Q: Does Paratext need to be running for PTXprint to be used?

A: No, it makes no difference whether Paratext is open or not, but Paratext (version 8 or 9) must be installed. PTXprint is Paratext-aware, but not dependent on it. It accesses the USFM and settings files independently to produce the PDF output.


Q: I can’t find the font that I want to use in the list of fonts. Other programs let me use the same font without any difficulty, so why doesn’t PTXprint let me use this font?

A: A few years ago Windows started installing fonts within an individual’s account rather than in the Windows\Fonts folder. These kinds of (user-specific) fonts are inaccessible to XeTeX which is the underlying technology that PTXprint uses. So the fonts you want to use need to be installed for all users. To do this, locate the font file (*.ttf), and then RIGHT-click on the font in order to select the option “Install for all users”. – you will need Administrator permission to do so. This will install the font(s) in the correct location, and make them available for XeTeX to use to create your PDF. However, you will need to click on the Refresh Fonts button located on the Fonts+Script tab in order for PTXprint update its list of properly installed fonts.


Q: Which scripts does PTXprint support? 

A: In theory all the known writing systems encoded in Unicode are supported. This includes the following scripts:

PTXprint supports a vast array of different scripts


Q: Why does the amount of blank space at the bottom of each page vary so greatly? I know that TeX does this to try and reduce the amount of badness and keep columns on the same page the same height but this variance in page height seems a bit excessive.

A: Unfortunately, that’s as good as TeX can do on its own. The only way to help it is to use the .adj file to shrink (if you can) or stretch previous paragraphs by a line. Things to remember when thinking about balancing pages:

  1. Footnotes and figures are anchored to the line in which they occur, so moving such a line across a page boundary moves the other stuff with it.
  2. TeX is a good Christian, it will avoid creating widows or orphans, so if you have 3 lines left of a paragraph on a next page, you can’t pull 2 back across.
  3. Headings also take the first two lines of the following paragraph with them, for reason 2.
  4. For every line you take from column 2 to column 1, TeX needs to pull *exactly* 2 lines from the next page, in such a way that it doesn’t leave a single orphan line on that page.

Probably, if you mentally apply those rules to a particular page break you will be able to work out why TeX broke the page there. Then you can adjust a previous paragraph (using the Paragraph Adjustments feature called Adjust List on the Body tab) to perhaps make it longer and thus to only need to pull one line across and one from the next page, and so on.

One warning. Only start addressing page breaking once everything else about your layout is exactly as you want it in terms of headers and footers, point size and spacing, styles, pictures, etc. Otherwise if you change anything after that, you will almost inevitable have to go through and fix page breaks later.

The default stretchy-ness of a space is pretty small, which makes it harder for TeX to shrink or expand paragraphs. You might want to increase the defaults (min 66%, max 150%) found on the Advanced tab.


Q: Why don’t the illustrations work for me? I keep getting an error message that includes the filename of an illustration.

A: Things to try before submitting a bug report that illustrations aren’t working:

  1. Turn off your PrintDraftChanges.txt (in case there are rules in there which are overriding the illustration settings)
  2. Ensure that the illustration is in the project’s Figures folder, or the local/figures folder. If not, then select a “Specific Folder” in which the illustration(s) can be located.
  3. Either clear out the option “Order of Preferred Image Types”, or add the extensions for the illustration types you want it to find
    e.g. Specifying just “JPG” will restrict it to only using JPG illustrations,
          whereas “JPG TIF PNG PDF” will allow more flexibility to use whichever type it finds (and it searches in the specified order)

Q: How can I make the Captions for my illustrations look different to the main text?

A: These kinds of changes are easily made using the Styles tab. Locate the appropriate marker (in this case it will be the \fig marker) and then apply the needed changes.

How to use the Style editor


Q: Why is the line spacing of the footnotes so large? How can I change it?

A: This is because the settings have not been specified in the Stylesheet, or if they have, perhaps the Stylesheet has not been enabled on the Advanced Tab.


Q: Can I get the books to print in a different order? If so, where do I specify that?

A: Yes, you can use modify the order of books by typing them into the option shown here:


Q: This is what I need to do on a regular basis: produce PDFs that easily incorporate the key terms as footnotes so that when we’re doing comprehension checking we’re also checking the study aids. Does PTXprint do that?

A: Yes it does (provided that you have used Paratext’s standard glossary markup). Just select the option “Show All Glossary Entries as Footnotes” located on the Notes+Refs tab.


For more in-depth and technical information, please refer to this page (ptx2pdf-faq) on GitHub