We’re pleased to announce that Accordance 13 is now available in the macOS App Store.
Now, to be clear, we still believe the best way to obtain Accordance 13 is to download it from our website. However, each year, thousands of new users discover Accordance because we include a special App Store version, too. And we recognize that some macOS users prefer to get most, if not all, of their apps through the App Store for security purposes. Having apps available from one source allows for quick setup on a new computer and updates in the background. App Store apps are also “sandboxed” from other applications.
If you’re already using Accordance 13, this release of the App Store version doesn’t impact you. However, if you’re an Accordance App Store user and have been waiting patiently for version 13, now is the time to upgrade!
If you or someone you know is considering Accordance and prefers App Store installs, please help spread the word that version 13 is now available. New users will essentially download a copy of Accordance 13 Lite from the App Store, and we also offer in-app purchases to the full version of Accordance 13 Starter as well.
The release of v. 13 in the App Store is so new, we don’t have review yet, so if you use this version, please add your reviews so that others can download with confidence!
New in Accordance 13: the Text Command allows for cross-textual searching in grammatically-tagged texts and Key-numbered texts. In this previously-recorded webinar, David Lang takes a deep dive into this incredibly powerful Accordance search function.
As I explained in my last post, the feature of Accordance 13 I am most excited about is our new interactive Tutorials. Whether you’re brand new to Accordance or a long-time power-user, you’re sure to find tutorials which can teach you about features, tasks, tips, and tricks you didn’t know before.
Now, as new features go, the ones which add new capabilities always make the biggest splash and garner the most attention. Adding various kinds of help so users can actually use the software always requires a great deal of work, but never seems to generate a corresponding degree of excitement. That’s why so many software developers offer only half-hearted support at best. Offering truly helpful help requires a level of commitment few developers are willing to make.
The Bygone Days of Print Manuals
When Accordance 1.0 was first released in 1994, it was standard practice in the software industry to include a print manual. Even in the Mac market, where everyone indulged in the charming fantasy that software should be so intuitive you wouldn’t need a manual, any full-featured program was expected to include complete documentation. The Accordance User’s Guide was extremely well-organized and copiously illustrated with screenshots. I remember devouring it as a new Accordance user—and I didn’t typically read manuals.
Yes, the Construct window goes all the way back to Accordance 1.0!
Of course, creating a print manual was laborious and expensive, and even in those early days, only the most highly motivated software users would ever bother to crack one open. We soon began selling the print manual separately, since not all our users wanted it. Still, we continued to offer it as late as Accordance 7.
Ever-Evolving In-App Help
As more and more people entered the brave new world of personal computing, turning to a print manual seemed increasingly antiquarian. Shouldn’t the software itself teach you how to use it?
The really cool thing about Apple Guide was that you could write step-by-step tutorials that would draw circles around interface elements the user was supposed to click. Apple Guide was a really well thought out approach to providing in-app help, but it was hard to implement, and few software developers chose to adopt it. Apple soon dropped Apple Guide in favor of a less capable but easier to implement and more cross-platform help system.
Naturally, we moved to the new in-app help system, and we eventually hired a professional technical communicator to bring it up to date for Accordance 9. Her work was recognized with an Award of Excellence at the International Summit of the Society of Technical Communications.
Accordance Help offers complete documentation which you can easily browse and search, and you can get contextual help related to your active tab by clicking the Help icon of the workspace Toolbar.
With the interactive tutorials of Accordance 13, we’ve now come full circle back to our Apple Guide days. Tutorials were the one thing I really hated losing when Apple Guide was abandoned, and our new tutorials are better than anything we did back then.
More to Come…
I initially planned to include our training seminars and various forms of video training in this post, but there is so much to that history I’ll cover it in a follow-up post.
For now, let me just say again that the new interactive tutorials in Accordance 13 are just another chapter in our long history of offering the most helpful help we can.
Have you heard the fable of the blind men and the elephant? Six blind Hindu philosophers go to examine an elephant. Each of them touches a different part of the large animal—its side, its leg, its tusk, its trunk, its ear, and its tail—and each arrives at a very different conclusion about what an elephant is like.
Sometimes I think Accordance is a bit like that misunderstood elephant. Most Accordance users learn to do the handful of Bible study or research tasks they most need, and never realize that they have barely scratched the surface of what Accordance can help them do. I’ve run into scholars who see Accordance as indispensible to their work, but who never think to recommend it to pastors and laypeople because they assume Accordance is just for high end scholarly research. Conversely, there are many Accordance users who are happily using it for personal Bible study who have no idea how incredibly powerful it is.
Now, I’m not suggesting for a moment that every Accordance user needs to learn all its ins and outs. I just want you all to avoid missing out on benefits you could actually use. That’s why, of all the new features of Accordance 13, I am most excited about our new Tutorials. I think they’re the quickest way to discover and digest Accordance’s elephantine power and versatility.
Of course, digesting an elephant only happens “one bite at a time,” so that’s precisely how our tutorials walk you through each Accordance task you choose to learn. Pick from nearly 80 tutorials organized by difficulty and by topic, then follow the step-by-step instructions. Along the way, you’ll get helpful explanations and usage tips.
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of Accordance 13 Tutorials.
The First Tutorials Lay the Groundwork for Later Ones
While you certainly don’t have to go through the tutorials in any particular order, if you’re brand new to Accordance, you’ll definitely benefit from going through the first few tutorials in the list before you tackle any of the others. Knowing Your Library and Opening Books will show you where to find your various Accordance books and how to open them. Later tutorials will simply instruct you to open a particular resource without walking you through how to do it. Rather than adding steps to each tutorial for opening a book, we chose to show you how to open resources in the earliest tutorials.
In the same way, most tutorials will simply instruct you to “Open the Preferences” without explaining how to do it. That’s because one of the first tutorials is completely devoted to Opening the Preferences.
Some tutorials include a Next Tutorial button on the final panel to help guide you to other tutorials which expand on what you’re learning.
Choose from Broad Topics and Narrow Tasks
Some tutorials cover a broad topic which may include a number of specific tasks. For example, Using Key Numbers to Study Greek and Hebrew covers Instant Details, Cross-Highlighting, the Dynamic Interlinear, searching by Key Number, and more. A separate, shorter tutorial on Using the Key Command focuses specifically on searching by Key Number. These tutorials complement each other, and you’ll profit from doing both. But if you don’t have time for a broad introduction to an array of related features, you can usually find a shorter tutorial dedicated to one specific task.
Don’t Wear Out the ‘Do It For Me’ Button
Each tutorial panel which instructs you to do something includes a Do It For Me button. This makes it really convenient if you already know how to complete a step and you want a helpful shortcut to completing it. For example, if you know how to open the Preferences, you don’t need to practice that step any more, so rather than mousing to a menu to open the Preferences panel, you can just click Do It For Me and get to the steps you do need to practice.
Of course, it’s up to you to know which steps you actually need to practice. When you get to those, resist the temptation to click Do It For Me. Instead, open that menu, click that button, triple-click that word. Actually doing the step yourself will help cement it in your memory, so that you can do it again when you’re no longer going through a tutorial.
Don’t Assume Tutorials are Just for Beginners
We’ve worked hard to create tutorials on a broad range of topics, including some really advanced ones. Even if you’re an Accordance power user, you’re likely to find tutorials which can teach you a few tips or tricks you didn’t already know.
Remember, the blind Hindu philosophers misunderstood what the elephant was like because they each limited their investigation to one part of the elephant. Accordance 13 offers a lot to explore, and our new tutorials are sure to teach even our most accomplished users something new.
Haven’t upgraded to Accordance 13 yet? Find out what you’re missing!
With major new features like a revamped interface, general appearance themes, interactive tutorials, a host of highlighting improvements, the powerful new TEXT command, and PDF import to user tools, there’s a lot to love about Accordance 13. But there’s a lot more to love than you may yet realize. To reinforce your growing triskaidekaphilia, here are 13 new features of Accordance 13 you might have missed.
1. You can search the Preferences
Accordance has a lot of Preferences. You can tweak the settings for just about every major feature to get Accordance to behave exactly the way you want.
Yet all those options can be hard to keep track of. If you’ve ever watched one of our Accordance trainers answer a “how can I?” question, you’ve probably seen us click through several Preference panels trying to find some little known setting that will provide the needed solution. We know it’s there, but even we can’t remember exactly where it is.
Now, Accordance 13 lets you search the Preferences to find those elusive settings. Want to change whether or not the Info Pane is open by default? Type “info” into the Preferences search field. Want to set how Greek text gets exported? Just search for “export.” This slick enhancement is going to save you lots of time, and help you discover some of the options you may not even have known are available.
2. Opening the TOC in a Tool shows the current article
When you do a search in a tool, you are taken to the first paragraph containing a hit, and sometimes the surrounding context can be hard to discern. For example, if I search the works of Bonhoeffer for the word “martyrdom,” my second hit is somewhere in one of the many books included in this collection. How can I quickly find out which one?
In Accordance 13, when you open a Tool’s Table of Contents, it automatically shows where the current article is in the larger structure of the Tool. Simply by opening the TOC, I can immediately see that this is from chapter one of the book Discipleship.
3. You can now search all the fields of a given language.
The division of Accordance tools into different search fields is great when you want to narrow your search to a specific kind of information, but what if you want to find all instances of a word no matter what field it’s in? With Accordance 13, you can choose to search every field of a given language:
4. OR searches work even if some terms are not present at all
Ever since version 1.0, Accordance has first checked to see if a search term is actually in a Text or Tool’s word list before running the search. After all, why run a search if you know right away that a word will not be found? For example, if you try to search for “astronaut” in an English Bible, the word list for that Bible will appear so you can choose a different word.
That’s great, but what if I do an OR search, where only one of the search terms is required for the search to be successful? If I search for Moses <OR> astronaut, shouldn’t Moses be found even if astronaut isn’t in the word list at all? In Accordance 13, it is!
That may seem like a silly example, but imagine you search for a series of words in the King James Bible, such as (forsake, forsook, forswear). You then switch to a modern Bible that does not contain the word “forswear.” Prior to Accordance 13, you would have to delete “forswear” before you could run the search. Now, you just run the search and any missing search terms are ignored.
5. Interlinear spacing now keeps everything lined up
The Dynamic Interlinear now adds space between the words to keep interlinear information neatly aligned.
6. Compare Text now gives the best of both worlds
The Compare Text feature has always had two options: Single Text and Multiple Texts. Single Text lets you compare your base text with one other text, and it does a two-way comparison: showing where Text A has text missing from Text B and vice versa.
Multiple Texts lets you compare your base text to two or more other texts, and it is necessarily a one-way comparison: Text B shows how it differs from Text A. Text C likewise shows how it differs from Text A. Texts B and C are not directly compared with each other.
In Accordance 13, we decided to make Multiple Texts the default behavior. However, if you have only two panes open, those two texts will automatically be compared using the two-way Single Text comparison. That way you get the best of both worlds without having to change the default setting.
7. The Library filter button makes it easy to filter the Library
The Library previously had big, bulky buttons that would let you choose the sections of the Library you wanted to display, but the new Filter button is much less obtrusive and quicker to use.
8. You can now customize the Accordance URL style
When you Copy as Citation, you can include a link to the Accordance resource you’re copying from. Others can then click those links to open that Accordance resource to that location.
Originally, these links were in the accord:// format, which only works if Accordance is installed on the system of the person who received the link. Later, we switched to a different link format: https://accordance.bible. This second link format has the advantage of working on systems that do not have Accordance. Instead, it links to a page of the Accordance website which previews the link and gives information about Accordance. The only downside is that for desktop users who do have Accordance, following this second kind of link requires two clicks, where the older Accordance-specific links required one. You can see the difference by clicking each of the following links:
In Accordance 13, you can choose between these two URL styles in the Export settings of the Preferences.
9. Tutorial URLs
While we’re on the subject of links, Accordance 13 lets you copy and share links to any of our new tutorials. Want to send another Accordance 13 user a link to a tutorial you found helpful? Simply right-click the tutorial window and choose Copy Tutorial URL. Your friend, colleague, student, or parishioner can then click the link to begin the tutorial.
10. MT-LXX Cross Highlighting
If you own either the MT-LXX Parallel or the MT-LXX Interlinear, Accordance will now cross-highlight the corresponding Hebrew and Greek words in each parallel pane.
11. Assign hotkeys to highlight styles
Accordance 13 features sweeping improvements to highlighting, but one you might have missed is the ability to assign a hotkey to a highlight style so you can just select some text and press a key to highlight.
12. Improved Speech (Mac only)
Accordance 13 now supports modern text-to-speech on Mac systems, including Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic.
13. Play controls for animated Atlas routes
Prior to Accordance 13, you used the Animate checkbox to play and pause an animated Atlas route. Accordance 13 has replaced the checkbox with more intuitive and flexible play controls.
There you have it: 13 more reasons to love Accordance 13. Have you become a triksaidekaphile yet?
Here are just a few of the reasons you’re going to love Accordance 13:
You’ll love the new look and feel
The interface of Accordance 13 has been completely overhauled to be more up-to-date, easier on the eyes, and even more efficient to use.
You can now customize the entire interface using professionally designed color schemes. (I’m partial to Spanish Moss and Azure, myself.)
Accordance 13 now supports Dark Mode in Mac OS Mojave and above. Windows support is coming soon.
You’ll love the built-in training
Accordance 13 includes more than 75 interactive tutorials that walk you step-by-step through everything from opening your books to searching for geminate verbs in Hebrew!
Accordance has always offered world-class help and support, but we’ve never held your hand quite like this!
You’ll love the new Highlighting
Highlighting is easier and faster to apply—it’s even easier to erase—but we didn’t stop there.
We added Pen highlighting so you can mark up the text with circles, boxes, lines, and arrows, and automatic smoothing makes your hand-drawn shapes look great. But we didn’t stop there.
We also added a Whiteboard tool that lets you draw all over the program interface. Draw an arrow from the Bible to a location on a map. Circle the part of a photograph you want people to focus on. Accordance has always been a great presentation tool, but now it's even better.
You’ll love the way hard stuff just got easier
The powerful new TEXT command makes it incredibly easy to do intertextual searches. Use it to leverage grammatically tagged Greek and Hebrew texts to search your English Bible in new ways. Combine it with the MT-LXX Parallel to explore the relationship between the Hebrew Bible and the Greek Septuagint. Or just use it compare the differences among English translations. The TEXT command is so powerful, and so flexible, we’re excited to see how you will use it to advance biblical studies!
Since Accordance 1.0, the Construct window has offered an easy-to-use graphical interface for developing extremely powerful searches. Still, it could be hard to figure out how to graphically represent a grammatical construction. Accordance 13 now lets you select some text and have Accordance automatically build a construct search for it. Struggling to figure out how to do Greek and Hebrew syntactical searches? Not anymore, you’re not!
You’ll love the way your library is about to explode
Accordance 13 now lets you import PDF files into Accordance user tools. Think of all the articles, books, sermons, and study aids that will let you bring into your Accordance library!
Become a Triskaidekaphile Today
A Triskaidekaphile is someone who loves the number 13. Get Accordance 13 today, and you’re sure to become one.
I believe we have time for one final Accordance 13 sneak peek!
[click/tap the image above for a much larger view]
Wait until you have a chance to experiment with our new Amplify to Construct feature (a.k.a "Auto Constructs"). From any original language text or translation, you can create an automatic Construct around words you choose. This feature is accessible from the Amplify or contextual menu.
Ever wish you had your own personal Accordance tutor? Soon you will! Get up to speed quickly with guided interactive tutorials that take you step by step through nearly every feature of Accordance.
When we say guided, we mean that these tutorials take you step by step through almost all of the various Accordance features. They are interactive because they give you the opportunity to take part in your own learning process. Or you can let Accordance perform various steps for you--however you wish to learn!
Learning Accordance has never been easier than using these guided interactive tutorials at your pace, when and wherever you want! We project to have 75 tutorials available immediately with the launch of Accordance 13 with more added over time. All of the tutorials are included with every level of our Accordance 13 Collections!
In Accordance 13, we're taking highlighting to the next level with pen markup and whiteboard drawing. Markup such as you see above even stays where it should if you resize text or change column width!
By the way, the release of Accordance 13 is close. If you're still running v. 11 or earlier, upgrade NOW and receive v. 13 for free when released!