better user experience in Windows:
Use a PDF reader which allows the resulting PDF file to be re-written and automatically refreshed when it is updated. SumatraPDF is highly recommended for Windows users.
After creating one or more PicList files, associate .piclist with your favourite text editor (for example, Notepad++ is recommended) so that it can be edited easily.
Open source (MIT X11 license).
The code (Python and TeX) is publicly available via a GitHub repository.
- Mark Penny (Project Lead + UI Developer)
- Martin Hosken (Architect + TeX macros)
- David Gardner (Tex macro hacks, tweaks + Bugfixing)
PTXprint is built on the solid foundation laid by:
- Jonathan Kew (Author of XeTeX and the sfm2pdf macros)
Currently in Beta-testing, but a fully functional Windows installer is available:
|PTXprint 0.7.0 Beta||for Windows|
Please note that typesetting for formal publication is far more complex than just producing high quality PDFs using this tool. PTXprint is primarily aimed at field-based translators who need to be able to produce decent printouts for local use and is not intended to replace typesetters who use even more sophisticated tools with greater control over the end product. They have an eye for detail and have to follow strict publication guidelines before texts can be approved for publishing. Typesetting is as much an art as it is a science, and years of experience can’t be replaced by a tool like this.
Is this tool supported by SIL? As PTXprint is distributed at no cost, we are unable to provide a commercial level of personal technical support. We will, however, try to resolve problems that are reported to us.
How can I get support for this tool? We envisage that PTXprint will continue to be a community-driven effort, where people contribute as and when they are able, helping each other solve issues that arise. A good place to start is with the Frequently Asked Questions.
How to provide feedback? We do hope that you will report problems so they can be addressed in future releases. Even if you are not having any specific problems, but have an idea on how this system could be improved, we want to hear your ideas and suggestions. Ideally, you should give feedback through the GitHub issue tracker, or use the Scripture Software Community. However, if security is a concern, or you are not familiar with using GitHub’s issue tracker, then please send an e-mail to <ptxprint does-not-exist-yet firstname.lastname@example.org>.