Placement of introductory texts in SAB apps

We’d like to add introduction texts to our SAB app with Genesis with New Testament. In Paratext we used the INT book, with these sections:
INT ch 1: Preface (at the very beginning)
INT ch 2: General Introduction (overview of the Bible and includes an image of ancient Greek source text)
INT ch 3: Introduction to the New Testament (obviously intended to come before the NT)
In our print version of the book the Preface and General introduction come before the book of Genesis, then the NT Introduction (INT ch 3) comes before the book of Matthew.
Should I be using different Paratext book names so that I can place the NT Introduction before the book of Matthew? I just want to know how to place the books so that I have some of the introductory matter before Genesis, and some before the New Testament. If there is some other work around to place some sections in different locations among the books, I could do that. I realize that I could place the NT Intro in Matthew chapter 0, before the book of Matthew introduction, but I’d prefer to have it as a separate “book”. Might also be good if the Preface could be it’s own “book” but I’m not opposed to having Preface as the first chapter followed by the general introduction.
I realize that some people are probably in favor of introductory matter not being included in SAB apps, but in our context we think it would be quite helpful, especially to have synchronized audio on the introduction sections.

I’m with Andy on this, we likewise have everything in the INT section divided into chapters, (intros for the app, the translation, whole Bible, OT, NT). It would be nice to have the NT intro before Matthew and I don’t know of a way to do it.
Regarding synchronised audio for intros, I think this is difficult without verses. I tried that with book intros and it tries to create 1a,1b, 1c… (like one would expect) but despite the syncing and fine tuning seeming to work fine, once you view it in the browser or the app the syncing is all over the place. Maybe this is a bug that could be fixed but when I was fine tuning I just left it.
Is there a workaround to make verses (presumably by sentence) in the intros but not display the verse numbers?

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@CraigN thanks for seconding this request. I hope we find some help soon.

Thanks also for the idea of creating an app introduction. That’s obviously not something we created for the printed edition, but it would be helpful in the app to state that it includes the same text as was in the printed edition, but with the addition of audio files to facilitate people learning to read in their language.

About synchronizing audio on book introductions, I’ve got them in Chapter 0 for each of our books, and the audio works fine. What version of SAB where you using when you had problems synchronizing your introductions without verse numbers? I think I had problems like that before but when I updated SAB I think that problem resolved itself. I just checked my files and our longest introduction is 3:22 for Genesis, and that goes up to line “ag” which is 33 lines of synchronized audio with no verse numbers.

I have 9.0.1 and have tried it again with the same problem. My Gen Intro only goes up to y and is only 2 minutes long. Whenever I play the audio in the browser or in an app it goes off piste, playing the audio one phrase ahead after the first few.

That sounds familiar to something I experienced last year, but I can’t remember what I did that fixed it… It might have something to do with the letters used in the phrase file.
Look in App Builder\Scripture Apps\Phrases\AppName and in my case the file is C01-01-GEN-00-aeneas.txt

In that file you will want to make sure that the letters there correspond to how you want the audio highlighting shown up. These letters are never displayed, only used for highlighting sections.

Then you’ll want to make sure that the timing file corresponds to the correct “phrases” a, b, c, d, etc. As indicated in the file name, these phrases files are created with Aeneas, but Aeneas can create mistakes in the phrase files, especially on introductions where there are no verse numbers.

What I did in a Bible app that had book intro, OT intro and NT intro all lumped together in the INT book in Paratext: Divided them out into 3 separate SFM files (just in my own local directory), and then added those files as 3 separate books in the app. The disadvantage, of course, is that if you change the text in Paratext, that you would have to manually update it in those separate SFM files. But in my case the app was built after the publication, so I knew the text wouldn’t change anymore.

We didn’t have audio, so I can’t speak to that…

Ok, so did you have separate chapters of the INT in Paratext? Then from there after the SFM file was exported you manually edited it so that you had separate SFM files for the Main Intro, OT Intro and NT Intro.

What did you do inside SAB to place the NT Intro before the book of Matthew, and not before the book of Genesis?

My INT book in Paratext just followed the normal standard, with \periph markers marking the 3 different sections, and titles, section headings and paragraphs as normal within those sections. I just broke that into 3 SFM files, tossing the \periph markers, and basically using that marker as the file name, something like “NT Intro.SFM”. (I suppose that you could have those different sections as different SFM files in Paratext, however, using the supplemental books…)

Then in SAB, I went to the Main Collection, clicked on the Add Books… button and added those new SFM files. Once they are added, you can drag and drop them where you want them, as mentioned in the help at the top of that pane:

So you can drag and drop the NT Intro to be before MAT.


Right, one could use XXA, XXB, XXC, etc. or even FRT, BAK, OTH (for Front Matter, Back Matter or Other Matter).
Would using this solution solve the issue you raised?, when you said:

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Hi Jeff,
Thanks for your help. I have followed your suggestions and they worked. There is one thing I would like to change though:

I’d like to place the Int-NT after the NT heading, instead of before. Any ideas?
In SAB, I simply placed it in between Mal and Mat by dragging and dropping. Could it be something to do with the ‘book code’ in the 3rd line of usx?

@CraigN Is your NT Introduction in the “NT” group? I suspect that Group names (“New Testament” for example) come from the Interface/Translations tab, but don’t see where to add additional Groups names.

In this list I did just type in a new Group and called it “Intro” but I suspect this will not actually create a menu item on the book list. Maybe it’s best not to assign them to any group. But in your case if you want the NT Intro as part of the New Testament, I would think calling it the NT group would do that, as long as it comes before Matthew.

But I still can’t seem to move my NT Intro even after I select it green, am I maybe not on the right SAB page? Note, I’m speaking of my OTH book currently listed after REV, but I am selecting it green like the INT in this screen capture.

@CraigN or @jeff_heath do you have further tips on moving them up or down?
In SAB on the left side I’m in the Books and Main Collection section, then in the center of the screen I’m on the “Book collection” tab, like in my screen shot. I think I’m in the correct location because it gives me the context menu saying that I can “click one or more books to select them, then drag the selected items up or down.”

Yes, you would then have all of your texts in Paratext, where they could be kept up to date. But the disadvantage then is that you are using XXA, XXB, etc. for non-standard usages.

Each group can have its own title. So I have groups NTIntro and Gospel. Once you create those groups, under Interface > Translations you will see the titles to fill in:

So in my case I put a title before the NT Intro (that group) and one before the gospel books:


I suppose if you just wanted the title before the intro, you could put the intro book into the gospel group, and make the gospel title to be something that makes sense.

I don’t know about you not being able to move the books. You seem to be in the right place. You have to click the book to select it, let go of the mouse button, then click and drag… but I assume you are doing that. Did you try restarting SAB and trying again?

As an extreme last resort, close SAB, open the project .appDef file, and you should be able to reorder the individual books that are in the book collection manually.

  <books id="C01">
    <book-collection-name>Main Collection</book-collection-name>

Be careful when working with the .appDef file, always making a backup copy before making changes because you could render your app unusable!

Hi @jeff_heath, it had been a couple of months, so I installed the latest update of SAB and now I can place my NT Intro just before the book of Matthew. Thanks for the tip.

But now I have a new problem when I’m trying to create a timing file by right clicking on the file in green and selecting “Synchronize using Aeneas” :

I’m not sure what is meant by “No tasks were created” do you think maybe my sync-audio.bat is corrupted? Here is what the file looks like:

@echo off
for /F "tokens=1-4 delims=:.," %%a in ("%STARTTIME%") do (
   set /A "start=(((%%a*60)+1%%b %% 100)*60+1%%c %% 100)*100+1%%d %% 100"

@echo *** Audio-Text Synchronization with aeneas ***

@echo No tasks were created.
@echo This might be because you have not specified any audio files.


I compared this with the .bat file in other projects, and it looks quite different.

I will say that when I originally add the audio file to the list, this automatically created it as chapter 1 of FRT (the Preface), but I knew that I had to associate the MP3 file with the INT file where the SFM has the correct text to create the Phrase files as part of the Aeneas process.

I had the thought that maybe the SFM files are not entered correctly but they are in fact there, and that’s where I was able to place them in the correct order. The Preface and general introduction (FRT, INT) are not part of any Group, but for the NT introduction (OTH), I placed it in the NT Group, so that it will show up first in the New Testament list, directly before Matthew.

Any further tips would be appreciated. I’m getting this same error for the General Introduction (INT) and NT Introduction (OTH) audio files, when I try to create timing files using Aeneas.

@Andy_Weathers Sorry, I’m traveling and won’t have the time to reply to this question. But this seems to be a different topic, so it might be best to post that question in a new thread with a new title?

I didn’t read your post carefully, but it seems like Aeneas is having problems syncing audio with non-Scripture text. I have never actually synchronized non-Scripture text (e.g. intros) with Aeneas before, so maybe this is a good time for me to bow out of the discussion… :slight_smile:

I’ve copied my last post to a new thread, so any replies to this Aeneas issue should be moved there: