Using Custom Import Formatting

Using Custom Import Formatting in BeST



One of the lesser used features within BeST (in at least my feel for the users) is the user defined formatting available.  You can import a full bible or commentary without ever thinking about or using the ‘User Formatting’.

This section is going to show you how to do some customization during importing of modules.  This applies to most imports, regardless of the source (text file, Excel file, Internet .html, .XML, etc.) or the destination (bible, commentary, devotion, etc.)

What it does

When BeST imports text it almost always needs to do some text conversion.  (The only exception is if you import it and set the ‘Format Conversion’ setting to ‘Raw’.)  Certain HTML codes in the source files appear to be converted directly to their equivalent Rich Text Format used by e-Sword.  (If you don’t understand what ‘Rich Text Format’ means, don’t worry about it.  In the end it really only means “how it eventually looks in e-Sword.”)

For example, the following lines were imported by BeST from a .csv file:

<b>This uses the html bold</b> and this does not
<i>This uses the html italic</i> and this does not
<title>This uses the title characteristic</title> and this does not
<h1>This uses the html header 1</h1> and this does not

The result is:

Standard import with default settings


What BeST actually does, however, is to do a look up against how you’ve set your "Text Formatting" settings and applies that.  The reason it looks like a one-to-one relation is that by default, that is how they are set.

The same import file (above) was loaded with a few changes in the ‘Text Formatting’ tab, and this is what resulted:

Import with some settings changed


How to do it

Just before you click the ‘Begin’ button on your import, you are presented with the following screen.


Text Formatting button location


The ‘Text Formatting’ button (circled above) , when clicked, takes you to the following screen.


Text Formatting screen


The “Type of Element” list contains the customizable elements that BeST can detect and format for you.

Element Name Description
Apocrypha The text of verses that BeST recognizes as “Apocrypha”
Bold Text that is surrounded by the HTML <b> and </b> bold tags.
Divine Name Text that is surrounded by the custom <DivineName> and </DivineName> codes.
Footnote Reference in commentary When importing from an Internet bible .html file, or when importing certain .XML files, footnote references to commentaries are included in the text.  In addition, when importing a column type file (such as Excel, OpenDocument Spreadsheet, or Comma Separated) you can choose one column to be designated as “Reference Number”
  How to set the Commentary Reference Number
This column’s value is displayed at the beginning of the commentary text and is formatted according to this setting.
Footnote Reference in text This is only used when importing a bible and commentary at the same time through the OSIS .XML or from a locally stored Internet bible.  This is the corresponding reference to that created in the commentary.
Header Level 1, 2 and 3 Text surrounded by HTML <h1> </h1>, <h2> </h2>, <h3> </h3> are formatted according to this setting.


When importing a locally stored internet bible, you have the option of reading an ‘information’ page from the hosting website by clicking the “Get Comments from the Internet” button.  If the information obtained from the internet contains these header codes, they are also formatted as above.
Italic Text surrounded by the HTML <i> and </i> italic codes.
Strong’s References Text surrounded by custom <strongs> and </strongs> codes.  Some bibles imported from local html pages will have Strong’s numbers in them and they will be formatted according to this setting.
Subscript Text surrounded by the HTML <sub> and </sub> subscript codes.
Superscript Text surrounded by the HTML <sup> and </sup> superscript codes.
Titles Text surrounded by the custom <title> and </title> codes.  Some bibles imported from local html pages will have titles identified in various ways and they will be formatted according to this setting.
Tool Tip Link When BeST tool tips bible references in commentaries, devotions, etc. it uses this setting.
Underlining Text surrounded by the HTML <u> and </u> underline codes.
Words Of… Verses that are identified as belonging to an individual (on the “Words of Definitions” tab) use this setting.  This topic will not be covered in this document.




To use this form, click on a "Type of Element" on the left hand side and click on the attributes you want that element to use.

Font Color

The font color list is directly related to the available font colors in e-Sword.  Click on the color you want your text to use.

Line Breaks

The "Line break before" and "Line break after" inserts a line break before and/or after the text identified in the "Type of Element."  It is important to set both of these if you are planning on using the 'Center' option.


The text is bolded.


The text is italicized.


The text is included in the module, but is not displayed by e-Sword.  When a module is converted to a Pocket e-Sword module, all 'Hidden' text is removed to conserve space.


The text is centered on the line.  To ensure that it is properly displayed, it is suggested that a line break be added before and after (set the Line Breaks also for the "Type of Element"

Font Size

Using the Font Size is not generally recommended, since it removes the ability of users to set their own font size within e-Sword.  If you wish to do so, you can force your text to be one of the identified sizes.

Vertical Position

Where the text is placed vertically on the line.  The choices are: Normal, Superscript, and Subscript.


The various underlining styles supported by the Rich Text Format specification are listed here.  They may or may not be completely supported by e-Sword.