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#1 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 12:02 PM

Have you switched from BibleWorks Software to Accordance?

 

We've had a steady stream of BW users come to Accordance over the years. Some have joined us because they have switched to Macs; others have wanted more resources that BW offered.

 

If you're one of those users and been with us a while, we'd like to hear from you. We're interested in how satisfied you are with Accordance Bible Software, our company (sales, support, training, etc.), and our array of resources. We'd especially be interested in any encouragement you can offer to others contemplating making the same switch.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

(By posting a reply to this thread, you are giving us permission to use you comments in our promotions to other BibleWorks users.)


Edited by Timothy Jenney, 13 June 2018 - 07:17 AM.

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Blessings,
"Dr. J"

Timothy P. Jenney, Ph. D.
"Lighting the Lamp" Host and Producer
Academic Licensing Assistant

iMac: Late 2014 27" 5k display, 4.0 GHz quad core i7, 24 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD, AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4096 MB, macOS Sierra 10.13
MBP: Early 2011 17" MBP (8,3), 2.3 GHz quad core i7, 16 GB RAM, 480 SSD + 1 TB SSD, AMD Radeon HD 6750M, macOS Sierra 10.13
iPhone 7 plus: 128 GB, iOS 11.x


#2 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:19 AM

Please note that this request is to current Accordance users who used to use BW—people who switched some time ago, before BW's recent announcement that they are closing. 


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Blessings,
"Dr. J"

Timothy P. Jenney, Ph. D.
"Lighting the Lamp" Host and Producer
Academic Licensing Assistant

iMac: Late 2014 27" 5k display, 4.0 GHz quad core i7, 24 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD, AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4096 MB, macOS Sierra 10.13
MBP: Early 2011 17" MBP (8,3), 2.3 GHz quad core i7, 16 GB RAM, 480 SSD + 1 TB SSD, AMD Radeon HD 6750M, macOS Sierra 10.13
iPhone 7 plus: 128 GB, iOS 11.x


#3 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:49 AM

I am a BibleWorks user who bought Accordance a few years ago for a specific workflow (syntax searches). When BW announced that they were ceasing commercial operations, Accordance displayed the right amount of empathy, understanding, willingness to help, and business integrity. Accordance added grace upon grace in their BW Crossover packages, not just providing equivalent  modules at rock bottom prices, but also developing new features pertaining to the needs of BW users. Yesterday I imported my  BW notes, opened a Hebrew Bible, turned on Live Click, clicked, and got instant results for analysis. I also know that those making the transition will experience the same kind of service and support that they received from BW, based on a similar philosophy of business and ministry. Thank you.

Michel G. Distefano, Ph.D.


Edited by Michel Gilbert, 13 June 2018 - 08:56 AM.

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Accordance 12.2.7 & 2.6.4

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#4 mgvh

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 01:03 AM

I have been (and continue to be) a BibleWorks user for 15 years or so. It's been the required software program at my seminary from 2002-2016.

 

I switched to Accordance last fall as the required software for my students. Why?

 

  • Though BW had greatly improved their Mac installation, there still were some problems, mainly trying to duplicate things on a Windows and Mac system. Further, a higher percentage of my students are using Macs these days.
  • With the institutional purchase program, students could get BW for $289. With the purchase agreement w/ Acc, my students can get the the Hebrew-Greek Discoverer for $200. There are so many more resources in BW (especially English versions, Philo, Josephus, grammars, ...), but most of my students aren't going to use Philo and Josephus. I encourage them to buy a couple other English versions (e.g., NIV w/ G/K and Message for a dynamic paraphrase), but they still can save money.
  • Further, the Acc Mac and Windows versions run and look very similar. I can demonstrate things on my system, and everyone can follow along.
  • The biggest advantage for beginning students is the 'sympathetic' highlighting with tagged texts and tagged English versions. It's so much easier for them to 'see' what word is being rendered in the English.
  • BW does have an intuitive 3 or 4 vertical panel layout, and I kind of make my Acc look like it. Acc does make it easier to adjust the layout to my preferences. OTOH, I miss in Acc the Browse view in BW where I can see the original language/s with as many or few of English (and Latin or Syriac or...) versions all in the same window. Yes, Acc, can do that by setting up a bunch of tabs or using Research, but it's not nearly as convenient or attractive.
  • BW's searching is easy and fast... if you commit to learning how to use the command line. Their graphical search is powerful and visually clear but a little clunky to use. Searching in Acc is more intuitive for beginning students and the Construct search is much easier to use.
  • For beginning students, the Hebrew lexical aids are good. For Greek, Louw & Nida is great to have, and the NT Word Study Dictionary is acceptable, but I miss Danker's 2009 Concise Greek-English Lexicon.
  • I know that Acc has the Exchange, but the number and quality of free, user created resources for BW really can't be beat.
  • In general, it's possible to do some things in BW that I'm not sure Acc can do. (I'm still learning Acc fully...) E.g., it's possible in BW to right-click on a word and have a large, customizable list of actions related to that word such as searching in web resources, calling up online versions, linking with other programs... The External Links manager in BW is powerful and useful.
  • Overall, the Accordance program is easier and more intuitive to use, and the Windows version behaves more consistently like other Windows programs. The trade-off is that it can be a bit (but only a little bit) slower to use and require more clicks to accomplish a task.

As for the company and support, I've been satisfied with Accordance, but BW was regularly somewhat faster in replying to queries. BW was also incredibly fast in posting bug fixes. There was a time last fall where Acc was going through a rough spell of issues w/ the Windows versions, and fixes sometimes took weeks. I had to revert to an older version of Acc to keep things stable for a while. I'm happy to say that Acc has been quite stable since January or so.

Finally, BW really was incredibly priced for the resources it included. With Acc, I have my wishlist of resources I'd like to add, but I pretty much wait for something to go on sale before I buy it, and there are some resources I have not purchased because of cost.

I applaud Accordance for their basic and advanced crossover packages for BW users. (Though NA28 really should be in the basic package...) You might also want to draw attention to Acc's crossgrade policy so that it becomes very reasonable for me to get the Exegetical Dict of the NT that I had in BW into Acc.


Edited by mgvh, 14 June 2018 - 10:54 AM.

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#5 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 05:54 AM

Thanks for an honest and thorough review. We appreciate it!


Blessings,
"Dr. J"

Timothy P. Jenney, Ph. D.
"Lighting the Lamp" Host and Producer
Academic Licensing Assistant

iMac: Late 2014 27" 5k display, 4.0 GHz quad core i7, 24 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD, AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4096 MB, macOS Sierra 10.13
MBP: Early 2011 17" MBP (8,3), 2.3 GHz quad core i7, 16 GB RAM, 480 SSD + 1 TB SSD, AMD Radeon HD 6750M, macOS Sierra 10.13
iPhone 7 plus: 128 GB, iOS 11.x


#6 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 01:15 PM

A more personal reflection:

I like Mark’s post. I think he would agree that BW users who cross over are leaving an excellent program for another excellent program. And, some of us will continue to use BW for a few things.

Everyone knows I had a lot of frustration with Acc for Windows during that first year, posting a barrage of bug reports. I know now that I could have done better. But Acc was always gracious, even when I wasn’t so much. Sometimes Joel’s response was so gracious I was immediately humbled and wished I hadn’t been so passionate. (But that is hard to do for me: I make a sandwich with more passion than a professional athlete plays for his sport’s ultimate prize in the playoffs, etc.). Now I know Acc had a different approach to posting new releases and bug fixes than BW had.

As BW’s final day (of selling products) is quickly approaching, I know Acc will be gracious in dealing with all of us who cross over to replace the core of modules of BW with Acc ones. In the end, it was as much their grace that won me over, as was the features and modules not available in BW.

Regards,

Michel


Accordance 12.2.7 & 2.6.4

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    iPad mini, 11.4

Android, 1.1.4 (9900)

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#7 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 02:25 PM

That's awesome, Michel. Thank you.


Blessings,
"Dr. J"

Timothy P. Jenney, Ph. D.
"Lighting the Lamp" Host and Producer
Academic Licensing Assistant

iMac: Late 2014 27" 5k display, 4.0 GHz quad core i7, 24 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD, AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4096 MB, macOS Sierra 10.13
MBP: Early 2011 17" MBP (8,3), 2.3 GHz quad core i7, 16 GB RAM, 480 SSD + 1 TB SSD, AMD Radeon HD 6750M, macOS Sierra 10.13
iPhone 7 plus: 128 GB, iOS 11.x


#8 miketisdell

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 06:18 PM

I have just started switching (motivated by the closure of Bibleworks). I really appreciate the upgrade packages that were offered, but wish the process had been a little easier, especially in the beginning. Note: It did get a bit easier after the official announcement of Bible works closure and the BW crossover packages were announced. Support on the forum has been pretty good so far.

 

I think the thing I miss most in bible works is the number of translations available and the browse button!

In bible works you have a single button to push that allows you to switch between a view that shows the whole passage or a view that shows the same verse in multiple versions. This is especially useful when you may want to look at the Targums, BHS, LXX, Peshitta, etc... all at the same time while working through a passage in the BHS i.e. you can read through the passage and flip to the multiple versions view when you come to a textual difficulty, and then switch back when done. Additionally, Bibleworks includes a huge number of translations in many languages, that has sometimes proven itself to be a very valuable resource.

 

The Graphical Search Engine in bibleworks makes visualization of a complex search much easier than the multiple linked window approach in Accordance, but accordance seems to be faster when there are many <AND> or <OR> conditions. Bibleworks is pretty fast if there are less than three in a single branch but gets exponentially slower as more items are added into that branch. 

 

One of the things I appreciate with Accordance is the ability to type complex searches into the search box in Hebrew. In Bibleworks, there are significant bugs (especially when using an Israeli keyboard) when typing in the command line. Simple searches work fine, but complex searches that require the uses of Latin symbols intermixed with the Hebrew text do not. I am finding it a little frustrating right now to do the searches I want in accordance because I haven't master all of the syntax, but think that will pass as I get used to it.

 

Note: In the Bibleworks command-line, the default search is literal, but in accordance the default search is for lexical root.

 

One more note: In bible works, the morphology appears in a hovering window near the word where the cursor is positioned; I like this much better than the accordance option of placing morphology below. Additionally, Bibleworks provides the morphology for prefixes, promonal suffixes in the same window (without trying to move the cursor around to position it over the components of the "word."  It may just be what I am comfortable with, but it seems a little better.

 

I really like the Syntax search capability; this is something that is not available in Bibleworks. Additionally, the LXX-MT module is helpful, but would be better if it allowed linking to the Hebrew and Septuagint texts.

 

 

One Alarming thing: Twice now I have had Accordance pop a window stating that it had not been able to connect and verify the license. Closing this box closed the program! In both cases, Accordance had been open for about a week and connected to the Internet at the time the box appeared, but the Laptop had been placed into sleep and moved to different locations while traveling. Restarting the app worked (so at this time it appears to be a bug and is just an annoyance); however, it does raise a lot of concern for me about how long I may be disconnected before the program doesn't allow me to use it. When I travel to remote areas, I may be disconnected for a substantial period of time, and I want to make sure that my bible software doesn't stop working simply because I am disconnected.  Additionally, I have recommended accordance to some translators in the field, but it would be quite discouraging if this issue cause them to loose access to the tools they need when translating the Scripture. I would strongly encourage Accordance to reconsider this method of verification; preventing updates should be sufficient protection and that is something that can safely be done because updates require an online connection.

 

 

 

Have you switched from BibleWorks Software to Accordance?

 

We've had a steady stream of BW users come to Accordance over the years. Some have joined us because they have switched to Macs; others have wanted more resources that BW offered.

 

If you're one of those users and been with us a while, we'd like to hear from you. We're interested in how satisfied you are with Accordance Bible Software, our company (sales, support, training, etc.), and our array of resources. We'd especially be interested in any encouragement you can offer to others contemplating making the same switch.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

(By posting a reply to this thread, you are giving us permission to use you comments in our promotions to other BibleWorks users.)


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#9 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 07:07 PM

. . . the morphology appears in a hovering window near the word where the cursor is positioned; I like this much better than the accordance option of placing morphology below.

 

Hi Mike,

 

Of course, this was optional in BW. And, so was the option to freeze the analysis window and update only when the Shift key was depressed. Accordance doesn't have an exact equivalent for moving the mouse and seeing Word tips popups, but they have other options. If you click and hold on a word, you will get an instant details popup at the word. If you press Ctrl and click and hold at the same time, you will see your preferred lexicon in a popup tied to the word.

 

Regards,

 

Michel


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#10 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 07:18 PM

. .  it does raise a lot of concern for me about how long I may be disconnected before the program doesn't allow me to use it. When I travel to remote areas, I may be disconnected for a substantial period of time, and I want to make sure that my bible software doesn't stop working simply because I am disconnected.  Additionally, I have recommended accordance to some translators in the field, but it would be quite discouraging if this issue cause them to loose access to the tools they need when translating the Scripture. 

 

I've raised this concern in the past. The last thing I want to do is recommend a program to a missionary, foreign or national, who can't connect for weeks or even months to the Internet, and discover one day that they can't use it. Next year, Lord willing, I will meet with many missions leaders, and I'm sure that eventually the topic of which Bible software I use will come up, and why (especially if I use Acc on a projector). I would like to ask Accordance for some clarification on this - is it even an issue, and if so, how much of one? Or, is it too much to ask this on a public Forum?

 

Thanks.


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#11 miketisdell

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 07:24 PM

One more issue: In bibleworks, I could toggle the nekkud on and off in the Hebrew text and I could search for exact phrases without typing the nekkud. There doesn't appear to be a way to do either of these things in Accordance. Is there something I am missing?

 

Update: I found out how to search for the phrase i.e. if you right click in the text box it gives you the option to search by "letters" (an option that doesn't appear by default in the search box). After choosing that I could search for phrases with ease. I still do not see a way to toggle the nekkud in the text. This would be a very good feature to add as some publications do not handle Hebrew text with nekkud very well. In many cases it is best to simply best to copy the text without the nekkud.


Edited by miketisdell, 14 June 2018 - 07:33 PM.


#12 miketisdell

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 07:34 PM

This is exactly why I am concerned. I frequently interact with nationals who work in somewhat remote areas.

 

 

I've raised this concern in the past. The last thing I want to do is recommend a program to a missionary, foreign or national, who can't connect for weeks or even months to the Internet, and discover one day that they can't use it. Next year, Lord willing, I will meet with many missions leaders, and I'm sure that eventually the topic of which Bible software I use will come up, and why (especially if I use Acc on a projector). I would like to ask Accordance for some clarification on this - is it even an issue, and if so, how much of one? Or, is it too much to ask this on a public Forum?

 

Thanks.

 



#13 Helen Brown

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 07:47 PM

Accordance does not require internet access except for installs and updates. However, if you are on a payment plan or have a review copy, you need to use it online at least once a week. If this seems likely to cause a problem, just contact the office to make the validation "permanent" for as long as you expect to be offline.


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#14 Joel Brown

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 08:02 PM

Accordance is well equipped to function completely without an internet connection.  The only exception to this are trial/time-limited accounts (which I'm sure don't apply to you), or accounts currently on a payment plan, as a protection in case the payplan defaults.  Once the payment plan is finished, or the trial account transfers to a permanent one, then Accordance has no further internet restrictions past a one-time initial setup.

 

Regarding many of the interface points here, many if not all of them can be accomplished in Accordance.  Often, however, it won't be exactly as BibleWorks did it, so I do encourage any new Accordance users to experiment with the program, keep asking questions, and learn the Accordance approach to bible study.  We have a huge amount of training material available (podcasts, webinars, live training, tutorial modules, etc), and I highly encourage new users to check them out.

 

Addressing a couple of the interface comments:

The Graphical Search Engine in bibleworks makes visualization of a complex search much easier than the multiple linked window approach in Accordance, but accordance seems to be faster when there are many <AND> or <OR> conditions. Bibleworks is pretty fast if there are less than three in a single branch but gets exponentially slower as more items are added into that branch. 

I encourage you to check out Accordance's Construct search - its quite powerful when constructing more complex search arguments.

 

Note: In the Bibleworks command-line, the default search is literal, but in accordance the default search is for lexical root.

This is correct! However, if you want to do a literal ("inflected") search, simply enclose the terms in double quotes, e.g. "יָֽלְדָה֙"  You can right-click a word and choose Search For -> Inflected to see how the search would be built.

 

One more note: In bible works, the morphology appears in a hovering window near the word where the cursor is positioned; I like this much better than the accordance option of placing morphology below.

As Michel noted, you can click and hold (or Alt+click) to get a window at the word's location with the information.  Holding down Control provides statistical information and a lexicon lookup.  For the instant, non-click access, you can also detach the instant details zone, placing it anywhere on your screen.  You can even set it to automatically hide when not needed.

 

Additionally, Bibleworks provides the morphology for prefixes, promonal suffixes in the same window (without trying to move the cursor around to position it over the components of the "word."  It may just be what I am comfortable with, but it seems a little better.

This is definitely a style difference, as you've noted.  Accordance helps make it clearer which part of the word contains which grammatical lemma, though as you note it does require moving the mouse around a bit more.  You can always make a selection and choose Amplify -> Language -> Parsing to get a full listing of all grammatical parts.

 

Additionally, the LXX-MT module is helpful, but would be better if it allowed linking to the Hebrew and Septuagint texts.

Which linking are you referring to?  Both the LINK and MERGE commands work to bring data into the MT-LXX module, allowing for surprisingly complex searches.

 

One more issue: In bibleworks, I could toggle the nekkud on and off in the Hebrew text and I could search for exact phrases without typing the nekkud. There doesn't appear to be a way to do either of these things in Accordance. Is there something I am missing?

 

Update: I found out how to search for the phrase i.e. if you right click in the text box it gives you the option to search by "letters" (an option that doesn't appear by default in the search box). After choosing that I could search for phrases with ease. I still do not see a way to toggle the nekkud in the text. This would be a very good feature to add as some publications do not handle Hebrew text with nekkud very well. In many cases it is best to simply best to copy the text without the nekkud.

What sort of exact phrases are you attempting to search for?  Can you give a specific example?  The Letters search can actually switch by default (see Preferences -> Greek and Hebrew), or you can choose it for yourself on the blue menu near the left side of the search box.

 

 

I hope this is helpful!  Feel free to ask any followup questions, in this topic or others.  Accordance is far from perfect or able to do 100% of every possible biblical research task, but as you continue to use it, I hope you'll continue to discover the ways in which it excels.


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#15 miketisdell

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 08:35 AM

Accordance does not require internet access except for installs and updates. However, if you are on a payment plan or have a review copy, you need to use it online at least once a week. If this seems likely to cause a problem, just contact the office to make the validation "permanent" for as long as you expect to be offline.

 

This completely resolves my concerns!

 

A couple of suggestions:

  1. Make sure this is clearly communicated; seeing this message but knowing nothing about the policy causes a little bit of panic.
  2. Two fix the bug in how this is checked. Both times I have seen this message, I had been connected to the internet multiple times during the week but had never closed Accordance during this period i.e. I simply let the computer go to sleep as I traveled. This resulted in the message appearing (while connected to the Internet) and then caused Accordance to close. Restarting Accordance worked both times. My guess is that the check only takes place during the program start, which means the program cannot be run for longer than a week even when there is Internet connectivity.


#16 miketisdell

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 09:07 AM

Admin,

 

I am aware that many things done in Bibleworks can be accomplished in Accordance differently; however, there are somethings that Bibleworks does just a little better, and there are some things that Accordance does a little better. I tried to give some examples of both. The Browse button in Bibleworks is the thing I miss the most because it allows me to select a single primary text to display in continues form, but multiple texts that can be compared (each on a separate line); swapping between the two views is simply a click of a single button. Additionally, because Bibleworks doesn't require a window frame around each version of the text, I can easily see many more versions on my screen simultaneously. And adding new texts to the view is just a little bit faster.

 

I have used the construct search in Accordance, and I do like the functionality of the search capability; being able to search on syntax is something I cannot do in Bibleworks (to accomplish this in bibleworks I have to build fairly complex lists of connected words and then check the results and eliminate false positives). That being said, the visual representation of searches in bibleworks is better when searching accross multiple texts (something I do frequently). In accordance, each text is in a separate tab, and visually seeing how all of the multiple texts connect together in a single search isn't easy i.e. you have to check each table and see how the links are made. Again, Accordance has search features that Bibleworks doesn't have, but this is one feature Bibleworks has that isn't available in Accordance. NOTE: I got very used to using Bibleworks GSE because bibleworks commandline was so buggy when trying to enter complex searches in Hebrew in the command line. Accordance definitely wins on this.

 

I didn't notice words in the tab on the left of the search box (I think because it isn't there on the Android app). A simple search like בשם יהוה doesn't work when "words" are selected (even if I include "" around the text; switching to "letters" allows me to search without having to think about roots and separating prefixes i.e. I can type a phrase just as I remember it from the text (without the Nekkud). Not having this on the Android app is a severe limitation.

 

Interface note: When using the Israeli keyboard, the auto switch feature i.e. changing from verses to words doesn't work.

 

When I have a moment, I will provide some more input on the LXX-MT search limitations. I have to go back and pull up some examples to better describe the issues. I have found ways to do the links, but there are some pretty big limitations in how this text can be linked.

 

 

Overall, I really like Accordance but you asked about the experience of moving from Bibleworks and so I provided some examples of the things I really liked better in BW.



#17 miketisdell

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 09:21 AM

Admin,

 

Also, as I noted above, being able to toggle the nekkud on and off in the displayed text is a very, very valuable feature. I hope that accordance will consider adding this feature.



#18 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 10:03 AM

Hi Mike,

 

Even though Acc does not have exact equivalents for all BW features, there is still hope. You can post a Feature or Module Request below. Sometimes, if you search in those Forums, you will see that others have already requested the same thing. Those Forums are how Acc gauges the amount of interest in a new feature or module. I would guess that if a large number of BW users crossed over, a large number of them would support most BW-like feature requests, and that would increase the chances of seeing it in Acc one day. Also, detailed explanations sometimes help to convince.

 

They are a gracious company. I know they are working as hard as they can on as many projects as they can.

 

Regards,

 

Michel


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#19 mgvh

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 10:19 AM

I'll add a few more things...

  • Accordance has the root search option for original languages. BW does not. Big advantage for Acc.
  • BW allows me to freeze the analysis pane (which includes morph info along with lexical entries). This is helpful when I want to copy something quickly in the analysis. In Acc, there is the Instant Details pane, but it's impossible to copy anything in that pane since it changes as soon as you move the mouse. There really needs to be a way to freeze that pane, something I've noted before in Features Request.
  • Another BIG advantage for Accordance which hasn't been mentioned: Accordance has a mobile app. My students are doing more and more on their phones, so to have the connection between desktop and mobile device is great.
  • Acc makes it much easier to increase/decrease font size (it can be done in BW, but takes some steps), but BW has a scaling option which is very useful when switching between my desktop, notebook, or projecting.
  • When looking at Search results in Acc, there is the option to expand the context. Excellent! Can't do that in BW.
  • Layouts: Depending on the work I'm doing, it's nice to be able to have different layouts. BW can't do that.
  • I just discovered Live Click. Great job on that, Acc! That addresses some of the issues (I'd still ask that the verse link that I can use to view texts in parallel include the same resources for Instant Details, triple clicking, etc.) I raised in my initial post. Now I just need to go about creating some custom libraries ...

Edited by mgvh, 15 June 2018 - 10:47 AM.

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#20 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 10:30 AM

Just press the shift key to freeze Instant Details. You can then copy its information in it by clicking the Clipboard button.

 

Enjoy!


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