Publishing Assistant (PA) equips Bible typesetters to create high-quality print layouts from Paratext scripture translation projects through integration with Adobe InDesign. Project texts in USFM are accurately transformed into fully styled InDesign documents. Many page layout and validation tasks are automated so that scripture texts can be accurately, efficiently, and beautifully formatted for printing.

Paratext Integration

Publishing Assistant is closely integrated with Paratext. It operates with registered projects, and for users assigned to the typesetter role by a project administrator. The latest project text is received by the typesetter through Paratext Send/Receive.

The status of a project’s basic checks are checked by PA, in order to report potential issues with the text before a typesetter begins their layout work.

The project’s scripture reference settings are used for composing header or footer texts, for providing the preferred syntax for header/footer references, and to help identify and select appropriate line-break locations in cross reference texts.

The Paratext wordlist tool provides customized hyphenation rules for many projects whose language is not directly supported by InDesign.

Job Management

Publishing Assistant can manage multiple layouts for one Paratext project. Specifications, stylesheets, text changes, and InDesign documents generated for each typesetting job are organized independently.

Comprehensive Layout and Style Options

A user-friendly interface is used for configuring an extensive collection of design specifications.

InDesign documents created by PA use a wide range of page, object, paragraph, and character styles, allowing efficient and detailed design customization.

Header and footer content is highly customizable.

A publication template facility makes it possible to capture complete job configurations for re-use in other projects, or for distributing to other users.

Standard jobs can be formatted in 1 or 2 columns, with various layout options for notes and cross references.

Custom Layouts / Study Bibles

A visual ‘page layout description’ editor makes it possible to customize designs for more complex study Bible content, or other non-standard layouts.

The content for each page frame can be selected and ordered individually. Additional object, paragraph, and character styles are generated for note categories, making it possible to manage the format of study content in detail.


Publishing Assistant can typeset diglots, aligning the text from two projects horizontally at specified locations.


While PA can typeset any valid USFM text developed for a concordance, it is designed to work seamlessly with the content exported from the Concordance Builder and Names Index Builder applications.

Language and Script Support

Current versions of InDesign provide robust support for complex writing systems. Publishing Assistant works together with InDesign’s Middle-East (right-to-left; Arabic, Hebrew) and CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) language features.

PA 7.0 provides new support for CJK grid and vertical layouts.

PA utilizes output from the Paratext wordlist tool to provide hyphenation rules for languages not supported by InDesign.

Automation and Validation

A collection of tools automate the placement of content required for each page — footnotes, study notes, cross references, illustrations, and headers/footers — as well as other page layout features such as column gutter rules and marginal verses.

Adjustments are made to properly fit content on a page by strategically shrinking or expanding the length of text in paragraphs in order to fill whitespace and balance the length of text in multiple columns.

Page content is continually validated to ensure that all elements are visible and balanced.

Illustrations can be placed automatically and repositioned easily using the illustration adjustments tool.

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