References and Prerequisites

Scribe procedures require the use of particular programs, files, and best practices. Review the following references and prerequisites to support the use of the corresponding procedure.

Word Composition


This composition procedure is presented in a standard default order. Depending on what is in your specific file, you may decide to adjust the order to suit your needs.

Planning and Approach

Plan the Work

1. Assess

Scroll through the file. Determine what elements exist and decide which styles to apply. (Keep a list of these choices.)

2. Plan

Plan for the best method of applying each style (associate styles; clicking manually using Style Galleries; search-and-replace).

Identify which paragraph styles can be safely mapped to ScML globally.

Establish which editorial cleanups are to be done at the time of composition. This may vary by project.

3. Act

Carry out the planned actions.


1. Save Regularly

Save your file regularly as you work. Some of the routines cannot be undone easily; saving ensures you can fix a problem or backtrack as needed.

2. Draft View

Put your file in Draft View. (The Style Area Width should be set to a number greater than zero so you can see the paragraph styles in use.)

Follow the following menu options to adjust the Style Area Width:

PC: File > Options > Advanced > Display > Style area pane width in Draft and Outline views

Mac: Word > Preferences > View > Window > Style area width

3. Check Your Work

  • While working, use the SAI’s Report Non-ScML Styles feature to find styles that will need to be composed in ScML or cleared out.
  • Check your work against the source document. (For example, if block quotations have been indicated with indentation, has that designation been retained in the composed document?)
  • Scroll through the document. The tools can help, but they cannot identify when human judgment is needed.
  • When done, check your work using the SAI’s File Check option and the Digital Hub’s Alerts, Checks, and Stats features.

Common Composition Considerations

When composing, there can be a wide variety of elements to consider. The following is a list of some of the common considerations to be reviewed in documents.

The rendering in Microsoft Word, as defined by the Scribe Word template, has no effect on the rendering defined within a typesetting program or an e-book’s CSS settings. Specific notations can be added for future rendering instructions, as needed, such as indicating if poetry needs to center-align instead of left-align.

1. Paragraph Variations

The Refiner in the Digital Hub can automate certain distinctions for p paragraphs, identifying which are to be pf or paft. These paragraph styles have a consistent set of rules within a document’s structure. Others, like pcon, need to be identified, as they have an editorial distinction.

  • The first standard paragraph (p) of every chapter should be pf.
  • The first standard paragraph (p) following heads and section breaks should be paft.
  • Use pcon to indicate a continued paragraph after an interrupting element. If the paragraph after a block quotation, for example, is to be a new paragraph, then use the p style.

2. Spacing Rules

The Digital Hub can articulate spacing distinctions as part of the Refiner or conversion processes. When reviewing the file for these distinctions, the following rules apply:

  • Do not allow multiple stand-alone paragraphs in a row (e.g., bqs, wls, eps).
  • Do not follow a “last” with a “first” (e.g., sll followed by slf).
  • When spaced elements are next to each other, the bigger element, or the interrupting element, will control the spacing (e.g., if a numbered list item follows a head, then it should not be identified as nlf; it should just be nl).

3. Character Styles

1. Character Styles in Heads

Source files commonly use bold and italic rendering to designate head levels. This rendering can be removed when using the SAI’s Associate Styles feature. Searching for head styles and replacing with Default Paragraph Font is also an efficient method for removing unwanted character styles in heads.

2. Character Styles on Entire Paragraphs

The Scribe Word template approaches all paragraph styles as having a roman base font. Compose files with this approach, even if rendering will be reversed to an italic base font in a final design.

There may be exceptions to this when preparing files for e-books.

Copyright pages often have intricate style distinctions and should be composed before automated cleanup steps are run.

The cip styles should be used for the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data text. Use the appropriate cip style variations to set proper spacing and indentation.

Other copyright page text should use the crt styles.

5. Figures and Captions

1. Style Choice: figh vs. figcap

  • Compose as figh only if a figure head number (fighn) is present or if the text is functioning as a head or is a title preceding an image or caption text.
  • If the caption is merely descriptive text, compose it as figcap.

2. Figure Placement

  • If figure placement requires a specific instruction, include the instruction in Scribe’s query format ({~?~TN: instruction text here}).
  • Figures should never break a paragraph unless specific instructions are in the text (e.g., if the text introduces the image and then has a continued paragraph after it).

6. Tables and Tabs

Tables should be in table format, with paragraph styles applied to each line.

If left as tabbed text, use only one tab per column (even if the alignment looks unclear in Word).

Tables built in Word will import as InDesign tables when converted to InDesign Tagged Text (IDTT), retaining all cell features. Tables left as tabbed text will import as tabbed text in InDesign when converted to IDTT.

If a table is immediately preceded by a structure indicator (e.g., {~?~ST: begin figure}), the table will import as conditional text into InDesign and be hidden in the typeset. If this text pattern exists in your Word document, remove that set of structure indicators and add them into the .scml file before proceeding with e-book creation.

7. Poetry (Senselines)

Compare with the source file to confirm that each line of poetry has been composed to maintain proper space breaks and indentation.

Use different levels of poetry to indicate regular levels of indentation (sl, sl1, sl2, etc.) rather than using tabs.

8. Written Language

Use written language (wl) styles for text that will render in a manner that represents its content (e.g., making the text of a street sign render in a special font). This is distinct from a block quotation (bq), which is not meant to look like the text being quoted.

9. Foreign Languages

Foreign language characters only need to be composed for rendering such as italic, bold, superscript, or subscript. The Digital Hub’s Compose Language Styles settings will apply appropriate ScML style names for all characters outside the basic ASCII range, including Greek, Hebrew, Chinese, and more.

10. Footnotes and Endnotes

When composing notes, the following basic rules and standards apply:

  • Footnotes and Endnotes in Microsoft Word are typically best left as dynamic notes and only converted to main level text when all copyediting processes are complete.
  • In the main text, note references should use the fnref or enref character style.
  • In the footnote paragraphs (fn), the note numbers should be fnnum.
  • In the endnote paragraphs (en), the note numbers should use ennum.
  • Notes that are multiple paragraphs should be composed using en/fn for the paragraph with the note number and enp/fnp for subsequent paragraphs. Other nt variations are available for elements such as block quotations and lists within notes sections.
  • If endnotes will be collected at the end of the book, add an ah preceding each new set of notes.
  • Add Word Section Breaks to enable notes to restart their numbering in each new section.

IDTT to sam


Planning and Approach

Plan the Work

1. Assess

Develop/review the specifications to identify the requirements of the final output. Check that the IDTT files contain everything that is required for conversion. Aspects to check include content, page ID placement, and formatting tags.

Search across files for page IDs to identify if any are missing.

Find: \{~\?~PG: @([a-z0-9]+)@\}

2. Plan

Determine what elements will need to be checked and addressed specifically in the resulting .sam file.

3. Act

Carry out the planned actions.


1. Save Regularly

Save your file regularly as you work. Saving ensures you can fix a problem or backtrack as needed.

2. Regular Expressions

In Sublime, enable regular expressions, with the match case setting turned on.

Note the following about the regular expressions listed below:

  • Replace with NOTHING means literally having nothing in the replacement box.
  • Replace with SPACE means a literal space character.

OCR Modification


Planning and Approach

Plan the Work

1. Assess

  • Confirm that all text is present and in the proper order.
  • Confirm that all files are named correctly.
  • Confirm that all images have been processed to the specified size and color settings.
  • Spot check major aspects such as paragraph integrity, character style rendering, smart quote usage, and table formatting. (Run the SAI’s Rendering tool in Word to apply colors to character styles.)

2. Plan

Review the aspects of the files that may be most prone to error.

3. Act

Carry out the planned actions.


Maintain a list of all OCR errors found.

Maintain a list of all errors present in the source material.

Note: Depending on the project, some errors present in the source material may need to be corrected at a later stage and some may need to be maintained.

Typeset to E-book


This procedure is a guide for moving from one file format to another in a systematic way to produce an .scml file and an e-book from an InDesign source file. It does not include specific instructions for all possible features and scenarios. Note: The .sam file is a transitional file, used to determine that all the content from the typeset has properly come out of InDesign into the text-only environment. While one can produce a generic e-book directly from the InDesign export (using Scribe tools), manipulating the .sam file as an interim step provides an opportunity to create an .scml file that more perfectly meets your goals. Factors to be considered when modifying the content include errors from InDesign, changes in content order, and the desire to augment files with added features.

Planning and Approach

Plan the Work

1. Specifications

Develop/review the e-book specifications to identify the requirements of the final output.

2. Assess

For a typeset produced using the WFDW, confirm the InDesign files conform to your specifications and the WFDW requirements. Aspects to check include consistent ScML style usage and that the main text is linked together in a single text flow.

For a typeset produced outside of the WFDW, vet the document as outlined in the Export to IDTT procedure.

3. Plan

If any elements are not WFDW-compliant, determine whether they need to be fixed in InDesign or if they can be addressed in the resulting .sam or .scml file.

4. Act

Carry out the planned actions.


1. Save Regularly

Save your file regularly as you work. Some of the adjustments throughout this process cannot be undone easily; saving ensures you can fix a problem or backtrack as needed.

2. Check Your Work

  • While working, check the resulting files against any existing source/reference files, such as the print PDF and original Word documents. These files can be integral to determining proper image placement in the e-book, for example.
  • When done, check the .sam and .scml files by uploading them to the Digital Hub to use the File Alerts and Stats features.

Sample Creation


When .docx is converted to IDTT or ScML in the Digital Hub, the intermediate step is the creation of a sam file. This is the file used to generate the design sample output. This procedure presumes that this process will begin with a composed .docx file.

A single sam file is the required source for the Sample Generator.

Planning and Approach

The Sample Generator can only approach the input in standardized ways. For more information on what the Sample Generator can provide, see the documentation here.

In many cases, use of both the complete output and the sample output will be best to produce a design that includes all elements appearing in a publication.



In some Bible translations, the same footnote text might appear two or more times on the same page. In some translations, the removal of the duplicate note(s) is a requirement; in others, it is left to the discretion of the licensee. Specifications and lists of duplicate notes for each Bible translation that Scribe manages are available on Scribe’s Bible Sites.

When deduping, the same reference symbol needs to be used for these multiple instances. The note itself may only appear once per page.

Planning and Approach

Handle the deduping as you are typesetting, but only perform the actions after all of the content preceding the page has been set. This includes the placement of sidebars, tables, and images.

Move the text box down on the page if deleting the note will cause you to lose a line. Because deduping involves the removal of content in a file and is dependent on which page the text appears on, avoiding reflow is of paramount importance.

If there are three duplicates on a page, include the third note in this process.