Prepare files for building reading apps

The text for your reading app needs to be in one of the following formats:

1. Word document (.docx)

Reading App Builder (RAB) can import text and images from Microsoft Word (.docx) documents. This is the recommended format for text and is likely to be used by most users of RAB.

When Word documents are displayed in the app, basic formatting will be preserved such as character styles (bold, italic, underline), numbered lists, bullet points, hyperlinks and simple tables.

To define separate chapters or pages, insert page breaks using CTRL+Enter.

2. Bloom books (.bloomd)

RAB can create apps with books created with Bloom. It uses an embedded Bloom Player, as used in the Bloom Reader app.

To create a Bloom Reader file for use in RAB:

  1. Open the Bloom book in Bloom.
  2. Select the Publish tab at the top of the Bloom screen.
  3. Select Bloom Reader on the left of the screen.
  4. Select the option Save Bloom Reader File.
  5. Click the Save button.
  6. Save the Bloom book to your computer as a .bloomd file. This is the file that you will need in Reading App Builder.

3. SFM text files

RAB can import text from SFM (standard format marker) files. This is a good option for those who are familiar with Paratext and USFM markers.

In SFM text files, the chapters, section headings and paragraphs are marked by standard format markers such as \c, \s and \p. For more details, please see  

The first marker in the file must be \id XYZ, where XYZ is a code you choose.

SFM book files must be plain text files. If you have Unicode characters, the text files should use UTF-8 encoding.

To create a text file in Windows, use a text editor such as Notepad.

To create a text file on a Mac, use TextEdit, remembering to choose Plain text files in the preferences because otherwise the default file type is RTF (which contains a lot of additional formatting codes).

4. HTML files (.html)

RAB can display HTML files and make use of associated stylesheets (CSS) and images. Audio-text synchronization is not supported yet with this format.

5. EPUB documents (.epub)

There is basic support for displaying the contents of EPUB documents, including images and associated styles. Audio and audio-text synchronization is not supported yet with this format.

Preparing images

Images are imported automatically from Word documents and Bloom books. They need to be specified separately if you use SFM format.

Images should be in JPEG or PNG format. Keep the image size small enough so that they display well on a small screen and will not make the app size too large. If your pictures are in a Word document, you can use the Compress Pictures tool in Word. Otherwise, RAB will allow you to resize the images after you have added them to the app project.

Preparing audio

If you want to include audio files in your app, these need to be in MP3 or 3GP audio format. Normally this should be one audio file per page or chapter. You can also include audio clips which are short audio files that are played when the user taps on a word, phrase or image.

If you have a picture story book, you can have a single audio file for the whole book or one audio file per page.

Keep the audio files at a size where the quality is good enough for a phone and where the file size is not too large.

* Note: The above was taking from Reading App Builder: Building Apps.