Don't Take It for Granted: Choosing Your Own Font
Ever since we released Accordance 1.0 way back in 1994, Accordance has enabled you to customize the font used for each individual Bible text. And when tools were added in 2.0, we gave the same capability for each individual tool. I never thought the ability to customize the font was that big a deal, but apparently it is. Believe it or not, the vast majority of Mac Bible programs give you very limited control over the appearance of text—a surprising fact when you consider that text is primarily what you're looking at when you work with Bible software.
I recently did a survey of the various other Mac Bible programs available, including two commercial Windows programs ported to Mac, several freeware programs developed for OS X, one classic Mac shareware program which has been migrated to OS X, and one Java-based freeware program which runs in OS X (as well as Linux and Windows). Here's what I found:
Neither Windows port allows you to change the font at all. You're stuck with the developers' choices.
The freeware programs developed for OS X and the Java-based program did a little better in that they all let you choose your own font by going to the Preferences. Such font customizations are all or nothing affairs: you set the font for all text within the program at one time. These freeware programs offer differing levels of control and flexibility. The most limited of these only lets you choose from about ten standard fonts, while the most flexible offers a fair amount of typographic control.
The Classic Mac shareware program which has been migrated to OS X was the only program other than Accordance which lets you customize the font for each individual Bible or tool. You have to go through an awkward series of steps in the Preferences dialog to make those font changes, but at least it's possible.
Doing this survey really had me scratching my head in amazement. The ability to change the appearance of text using your own custom fonts is such a basic aspect of Mac interface design we don't even list it as a feature! Perhaps we should. In terms of font support and the customization of text, Accordance 1.0 still beats anything else available today. How much more Accordance 8?!