Songs of Fellowship Import problem

Hi there


I posted recently about trying to move my church from EW to OpenLP and the problem of creating a good database.

Just today I got all of the SoF CDs from our church and tried to import them to Open LP.

The import SoF appears to work OK but what I end up with is a single song with several hundred verses. I tried saving from the rft to a flat txt file and inporting it using the "generic document" option but the same thing happens.

Any idea if  I'm doing something obvious and wrong? Can't see any other import options to try.


Any help gratefully received.


Alan Boyd

Hi Alan,

The "Songs of Fellowship" format import relies on the supplied RTF files being in their original format, unchanged. So exactly as they are on the CD. I've just tried this on Windows with OpenLP 1.9.9 using Libreoffice 3.3, and it imported fine. (Using sof3words.rtf from book 3).

Which operating system/version/Open|Libreoffice version are you running? Do any of the sof rtf files work? 

Hi Alan,

Can you select one of the songs with "several hundred verses" and click edit. If it still has hundreds of verses in the song  edit dialouge then it is a problem with the importer. If as I suspect, the song has the correct number of verses in the song edit dialog box, then the problem is to do with the main screen size, or the font size in the defult theme.



Hi there

Just to respond to your suggestions. I am trying to use the SoF5words.rtf from the newest book and when the import finishes I search for the first song (2201 - I think it is). If I open it in the editor I see then see over 200 verses!

I'm running OpenLP on Win 7 Home Premium with both Office 2010 and the latest LibreOffice installed (in case any of that is pertinent).

Word is set as the default programme for opening rtf's but I changed the association and tried it with LibreOffice as the associated programme and the result was the same.

I'm in work at the minute but will go back to and try disk3 when I get home in case there is some subtle difference in the rtf format between the newer and older versions. Failing that, I'll try and follow your other suggestions and update you on progress later.

Thanks for the support!


Hi Alan,

Which version of OpenLP are you running? Kingsway did change the file format and I had to make a change for the SoF5 words to work, and I think that made it into 1.9.8 which was the Christmas release. I don't have that file to hand at the moment to check it still works.

Note, OpenLP always uses Libreoffice to import the file, regardless of the Windows file association.

I'm running 1.9.9 so that shouldn't be an issue.


I have had a thought though that I may have pulled in a lot of old and poorly formated "crud" from my initial import of our EW database - which definitely had a mess of Source and Songs of Felowship material in it too.


Just to be sure - Is there an easy way to select and do a mass delete of songs? I could clean out everything except my own Salvation Army songs - (815 manually editted about 150 more to go...) and then try a clean import from sof to confirm if the problem still remains.


Thanks - Alan

Haven't got back to my SoF problem yet as I've just finished manual editting of all current Salvation Army hymnbooks into OpenLP.  (That's the current UK Songbook (962 songs) , Chorus Section to the Songbook (251 choruses), Happiness and Harmony book (75 songs) and  New Christmas Praise (115 Songs). Any Salvo's wanting a copy should PM me).


A friend in another church (who I have been encouraging to try Open LP) has "gifted" me a set of 1700 html files for all of the songs in the "Source" books.  Any ideas how I can import these? There doesn't seem to be a vanilla "html" import filter and none of the .xml options work.


I'll upload 1-2 of them for you to see the exact format if that would be helpful.


Best wishes to all of you involved in the coding. May God bless each of you as your work blesses and enhances our worship around the world.


Keep up all of your efforts. Open LP is already better than many commercial offerings and I can't wait to see where you take it after 2.0 (But you are allowed a couple of weeks off first, naturally!)


Alan Boyd

Hi Alan,

If you could zip all the songs and email it to support (at) somebody may have time to convert them for you.


Many Thanks - I'll do that when I'm at home tonight.


re my original problem - I can confirm that starting from a new empty database, I can import SoF(X)words.rtf for volumes 1-3 perfectly. My SoF4 and 5 files file though are giving me grief! SoF4 opens perfectly in MS Word (in 4-5 seconds too) but continually crashes LibreOffice Writer (very slow moving progress bar gets to approx 30% (after 2 mins) then crashes). SoF5 (straight off a brand new CD) won't open in either Word or Writer and is suspiciously small (reports as 55kb) - pretty sure its a dodgy CD on that one!   Anyone else have any issues with these new books though?


And if I can have your indulgence for one final, final question - SoF imports so far all have Song Title - "Kings of Kings" etc... Alt Title: "234" (its song number). Ideally I would want to add a prefix "SOF " in front of the number in the "Alt Title" field and then do a universal swap of "Titles" and "Alt Titles".

Is this something that I can do for myself with the right sqlite tools? - and if so- what tools / preparatory reading do you suggest for a database novice like myself? 


I'm happy to spend some time reading up and "having a go" - you guys are busy enough without overly-demanding "idiots" like myself but I absolutely don't want to mess up an otherwise working database that I then - in my ignorance - start using to prepare a Sunday Service..... (cue Sunday morning egg on face :< )


Thanks once again for all the support - you've already been ten times more responsive than staffers and members on the EW forums - and EW are supposed to be supporting paying customers.....

Hi Alan

If you want to test with a blank database (to try the import again), just rename the existing songs database from songs.sqlite to and start OpenLP and it will create a new blank database.

After you've finished testing (if it didn't do anything different), close down OpenLP and delete the songs.sqlite database and rename back to songs.sqlite.

In Windows the songs database is in C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\openlp\data\songs



Things are getting curiouser and curiouser. I'm now beginning to think that Kingsaway are deliberately playing games to make life awkward for anyone trying to read their data into a database.

Using the CDs from the newest published versions of SoF (we bought a complete new set for our pianist), SoF1-3 import into Open LP with no issues for me. The SoF4 and SoF5 rtf files open quickly in MS Word 2010 but depsite each having 510 songs Sof4 is reporting 511 pages and SoF5 is reporting 517 pages and the discrepancy seems to come from extra and inconsistent white lines after each song.

These gradually push successive songs further and further down the page until you get one wrapping onto a second page and picking up some of the next song too. This then seems to throw off the OpenLP Import filter so you get partial songs or "songs" containiing verses from both successive actual songs.


LibreOffice (running latest 3.5.3) isn't able to reliably open either file but has just opened Sof4 (after literally 18 minutes loading) and  is reporting that the doc has 550 pages. - And now (perversely after not loading all day) SoF5 has just opened (after 45 seconds) reporting the same 517 pages as MS Word.


This is driving me nuts! I can upload my rtf files if anyone wants to see if they can duplicate the problem. Failing that I am going to try putting in hard page breaks after each song, resaving the rtfs and then importing the new versions. (Unless someone who has successfully imported these two books wants to take pity on me and export their versions in OpenLP2 format and PM me??) 

I'm not trying to circumvent any copyright here. I can produce a photocopy of the receipt for the SoF books if that reassures anyone. I just want to get a working and correct set of lyrics loaded here and am becoming convinced that someone in the publishers has decided to be deliberately obstructive.


Pppffffff.... That's me - Work beckons and I need some sleep.


Good night and God Bless to all on the coding team at Open LP and all users everywhere....


Hi Alan,

You could contact me at gmail as I am ready to help you with this.


Please email me a copy of :

UK Songbook (962 songs) , Chorus Section to the Songbook (251 choruses), Happiness and Harmony book (75 songs) and  New Christmas Praise (115 Songs)


Please email them to:


I would be very greatful.






Judging by the email address I'm confident that no breach of copyright is involved here - LOL

I'm at work now but will do this later tonight.  Hope you find them useful. Through editting the database directly I have the SA stuff loading into the song search window as ;


SACS YY - SA Chorus Section YY

SAHH ZZ - SA Happiness and Harmony ZZ

SACP QQ  - SA Christmas Praise QQ etc

You can, as always, search by keyword or phrase but this works well with the way our Officers deliver their meeting plans.

It was painful - and not every song has been meticulously quality checked as yet - but all the UK stuff is there. If you want the additional US Songbook material then you'll need to key those in for yourself!

Best Wishes