[sword-devel] Sword support of indents and line breaks

David Haslam dfhmch at googlemail.com
Fri Apr 12 01:03:54 MST 2013

I agree with all the points that John makes; these things do require adequate
support in SWORD.

I wish to make one additional observation from my reading of the USFM
Reference and email discussions with Studge,
as well as seeing how things are in the real world of USFM files for many

For poetry there can be two kinds of "paragraph" breaks in USFM.

\b is a line break (for poetry) that does not reset the text to the left
\p is a line break (for either prose or poetry) that resets the following
text to the left margin.

There are other differences too.

\b should never have text following on the same line.
"No text should follow this marker, and it should not be used before or
after titles to indicate white-space."

In contrast...
\p optionally may have text on the same line.

Normal paragraph. 
Followed immediately by a space and paragraph text, or by a new line and a
verse marker. 

For poetry passages, the translator should use \p to terminate the poetry
format, where the subsequent text is prose (e.g. narrative).

Nevertheless, many translators using Paratext mistakenly use \p between
stanzas where "best practice" (and the USFM Reference) would enjoin them to
have used \b

We need to recognize this, and make allowances accordingly.


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