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

Monday, May 26, 2008  

I Told You It Would Be Soon!

On Friday, I promised that Accordance 8 would be released very soon. I wasn't kidding. I'm pleased to announce that Accordance 8 is now available for purchase and download, so you can start playing with all the new features today.

So what's new? More than I can list in a single blog post, but I'll try to highlight the major changes:

Universal Binary: Many of you have said, "I don't care about new features, just make Accordance available as a Universal Binary." Well, the wait is over. If you're running Accordance on an Intel Mac, you can now enjoy a significant speed boost without the overhead of running Rosetta.

Library Window: With Accordance 7, we introduced the Arrange Modules window, which was designed to let you organize all your Accordance modules. That window has now been expanded into an all-purpose launcher and renamed the Library window. A streamlined design makes it easy to keep this window very narrow and leave it open on the screen all the time. A Find box lets you type a few letters and find all the modules which begin with those letters. Use the arrow buttons to skip to the module you want, and hit return to open the module. You open and close the Library window from the Window menu.

Powerful New Search Capabilities: The new FUZZY and INFER commands make possible some incredibly powerful new searches. The INFER command is so powerful, in fact, that I really can't do it justice in a mere listing of new features. You can get a glimpse of these new search commands in action in the video demo of the new features in 8, and I'll be blogging about them at length later this week. In a nutshell, the FUZZY command lets you search for approximate matches to phrases, and the INFER command lets you find places where one text quotes from or alludes to another.

ANY Tag: Until now, Accordance has always required you to pick a part of speech when searching a grammatically tagged text. Thus, if you wanted to search for all nominatives, you would have to search for all nominative nouns, pronouns, adjectives, participles, etc. The new ANY tag (keyboard shortcut shift-command-Y) lets you search for any tag meeting particular grammatical criteria. Entering "nominative" in the ANY tag will find all nominatives regardless of part of speech.

Key Number Highlighting: When you display a tagged Greek or Hebrew text in parallel with an English Bible with Key Numbers, you can now drag over a word in either text and Accordance will highlight the corresponding word in the other pane. For example, drag over agapas in John 21:15 and the first occurrence of the English word "love" in the NAS95S will be highlighted. Drag across the second "love" in the NAS95S and philo will be highlighted in the Greek text. This feature makes it easy to see the relationship between the original text and the English translation.

Favorite Workspaces: Amplifying to a module lets you instantly search that module for any word you select. Favorite workspaces let you set up predefined sets of modules you can amplify to. For example, you might set up a Hebrew Studies workspace with (1) a tab containing the tagged Hebrew Bible in parallel with several English translations, (2) a tab containing the tagged Qumran in parallel with the Qumran English, (3) tabs containing HALOT, BDB, and TWOT, (4) a tab containing the Old Testament volumes of Word Biblical Commentary. Once you've saved this workspace as a Workspace favorite, you can select any Hebrew word and amplify to this workspace. Doing so will look up that Hebrew word in every one of the resources included in that workspace!

Custom colors and color backgrounds: Tired of black text on a white background? Accordance 8 lets you set up your own custom colors in addition to the standard Accordance color palette, and use those colors for text or the window background. Try coffee-brown text on a parchment yellow background, olive text on a mint background, or even white text on a black background. The possibilities are endless.

Custom leading: Accordance 8 now lets you control the leading (pronounced ledding), or space between lines of text, to improve readability (and keep the graphic designers happy!).

Horizontal Panes: Accordance has always displayed Bibles side-by-side in vertically-oriented panes. With Accordance 8, you can choose horizontal panes and stack parallel Bibles one above the other. This is great when you want to compare a single verse in a wide variety of texts.

Draggable Panes: Let's say you open the KJV, NAS95S, GNT-T (Nestle-Aland), and the GNT-TR (textus receptus) in parallel panes of the same window. You then decide you want them in a different order: say, KJV, GNT-TR, NAS95S, and GNT-T. Until now, you would have had to change the text which is displayed in each pane. In Accordance 8, you can just click and hold on the gray area above each pane and drag that pane to another position in the window.

Support for Arabic: Accordance 8 now supports Arabic Bibles and Arabic text within tools. Arabic modules will be coming soon.

Unicode Import: Accordance 8 now seamlessly imports Unicode Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic, and transliterated text. Copy some Greek text out of a web page and paste it into an Accordance search field. Import html documents with Unicode Greek and Hebrew into your own Accordance user tools! Accordance will convert the text to the appropriate Accordance fonts and place it into the appropriate fields of your user tool.

All that's just the big stuff! I haven't even begun to mention all the little enhancements which will make your lives easier. I'll have to talk about those in an upcoming post!

Until then, check out the new features in 8 page of the newly redesigned Accordance web-site.

David, I'm a little confused when you write about "unicode import." I thought that Accordance was unicode...

Anyway, this is exciting. Very exciting.


Accordance does not use unicode internally, but non-unicode Mac fonts and special routines for handling Greek and Hebrew text. Accordance users have long been able to export Greek and Hebrew text from Accordance into Unicode format, and now with Unicode import of supported languages, using Accordance with unicode documents, web pages, etc. should now be fairly seamless.

I'll be blogging more on our ongoing unicode strategy soon.

Version 8 is NOT available. I have been trying to purchase the download for the past 5 hours, I cannot get it. Moreover, email and phone requests for help have gone unanswered. Today, you are acting a lot like "that other bible software program" with the notorious tendency to over promise and then not produce. I expected better from you.

Wow. That response sure seems a bit over-the-top.

Mea culpa! It was my fault, and I am very sorry! I've been working to post the new stuff since 5 am, and I made a mistake which is now corrected. You can now order the upgrade, and orders are flooding in.

It is a holiday today and our staff are working from home. We will respond to all requests on voicemail and email, but some may need to wait until tomorrow.

NOW it is available. You fixed the problem and I got it. Now I will go play with it.

Sorry, another problem, the Universal version of the program and the demo are missing the Help files. We are working to correct this.

Well, this is all exciting news! But I'm sure Dave can guess _my_ big question.... Polish Bibles... Will my ę and ą work? :-) In other words, can I finally get my Polish Bibles imported (waiting with bated breath) :-)

Oh, and maybe it would have been better to wait until _after_ the holiday to announce it? ;-)


OK, new installers have been posted with Help files. You will need to delete a current version of 8.0 in order to get the Help, though. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thanks so much for this new version! I'll be purchasing it momentarily, but first I want to let you know that the Accordance website appears broken in Safari. It looks fine in Firefox, but in Safari 3.1.1 all elements line up on the left side of a very long grey page, with no spatial organization.

Before posting the notice about Safari above, I tried loading the page numerous times, clicking the refresh button, etc., but now I'm happy to say that the site is working fine in Safari. Either you guys fixed it very fast, or perhaps the server was overloaded and the css didn't download, or my connection was interrupted, or whatever, but the good thing is that it's working fine now!

I'll look forward to your up and coming posts on unicode in the future.

I notice in the new features it shows an "ESVS" and mentions a version of ESV that is tagged with Strong's numbers. However, I don't see that module available anywhere. Is that one that is forthcoming?


Have all the font problems (including display of bold, etc. in tools) been fixed in this release?

The New Features page says: "Upgrade Warnings: Certain Intel Macs which use an NVidia graphics chipset crash when opening the 3D Map window..."

Sure would be helpful to know which Macs those are! Or how to find out, but a simple list wouldn't be too hard for a savvy support person to create. :)

Rod: Yes, I believe the font issues have been fixed (with a lot of effort). I will update the New Features page with more info on the NVidia issue shortly.

I went to the new web site, and the layout was all mucked up as described above. Then I hit refresh and it was ok. Strange.

>> Sure would be helpful to know which Macs those are! Or how to find out<<

Here's stab at how to find out; hope this helps...

1. Choose "About this Mac" from the Apple Menu. If the "About" window says you have a PowerPC processor, there is no problem. If it says you have an Intel processor, continue to the next step.
2. In the "About" window, click the "More Info..." button.
3. In the "Contents" pane on the left side of the "More Info" window, click "Graphics/Displays."
4. On the top line, "Chipset Model," if you see NVidia then the problem will affect you. If NVidia does not appear in the "Chipset" line, then you're okay.

Boy, I can't wait for the Intel-native capability, and for the favorite workspace feature! I've already placed my order... Thanks.


Thanks Guys.

OK, thanks for the updated info. Is it *any* Nvidia graphics card, or only certain ones? E.g., my MacBook Pro used an Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT, but I don't think that is the only Nvidia card that Intel Macs have used.

The NVidia GeForce 8600M GT in the Intel MacBook Pro will definitely cause a hang in Accordance 8 when opening a 3D Map window. And again, this hang only happens on Intel Macs with NVidia graphics cards running Mac OS X 10.5.2 with the Graphics Update 1.0 also applied.

Obviously we haven't tested "every" NVidia card, but it crashes on those we did test.

Wow! I love it. The fuzzy search is great, universal binary is great, but the Library bar alone with favorite workspaces is worth the price of the upgrade.

Thank you for v.8! I hope UB will be faster, but I never expected it bo be THAT MUCH faster! :-)
And I love word highlighting.

Oh wow. Version 8 is just plain fast! I like the new features...especially the paste and match style, word highlighting, favorite workspaces, and the new library window is great. You even fixed the width of the highlight palette so that it fits neatly under the tool palette (vertical). Thank you, Accordance team, very well done!

(and keep the graphic designers happy!)

Happy, Happy and then some! The text colors/backgrounds and leading are wonderful. The readability is so much better.

Thank You! Thank You!

I really like the idea of the word highlighting for the different languages.

Is there a list of which bible modules are compatible with this feature?

This feature requires a Key number text (currently KJVS, NAS95S, or NIV-G/K), the tagged Hebrew Bible BHS-W4, and a tagged New Testament such as GNT-T or GNT-TR. It does not work with the GNT-TRS which is tagged with Strong's numbers, nor the untagged texts such as GNT-NA or HMT-C.

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