Jun 11, 2010 David Lang

More E Than Book: You've Got the Look

Yesterday I argued that Accordance goes beyond mere electronic delivery of print books. Instead, we leverage the flexibility and power of the computer to give you new ways to interact with your books. One way we do that is by giving you unparalleled control over the appearance of the text.

Most e-Book readers give you some control over the appearance of text. Apple boasts about iBooks' flexibility in that regard by saying that you can change the text size or "even change the font." That's great, and more than enough flexibility if your goal is primarily to duplicate the experience of reading a print book. Our goal is to enable you to interact with the text of a book in whatever way best suits your study, so merely changing the font or size is not nearly good enough.

Consider all the different way you may want to interact with the text of the Bible. There may be times you want to read through the text without the distraction and disruption of verse references and superscripted footnote markers. Accordance lets you hide those elements.

Accordance lets you hide verse references and footnotes for easy reading

Maybe you don't want to remove the Scripture references altogether, but you want to make them as inconspicuous as possible. Accordance lets you place them before, after, or above the verse, format them however you like, and even choose to omit the book name and chapter number.

Accordance lets you format references however you like

There may be times when you want to compare two different translations of a passage. The more modern translation formats the text as poetry, while the older one makes no visual distinction from prose.

Poetic formatting can make comparing translations difficult

The difference in formatting makes it harder to track the differences between the two translations, but Accordance lets you suppress the poetic formatting of the one so you can better compare the two. Accordance also lets you choose to highlight the differences automatically.

Accordance lets you suppress the poetic formatting and highlight differences

When doing in depth study, you may like to mark up the text with all kinds of highlight colors and styles. But when doing devotional reading, you find the highlights get in the way. Once again, you can hide them temporarily and bring them back at any time.

Accordance also lets you adjust things like text color, background color, the color used to highlight search results, the leading of the text, and of course, its font, size, and style.

We offer all of these options not because we're guilty of feature creep, but because the way you view the text can have profound effects on the way you study. Conversely, the way you study may call for a different view. Print publishers have to make design choices which become set in ink, and at most you the user may get a choice in how the book is bound. E-book publishers which are trying to duplicate the "feel" of a book may offer you a little more control over the format of the text, but the options are typically very limited. With Accordance, you've got unprecedented control over the look of the text, so you can choose the format most conducive to your current method of study.

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Archived Comments


June 11, 2010 12:58 PM

Excellent points.  I think most publishers will rethink the translation of their media onto the iOS devices, and when the dust settles, they will not just port an electronic copy that attempts to achieve the same look and feel of the printed version.  You're already there.  Accordance is way ahead in thinking through the advantages and strengths of ebook usage and the electronic medium, and this long experience should translate well to the iOS platform. (This is the same concern with user experience that led you to remain committed to the Mac platform throughout its dark days in the first place.)  Thanks for all the care that you are taking in the conception and design of Accordance for the iOS.  While I use Accordance daily, and therefore I want Accordance NOW on my iPhone and iPad, nevertheless I am willing to wait a while for a quality implementation.  Many thanks for yesterday's announcement.


June 11, 2010 9:37 PM

Sounds great OakTree! But how about bringing all this flexibility and power to the iPhone/iPad app.

Rod Decker

June 12, 2010 6:01 PM

These features are all very helpful, but so too is Accordance's tradition of retaining the pagination in texts where that is appropriate. Bibles do not need pagination, but lexicons, grammars, reference tools, and other books do. Despite there being provision for citations of electronic texts in the style guides, it is still highly preferable to be able to cite the printed text by page or section number in serious academic writing. (It's also necessary in most cases to locate the source of quotations.) All that to say that I hope the iOS app retains that feature.