Choosing a SWORD program

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Introduction

This page is under development. As such it may not be helpful until it is near completion. For that reason, please don't link it on another page until then. To become complete it needs fair and balanced™ coverage of the SWORD programs.

Do feel free to edit this page to make it more complete and better organized.

The purpose of this page is to help an end user decide which SWORD program is the best for them. The first consideration is which programs are available for the user. This can be found at CrossWire's home page. Once the user has narrowed down which programs are available, the following can be used to focus on the best program.

It is recommended that each user try all the available programs. It is likely that one will resonate with the user and work best for that user.

Features Common to All SWORD Applications

For the most part all the SWORD programs have the same features.

  • Uses Unicode
  • Released under an open source license
  • Powerful search syntax - wildcard, regex and often also clucene indexed searches (fuzzy and proximity searches + searches for Strong's, stemming etc) within preset and customised scopes.
  • Strong's, morphological info, cross references and footnotes
  • All frontends listed below are undergoing more or less active development.
  • Verse and block layout
  • Image support in all types of modules
  • Localisation - all frontends are designed to be readily translatable. Many are translated in various languages.

Side-by-Side Comparison of Notable SWORD Applications

Legends

To keep the lists below compact, the SWORD programs are identified by abbreviations. Here is an explanation of each of them:

A blank entry means that it is unknown whether a feature is present.

This is a work in progress. Footnotes are automatically numbered.

Operating Systems and Portability

Feature ABS BD BT BPB FB MS SPW SB Xi
Runs on Windows 95/98/NT/ME yes no[1] no yes no
Runs on Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 yes yes partial[2] yes yes no yes yes yes
Runs on Mac OS X 10.3+ yes no yes yes[3] no no no
Runs on Mac OS X 10.4+ yes yes partial[2] no yes yes[4] no no no
Runs on Linux yes yes yes yes yes no no no yes
Runs on other Unix yes yes yes yes yes no no yes yes[5]
Can be installed to run from USB drive no yes[6] no yes[7] yes[8] yes[9] yes[10] no no
  1. Not Win9x
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pre-alpha
  3. version 1.3.x
  4. version 1.4.x
  5. BSD, Solaris
  6. Portable both in the sense that it can be carried in ones pocket and in the sense that it runs on Windows, Mac or Linux, requiring nothing from the host computer and leaving no trace on it.
  7. PortableApps.com edition for Windows only. Leaves no trace on host computer.
  8. Using Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition from PortableApps.com, for Windows only, but depends on a local installation of Java. Leaves no trace on host computer. Other platforms are possible.
  9. Leaves traces on host computer.
  10. Temporarily install to a computer and then copy the "C:\Program Files\CrossWire\The SWORD Project" folder to the USB drive. Finally, uninstall it and delete install directory. Leaves no traces on host computer.

Module Support

Feature ABS BD BT BPB FB MS SPW SB Xi
Daily Devotions Start with Today yes yes yes yes yes
Daily Devotions Show Friendly Dates yes yes yes no no
Shows Testament Introductions no no no yes no
Shows Book Introductions no no no no yes yes no yes
Shows Chapter Introductions no no yes no yes yes no yes
Personal Commentary no no yes no no yes yes no yes[1]
Journal no no no no no no no no yes[1]
Right to Left Texts yes yes yes no yes yes yes yes yes
Complex Scripts no partial[2] yes[3]
  1. 1.0 1.1 exportable as a SWORD module
  2. To the extent that Uniscribe supports a given script
  3. with pango-graphit installed

Right to Left texts - Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and other modules Right-to-Left scripts are displayed from right-to-left and correctly shaped.
Daily Devotions - While all SWORD applications support Daily Devotions modules, some open a Daily Devotion to the current day.
Introductions - Some modules contain Testament, Book and Chapter introductions. Some SWORD applications do not handle them.
User Editable Module Content - The application supports the Personal Commentary and may allow other types of module creation.
Complex Scripts - The application can display correctly Brahmic, Indic, and related scripts (or other scripts of similar layout) - subject to availability of adequate fonts and standardized Unicode

Module Management

Feature ABS BD BT BPB FB MS SPW SB Xi
Integrated module manager yes[1] yes yes partial[2] no yes yes yes yes
Module unlocking support[3] yes[1] yes yes yes no no yes yes
Multiple download repositories[4] yes[1] yes yes no n/a yes yes yes
Local Repositories (e.g. CrossWire CD) no no yes no n/a yes yes
Downloaded modules are available immediately without restart no yes yes yes n/a yes[5] no yes
User is warned of internet access yes yes n/a n/a yes yes
User is advised about download size yes n/a n/a yes[6]
User can continue working while download is in progress yes yes n/a n/a yes no
Download can be canceled yes yes n/a n/a yes partial
User is warned if module already exists. yes no n/a yes [7]
User is notified of module updates no yes no n/a yes yes
User is notified of new modules no no n/a yes
Hiding/Showing installed modules no no yes no no no yes no no
Modules sorted by type yes yes yes yes yes
Modules are further sorted by language yes yes no no yes
Modules can be archived/exported[8] no no no no no no no no yes
Companion Module support no no no no no no yes
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 via plugins
  2. Zip installer for locally available modules only
  3. The application allows the user to supply the unlock key. The user does not have to manually edit the module's conf file.
  4. Integrated installer allows download from more than one SWORD module repository.
  5. After repository refresh.
  6. Xiphos will extract info from repository if provided
  7. installed modules are highlighted
  8. Packages a module into SWORD's shareable "Raw Zip" format.

Image Module Support

Feature ABS BD BT BPB FB MS SPW SB Xi
Image Resizing no no no no no no no yes
JPEG format[1] yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
PNG format yes yes yes yes yes yes no[2] yes
SVG format no no no yes yes no yes
  1. All full-featured SWORD applications should already have support for this types.
  2. PNG support will be available in 1.5.12 upwards

Windowing and Text Display

Feature ABS BD BT BPB FB MS SPW SB Xi
Window Layout flexible yes yes yes yes no yes yes
Un/Linkable yes yes yes n/a yes
Parallel Display yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes
Multiple texts yes yes yes no yes yes yes
Poetry Layout yes yes yes [1] yes yes[2] yes [3]
Ruby Layout[4] no no no no no
Module default font[5] yes yes no yes yes
Font settable per module yes yes yes yes yes
Font settable per language yes yes no no
Transliteration no no no[6] no no yes no yes
  1. 2 level indentation
  2. not indented
  3. 2 level indentation
  4. A not-yet-released SWORD 1.5.12 feature. Used for Japanese texts.
  5. Used if the font is installed
  6. This is available if compiled with ICU.

Search and Dictionary

Feature ABS BD BT BPB FB MS SPW SB Xi
Able to create a search index yes yes yes yes[1] yes yes no yes
Able to delete a search index yes yes no n/a yes
User can continue to use application while index is being created yes no n/a no
Indexed Search yes yes yes yes yes[2] yes yes no yes
Cross Verse Proximity Search yes yes yes[3] yes no yes no yes
indexed Strong, Morphology and Body search yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes
indexed CrossRef search yes yes yes yes no no no
indexed Note and Heading search yes yes no yes no no no
Fuzzy search yes yes yes yes no yes
GenBook and Commentary search yes no yes yes yes yes
Combined module search no no no no no no yes[4]
Search scopes yes yes yes no yes yes
Automatic/On-Mouse Strongs/Morphology lookup yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes yes
Automatic/On-Mouse Glossary lookup yes yes yes
  1. automatically created searching a module first time
  2. requires another J-Sword installation to create indices
  3. allowing phrases across verse boundaries
  4. creation of lists of modules to be searched together

Bookmarking, Tagging, Listing and Notes

Feature ABS BD BT BPB FB MS SPW SB Xi
Bookmarks, Verselists or Tags yes yes yes[1] yes yes yes yes
Manual adding yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Bulk adding of Search result yes
Permanent yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Hierarchical yes yes yes no yes
Drag and drop management yes yes yes n/a yes
Exportable yes no no
User comments yes no yes no
Study Notes yes yes yes no no yes yes yes yes
  1. utilises FF bookmarking system

Session and State Management

Feature ABS BD BT BPB FB MS SPW SB Xi
Layout stored
Interface language yes no
Open Modules yes
Search Results
Storing of multiple Sessions yes

Help System

Feature ABS BD BT BPB FB MS SPW SB Xi
Manual, English yes yes no yes yes
Manual, Other no yes[1]
Active links to online help yes yes[2]
Tooltips yes yes yes
  1. French
  2. IRC, Mailing lists, bug tracker

Localization

The following table lists all languages for which at least two applications are available. The remaining languages are listed in footnotes. Only languages with at least 70% of the user interface translated are listed.

Feature ABS BD BT [1] BPB FB MS [2] SPW [3] SB Xi [4]
GUI RtoL Support[5] yes yes no no yes no yes
English yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
German, Deutsch no yes yes no no yes yes no yes
Portuguese no no yes no yes yes no yes
Finnish, Suomi no no yes no no yes yes no yes
Persian yes no no no no no no yes
Chinese, 日本語 yes no no no no yes no no
Vietnamese no yes no yes no no no no no
Indonesian, Bahasa Indonesia yes no no no no no yes no no
French no yes no no yes no no yes
Czech no no yes no no no yes no yes
Spanish no no yes no no yes no no no
Polish no no no no no yes yes no no
  1. Danish
  2. Swedish
  3. Afrikaans, Magyar, Slovenščina
  4. Hebrew, Dutch
  5. Layout flips from Left-to-Right layout to Right-to-Left based on user's locale.

Other

Feature ABS BD BT BPB FB MS SPW SB Xi
Extramodular Bible Reading Plan yes yes no no no no yes no
Other extramodular content no no yes[1] yes [2] no no no yes [3] no
Read aloud no partial[4] no no yes no no yes
Other features not listed otherwise yes[5]
  1. Bible Study HOWTO
  2. Gospel Harmonies, Guess the Verse game
  3. Topical verse lists
  4. On MacOS 10.3+ only
  5. Pseudo-interlinear display of Strong's/morphology; commentary by chapter; lexdict mouse-hover content-to-previewer; tab-able parallel window; passage exporter