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News, How-tos, and assorted Views on Accordance Bible Software.

Thursday, March 29, 2007  

Accordance Automator Action

Joe Weaks of the Macintosh Biblioblog has just made available an Automator action that lets you get Scripture from Accordance and use it in an Automator workflow. Now, Joe is a scripting and automating guru. I am not. But I have played with Automator enough to be able to understand how it works, and if I can do it, you can do it!

When you download the Automator action, you need to place it into the Automator folder inside either your System or User Library (there is an rtf file included with the action which explains this). Once you've done that, you can start playing with it by using or tweaking one of Joe's included Workflows.

Joe includes one workflow which asks you for a Scripture reference, grabs the text of that passage from Accordance, and then speaks the text using Apple's text-to-speech technology. That's pretty cool, but why not take that idea a step further and create an audio file you can copy to your iPod to aid in Scripture memorization? To do that, I just replaced the Speak Text action in Joe's Workflow with the System action called Text to Audio File. This action creates a file on my desktop called "Scripture Memory." I then added two actions from iTunes called Import Audio File and Add Songs to Playlist which import this file into an iTunes playlist called "Memory Verses." Now the next time I update my iPod (okay, it's really my wife's iPod, but she's nice enough to let me use it from time to time), I'll have a playlist that will recite all of my memory verses to me in a lovely robotic voice. (I just hope I don't mimic the voice when I recite them!)

Pretty cool, huh? If you play with Automator a bit, you may come up with lots of other nifty applications. For example, you could create your own iPod Bible by grabbing chunks of text and saving them as iPod notes. Or you could copy a series of Scripture passages to Keynote slides for use in a presentation. Or copy the text of a passage to an e-mail message to send to someone. With a little experimentation, you may find that Joe's Accordance automator action can save you a lot of time and effort.

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