Most translation teams use project notes and are familiar with the small red flags that show there is a note in the text:
But did you know that Paratext allows you to create custom note tags that you can use to communicate more effectively?
Why Use Custom Note Tags?
There are two common approaches to custom tags:
- Marking questions/tasks by who they are for.
- Marking questions/tasks by the issue or problem that they describe.
Examples of marking questions/tasks by who they are for would include things such as:
- Team Check/Internal Review
- Comprehension Questions
- From Consultant/Consultant Check
- UNS (Uninitiated Native Speaker) Question. This group of people go by various names, but are native speakers of the target language who were not involved in making the draft.
Examples of marking tasks by their issue/problem (#2) would include things such as:
- Lexical Issues
- Possible Omission
- Back Translation Problem
- Formatting Issue
- Section Heading Needed
- Footnote/Cross-reference Needed
It is recommended that you add custom note tags slowly, so that you do not end up with too many. When a team creates too many types of tags, sometimes the tags sound similar, and it can be difficult to know which tag to use. Keeping the system of note tags simple and straightforward is the best for most teams.
Note: Spelling and key term/Biblical term issues have their own notes in the Wordlist and Biblical terms tool.
Below is a screenshot of a back translation project that has custom note tags that indicate who should read the note and respond to it. This allows the translators and consultants to indicate which group they want to address the issue.
Here is what the notes mean in this example:
How to Use Custom Note Tags
Now that you know what custom note tags are, I will describe a few different ways to use them.
Insert a Note with a Custom Note Tag
Once you have custom note tags in your project (see How to Create Custom Note Tags), it is very simple to insert a note using a different note tag.
- Insert a Project Note like you normally would.
- Add the comment text:
- Click on the Tag drop-down menu (upper-left corner):
- Select the note tag that you want to use:
- Optional: Assign this note to a particular team member:
- Click OK.
- The note is added with the custom note tag that you selected:
Note: All custom note tags and notes will be shared with your team via Send/Receive.
Filter for Custom Note Tags
Another helpful way to use custom note tags is to filter for them in the Notes List. This can be helpful if you want to focus on a particular type of note (like notes from your consultant).
- Open the Notes List (Project menu > Tools > Notes list).
- Click on the Notes Filter drop-down:
- Click on the note tag that you want to filter for:
- Now, the notes list only shows notes with the tag that you selected:
What Do Different Note Tag Colors Mean?
The color of a note tag tells you information about that note:
These different colored notes can appear throughout the text of your project:
In the above screenshot:
- The notes in verses 14 and 17 are for me, my team, or are unassigned, because they are colored.
- The notes in verse 16 are not for me, because they are gray.
- The notes in verse 15 and 18 are also for me, but the yellow background tells me that I have not opened either of these notes yet.
Other Helpful Ways to Filter for Notes
As we showed above, the notes list can be used to filter for a specific note tag. You can also filter in many other helpful ways. For example:
- View notes assigned to you
- View notes with a particular word or phrase (see video on how to search and filter on hashtags for even more power)
- View notes you have not read
- View notes assigned to a different person (helpful for an administrator or advisor)
To learn more about the notes list filters, you can watch this video:
How to Create Custom Note Tags
Creating custom Project Note tags can only be done by an Administrator. You can learn how to create custom note tags here.
Where to Learn More
If you want to learn more about assigning notes, what the colors of the note tags mean, and how to change the note tag for a note, you can watch this video:
There are also a number of other videos about project notes here:
I have shown you that custom note tags can be used to identify different types of notes. Note tags can be related to who they are for in the translation process: team check, comprehension check, consultant check, and so forth. Notes tags can also be related to the content of the note, exegesis, grammar, discourse, lexical issues, possible omission, formatting issues, etc. You can also use the notes list to filter for different note tags.
You might be able to think of custom note tags that could help make your translation process more efficient, it is a very flexible system. Add custom note tags slowly, only adding a tag when you are sure it is needed. Doing so will help you develop a set of note tags that are simple and easy for you team to learn and use. Also remember that Spelling discussions and key terms/Biblical terms have their own notes in their respective tools so a note tag for those is generally not necessary.
Now that you have had a taste of what custom tags can do, you can try them and see if they will help you in your Bible translation ministry.