Bible Metadata Information

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The Bible Drop Box allows the submitter to optionally include a text file that contains Bible metadata. Metadata is a technical term that refers to information about that Bible translation, such as the language of the translation, the year of publication, the names of the translators, the copyright information, etc. This information can then by used by the automated Bible Drop Box software to insert the appropriate fields when it creates modules for use by Bible study programs, and when it creates print format Bibles, e.g., PDF files.

Basically, the metadata file is a simple text file with lines formatted like this:
    FieldName=Your data field here
There are no spaces around the equals sign or in the field name, and capital letters must match exactly. (See sample data below.)

File format details

The submitted metadata text file should be a UTF-8 encoded text file with a .txt file extension, with each field starting at the beginning of a new line. If a field is very long, it may continue onto the next line by using a backslash (\) at the end of the previous line to indicate that the line continues. (You may also wish to have a space before the backslash so that when the lines are rejoined, the formatting is more readable because nothing is automatically inserted otherwise.)

The text file may be produced by any text editor (or word processor if the file is saved as a simple text file). Either Windows or Linux/Unix style line-endings will be accepted. Blank lines are ignored. Lines beginning with a hash character (#) are considered to be comment lines and are ignored. The order of the fields in the file makes no difference (unless a field name is repeated). It is important that the spelling of the field names exactly match (including the capital letters).

If a SSF file is submitted as part of a zipped USFM Bible (usually produced by UBS/SIL Paratext), that SSF information will automatically be included as Bible metadata. If a metadata text file is also separately submitted, any identically named fields in this file will supercede the SSF information.

The software does attempt to intelligently discover or deduce some information if you don't supply it directly.

Once you have gone to the trouble of making a Bible metadata file, make sure that you keep a copy of it in case you wish to resubmit your Bible data for reprocessing in the future (especially as we add new output formats).

Common fields

Highly recommended for all non-English submissions.

EncodingSpecifies the encoding of the submitted Bible text, e.g., utf-8 (default) or ISO-8859-1
LanguageNameThe name of the (main) language of the work
ISOLanguageCodeThe 3-letter ISO-639-3 language code
OldTestamentNameYour translation of Old Testament
NewTestamentNameYour translation of New Testament
DeuterocanonNameYour translation of Deuterocanon (if required)
FrontMatterNameYour translation of Front Matter
BackMatterNameYour translation of Back Matter

Note that the Bible Drop Box will usually (depending on the submitted format) expect UTF-8 as the default encoding anyway.

More fields will become available as we improve the export functions, and then continue working on the automated typesetting functions.

Book names and abbreviations

If you are submitting a Bible in a format that doesn't include the book names and abbreviations, you can optionally submit this data in the metadata file. Book codes are specified using the BOS system represented by BBB below. If any of these fields are supplied as well as fields in the actual Bible file(s), this metadata information will be ignored. A blank text file containing blank entries for the most common books codes can be found here suitable for copying and pasting into your file.

BBBLongNameThe long title for this book
BBBShortNameThe short name for this book
BBBAbbreviationThe abbreviation used for this book

Sword module fields

The following additional fields are often used by Sword modules—more information here.

WorkTitleThe title of this translation
WorkAbbreviationA short abbreviation that can be used to identify this work
WorkDescriptionA longer description (perhaps a sentence or two)
CopyrightDateOften just the year
CopyrightNoticeThe copyright notice which would normally be displayed
LicenceA description of the licence that the word is released under, e.g., Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike
AboutA description about the aims or intended audience of the work

theWord and MySword fields

The following additional fields are often used by theWord and MySword exporters:

idNot sure where this comes from?
charsetoften 0
lange.g., eng
titlee.g., New Rather Imaginary Non-version
short.titlee.g., NRIN
descriptionA sentence or paragraph describing this version
version.majore.g., 1
version.minore.g., 0
version.datee.g., 2013-04-01
publish.datee.g., 2013-08-01
authorAuthor of the translation—a string that could include an email address
creatorCreator of the module—a string that could include an email address
sourceSource of the text—a string that could include a web link
editorial.commentsInformation concerning the creation of this module
aboutCan be a paragraph with html formatting

PhotoBible fields

The following additional fields can be used by PhotoBibles to override default settings:

FieldnameDescriptionDefault value
PBPixelWidthWidth of JPGs240
PBPixelHeightHeight of JPGs320
PBMaxCharsChars per line23
PBMaxLinesLines per page12
PBTextFontFont for Bible textCharis-SIL
PBHeadingFontFont for headingsAndika

Note: PhotoBibles are not made by default by the Bible Drop Box. The box has to be checked when a submission is made. Operator intervention is currently required for different JPG sizes (pixel width and height). Please contact us in advance for that.

Sample data

OldTestamentName=Zee Ooold TestiBit
NewTestamentName=Zee Noo TestiBit
WorkTitle=My Newfangled Englect Mistranslation
WorkDescription=An irrelevant new transposition just for testing in the modern digital world
CopyrightNotice=Copyright © 2013 by Transpositors Internotional
About=A translation that's not in progress and never will be. \
So don't hold your breath waiting for it.
about=About for <b>MySword</b> (lowercase about) needs a separate \
entry and note that this about field specifically \
allows embedded html formatting like the bolding above.
GENLongName=The First Book of Moses
GENShortName=Moses One

Please use the Contact Page to let us know of any corrections or improvements to these instructions, and/or any other methods to get Bibles onto people's devices. Thanks.