Review of Paratext by cricepng

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I started using Paratext 9 in February 2019 when it was still in its beta stage. I immediately preferred it over Paratext 8 and couldn't wait until it was out of beta so the Finongan (Papua New Guinea) team could all make the upgrade. Note that the Finongan team using Paratext is comprised of two young men who have been educated through the 10th grade and have no prior computer experience than what they received when working on the Finongan translation team.

I spent two weeks with them in late October to early November 2019 walking them through the upgrade. They were thrilled to have access to many of the new features. Some of their favorites:

  • Enhanced resources - Being able to see at a glance when a Biblical term may be missing or inappropriately translated will more easily result in a better and consistent translation. Having ready access to illustrations and encyclopedic information can yield a better understanding of the term being translated resulting in the end translation more accurately reflecting what is in the source text.
  • Screen management - Having the ability to have resources and projects tabbed on a pane or hidden in the autohide bar means they can have more things readily available without filling the screen so it is cluttered and impossible to find stuff.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle so far for them has been the new menu system. They default to looking at the main Paratext menu for things that are in a given resource or project's specific menu. At the end of our second week together, they were obviously well on their way to being more at ease navigating the menu system.

The one feature they wish Paratext 9 had (which Paratext 8 also doesn't have) is a better ability for Paratext to find the data folder on a USB drive that has been used with a tablet running Paratext Lite. This would ideally be a fourth Send / Receive choice alongside Internet, USB and Network.