The Paratext 9 User Interface


The Paratext 9 user interface has three major differences from Paratext 8:

  • The open dialog makes it much easier to locate specific items and open them in specific ways.
  • Each project, resource, or tool has its own menu.
  • Windows can be arranged much more flexibly.

It also has some features that make it easier to use:

  • A project administrator can share layouts with project members, so they can open them and start working without creating their own layouts. This makes it much easier for users to get started working in Paratext.
  • If you can’t find a menu item, you can search the menus. Links are returned that go directly to the desired item, along with help topics that describe how to use a particular feature.

Page Contents

Using Paratext 8 Layouts in Paratext 9

If you have Paratext 8 and use saved text combinations, the easiest way to start learning is to open one of these as a Paratext 9 layout. First, open Paratext 9, then click on the main menu icon, which is a set of three horizontal lines (a “hamburger menu”) in the upper left-hand corner.

If you click on the menu icon with your mouse, a menu will appear. This is the Paratext main menu, which has three sub-menus: Paratext, Window, and Help.

In the Window menu, choose Paratext 8 saved layouts, then choose the layout you want to use. For instance, if my Paratext 8 installation has two text combinations called “Paniya Draft” and “Paniya Check”, Paratext 9 displays them as shown in this image:

This usually results in a layout that is very similar to your Paratext 8 layout. Some layouts may look different when they load in Paratext 9. If you need to adjust the layout, it is discussed in Changing Window Layouts.

You will quickly notice that menus have changed significantly, so let’s look at the Paratext 9 menus for projects, resources, and tools.

Menus for Projects, Resources, and Tools

In Paratext 9, each project, resource, or tool has its own contextually appropriate menu, which can be accessed via the menu icon at the upper left of the project, resource, or tool:

When you click on that icon, the menu appears:

The default menu shows the tools most commonly used by translators in order to do high-quality work.

If you are a typical translator, the default menu contains what you need. There are other options that are used much less frequently – they can be accessed by clicking on the arrow at the bottom of the window. A line on the left indicates which menu items have been added in the full menu:

Search Menus / Help

Paratext lets you search menus to find where a menu item is located. Both the menus and the help are searched using the same search box:

Let’s use this feature to find a setting that changes the way menus work. If you prefer full menus whenever you use Paratext, you can use the main menu to select Full Menus. Type “Full menus” in the search area and you will see where this option is found on the main menu:

Results from the main menu appear first in the list of results. Next are results from the menus of open projects or resources, with their project name displayed alongside them. Results from Help topics are shown last.

The first line tells us this item is on the Main Menu, in the Help column.

You can either click Full Menus in the list of results to activate this menu item, or you can go to the main menu and set this option on or off:

Open Dialog

The open dialog has been completely reworked to make it easier to find specific things quickly. You can find the icon for the open dialog in the upper left-hand corner:

The top bar contains buttons that you can use to choose what kinds of projects or resources you want the dialog to show. For instance, if you are interested in all Projects and Resources, you can click on those buttons:

The upper right-hand corner of this dialog contains a filter you can use to choose a language or the name of a resource or project:

For instance, if you type “Paniya” in that filter you see only projects and resources in the Paniya language:

Windowing Framework

Some users prefer very simple layouts, others prefer more complex layouts. If you want to use the same layouts you used in Paratext 8, or prefer very simple layouts, most of what is covered in this section is not relevant to you. If you need to have many things available to you at the same time, this section shows you some of what is possible.

Paratext 9 has a new windowing framework that allows much more flexible layouts than Paratext 8. The following image shows three new features that the new framework supports. Using these features, the user can have 20 or more projects, resources, and tools open at the same time in a manageable way:

In the upper left, you can see multiple tabs in a panel that looks like this:

Tabs allow several resources to occupy the same space on the screen. The ESV16 tab is selected, so the text that appears is from the ESV16 translation. By clicking on the tab for a different translation – e.g. ARA93 or NBS11 – you can display that translation.

In the image below, you can see the autohide bar on the right-hand side. Items in autohide will show when you click on their tab and automatically hide when you click in another panel. For instance, if you click on Assignments and Progress, the tool you selected expands to the left like this:

In the lower right, you can see a floating window, which you can drag to a different monitor if you have more than one.

Opening as Floating, Tabs, Panels, Text Collections, and Autohide

By default, new items open as panels that appear side-by-side like this:

This is the default because it is easiest for existing Paratext 8 users–it is similar to the way most items open in Paratext 8, and each item is plainly visible.  But if you want to open projects, resources, or tools in a variety of useful ways, the rest of this section tells you how.

At the bottom of the Open dialog, there is an “Open As”  control that lets you choose where items will be opened:

Text collection

If you open the same three items as a text collection, they all appear in the same panel, one above the other, showing one verse at a time:


If you open the same three items as tabs, they all appear in the same panel, and each has a title bar that can be selected to display it.  Only one is displayed at a time:

In the above display, you can display PCG or ESVUS16 by clicking on the corresponding title bar.


If you open as autohide, the tabs are organized vertically in an autohide bar and the item associated with a tab is displayed only when its tab is selected.  If you open the same three items as autohide, it looks like this:


If you open as floating, each item appears in its own window.  

You can drag windows around to arrange them or even place a window on another screen. This is described in the next section.

Changing Window Layouts

Any project, resource, or tool can be relocated. Click and drag a tab by its title bar to move it anywhere:

A blue preview shows where a tab will be moved to if you were to drop it at the current location of your mouse pointer, as shown below:

Blue drop zones indicate that a dragged tab will occupy any of the following locations:

  • A new tab in this panel (drop in the center of the panel, or on a panel’s title bar)
  • The top or bottom half of this panel,
  • The left or right half of this panel (shown above),
  • The top, bottom, left or right edge of Paratext.
  • Outside Paratext appearing as a new floating window.
  • Within an already floating window, as a new tab or panel.

A right-click on the title bar of any project, resource, or tool will give a menu with context-sensitive options. You will be able to choose between putting this tab in the Autohide area, floating it, or redocking it, as appropriate.

Shared Layouts

If you have administrative rights on a project, you can share a layout with the members of that project. This is useful in several common settings:

  • You have new translators and you want them to be able to start working with a sensible layout on the very first day.
  • Your team has one person who is very good at designing layouts and you want other members of the team to be able to use these layouts without needing to learn to create them.
  • You want to show support staff the layouts you are using.

To save a layout, you must first give it a name. You can do this using “Save current layout” on the Window sub-menu of the main menu:

In this example, a layout is defined for drafting in the “EAn” project. It will be named “EAn drafting”.

To share a saved layout with project members, you would open the menu for the project, in this case, the “EAn” project. Then you would choose “Share saved layouts”.

Paratext would ask you which saved layouts you want to share.  You would choose “EAn drafting”.  Send/Receive is then launched to share this layout with the other members of the “EAn” project.