LaTeX forum ⇒ Decision GuidanceLaTeX for Bible Publishing?

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LaTeX for Bible Publishing?

Postby themarshian » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:42 pm

I am in the early stages of writing and self-publishing my own version of the Bible. I would like to use one program for both editing and publishing. I have talked with several people, and some of them have directed me to LaTeX, specifically LyX. After reviewing this forum, I am not sure LyX is the best program for me to use, or if there might be a better one. Any thoughts?

A few details might be helpful:
1) I currently am using Windows operating system.
2) I desire for the final publishing of the Bible to be in single column, with footnotes in a paragraph at the bottom of the page, and cross references in a column, toward the binding. The styles of the footnote references should be different than the styles for the cross reference references (for example, a, b, c, and 1, 2, 3), but both should be sequential, and restart each page.
3) With the publishing itself, I would like to be able to change font, font color, and font size.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Stefan Kottwitz
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LaTeX for Bible Publishing?

Postby Stefan Kottwitz » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:48 am


welcome to the board!

In my opinion, LaTeX is the best way. It could be handled with LyX, but I think pure LaTeX is better for such a big project than the LyX GUI.

Regarding your points:
  1. It works fine on Windows, I would install TeX Live 2012.

  2. The style of footnotes and cross-references can be customized, there are some very capable packages for this.

  3. You can change font style, color and size all the time. Define logical macros for being used in the document, use physical font commands just in the preamble and in their logical definitions. So you can change the font just on this one place, and the whole document will be adjusted.

Split your documents into parts and use \include. LaTeX is strong regarding managing, editing and modifying very big documents.

Stefan admin

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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:16 pm

LaTeX for Bible Publishing?

Postby themarshian » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:28 pm

Thanks Stefan for your quick reply. Unfortunately, I am not so quick on the draw. My busy season has just now ended, and I am able to focus more time on this project, which seems to include learning LaTeX. A few questions for you.

  1. Instead of installing TeX Live, or any other program, would a web based LaTeX editor be powerful enough for my needs (like or I use multiple computers, so an online program would better meet my needs. Though I can install TeX Live on multiple systems, and share files through DropBox, if I have to.

  2. How can I find out the best way to set up my document with packages and macros? I can upload a visual of what I want to accomplish, if that would help. As a newbie to LaTeX, I know I have a steep learning curve, but would like to make it as shallow as possible.

I look forward to reading the replies!

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Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:16 pm

LaTeX for Bible Publishing?

Postby daiukku_tex » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:08 pm

Hello, James,

I recommend against web-based editors for projects of this scale: web applications can only complicate managing and processing the data. TeX Live is operating system-independent; you could, for example, install it to your Dropbox or to a server. For reference, my complete installation of Tex Live on Windows weighs in at 2.98 GB and takes up 3.25 GB on disk. A word of caution: I would not allow the Windows TeX Live installer to select a mirror automatically. In my experience, it has always chosen wrong. Rather, manually select a mirror close to you.

The package fontspec provides the desired font control.

The cross-reference column is probably the most difficult element of your design. I cannot think of a clean way to produce this. If you would be willing to use a separate footnote apparatus instead, bigfoot would be very useful.

I hope this helps you. Good luck!

Sincerely yours,
Adam Khan

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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2024 2:58 pm

LaTeX for Bible Publishing?

Postby simonkone » Tue Jun 18, 2024 3:06 pm

there is relatively new set of macros called OpBible (check CTAN or which is designed to typeset Study Bibles automatically. Format is OpTeX which is LuaTeX with OpMac macros by Petr Olšák.
God bless you!

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