USX Bibles

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More than you wanted to know about USX Bibles

USX Bibles are usually created by a program such as UBS/SIL Paratext. They consist of one XML file per book. USX files use XML and Unicode (and particularly UTF-8) international standards. They only contain the Bible text and a few extras like book titles and introductions, but a lot of other necessary information (metadata) is not currently defined or included in the actual USX format, so it is supplemented in other files.

USX files form part of the Digital Bible Library (DBL) bundle format.

Although USX files are usually much better formed than USFM files, they can still contain errors which should be fixed before publishing. This software attempts to find and inform you of such errors and inconsistencies, at the same time trying to guess how to best handle them without just giving up. This may or may not be successful. (Your mileage may vary.) Of course, you will have the best result if you take the time to fix the issues in your original files. (Currently Paratext 7.5 still uses the USFM files as the master files.)

Sample USX files

You can view the Matigsalug demo USX files here and the demo WEB USX files here.

Submitting USX files to the Bible Drop Box

If you run UBS/SIL Paratext, the easiest way to produce a suitable zip file to submit, is to open Paratext and click on the window for your project. Then use the Tools / Advanced / Export Project to USX… command to put the USX files in a new folder that you should create. Note that this doesn't include any metadata at all, so it would also be good if you could find your SSF file for the (USFM) project (probably in C:\My Paratext Projects), and also copy it into the folder using Windows. Then you should navigate to the folder in Windows and compress the entire folder into a zip file. The filename must have a .zip extension. Take careful note of which folder you are saving your zip file into, because you will need that information in order to submit the file.

Unfortunately, the Paratext 7 Publish to Digital Bible Library… command (which would presumably also save the required metadata) does not seem to be documented by any Help information so we are still trying to figure out how to use it. It seems that a regular user cannot export the DBL bundle to a local file suitable for submission to the Bible Drop Box.

Test data: If you are able to provide any kinds of Bible files for automated testing purposes, please contact us and let us know the details so we can improve the internationalisation and ruggedness of the software for everyone’s benefit.