"Formatting is invalid"


I’m just testing SF for the first time. All seemed to be well for a while, and then enabled community testing. Now each chapter has this message:

“This chapter cannot be edited because the formatting is invalid. Please fix the formatting in Paratext.”

The message even occurs on blank chapters that I haven’t worked on, where the usfm was created by PT when the book was created. To me it seems that the usfm is good, is that what is meant by “formatting”? What else might be wrong?

Does your text in Paratext have paragraph markers after each chapter number? Often blank chapters do not have those included. Try at least putting in those markers and see if that helps. You can also run the markers check under run basic checks in Paratext to look for issues.

Yes, I’d run marker checks, with no issues for the blank chapter. I just added a \p after \c 25 for my blank chapter, S/R’ed, sync’ed and yet still see the error message.

Hi Sara,

I took a look at your project, and it looks like the first chapter is chapter 24. And before chapter 24, there are four verses that aren’t in any chapter at all. I think this has caused the entire book to be treated as invalid, since there are verses that don’t belong to a chapter. If you run basic checks, Paratext might flag this as an issue.

Can you try removing those verses and let us know whether that solves the problem?


Hi Nathaniel

Thanks. There was a combination of things happening, but interestingly the four verses before chapter 24 had been added in SF, not PT. Is SF supposed to add the required usfm? It doesn’t seem like it does.

The error messages are all now resolved, thanks to help from Phil.

Hi Sara,

I checked the project history, and it looks like those four verses were edited in Genesis 1 in Scripture Forge, and the first 23 chapters of Genesis were deleted from Paratext. However, the changes you made in Scripture Forge had not been synced to Paratext before you deleted the chapters, so later on when the changes were synced, it had to reconcile contradictory changes. In order to avoid losing anything, it kept those four verses.

It should be possible to avoid this problem by always syncing any changes between Scripture Forge and Paratext, or between Paratext users, before anything is edited or deleted.

Please note that this isn’t just an issue with Scripture Forge; any time two Paratext users make contradictory changes and then sync, it will cause the same issue.

I’m glad to hear Phil was able to help resolve the issue! Please let us know if you run into any more problems.