How to Create and Register a New Project

This is how you create and register a new project in Paratext.

Page Contents

Before Creating Your Project

We suggest doing some research. Are you sure that this project you want to start is a real need? Are there others working on this language that you could join with? Are there others working in a related language that you could connect with to encourage and support each other?

One place to do research like this is the Paratext Registry. Search for the language name or language code in the list of projects. You can also find the language code for the language on the Ethnologue.

How to Create a New Project

 These are the steps:

  1. Create a new project in Paratext
  2. Register the new project
  3. Add members to the project and do a Send/Receive.
  4. Create book(s) and/or import existing translation text into Paratext.
  5. Do another Send/Receive and tell your team members that the project exists.

Who is the Project Administrator?

The person who creates and registers a project will become the project administrator. A project administrator in Paratext does not necessarily mean the supervisor of the other team members, but should be a person who can manage the project in Paratext well. Paratext permits a project to have more than one administrator, but it is easiest for one person to create and register the project.

Learn more about the role of Project Administator in this video:

Create a New Project

Tutorial Video

Watch this video to learn how to create a new project, or see below for written step-by-step instructions.

Written Instructions

You start by going to the Paratext menu > New project.

If New Project is not visible, expand the menu with the wedge at the bottom, or check Full menus in the Help column.

This opens the New Project window:

The pink bar and the red alert circles do not show that an error has happened. They point out what is not yet complete before the project can be created. You will notice that the OK button is not active while the pink bar or alert circles are present.

If you have not created a new project before, we recommend consulting the Guide on the right side of the dialog. If the dialog appears without opening the Guide, you can click “Show Guide” at the bottom right of the dialog to open the Guide.

Editing the Project Name

It is almost certain that Paratext’s suggestion for the project name is not helpful. You can change it by clicking the Edit button, then typing in the desired project name and short name.

  • The short name can be three to eight characters long, using letters A-Z, numbers 0-9 or the _ (underscore) character. Spaces, other punctuation marks, and letters in other scripts are not permitted in the short name.
    • The reason for these restrictions on the short name is because the short name is used for the project folder name, and Windows restricts the characters permitted in a folder name.
  • The long name has no restrictions on characters used.
  • You can also add in any copyright information, or leave that line blank. When finished, click OK for the edit panel, and your new name should appear in the main dialog.

Some organizations recommend using the language ID code for the project short name. If you want to do this and don’t know the language ID, you may want to do the step of searching or selecting the language ID (below) before you specify the short name of the project.

The Language Name

If you already have a project using the language you want, you can select that language from the drop down.

If do not have a project in the same language as you want for the new project, you can click “New”, then search for the language name you want.

In the language search list, you can type characters in the search bar, and Paratext will list languages where the name or the code matches what you have typed. For example, after searching for “de”:

Click on a name or code to select it, that name will then appear in the language name at top, and the name followed by the code appears in the summary line at the bottom.

If you need to specify more details, such as the script, region or other variant, you can add those in the Advanced section.

When finished selecting the language name, click OK to go back to the main dialog.

Other Project Settings

Versification. There are several different systems for numbering chapters and verses. These are called versifications, and vary slightly between systems. If you are working with an existing project, or basing your translation on another translation, you likely want to use the same versification as that translation uses. Or you may wish to follow the versification scheme used by most Bibles in your area.

Type of project: This is where you indicate if this is a standard project, a back translation, or other type based on or related to another project. See the text in the Guide for more details about the different types.

Based on: If you select “Back translation” or another type that depends on another project, the Based on box becomes active and you select the project that your project is based on. In order to project that is based on another project, you first need to be an administrator of that other project.

When you have specified the project name, language and the project type, the Register Online button becomes active (unless the project type does not require its own registration, for instance with back translation projects).

You can register this project now, or wait until you have finished creating the project.

When you click on the Register Online button, your web browser will open to a registration page, and will automatically fill some of the project information for you.

Specifying Books

When you have filled in the General tab, Paratext will say the Books tab is incomplete. You have to go to the Books tab and select all the books that are part of your translation scope (what books you plan to translate).  Please note that these are the books that your project progress will be based on.  Do not select all books if you are not doing a full Bible. 

You can select a book or books by clicking on the names in the list, or click on a button to the left to select a group of books.

  • All Books includes Old Testament, New Testament and Deuterocanonical books.
  • If you want to start your selection over, click Deselect All.

Once you have selected books, the pink notice at the top should turn gray and say No incomplete tabs, and now the OK button should activate.

Review Other Tabs

Before clicking OK, review what is on the Associations and Advanced tabs. The default settings for these are probably OK, but you might have difficulty changing them later. The Guide has more information about the various options.

Choose USFM Version

The last choice when creating a project is whether it will be USFM 2 or USFM 3. This refers to the kind of USFM markers used in the project. We recommend selecting USFM 3 (the latest version of the USFM standard), unless you know you really need USFM 2. USFM 3 is not very different from USFM 2.

Click the button for the USFM version you want and the project should now be created.

Register a New Project

Tutorial Video

Watch this video to learn how to register a new project, or see below for written step-by-step instructions.

Written Instructions

To register the project, click on the Register online button in the project properties window. If you have created the project already, you can open the project properties by going to the Project menu > Project Settings > Project properties.

The link will open your browser to a new project registration form and copy some information into it, like the project name, short name and language. It will put in your organization as the Managing Organization. If you are registering a project for a different organization, you can change the Managing organization by selecting a different organization from the list.

Here is what you still need to fill in:

Scope: Is the project aiming to do the entire Bible, a New Testament or Old Testament, only a few books, or selections from some books. Select the appropriate scope from the list.

Translation Type: Is this the first translation in this language? A new translation? A revision of an earlier translation or a Study Bible project? Select the appropriate type from the list.

If you select Revision, it will ask you to identify the project you are revising and ask if you have gained permission to do so.

Countries/Regions: Select where in the world the project is based. You can select more than one country if desired.

Status: Select the appropriate status from the list:

More information: There are four other boxes that you can fill in if you want to specify more information about the project, but these four are not required, you can leave them blank.

Project Visibility

  • Standard: The information on a standard registered project is only visible to people who can log in to the Paratext registry and have access to your organization’s registrations, not visible to everyone online.
  • Test or Training: You can choose the Test or Training option if you just want a test project, or this is a project for use in a training session or workshop.
  • Confidential: If you want more confidentiality than that, you can indicate that your project is confidential. This means the registration is only visible to members of the project, administrators of your organization, and administrators of the Paratext registry.

There is also a link on the registration page that provides additional steps for maintaining confidentiality as you work on the project.

The last step is to state that you are willing to abide by the FOBAI translation standards, and that a backup copy of your project can be stored in the Digital Bible Library. You have to select Agree to submit your registration.

When everything is complete you can click Submit Registration:

Almost all of the information in the project registration can be modified later.

Note: You cannot change the project short name once the project is registered, except through a complicated process involving the Convert Project Tool. (You can read about this tool in Paratext Help).

Share Your New Project

Project Sharing in Paratext is called Send/Receive. Before you can do your first Send/Receive to make your project accessible to others, you need to set up Project Sharing. Go to the Project menu > User Permissions.

(You may need to expand the project menu or select Full menus to see Project settings).

The first time you go to User Permissions, Paratext asks you to confirm four things:

  1. The first one is because adding others to the project automatically makes you an administrator.
  2. The second one may not be relevant if the project is brand new. It was written when send/receive was a new feature in Paratext, so it was important to make sure all the latest work was on one computer when you started to share the project.
  3. The third one is because you need to know the registration names of people you want to add to the project (although Paratext has the ability to suggest possible matches if your spelling is not exactly correct).
  4. The fourth one is because sharing is a powerful feature that can create problems if misused.

You can find training on Project Sharing from the page on Project Sharing or the Project Sharing videos.

When you check these four boxes and click OK, you will see the place where you can add other users. Your name should already be present as administrator.

If you are the only member for this project:

  1. Click OK.
  2. Go below to Send/Receive the New Project.

If you need to add other users, continue to the next step.

Add Users to a Project

To add users to a project, click the Add user button:

  1. Type in the Registration Name of the user you want to add
  2. Click OK.

Change Role

When you add a user, they are added as an Observer. To specify a different role, click Change role:

Then click on the desired role:

When you have added the other users and defined their roles, click OK to save these changes.

Send/Receive the New Project

Now you are ready to Send/Receive your project.

If Paratext did not open the Send/Receive window automatically, go to the Paratext menu > Send/Receive projects.

Make sure your new project is selected, then click Send/Receive.

Once the Send/Receive completes, continue with the steps below.

Adding New Books/Content to a Project

Add Books to a Project - Webinar

If you prefer to learn by watching a video, check out The Paratext Hour webinar on adding books to a project.

Add Books to a Project - Tutorial

To start drafting a new book, you begin by creating the book in the project. A new project will often display links to create books or to import books.

If you don’t see those links, Go to the Project menu > Manage books > Create books:

The create books window will start by offering to create the current book if it does not exist.

To create more than one book or create a different book:

  1. Click the Choose button
  2. Select the books you want to create
  3. Click OK.

When you have selected the desired books, Paratext offers you three choices:

  • Create as blank book: Creates a book with no markers in it except for the \id marker at the beginning of the book. 
  • Create with chapter and verse markers: Creates all the chapter and verse markers in the book (according to the versification setting you chose for the project).
  • Create based on another project: Copies all the markers for the book from the selected “based on” project. This might be a good option if you like the formatting of a particular resource and want to base your project formatting on that model.

Importing Books/Content

If some translation text already exists in external files, you can copy that text into Paratext. One option would be to create a blank book in Paratext, then copy the text and paste it into Paratext, then add the needed markers.

If you were going to paste more than one chapter at  a time, you need to tell Paratext to show all chapters, otherwise you could not put chapter breaks in the middle of your pasted text. Check the option in the Project menu > View > Show all chapters.

We don’t recommend leaving Show all chapters checked normally, because it can make Paratext slow to save changes or move around in a longer book. But when pasting in more than one chapter, you can turn it on, then turn it off when you are finished pasting.

If the text you are copying is consistently formatted, you could possibly use the search and replace function in the another program to automatically insert markers. For example:

  • Find chapter numbers or verse numbers by their formatting andreplace them (without removing the number) with a \c or \v;
  • Find section headings by their formatting and replace with a \s or \s1 before each heading.

If you can do this, it should speed up importing the text into Paratext.

The Import books command will import a book from a file, but functionally, it is limited to files from other Paratext projects. If you had a document from another program, you would not be able to import it without first adding an \id marker followed by the three letter book code Paratext uses. Also if you wanted to import from Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, or other word processing programs, you would need to save the document in text-only format so Paratext can read it.

Tell Your Team Members About the New Project

After you have finished creating books and/or importing existing translation text:

  1. Do another Send/Receive
  2. Tell your team members to do a Send/Receive to receive the new project.

Congratulations, you have successfully created and shared a new Paratext project!

Next Steps

Setup a Project Plan

The Project Plan is a powerful Paratext feature that facilitates assigning different tasks to different people in the project, as well as running basic checks automatically so you can see errors in markers or other parts of the text almost as soon as they appear. We recommend setting up a plan for your project, and your organization may require it.

See the Project Plans page for more details.

Share Your Project

Share your project with others.

You can find further training on Project Sharing from the page on Project Sharing or the Project Sharing videos.

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