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Improved Copy/Paste Formatting


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#1 Ed Cross

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 06:14 AM

I am a proud owner of Library 6 Premiere Level that I am really not using a whole lot because of the limited formatting options available in the copy/paste area. I have had to stay with Online Bible's beta version for this functionality, but I would much rather be using my Accordance so that I can become more familiar with how it works. Unfortunately, much of what I do requires the copy/paste function, so it keeps me in Online Bible rather than Accordance.

I know we discussed this before and there was mention of adding more format options to version 7. Is that still a reality and how close are we getting to the next release?

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#2 Helen Brown

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 07:10 AM

This feature is still on the list of future upgrades, but it is unlikely to make the first release of 7, sorry! We will get to it as soon as we can. It may not be exactly what you are expecting, either.

I do have a suggestion for a workaround:

Save a Search or Text window with panes for each Bible you normally copy from, each one in each of the formats that you want to use for your paste. Then you can simply go to the verse in that window, select the format you want, and copy it directly into Word.
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#3 Ed Cross

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 11:45 AM

John 11:4-10 “4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. 7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. 8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? 9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.”

Actually, this is what I am looking for and I don't think your workaround will get it. It is sad this is such a hard thing to be able to do, but I am able to do it with a number of free windows programs and with Online Bible for the Mac. I am deeply sadden that it may not even make the version 7 initial release. I guess I will have to continue using Online Bible, I was hoping to be able to start using my Accordance. Yes, I know I could start using it's other features, but I don't want to invest the time learning the interface if it isn't going to be able to do what I need most.

#4 Brent Lawrence

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 12:22 PM

Ed,
It appears that using the KJV (which I believe is the version you quoted) yield the closest results to the format you are looking for in Accordance. All I had to do was add the -10 at the end of the John 11:4 and then the rest of the passage was exactly as you had it in your prior post. All I did was change the Text Display preferences under the heading "Content" where the "Show As" popup menu gives the option to display the text as a paragraph. When I chose that option for the KJV, I found that I got a passage formatted in similar fashion John 11:4[-10 added by me] and then the verses in paragraph style with the simple verse numbers in front of them. I then just chose Select All from the Edit menu and then Copy.

This may not be exactly as you desire, but I think it's pretty close. Other translations yielded different results because of the differences in paragraphing.

#5 Ed Cross

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 07:29 PM

Brent,

Thanks for trying, but this only works if I know the exact passage that I am looking for or open a search window with the exact passage. Other programs simply allow me to highlight the verses I want and automatically copy to the clip board with the right formatting.

This workaround definitely emphasizes the WORK in workaround.

#6 Brent Lawrence

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 10:37 PM

Ed,
It is a workaround to be sure. In the short amount of time I've been working with Accordance (I'm no power user), I have come to appreciate how up front the folks at Oak Tree are about features being worked on, or put on the back burner, or they simply say that certain features are in the works, but not for immedieate release. After having dealt with a couple other Bible software companies, I can say that with the folks at Oak Tree at least let you know where things stand.

I would love to see a "Copy Formatted" feature put into version 7 (maybe as a Right Click/Ctrl Click menu option) with some ability to customize how the reference will be copied. That having been said, I encourage you to stick with Accordance and really give it a chance. Setting aside features you want to see, I think you'll find it's an excellent program. I only wish I had found it sooner than I did.

#7 David Martyn

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 10:40 PM

Ed, I don't quite understand the problem. I can highlight a passage use the 'copy as citation' and paste into Word with no problem.
---
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#8 Ed Cross

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 05:12 AM

“And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.”
(Gen 1:6-9 KJV)

David,

If you compare the above with what I posted earlier you will see the problem. Copy As Citation does not include verse numbering and you can't control where the reference is placed - it is always at the end. Copy As Citation would work if there were some settings in preferences that allowed you to specify include verse numbers, where to place the reference and an include version with the reference.

I use this mostly with the search feature when looking for phrases or words. I can set the search screen to show the context by number of verses before and after, but if I don't want all the verses before and after the only work around is to do a specific search for the exact reference. Way to much work considering I can do this with other programs by highlighting and right clicking copy.

I brought this issue up with David Lang shortly after I purchased the program (about 11 months ago), I was hoping to see something to address this issue within a years time. I had contacted him in November also in follow up prior to upgrading to the Premiere Level because I didn't want to invest more money into a program that was simply going to occupy harddrive space. He responded,

We're working hard on version 7, and expect to release it this Spring. Our plan with respect to Copy/Paste formatting is to enable users to customize the format used when the Copy as Citation command is invoked. When you first sent me the screenshots, I discussed them with our programmer, and hopefully, we'll support most of those formatting options.

This is why I was checking to see when the new version would be coming. I understand that you can't always achieve programming expectations, just sad to think that I am still have to use Online Bible for my main use.

#9 Ken Thompson

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 06:44 PM

Ed,
I must admit that I am as dissappointed as you to think that Version 7 initial release will not have the improved copy/paste formatting issue resolved. This is a big weakness in an otherwise stellar program.

Ken

#10 Helen Brown

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 10:01 PM

I am still at a loss to understand why it is so difficult to set up either a Search window or a text window and save and reuse it. In one pane you have the text as you like to read it or search it on screeen. In the other you format the same text the way you want to export it, for example in Paragraphs rather than verses, at the font size you want, etc.

Then, as you see a passage in the one pane that you want to copy, you simply highlight it in the parallel pane, copy and paste it.

4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. 7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. 8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? 9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

To get exactly what Ed wants you only need to add the references at the beginning, and quote marks beginning and end.

We do plan to implement some more options for how text is copied. Some people use larger font sizes on screen than they want in print. We will do our best, but it seems that we will never satisfy everyone.

Those who choose not to use Accordance at all because they have to do a little more work when pasting text, are giving up many great features for the sake of this minor convenience. My father used to talk about people "not being able to see the forest for the trees." Or is this "throwing out the baby with the bathwater?"
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#11 Ed Cross

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 09:38 AM

To get exactly what Ed wants you only need to add the references at the beginning, and quote marks beginning and end.

When you are writing materials and preparing sermons manually typing in references and quote marks for a single quote would not amount to much, but when you consider the entirety of the work it adds up to a lot. Especially, when one considers that the majority of freeware windows programs, as well as those for sale, already provide this basic function. Considering that the vast majority of the Bible programs on the market have this capability, why would the Accordance team not consider this standard function? Most people moving to Accordance would already be expecting this capability.

We do plan to implement some more options for how text is copied. Some people use larger font sizes on screen than they want in print. We will do our best, but it seems that we will never satisfy everyone.



This speaks to the very issue, most Bible programs that I have used do not use the on screen font in their copy/paste mechanism. Why would you want to use an on screen font that is typically set larger for easier viewing to insert into a document? Satisfying everyone is not the issue, but basic functionality that is included with nearly every other Bible software on the market should be.

Those who choose not to use Accordance at all because they have to do a little more work when pasting text, are giving up many great features for the sake of this minor convenience. My father used to talk about people "not being able to see the forest for the trees." Or is this "throwing out the baby with the bathwater?"


Reality is you don't have a forest without trees, and babies don't get clean with dirty bathwater; the above phrases are merely employed when one does not want to face the reality of criticism. No one is saying that Accordance is not a good program, but it is lacking a very basic function, as I have said, which is contained in nearly all other Bible softwares. From the response that I am getting it is becoming clear that this is certainly not on your priority list as you view it only as a "minor convenience" which is probably why after 11 months it has not been addressed. The majority of the work for which I use a Bible Research program is so that I can bring the results of that research into my own work, not to keep it all nicely contained in the research program, so this functionality is not merely a "minor convenience," but a major inconvenience by not having it. This is why the program sits idle.

There is another old expression, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." Maybe I should have complained more over the past eleven months, because in much of today's market place that appears to be the only way to get things done, but sometimes the only way to fix a squeaky wheel is to replace it, so I mentioned it to David Lang with hopes that it would be addressed in a timely manner. Oh well.

#12 Ken Thompson

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 10:22 AM

Let me start off by saying that I use my Accordance program as my primary Bible study tool. I have OLB and to be honest it just sits on my hard drive taking up space for the most part. However, even though I believe that Accordance is without a doubt the best program of it's type, it still has a major weakness in the copy/paste formatting area.

On David Lang's CMUG website there is an article entitled, "OS X Verse Insertion Utilities Compared". In the article David notes that "Although Online Bible's new Copy Verses service does not quite duplicate the convenience of its former FKey (at least not yet—it is still in beta), it does offer a wide variety of options for how the pasted verses are to be formatted. These are set in Online Bible's Preferences:
Detailing what each of these options does is beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say that no other verse insertion utility currently offers this much flexibility when it comes to how the pasted verses are formatted."

Those of us who came to Accordance from OLB or some other programs are the one's who will certainly notice this issue the most. Who can blame us for wanting the best Bible program (Accordance) to have the best copy/paste functionality? I for one would much rather have the copy/paste functionality improved than to have more resourses added to the modules list as I believe that this would benefit almost all of the users.

Ken

#13 Helen Brown

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 11:09 AM

I would like to explain some of the reasons why we have postponed the implementation of more user options for copy-and paste until now:
  • We are Mac purists, and Mac has always been WYSIWIG: text copies and printed the way it was formatted on screen. This is still true of the majority of Mac software.
  • We have been developing major new features for version 7, and we cannot stop all the time to add and release more minor features.
  • We do watch responses on the forum, and relatively few people apart for Ed and now Ken have added their voices to this particular request.
  • We have already implemented the Widget, Copy as Citation, Copy without Superscript, Copy References Only etc. which all give more options, as well as transliteration, conversion to other Greek and Hebrew fonts, and Unicode.
That said, we are sensitive to all user feedback, and try to be responsive. We will definitely allow customization of the Copy as Citation in the Preferences. This seems to be the best way to allow each user to set up the way his citation is formatted. We may get it done in time for version 7 which we plan to release this month, and if not, we will definitely include it in the next rev later this year.

We could really use more specific feedback from y'all as to what you would want to specify in the customization, so that we can accommodate as many important options as possible, without cluttering the interface with unnecessary ones. No promises. ;)

Thank you for your patience with us, and your help in making Accordance even better.
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#14 David Lang

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 12:45 PM

There's been some miscommunication in this thread, so let me see if I can give a little perspective here.

Ed, I certainly see why you see this function as "basic functionality." It's been done by just about every Windows Bible program you're familiar with, and by Online Bible for Mac, so you can't understand why we haven't followed suit. I agree that one click is better than two, or three, or four, and if you have a specific format that you absolutely can't live without, Accordance is currently less convenient to you than OLB.

When you first raised this issue eleven months ago, I contacted you by e-mail, examined the screenshots you sent, and told you that I would pass your request on. At that time, we had already begun version 7, and already had our priority list of features to add. Nevertheless, I brought your feature request (which at times has come across more as a demand) to the attention of our programmer, and he agreed to put it on the list.

Did it become the FIRST item on the list? No, and I see no reason why it should have been expected to. We do our best to be responsive to user feedback, but we don't develop individual features on demand.

When we're developing a major upgrade, we have a list of major features and minor features. The major features are the ones which require the most work, involve changes to the interface, etc. We do these first because they take the most time to develop and because they represent the bulk of what our users look for in an upgrade. When we finish the major features, we crank through as many minor features as we can before our planned release date. The ability to modify the Copy As Citation format has always been on our minor features list, and if we can get to it before release, it will make it in. Otherwise, it will get pushed back to a free update which is planned for later in the year.

When I told you in November that this feature was still on the list and that we hoped to release version 7 in the Spring, that was true. It's still true. I myself was a bit surprised when Helen wrote that this feature is "unlikely to make the first release of 7," because we had discussed it recently and decided to keep it on the list of features we hoped would make it into 7.0. I have not responded to this thread before now because I wasn't sure if Helen knew something I didn't. I think, however, that she was just being realistic. We're all really under the gun right now, and we're running out of time. So while we'll do our best; we still can't make any promises at this point. I'm afraid that's the best we can do.
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#15 Ed Cross

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 01:22 PM

Thank you David and Helen,

I now understand where your priorities are in the programming of Accordance.

As an owner and potential user I certainly would not want to place any demands on your programming staff. As of now I will just have to live with the fact that Accordance is not a tool that can do the job that I need for it to do. I will not bother you regarding this issue again, I will view it as merely water under the bridge. In hope of a better day!

#16 John Koontz

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 03:13 PM

I would like to say that the benefits of the major new features will be far greater for our study than any copy and paste functions. I do not know what those features are yet, but knowing Accordance's reputation, i have no doubt that this will be true. Would i like better copy and paste functionality, sure. But do i want that to be a priority on a major new release...no, i can type a few verse numbers.

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