Paratext 9 beta was released on June 11, 2019. Some are using it for their daily work. You can download the beta from the Paratext download page. Paratext 9 beta download.
You can have Paratext 9 on the same computer as Paratext 8, and projects do not need to be migrated to Paratext 9. Paratext 9 will open the projects you have in Paratext 8. But be careful opening the same project in both versions. If you edit in one version, then save, then edit in the other version and save, your first set of edits will likely disappear.
Paratext 9 User Interface
All Paratext trainers have had the mantra telling users to “Click on the window first to activate it, then click on the menu”. With Paratext 9, this is no longer an issue.
Paratext 9 has completely redesigned the way users interact with windows and menus based on this and other long-standing usability issues in Paratext. It will be difficult for some to adapt to the new user interface, but we are confident that it will result in more efficient use of the screen space and of the tools.
Not docked inside of Paratext, floating above, ideal for a second monitor.
By default they are pinned so that they don’t disappear behind Paratext, but if you unpin them, they will quickly get hidden behind Paratext. If the floating pane is unpinned in one corner of Paratext and you click on ANY pane in Paratext, the floating pane will disappear behind Paratext. You can only bring it back by Alt+Tab.
We had floating Windows in Paratext 7 and 8, they just weren’t called that:
- Biblical Terms Tool
- Checking Inventories and settings
- Assignments and Progress
- Parallel Passages
To be sure, it was confusing to users as to why these windows behaved differently. Now we must teach users that they can control all window behavior. If there is a type of window a user is uncomfortable with, they need to learn how to transform it to the type of window they want.
These are what users think of as normal Paratext windows. They take up their own space, docked inside of Paratext. But there are some major usability improvements over the old Paratext windows.
Panels can’t be hidden by other panels
In the past, you could easily resize a window over the top of a neighboring window, even covering it completely. But the new panels can only be covered by floating panels, which are the default for tools.
Panels resize together
Dragging the edge of a panel window resizes the panels on both sides, in the same way that resizing cells in a table resizes the surrounding cells. It may be helpful to think of the Paratext program as a grid, rather than as separate windows.
Tabs are created by dropping one window onto the center drop zone of another window. They are also created by opening a new window and selecting Tab as the style. The window then appears as a tab in the same window, or most recently active window. Only one can be seen at a time, but it is a huge space saver, and is easy to switch back and forth between different resource texts.
Autohide is a radically new feature that allows you to click the auto hide button on any window to send it to the far right of the screen onto the autohide panel. When you click on an autohide panel’s icon, it opens left, covering the right-most portion of the screen. While it is open, you may resize it to take up more or less screen space, and it will remember this setting until you move it again.
Autohide windows are ideally suited for something that you check briefly, and then don’t return to for some time. The moment you click outside of the autohide window, it will disappear until you open it again. This would make it impossible for the user to be typing anything in another window while looking at something in the autohide window.
What windows would be most suitable for autohide?
When there is a parallel passage for the current verse, the button turns colorful at the top. If you open the parallel passage tool and then autohide it, you can fly it out for a quick peek at the parallel passages while you are translating.
Assignments and Progress
The first time I opened Assignments and Progress, it became another panel in Paratext, and I was confused. It was too small to see the contents. But if you make this an autohide, it flies out from the right so you can see your task, then disappears when you click away. Perfect!
Every pane that is stacked vertically has the option to be collapsed. This shrinks the windows to show only the title bar, and the other window above or below expands to fill the space. This is an ideal solution for windows that are related to the translation project. Each window in a vertical stack collapses downward, except for the top window which collapses upward.
Here is an example of the types of project windows that you could keep available at the bottom of the translation window at all times:
When dragging and dropping panels, the behavior is radically different from Paratext 8. You will need some time to experiment with it to get the feel for how it works. But it is similar to how Logos moves and arranges windows.
To rearrange a panel, click and drag it onto another panel. A gray zone will appear to show where the panel you are dragging will end up. For instance, to make my left hand panel be at the bottom, I click and drag it to the bottom half of the other pane.
After letting go:
In Paratext 9 the menus are only visible when you want them. Open the top level Paratext menu by clicking on the three horizontal lines (hamburger button) at the top right of the main window.
Open the project level menu by clicking the three lines at the top right of the project menu.
The main menu contains a lot less options than it used to. Look here at the File menu. What options are missing?
The answer is, any command that is specific to a particular project. Think for a moment how the yellow highlighted commands below from Paratext 8 act on specific projects, not on all of Paratext:
The Open commands in brown are not needed because you can select that content in the new Open dialog.
Opening a new Project/Resource from the menu
The new open dialog looks like this:
The buttons across the top set filters to show or hide that type of content. Click a button to show that content, click it again to hide it. This example ls showing projects and resources. It starts sorting the items by the type column (type of project). You can click on another heading to sort by the project name or short name, or the language. If you are used to pressing the first letter of the project you want, you can type one or several letters in the Filter Name, Language box at top right.
Because Paratext has so many ways of working with windows, it needs to be told which kind of window you are expecting to use when you open a new Project or Resource.
At the bottom left of this open dialog, it is set to open projects as Panels. You can select the window type from the list, which includes:
- Text collection
These contain all the commands that can act on the specific panel and active tab.
There are two lists of menu items in Paratext, Full menus or standard menus. The standard list omits some lesser-used items. The standard menu equivalent of the above looks like this:
Any standard menu can be expanded to the full menu by clicking the down wedge at the bottom of the menu. You set your preference for Full or standard menus in the help menu. Check Full to get Full menus, uncheck Full to get standard menus.
These are a new type of resource in Paratext 9. Besides displaying the text of the chosen translation, they can also display information about the source language words in that passage (similar to the reverse Interlinear in some Logos Bibles).
After clicking on Messiah in the NRS89 text we see the Greek word, and a definition, and even the Biblical term renderings from a translation project. Currently the mouse is over search and info on that word is displayed in a tool tip.