May 12, 2009 David Lang

Scoring Points: Accordance 8.2.3 Released

Since we released Accordance 8 last year, we've followed our usual practice of offering free downloadable updates which offer minor new features and bug fixes. In November, we released Accordance 8.1, which was so chock full of new features we could easily have made it a paid upgrade. Then in March of this year, we released Accordance 8.2, with German and Spanish localization and about a dozen other minor enhancements. A couple of bug fix releases followed to bring us up to 8.2.2. Yesterday, we released Accordance 8.2.3 for download. Yet some users on our forum have questioned whether this should be more than just a point-point-one update. After all, it contains several nice little enhancements. You be the judge as to whether these features should have "scored more points" than we've given.

In the more-is-better department: When you drag your cursor over a hypertexted Scripture reference in a tool, user tool, or user note, the Instant Details box has long shown the first verse of that reference so that you can preview that reference without clicking. But some of our users asked for more than the first verse in the case of references containing a range of verses. Accordance 8.2.3 will now display up to eight verses in the instant details box.

In the you-can-teach-an-old-dog-new-tricks department: When searching by verses, Accordance has always let you enter long strings of references. In fact, Accordance didn't even require you to enter a semicolon or comma between references. As long as there was a space between book names, Accordance would find all the verses. So for example, you could enter something like Gen 1:1 Ex 2:4 Matt 5:6 and Accordance would not complain.

Unfortunately, this flexibility created an ambiguity where numbered book names were concerned. For example, if I entered Gen 1:1 2 Kings 2:4 Matt 5:6, there was no way for Accordance to determine whether the 2 of 2 Kings belongs to the reference which precedes it or the book name which follows it. So Accordance would give you an error message telling you it didn't recognize the book name "kings." The solution was to remove the space between "2" and "kings," and most Accordance users simply got in the habit of typing "2kings" rather than "2 Kings." Still, we were requiring you to adjust the way you enter references, all for a level of flexibility few people need, since most people enter the semicolons and commas between references anyway.

So to make a long story short, we decided to change this convention which has been around since the beginning. Now you can enter Gen 1:1; 2 Kings 2:4; Matt 5:6 and Accordance will no longer complain about the space between "2" and "kings." The tradeoff is of course that you are now required to enter the semicolons or commas between references.

In the more-space-required department: When you use the Copy As Citation or Copy As Reference features to copy verses out of Accordance, Accordance will now automatically insert a space between the number and book name of these numbered books.

In the never-too-much department: In previous versions of Accordance, you could hold the control key and press the numbers 1 through 9 on your keyboard to switch the search text pop-up menu to the first through ninth Bible texts in that list. Apparently someone wanted a quick way to open the tenth Bible text in the list, so we now let you do that by pressing control-zero.

By the way, don't feel bad if you didn't know this feature existed. Neither did I!

In the you-can't-say-we-don't-listen department: Since version 2, Accordance has let you collect verses and place them into verse reference lists. For example, you might do a search which finds 50 verses, and then go through that list marking the 20 verses you find relevant (by option-clicking on those verses). You could then go to the Selection menu and add those marked verses to a new Reference list.

That's what most people do. But not one power user in Israel. He prefers to dump all the verses from a search into a Reference list, and then remove the verses he doesn't want. Consequently, he wanted an easy way to copy a lot of verses into a reference list. He also felt that the Reference list window's limit of 1,000 verses was too confining! So Accordance 8.2.3 increases the limit to 10,000 verses and gives you a keyboard shortcut for copying selected verses into a Reference List (Control-Command-R). Here's hoping he doesn't do a search that returns 10,001 verses! :-)

In the I-need-those-little-squiggles department: The NA27 apparatus uses various sigla (I prefer the technical term: "squiggles") to point out variants and represent manuscripts. Accordance 8.2.3 improves the export of these squiggles to their proper Unicode equivalents.

In the oh-yeah,-forgot-about-those department: The keyboard shortcuts command-plus and command-minus let you increase or decrease the size of text in most windows, but apparently we forgot the Analysis, Concordance, Table, Parsing, and Text Differences windows. Now those keyboard shortcuts work in all those poor forgotten windows.

Phew! I think I covered all the new enhacements in version 8.2.3. None of these improvements is particularly earth-shattering, and so we've just given a point-point-one increase to the version number. But if you've ever been annoyed that you couldn't see more than one verse in the instant details box, or that Accordance would complain when you entered "2 Kings," or that you couldn't put 10,000 verses into a reference list, this minor version update will seem pretty major. It's all part of our ongoing effort to "score points" with our users.

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Archived Comments

Ron Bailey

May 12, 2009 2:03 PM

Miles ahead and still accelerating! It really does just get better and better.

Rick Yentzer

May 12, 2009 8:58 PM

That's what I absolutely love about the Accordance company. They not only listen to their customers, they implement many of their ideas into the program. Kudos to an outstanding company policy.