Nov 10, 2009 David Lang

Accordance 8.4: Bibliographic Citations and More

I'm pleased to announce the release of yet another significant update to Accordance 8. Accordance 8.4 adds a number of cool new features and interface enhancements, and can be freely downloaded here.

Bibliographic Citations: Now when you use the Copy As Citation command to copy text out of an Accordance tool, Accordance will automatically append the Bibliographic information for that selected text. You can currently choose from four citation formats (SBL footnote, SBL bibliography, Turabian footnote, and Turabian bibliography) in the new Bibliography preference panel. If you choose the Put bibliography details as footnote option, a footnote will automatically be created in programs which support the feature (currently Microsoft Word 2004 and 2008, Mellel, Nisus Writer Pro and Express, and


New Bibliography Preferences


I'll talk about this feature in detail in an upcoming post. While it doesn't supply everything you need for academically acceptable citations, we've tried to make it as intelligent and accurate as possible, and we believe this is the best automatic citation feature currently available in Bible software.

Help for the Google Generation: I've written before about the reasons Accordance doesn't follow Google's search syntax. If you type son of God, Google will drop the "of" and do a ranked OR search for either "son" or "God." In a typical Bible translation, that would return over 6000 hits in 5000 verses, instead of the mere 40 occurrences of the phrase "son of God." In Accordance, we assume that a series of words is meant to indicate a phrase. If you want a broader AND or OR search, you can select those commands from the Enter Command submenu of the Search menu.

While we're convinced our search syntax is a better choice for Bible software, we recognize that more and more people have been trained to use Google's approach. It's not uncommon for a new Accordance user to enter something like Adam Eve in the hope of finding "Adam" and "Eve" anywhere in the same verse, and then to get confused when Accordance tells them the phrase "Adam Eve" cannot be found. Accordance 8.4 now gives these users an easy way to create the search they want.

Try it yourself. Enter Adam Eve in the search entry box and see what happens. It's a simple solution that should help anyone who learned to search in the Google era.

Applying Preference Changes to Open Windows: Accordance offers the most flexible text formatting in the industry. You can customize font, size, style, leading, paragraphing, text color, background color, and a host of other options. You can also do that for individual text panes, set the defaults for each text or tool separately, or use the Text Display and Tool Display preferences to set defaults for all your texts and tools at once.

The challenge with all this flexibility is that it's sometimes hard to anticipate what the user wants to do. When you set the text or tool display characteristics in the Preferences, you are making a global change that will affect every text and tool. But what if you have an open window in which you've customized the look of a particular text or pane? Do you want the new global display setting to override these custom settings? Perhaps you do, but we never wanted to make that assumption. So when you made a change in the preferences that change would only affect any new windows or panes you opened from that point on.

Unfortunately, many users found it confusing that a change in the preferences did not change the look of already open windows. Accordance 8.4 now addresses that confusion by asking you if you want to apply your new display preferences to all open windows. Once again, it's a minor enhancement that should eliminate a lot of confusion.

And More... Accordance 8.4 includes several other enhancements to the printing of graphics, automatic updates, and the importing of User Bibles. Download it today and start playing!

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Archived Comments

Denes House

November 10, 2009 11:51 AM

Dang, you guys rock! That "Google generation" search is well-executed. Accordance just keeps getting better and better, even when we can't imagine it to be possible!


Way 2 go!


November 10, 2009 2:32 PM

Thanks for the citations with bibliographic info addition!  I remember asking for that on the forums awhile ago (along with a few others), and it's fun to see it come to fruition.  It'll definitely come in handy for all my papers (especially since I wasn't totally sure how to cite an electronic resource anyway.)

I'm sure this is already on your radar, but I would love to see Apple's Pages added to the list of word processors that'll post bib info to the footnotes.  Personally, I'm just tired of Word and am making the switch to Pages.  I know the majority still uses Word, but my guess is that as more people discover Pages, they'll make the switch as well.

Keep up the amazing work!

Rick Bennett

November 10, 2009 2:54 PM

Dosjon: The decision not to support Pages was not intentional on our part. Pages evidently does not handle pasted text in the same manner as every other word processor (it's one of the only ones we tested that did not work, Mariner Write being the other). As we improve upon this feature we'll see if there is anything that can be done on our end to support Pages as well.

As we've said many times here and in other places, Mellel is our Mac word processor of choice. It is very inexpensive, and is the only one which properly handles RTL scripts (Hebrew, etc.). 

In upcoming blog posts we'll describe this feature in more detail. We're excited to see the response thus far, thanks!


November 10, 2009 5:10 PM

THANK YOU for the "Google" type search.  I was just about to request that kind of option. I really like it!


November 10, 2009 5:25 PM

Thanks a bunch. Accordance rocks! So much better and cheaper than another bible software program that has recently been updated! Keep pushing forward.


November 12, 2009 11:16 PM

I think its right to cater for the Google generation, because that's what we are and that's what we expect. It's not about right and wrong and better and worse, its about what we're used to.

Now the trouble is, this Accordance hack is not the right way to go about it. If I search for Son of Adam, Accordance still gives me Lk 3:38, but the Google generation expect to get Ge 4:25 and 5:3 as well, unless it is in double quotes.

I think you need to actually provide two full blown different parsing regimes, switchable in preferences - the Google one, and the one you like. Personally I want the Google one, because I do so many Google searches, this is just how I think now.



November 16, 2009 9:56 PM

What John said. Your insisting on the "rightness" of the existing syntax is misplaced. What matters is what your users expect and want to use. So, commit to the syntax already. By all means make it a preference, because lots of users are used to the existing syntax. But for a large percentage of searches, the Google syntax is faster, easier, and is known by almost everyone on the planet by now. Why force users to learn a new syntax when it's not necessary?