WordSend Overview

What is WordSend?

WordSend is a software project that allows you to convert Scripture files from Unicode USFM (and eventually from selected other formats) to other formats for the purpose of publishing those Scriptures in various print or electronic formats. Currently, the most useful transformation is the conversion of Unicode USFM to Microsoft Word 2003 (or later) XML documents (WordML) for the purpose of typesetting or printing for village checking. It is also possible to use WordSend to help facilitate using Microsoft Word 2003 or later as a Scripture editor in some cases. The WordSend project also contains some programs to do other Bible file format conversions.

The current process looks something like this:

Paratext or other Bible translation editor
USFM files
Microsoft Word 2003 + suitable PDF generation software
Printer-ready output (PDF or paper)


Layout template (WordML document) + options settings

Other file formats (RTF, .DOC, HTML, etc.) or import to other programs

Because Microsoft Office Word 2003 allows a custom XML schema to be attached to a WordML document, and custom XML tags embedded in that document, this provides a clean way to regenerate the USFM markup from the Word document after editing. USFM isn’t XML, but the USFM markup can be converted reasonably directly to an XML format and back using a schema that I call USFX (Unified Standard Format XML).

In addition to the simple Scripture publishing path mentioned above, the WordSend project is home for some other Scripture file format conversions, using USFX as the central hub of the conversions.

WordSend Philosophy

The philosophy behind WordSend is to:

In other words, WordSend does not (and cannot) change what Microsoft Word can do, but it can automate the creation of document features that would be exceedingly tedious and error-prone to create manually, such as creating the hidden tags for each verse used for updating the running headers.

System Requirements

To run this complete set of programs, you must be running Windows XP, 2000, or NT. It has only been tested with Windows XP, so strange things might happen on other versions of Windows. You must also have installed the .NET runtime package, which is available through Windows Update or run this Microsoft program (dotnetfx.exe) (mirrored here for Ukarumpians only) to install it.. You must also have installed Microsoft Word 2003 (or later). You can use some (but not all) features by using the freely downloadable Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003 instead of the full word processor. This program cannot work with earlier versions of Microsoft Word, because it uses features introduced with Word 2003. SIL members are encouraged to contact JAARS for discount licensing arrangements.

To run the command line utilities of this project, you may also be able to use Linux or Mac OS X with Mono. Mono is included in the repositories of the major Linux distributions. (I used Ubuntu Linux and the Synaptic Package Manager to install Mono. Your situation may vary.) To install under Linux or Mac OS X, unzip the latest command line utilities archive to a convenient directory and include that directory in your search path for executable files. Note that the Linux/Mac OS X functionality is of limited usefulness, now, because OpenOffice.org Writer doesn't properly interpret the WordML files produced by WordSend, and the direct conversion to Open Document Text format is not yet complete.

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