Ben Crowder / Blog

Blog: #italian

Book of Mormon parallel edition

Pleased to announce a new project: parallel language editions of the Book of Mormon, available as free PDF downloads. Here’s what they look like:

Thai–English side-by-side edition
Portuguese–Spanish side-by-side edition

We’re starting out with the following editions, but I have more in the works. (Requests welcome!)

  • Dutch–English
  • French–English
  • German–Dutch
  • German–English
  • Italian–English
  • Lao–English
  • Lao–Thai
  • Portuguese–English
  • Portuguese–Spanish
  • Spanish–English
  • Spanish–Italian
  • Thai–English

Implementation/design notes

  • Chrome has a weird Skia bug where text in exported PDFs isn’t searchable/copyable, which was a dealbreaker since these editions are meant to be digital-only.
  • Firefox does handle searching and copying just fine, but (sadly) it isn’t able to break the two-columned text correctly across page breaks. This means every part of a verse has to be on the same page (as opposed to half at the bottom of one and half at the top of the next), with the result that some pages have more whitespace at the bottom than is economical.
  • Firefox also doesn’t respect break-after: avoid, so I had to add page breaks before each chapter heading (which adds even more extra whitespace) (which can be a valid design decision, to be clear, but my original intent was to stream the chapters with no breaks so that the page count wouldn’t balloon). There’s a potential workaround that I’m looking into in the meantime.
  • There are no page numbers, because Firefox and Chrome don’t yet support the CSS paged media rules for that, and Paged.js choked and died on these files.
  • Browsers still aren’t great at paragraph layout, so there are going to be occasional widows and orphans.
  • I originally started on these several years ago using LaTeX, but I ran into issues getting the page layout to work the way I wanted it to. Layout-wise, things were so, so much easier with HTML and CSS.
  • If/when some of these browser issues get fixed (or I find workarounds), I’ll post updated files.

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Book of Mormon study edition 2.0

I’m pleased to announce version 2.0 of my Book of Mormon study edition.

study-edition-eng-bofm-00.jpg

This version now uses the licensed text of the scriptures from the Church, which means I’m finally able to make editions in other languages. To start out, we’ve got French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and of course Spanish.

study-edition-spa-bofm-02.png

To make it easier to create versions of the study edition in other languages, I started over from scratch, using a set of Python scripts to pull the text from the files the Church sent me, then generate a LaTeX document that gets turned into the PDF. It’s a really nice workflow.

study-edition-eng-bofm-01.png

Over the next month or so I’ll be revising several of my other scriptures projects (reader’s edition, Words of the Prophets, etc.) to use the licensed text, with a similar Python-based workflow to make updates easier.

Also, if you’re interested in a study edition in a new language, let me know.


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