Yes, just be clear in my last message when I pointed to here in reference to the *XHTML filters:

I specifically referencing:


These are the output filters to XHTML from our currently supported module markups: GBF, OSIS, TEI, and ThML.

I suggested XHTML because these are the most complete filters. They are the most used output filters.  My hope for markdown is that you won't need to understand everything they do, but you could simply find each XHTML tag and replace that with appropriate markdown.

In SWORD, as you've all discussed a bit, Storage Format is the way we break up a module into entries (verse, dictionary entries, etc.) and store it on disk. Markup is very different and is the rich tags within the module data which represent semantic data for words, paragraphs, quotes, etc.

Both of these are specified within the .conf file for the module.  We support various storage formats and various markups. The engine is suppose to handle all this for the user interface programmer.  They should simply be able to say, e.g., "Hey I want XHML output." and then instantiate a library factory (SWMgr) and ask for a module (Bible, dictionary, commentary, whatever), then position it, and then ask for the "RenderText" which should then give them XHTML output, regardless of the module's storage format or the markup within that module.

Hope this helps,


On 12/16/23 02:19, Peter von Kaehne wrote:
I have written a set of markdown filters which I never committed as it was 
incomplete and I never finished it.

I can look and see if I can find them.

One aspect is that our “plain” output actually contains a bit of markdown and 
is not _really_ plain. It would be good to fix that in the same go.

Also I think I found while leaning on the xhtml filters for inspiration was 
good, there were better, simpler starting points. The latex filters I think I 
built mainly on top of the rtf output.

I am not a programmer, i just copy and play with until things do as I want.


Sent from my phone. Please forgive misspellings and weird “corrections”

On 16 Dec 2023, at 06:43, Timothy Allen <> wrote:

The SWORD project's command-line tool, diatheke, mentions the following in its 
command-line help:

Valid output_format values are: CGI, GBF, HTML, HTMLHREF, LaTeX, OSIS, RTF,
   ThML, WEBIF, XHTML, plain, and internal (def)
The option LaTeX will produce a compilable document, but may well require
   tweaking to be usable.
"HTML" produces a reasonable HTML document, and if you ask for footnotes to be 
included you'll get the footnote *markers* without the footnote *content*.

"CGI" produces something similar, but only the closing BODY and HTML tags, so 
you can have a CGI script that prints out a pretty header and lets the SWORD output close 
it off.

"HTMLHREF" produces the same document, but if you ask for footnotes, they are 
turned into links whose URLs match CrossWire's online Bible study tool,

"XHTML" is like HTMLHREF but includes some static CSS and XML-style 
self-closing tags.

For conversion to Markdown, I'd recommend getting the HTML version, as it's the 
simplest and the closest to the document module Markdown uses.


On 16/12/23 15:12, Aaron Rainbolt wrote:
I think I'm beginning to understand - there is no one internal markup
format, but rather there's the binary format, and then the SWORD
engine converts that (sorta) into something very similar to the
original markup language. Is that about right? I think the markup
format I'm seeing then is a subset of OSIS, and probably other modules
will have a different syntax. Which would explain why the best way to
do this is via filters since I'll need to handle three or so different
markup formats depending on what each module uses.

In that instance, I guess my question becomes, what markup formats
does SWORD support emitting a subset of? OSIS is clearly one, and it
sounds like ThML is another. Is there a list of these so I can write
the needed Markdown filter for each one?

I may attempt to get the Markdown filter collection (if I manage to
write it) contributed back to SWORD if that's something the devs are
interested in. I'm not used to normal C++, but I can work my way
through Qt C++ with little difficulty, so I should hopefully be able
to adapt to Qt-less C++ without too many issues.

Thanks for your help!

On Fri, Dec 15, 2023 at 9:45 PM Troy A. Griffitts <> wrote:
Hi Aaron,

The SWORD engine tries to preserve the best it can the markup from an imported 
text for few supported markup formats. The markup used by a SWORD module is 
specified in its .conf file. Most new SWORD modules from our Modules Team are 
in OSIS markup. If you want to add markdown as a new output format for SWORD, 
that would be great. To do this, you would want to follow the pattern you see 
for one of out existing output formats. I would suggest XHTML. E.g., copy the 3 
or so *XHTML filters you see here and modify the output from XHTML to markdown.

Hope this gets you started. Let me know if you have questions,


On December 15, 2023 20:26:22 MST, Aaron Rainbolt <> wrote:
I didn't mean the actual compiled files - I meant the kind of markup you end up with if you use swModule->getRawEntry(). 
It's the same kind of markup you see if you use mod2imp on a module. So far the modules I've used this on seem to have some 
sort of pattern to them (there's <w> tags with "lemma" and "morph" attributes for Strong's numbers 
and morphology, <q> tags for... something, looks like it's part of how red-letter Bibles work because of the 
"who" attribute, and things like that). I assume it's this markup that is parsed by the existing filters, and that 
I would need to parse were I to write my own filter.

My text renderer does indeed support HTML, but it's ability to output Markdown is sorely 
lacking (I *can* tell it to give me whatever's in my text editor widget in Markdown 
format, but it loses information that Markdown is perfectly capable of containing). I 
need to be able to convert between Markdown and rich text both ways. On top of all of 
that I'm trying to support a particular flavor of Markdown that isn't normal (the variant 
Reddit uses in particular), so I have to do the parsing myself to implement things like 
superscripts and strikethroughs. Implementing a filter sounds like a good idea, but I 
think I'll have to parse this "internal markup format" to do so.

On 12/15/23 21:12, Greg Hellings wrote:

The actual files are a custom binary format which is not documented and is not 
intended to be any sort of standard accessed by anything other than the library 

Most newer works are imported from an OSIS file. Some older ones were imported 
from GBF (I think?) or ThML (which is basically some basic HTML display 
components mixed with a few tags for identifying things like words of Christ or 
divine names). However, once they are imported as modules some of that 
structure is lost to the proprietary binary format of the SWORD module files.

If you want the text in Markdown the best way is to create a filter like the 
existing filters in the engine which can be used to generate HTML, LaTeX, etc 
and write some which produce Markdown output.

Although, since Markdown is basically simplified HTML that is specifically 
intended to make HTML easier to write, why wouldn't you just render out HTML 
from the existing filters and drop that into your Markdown editor? Every md 
editor and renderer I've used will pass HTML through unchanged, allowing the 
author to use its full syntax when they wanted to.

On Fri, Dec 15, 2023, 21:04 Aaron Rainbolt <> wrote:
I had an idea of making a primarily Markdown-centric SWORD frontend
that would help with writing Bible studies and whatnot for
Markdown-based platforms like Reddit or Obsidian notes. For this
purpose, I want to parse the internal markup used by SWORD in its
modules, and then use my own custom code to generate Markdown from

Obviously I can learn a lot about this markup by simply looking at
modules that use it, but I do wonder, is this markup at all
standardized? Is it documented anywhere? Does it have a name of some
sort that I can use to find handlers and tools for it in the SWORD API

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