Worship for All – Help


For more information or assistance contact Torch Trust by email at info@torchtrust.org or telephone +44 (0)1858 438260.

Our office is open Monday to Thursday from 10am to 4pm.

The PDF download version of this document has ‘screen grabs’ to illustrate the actions required to use the online service.

For a quick start go to the ‘Before you start‘ and ‘How to use the service‘ sections

About Worship for All

A free online automated transcription service from Torch Trust to enable Christian churches and Christian organisations to provide large print and braille resources for people with sight loss.

By registering for the service you will be asked to confirm your eligibility and agree to restrict use to a non-commercial basis. Go to torchtrust.org/register-w4a to sign up.

Worship for All is part of Torch’s Sight Loss Friendly Church initiative which seeks to enable churches to be more inclusive of people with sight loss – see torchtrust.org/sight-loss-friendly-church/ for more information.

About Torch Trust

Founded in 1959, Torch is committed to the inclusion of people with sight loss in every aspect of Christian and church life. Our aim is to enable people with sight loss to discover Christian faith and lead fulfilling Christian lives.

We aim to tackle the social isolation experienced especially by those who live alone, through a network of local support groups, telephone friendship groups and a varied programme of holidays and retreats. We are progressively extending our services to reach those at the earlier stages of the sight loss journey.

Torch also produces Christian resources in a variety of accessible formats including daily devotional Bible notes, magazines and a free lending library.

What difference will it make?

What can be more excluding for a person with sight loss than when everyone else in church is singing but they can’t. With more and more churches using projectors and screens the problem is getting worse. There’s now a vast choice and new songs are quickly adopted.

So, how can blind and partially sighted people participate more fully in worship? This is where Torch’s Worship for All facility fits. Hymns and songs, liturgies and other church handouts can be converted to large print – and made ready for braille.

Asked how it impacts his experience of church, braille reader Colin says, ‘It transforms it – I can join in all the worship. I really feel part of it’.

Becks, thrilled with the results, said, ‘It was great to have the braille and be able to follow the service along with everyone else … It’s lovely to be able to join in with the service rather than just listen … Being able to join in means I feel like I’m taking part in the service rather than just being there.’

What can I include?

The service is suitable for worship songs, Bible readings, church notices, magazines – pretty much any document or text-based projector content, so that church activities are as accessible for people with sight loss as for sighted people.

The service will provide output in PDF format in a range of large print sizes, automatically paginated and indexed, as well as a braille-ready (.brf) file for printing on a braille embosser.

What equipment and software will I need?

Apart from access to the Internet you will need:

For large print – a desk-top printer and a PDF reader, such as Adobe Acrobat (www.adobe.com/uk/products/reader.html), Cute PDF (www.cutepdf.com) or Foxit PDF Reader (www.foxitsoftware.com)

For braille – access to a braille embosser. For more information contact Torch Trust. Embossers cost around £1,800 from new (for examples see www.indexbraille.com/en-us/braille-embossers), but second-hand models are often available.

Access to an embosser may be possible at the offices of a local sight loss society or public library. For more information on our project, in conjunction with Visionary (www.visionary.org.uk), to draw together a listing of such embossers please contact us.

There is another way

When churches make creative use of new technology, people with sight loss can be given the opportunity for much fuller participation.

Robert of Derby explained, ‘I’ve always had a lazy left eye, but my right eye used to be good – with spectacles. In 2009 I had a detached retina in my good eye. Six operations later, all that can be done has been done. In the past, I had to use a large print hymnbook with a magnifier.’

His church, St John’s Mickleover, moved in 2012 to having a digital projector and screen – and for Robert, seeing the screen was impossible. The church had WiFi and Robert had an iPad. He suggested the onscreen material could be sent via WiFi to his iPad. The WiFi provider also donated 20 small tablets (similar to iPads) so that others who were struggling to see the screen could also benefit.

Accessibility guildeines

The following sections on song projection and documents provide useful ‘best practise’ guidance for churches and Christian organisations:

Song projection

Although not the main thrust of this manual, many churches will be making song words available in accessible formats because they have moved to projecting song words rather than using song books. The following is Torch Trust’s standard advice:

  • Avoid text smaller than 24 point – go as large as you can (especially in a large venue).

  • Avoid text over pictures – static or moving (or set the background in the text frame to a dark colour).

  • White or yellow text on dark background works best (dark blue suggested) – maximising contrast is the key – shadowing text can boost the apparent contrast.

  • That can be reversed but most people prefer white/yellow on dark blue – a white or yellow background can cause too much glare and some will perceive flicker.

  • Use a regular simple uncluttered layout – strong and bold.

  • Use sans serif fonts (Arial, Helvetica, Trebuchet) in bold. A slight serif can be even better. Tiresias is good – a font created for partially sighted readers – and it looks good on PowerPoint. Download Tiresias LPfont here.

  • If you are preparing this for just one individual then find out what works best for them, otherwise the suggestions above work well for the majority of people.

Also look at the Churches for All website (www.churchesforall.org.uk) which contains information about including people with a whole range of disabilities.

Document accessibility

The UK Association for Accessible Formats (UKAAF, pronounced “u-caff”) is an industry association with a powerful blend of accessible format industry experience and expertise, and user voices.

UKAAF has developed a number of guidance documents that will be particularly useful for service providers and transcribers of accessible formats. The UKAAF guidance documents are free to download in doc, docx and PDF formats. (ukaaf.org/standards)


Text can be uploaded to Worship for All (using the copy and paste facility) from many word processing programmes such as Microsoft Word (doc or rtf files), OpenOffice (www.openoffice.org) or LibreOffice (www.libreoffice.org). Text from Microsoft PowerPoint presentations can also be exported for upload by using the ‘save as’ function and saving in Outline/rtf format.

A growing range of song projector programmes are supported, enabling text to be exported and uploaded in just a few easy steps. OpenLP (www.openlp.org), SongPro (www.creationsoftware.com) and Media Shout (www.mediashout.com) are all currently supported.

If you use another programme, such as Easy Worship (www.easyworship.com) or ZionworX (www.zionworx.com) then do please contact us for advice.

Singing the Faith

The electronic version of Singing the Faith from the Methodist Church (www.singingthefaithplus.org.uk – and follow the link for the electronic edition) can be used but the text is not styled up so when you paste it into the Worship for All editor you will need to apply the styles described further on in this text.

Common Worship

Visual Liturgy (www.visualliturgylive.net), which includes Common Worship, helps people to plan worship services for the Church of England, the Methodist Church of Great Britain, and The Church of Ireland. It can be used to produce large print from within the program using style sheets that Torch have developed. Please contact us if you would like these. Also a file can be exported that can be processed by Worship for All.

Conferences and events

Over recent years Torch has been road-testing the Worship for All service for producing large print and braille handouts ‘on the spot’ at Christian conferences including Keswick and Spring Harvest.

And it’s operated not by Torch staff but by the event team. Steve Underwood of The Big Image, who provide the audio-visual support to Keswick observed, ‘It was easy to use and worked really well’.

If your conference or event is interested in using Worship for All please contact us about training, provision of equipment and ongoing support.


Access to Worship for All is free, but donations are welcome to enable us to support and develop the service. Donations can be made online at torchtrust.org/donate.

For conferences and events we ask that travel and out of pocket expenses are covered and a charge may be made for the rent of equipment for the duration of the event.

Technical information

For those interested in the more technical details of Worship or All, the service is provided in a HTML web environment with the Latex programme language (www.latex-project.org) providing the engine for the large print and Libloius (http://code.google.com/p/liblouis) being the translator engine for the braille.

For more information contact Paul Wood (Torch’s Head of Technical Services) by email at it+w4a@torchtrust.org

Before you start: Type of document

The type of document and its use will go a long way to helping you to decide how you want the finished product to look. A sample document using the ‘headers and contents’ option is available for download to help you visualise the following. Samples: WorshipForAll-Sample(17pt).pdf and WorshipForAll-Sample(25pt).pdf. Worship for All can provide the following layouts:

  • Plain

  • Plain with contents

  • With headers and contents

  • Book style

So, for example:

A couple of songs (or even a whole order of service) prepared in the order they are to be sung, for example, are unlikely to need any indexing. So, the ‘Plain’ format should suffice. After all, why would you need a front cover?

A church magazine, with all its varying articles, may benefit from a ‘With headers and contents’ or ‘Book style’ format. The latter ensures that a new page is started for each article or chapter tagged as Heading 1. The former (With headers and contents) uses titles tagged as Heading 2 to identify contents, but does not start them on a new page.

The ‘Headers’ are useful for people leafing through a large print or braille document in orienting themselves and finding their chosen article.

The ‘Plain with contents’ is like ‘With Headers and contents’ but with no headers and also the front page is not ‘created’ in the same way. This enables the front page to have more text on it. After Heading 1 with frontmatter, some further text (e.g. paragraph style) can be added followed by a manual page break. This then automatically generates the insertion of the font size at the bottom of the front page. We are beginning to use this for our Torch magazines.

At conferences and events it is common to use the ‘Headers and contents’ option, but with the addition (later in the process) of some ‘frontmatter’. The frontmatter appears on the inside front cover and perhaps has some introductory words of welcome to the event and / or some words about the availability of accessible materials.

Before you start: preparing your source document

This is a key element to ensuring the automated service delivers a correctly formatted finished document.

For many church publications the source file may well be a Microsoft Word document, or exported as text from another software program. The key is to ensure the document is properly structured using appropriate heading levels.

This is important as the heading levels enable the automatic indexing of the document and, in braille, enable the braille reader to more easily locate the item to be read / sung.

If you are not familiar with heading levels we recommend you use the online Microsoft Word help facility (press F1 key) and search for “Creating accessible Word documents” or as at Aug 2013 the link is office.microsoft.com/en-gb/word-help/creating-accessible-word-documents-HA101999993.aspx. In the search result specifically read:

  • Using styles in long documents

  • Ensure all heading styles are in the correct order

  • Avoid using blank cells for formatting

Text in Word documents can be tagged with a heading level either by using the Word toolbar menu or by shortcut keys (e.g. highlight relevant text and then Ctrl+Alt+1 = Heading 1)

If you’re struggling to get to grips with this, don’t worry. We are only a phone call away!

How to use the service

  • Go to the Torch Trust website www.torchtrust.org/w4a

  • Sign up for the service using the ‘Don’t have an account?’ option

  • Complete the relevant fields – and then click on Register

  • Check your emails and click on the activation link

  • Log into your account

Upload your text

If using OpenLP, Media Shout or SongPro click on the relevant menu item at the top to upload the text. For more information see the Appendix.

If you have a Word document ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ the text directly into the body of the form.

[Note – Remove Formatting – This icon is the first on the second row of the toolbar. Use this to clean up html text copied from Bible Gateway www.biblegateway.com or other Websites. It might be easier to use the Plain Text paste which is the icon of a clipboard with a T and format the text from there.

[Note – we suggest not to use the Paste from Word icon on the Edit your document toolbar as this can interfere with the formatting]

[Use Ctrl-A to highlight all the text in your Word document, Ctrl-C to ‘copy’, and then Ctrl-V to ‘paste’. When copying from Word in this way, headings and styles are automatically preserved.]

Editing your text

If the source document has been properly structured there will be minimal need for further editing. However, there are a couple of things you will need to do if you want to have a contents page.

[Note – to enlarge the edit screen click the small triangle in the bottom right of the box.]

Notice the two drop-down boxes. The right hand one is for the type of text (e.g. heading levels) and the left hand one is for the style or formatting of the text (e.g. New stanza for song verses, Attribution for author and copyright information)

Here is a summary:

Heading 1 is for the main title and only appears at the very beginning (unless you go for ‘Book Style’ or ‘plain with Contents’ – see earlier comments – in which case each chapter / article will be tagged as Heading 1)

[Note – If you want to have a title page followed by a contents page then you should use Heading 1 with frontmatter style for the title page and Heading 1 with bodymatter style for the Heading that will follow the Contents.]

If you want to suppress the page number for the front page of ‘plain’ style or ‘plain with Contents’ style then style the first h1 as ‘Frontmatter’. You can add a page break to force a page, thus created a more appealing front cover.

Heading 2 can be used for each different section in your document. Headings 3 and 4 can be sub-sections within Heading 2.

All other text should be one of the styles on the drop down menu. If the system doesn’t recognise the style used then it will default to a normal paragraph.

It is essential that the Heading levels are followed in sequence – you can’t jump forwards from Heading 2 to Heading 4, for example. The shortcut keys for the heading styles within the web editor are Ctrl+1 for Heading 1, Ctrl+2 for Heading 2, etc.

[Note -for songs please make sure that each line of a verse or chorus is a new line and not a new paragraph. Paragraph markers should only be used to show the break between stanzas – verses / choruses. To enter a new line use Shift + Enter]

[Note – for songs you can use the paragraph style, but we recommend the New Stanza style. It indents the text, making the song title headings easier to locate and, for braille readers, it ensures the text flows across the whole sheet. Also italicise any chorus]

Submit your text for transcription

Once you are happy with how you have assigned the headings and other text, click on the SUBMIT button.

After a minute or less the next menu appears – giving you the choice to Create Large Print or to Create braille. For many users the Large Print option will be most frequently used.

Configure your large print document

You now have various options:

Font Size – Choose the font size best suited to your readers – you can choose from 12, 14, 17, 20, 25, 30, 36 and 48 point. Above 30 point the text does become less user-friendly on A4 paper.

Font type – For the UK we recommend leaving the font as Tiresias LPFont as this has been specially designed for people with sight loss. It doesn’t matter that you may not have this font on your PC as the finished document will be delivered to you as a PDF, thereby retaining the format of the font.

Page style – You can choose from Plain, Plain with contents, With headers and contents and Book Style. Which one you use depends on the complexity of your document. See earlier comments on this subject. Why not play around and see which option best suits your documents.

Contents settings – This gives you more flexibility in setting what appears on a contents page. Heading 1 (bodymatter) and Heading 2, or just Heading 2

Torch logo – This is optional and most often used by Torch Trust for producing its own documents.

Alignment and Paper size – These options should be self-explanatory

Click on SUBMIT.

Open your large print document

Click on Open PDF file in another window – and save locally for printing out as required.

For producing other large print sizes, click on Create Large Print and follow the above process.

You’re all done! Congratulations!

[Note – before printing scroll through the document to see if all the headings are right and everything looks good. If there are sections missing this normally indicates that a heading level has been skipped.]

If there are some corrections to make or formatting that could be improved, close the PDF window and click on Edit text again.

Once you’ve done that to your satisfaction, click on SUBMIT.

Typical changes include inserting page breaks – by using the icons on the Edit your document toolbar.

It is advisable to keep the master file which is a file in DAISY’s dtbook (XML) format. Right click on the ‘Open dtbook file’ link and ‘save Link As…’ or similar depending on your browser. This can be used with the ‘upload dtbook file’ menu at the top of the web editor. In the event of not being able to resolve a problem the dtboook file will be useful for Torch, especially in looking to make further enhancements to the service.

[Note – DAISY stands for Digital Accessible Information SYstem and is an industry standard document structure format used by organisations preparing accessible text and audio for visually impaired people. (www.daisy.org)]

Configure your braille document

The Worship for All service will prepare a braille-ready file for embossing. There are two types of braille – Uncontracted and Contracted. People usually start learning braille using the Uncontracted form. However, as they become more competent they progress to the Contracted from which is a shorthand version and so is less bulky. You can think of it like the abbreviations used in SMS text messaging, but standardised and more complex.

Churches with their own braille embossers are invited to contact Torch for more information on these settings. When the text has been submitted some braille choices appear on the menu.

Click on Create Braille

The braille configuration settings you will normally need to change are the line length and page length. These are dependant on the size of the paper the embosser uses. The rest can largely be left as they are, but you can choose options for braille page numbers, headerlines and braille contents

Click on SUBMIT

Right mouse click the Open brf Braille ready File) option and save the file locally for use on your own embosser (where applicable) or click on it for a quick preview.

Some churches are using braille embossing facilities available at their local library and Torch is happy to talk to them on your behalf to check their machine settings are compatible.

Also ensure you right click the Open dtbook file option and save the file locally. If there are problems with the braille this can help Torch diagnose the problem.


Preparing a Service in Open LP

Download and install programme

The programme is available free from www.openlp.org

Run OpenLP.

The OpenLP logo appears on the screen and sometimes it feels like it’s not going to do anything, but eventually the program starts.

Populate the song database

The programme comes with a limited number of Public Domain hymns. Go to File, Import, Song to access the Song Import Wizard. This lists various sources from which songs can be imported.

For churches with a CCLI licence (www.ccli.co.uk) the addition of the SongSelect module gives access to the complete database of lyrics.

Songs can easily be exported from SongSelect using the Download option and choosing text file[usr]. Save the individual song files locally.

Using OpenLP’s Song Import Wizard choose the CCLI / Song Select option and follow the on-screen instructions.

Select the songs you want for this event.

Under the Media Manager, start typing in the title of the song in the search field. As soon as it detects a space it will narrow the list of songs below the search field. The musical notes at the start of the search field indicate that the search will be in the whole of the song. To select just the title or author click on the dropdown next to the musical notes.

Preview or add to Service.

To Preview a song to see the structure etc. either right click and select preview or select the song and press enter.

To add a song to the Service Manager press + or right click and select Service. If the song is already in the Preview panel then you can use the + symbol.

Save Service

After you have compiled a service use the floppy disk icon below the Service Manager to save the service.

Copy Service to Clipboard

To transfer the songs of the Service for use by Worship for All then:

  • Click on the File menu and ‘Print Service’ or use Ctrl + P.

  • If the words of the songs don’t appear then click on Options and tick ‘Include slide text if available’

  • Click on ‘Copy as HTML’

Now follow the instructions in the main Worship for All manual from the Upload your text heading.

Preparing a service in MediaShout

A 30-day free trial of MediaShout is available from www.mediashout.com

[Note – at present MediaShout only facilitates an export of songs in alphabetical order, not in playlist order]

Run MediaShout and Export Song File

Choose songs as you would normally

Click on the down arrow to the right of the box under the tab choices (Elements, Songs, Bibles, Text, Files).

Click Export Songs

Choose Song Text File

Click Next

Browse for Destination file and choose file name

Click Save

Click Next

Choose Export Selected Songs

Click Select button on right of box

Select songs from list displayed – you may need to hold down control button on keyboard for multiple selection

Click on OK
[Note – you are returned to the Export to Text File box]

Click on Export
[Note – suggest at this point the list of songs IDs is compared with the list made earlier]

Click on Close

Although the saved text file has a lot of additional information this will be ‘stripped out’ when it is imported into the Torch online system.

Use this file when you select the ‘upload MediaShout’ menu option.

Preparing a service in SongPro

Run SongPro and Export Song File

Choose songs as you would normally

Select the File menu

Click on Export

Then click on Yes to continue

A save dialog box will appear for you to save the file on your local PC. Use this file when you select the ‘upload SongPro’ menu option.

Copyright information

Torch Trust for the Blind © 2022

Worship for All – Manual Issue 2.622

Updated: June 2022

Extra notes to be incorporated in new instructions

Non-breaking spaces: these are used between numbers so the correct braille can be produced and there is the possibility of using them within headings as the truncation point.

Contact information

Torch Trust for the Blind
Torch House
Torch Way
Market Harborough
LE16 9HL
United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)1858 438260
email: info@torchtrust.org

The Torch Trust for the Blind. A charity registered in England and Wales no. 1095904.