PTXprint Basic Tutorial


PTXprint is a companion tool for Paratext that allows you to create high quality PDFs for trial publications of scripture. This tool enables any translation project to freely produce scripture printouts from their Paratext USFM files for testing and feedback within their local context language. In this tutorial we will cover some of the basics of PTXprint. This tutorial is targeting the beginning users of the software. This tutorial is based upon version 2.1.5.

The Purpose: Bible Layout for Everyone

PTXprint allows you to get the scripture into the hands of people sooner, rather than later (you don’t have to wait for the New Testament or Bible to be published). This allows you to print Scripture portions early for the community to interact with. It empowers translation projects to print portions of the Scripture for community checking with a high-quality look and can reduce the load on typesetting professionals, so that they can focus on New Testaments and Bible, rather than Scripture portions. This all reduces the cost of producing early versions of the Scriptures.

What PTXprint Does

PTXprint produces pdf files of Paratext Scripture. It can print a Scripture portion, New Testament and whole Bibles. It allows you to get well-formatted scripture output.

Who is PTXprint for?

It is for anyone involved in Scripture translation projects.

Before You Begin

You should run the Basic Checks of Paratext on the Paratext project to verify that you do not have any errors. If you do, you should fix as many errors as possible. Remember the cleaner your Paratext project is, the better your printout will be.

Getting started

  1. Download the PTXprint installer from https://software.sil.org/ptxprint/
  2. Navigate to the folder where you download the PTXprint installer. Then double-click on the installer file to run the installer. Follow the instructions and be sure to create a shortcut on the desktop.
  3. Run the program on your desktop by double-clicking on the PTXprint icon.
  • Alternatively, you can enter PTXprint in the search box in the task bar.

First Use of PTXprint.

After starting PTXprint, you will get the following dialog box. You will be looking at the Basic view. We will focus on the Basic view only in this tutorial.


Note that in the screenshots, there are red, purple and green boxes. The red boxes indicate something you may want to change. The purple boxes indicate something you want to note. The green boxes indicate something you may need to change depending on your language.

  1. Select the Basic pane in the upper left-hand corner. Note that you are in the Basic View as indicated in the lower right-hand corner.
  2. In the Project and Scope panel, select the desired Paratext project from the dropdown list. Then select the Single Book button and choose the desired book to be printed from the dropdown list
  3. In the Saved/Shared Configuration panel, note that you are using the Default configuration.
  4. Click Print to produce a pdf printout of the selected book. A pdf will be displayed. You have just created your first printout using PTXprint. Below is a sample of what the first page might look like.


Now you may want to make some adjustments to the format of the printout that you just printed. Below are some of the formatting changes you may want to make.

Layout Pane

The Layout Pane allows you to change the page size, the number of columns per page and the margins of the printout. You can decide the paper size that you want to print the Scripture on. You can decide whether you want one or two columns for Scripture text. You can decide what top, bottom, left and right margins of the paper should be.


  1. To change the page size, in the Layout pane, select the desired page size from the Page Size dropdown list.
  2. To select a two-column layout for Scripture text, set the Two Column Layout checkbox. If not set, then it will be a one-column layout. To select a vertical line between the two columns, set the Vertical Rule in Gutter checkbox.
  3. To change the left and right margins, change the Side Margin Width box by entering the desired number in mm or by clicking the minus or the plus buttons.
  4. To change top margin, change the Start of Page to Top of Text box by entering the desired number in mm or by clicking the minus or the plus buttons.
  5. To change bottom margin, change the Bottom of Text to Bottom of Page box by entering the desired number in mm or by clicking the minus or the plus buttons.

Note that in the bottom left-hand corner of the dialog box, there is sample text showing you how to interpret the settings of the margins in the text.

Fonts + Script Pane

The pane allows you to change the font you want to use for the printout.


To change the body text font:

  1. Click the Body Text button.
  2. Then the Pick a Font dialog box appears. Select the desired font.
  3. Click Apply.

Note that the fonts are changed for all four typefaces.

For some languages, you will need to change the writing system to match your script.

Body Pane

This pane allows you to tell the program what Scripture items you want to include in your printout.

In the Beginning and Ending Material section, you have four options that you can check.




  1. You can choose to include the Book Introductions and/or the Introductory Outlines which appear at the beginning of the Scripture book.
  2. If you have selected the glossary as a book to be printed as ending material, you can filter out all the glossary words that do appear in the books you are printing.
  3. You can have the first chapter of the book to start on a new page after the introductory material.

In the Include Scripture Text section, you have seven options you can check.




These items are included by default in the printout:

  • Chapter numbers
  • Verse Numbers
  • Section Headings,
  • Include Scripture Text (the text of the selected books)

If you do not want to include any of the three items, you need to reset their checkboxes.

By default, the Scripture text will be justified. If you prefer ragged edges, you need to reset the Justify Paragraphs checkbox.

If you set the Prevent Orphan Words checkbox, then a single line of text at the end of a paragraph will be prevented from appearing by itself on a page.

Notes + Refs Pane

In the Notes+Refs pane, you can specify whether to include footnotes and cross-reference in the printout. There are four tabs in this pane: General, Footnotes,Cross-References and Study Notes. We will look at the Footnotes and Cross-References tabs only.




In the Footnotes tab, you can leave off the footnotes from the printout, by resetting the Include Footnotes checkbox.

If you set the Start Each Footnote on a New Line checkbox, then each footnote will be on a separate line in the printout. Otherwise the footnotes will be together in a block a text.

In the Cross-References tab, you also can leave off the cross references from the printout, by resetting the Include Cross-References checkbox.




If you set the Start Each Cross-Reference on a New Line checkbox, then each cross-reference will be together in a block of text.

Header + Footer Pane

In the Header + Foot pane, you can specify what should be in the header and footer on each page of the printout. In this way you can include page numbers and/or references in various forms




In the Header section, there are three sections for including header information on each page.

  1. Inner (Left)
  2. Center
  3. Outer (Right)

You can select an item to fill the given section of the header by clicking on the drop-down arrow for that section.

In the Footer section, there is one center slot for including footer information on each page. you can select an item to fill this Center Footer section by clicking the drop-down arrow.


In the Pictures pane, you can specify whether to include pictures in the printout.

In the Settings tab, you can print pictures in your Paratext project by setting the Include Pictures checkbox. The picture will be printed based upon the information found in Paratext.

To remove the borders around the picture, set Remove Image Borders checkbox.

You can choose whether you want to use high-resolution files or low-resolution files.





PTXprint comes with a default configuration. You can also create and name other configurations to be used with various projects, scopes, or tasks like a reading book layout or a layout for community checking. The default configuration is updated automatically when you make changes to the settings in PTXprint.




To go back to the original default settings:

  1. Select the Basic Pane.
  2. In the Saved/Shared Configuration panel, click Delete.

This will return to the default settings except for the stylesheet settings.

To create a new configuration:

  1. Make the changes to desired settings of the other panes.
  2. Select the Basic pane.
  3. In the Saved/Shared Configuration panel, enter the desired name for the new configuration in the Name textbox.
  4. Click Save.

You have now saved the configuration. Note that the settings for the current configuration is saved automatically when you click Print.

To select a different configuration:

  1. In the Name textbox, click the down arrow and select the desired configuration.
  2. Now the desired configuration is displayed in the Name text box.
  3. To delete a configuration (other than the default one), click Delete.

Help Pane

This pane gives you some links to various websites where you can get help and more information about PTXprint.




Note that the Output PDF location tells which folder will contain your PTXprint printouts.

Note that there is no user manual. But you do have Tooltips. Practically everything you need to know is documented in the built-in tooltips. All you do is hover over the option or label to find out what it does.


  1. Create a multi-book printout without pictures, using some of the options in the Basic view. Try various options and note the impact that they have.
  2. Create a multi-book printout with pictures, using some of the options in the Basic view. Try various options and note the impact that they have.
  3. Create a new configuration file for a reading book layout with:
  • Pictures
  • One column
  • No chapters and verses
  • No footnotes and
  • No cross-references.

Using this configuration file, print a printout for a Scripture book.

Contributors to this page: dhigby .
Page last modified on Tuesday May 24, 2022 19:48:15 GMT-0000 by dhigby.


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