Choosing a SWORD program

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Contents

Introduction

This page needs to be maintained to give fair coverage of the SWORD front-end 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 front-end 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.

As this page is oriented to program features, it does not distinguish whether the underlying engine is SWORD or JSword.

Some applications have a different CrossWire development code name than the public name.

Features Common to All SWORD Front-end Applications

Most SWORD Front-end programs have these features:

Side-by-Side Comparison of Notable SWORD Front-end Applications

This is a work in progress. It may not be 100% accurate. As front-ends are further developed, some items may become out of date.
Please help to keep this page useful by editing it to the best of your knowledge
.

Legends

To keep the tables 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. Footnotes are automatically numbered.

Operating Systems and Portability

Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS MS2 PS SPW SB Xi
Runs on Windows 95/98/NT/ME no yes no no[1] no no no no yes no
Runs on Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8[2] no yes yes yes yes yes no no no yes yes yes
Runs on Mac OS X 10.3+ no yes no no yes yes[3] no no no no no
Runs on Mac OS X 10.4+ no yes yes no no yes yes[4] no no no no no
Runs on Mac OS X 10.5+ no yes yes no yes yes[4] yes no no no no
Runs on Linux no yes yes yes yes yes no no no no no yes
Runs on other Unix no yes yes yes yes yes no no no no yes yes[5]
Runs on iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch[6] no no no no no no no no yes no no no
Runs on Android yes no no no no no no no no no no no
Can be installed to run from USB drive no no yes[7] no yes[8] yes[9] yes[10] yes[10] no yes[11] no no
  1. Not Win9x
  2. Windows 8 is only supported on x86 processors, so Windows RT is unsupported.
  3. Version 1.3.x
  4. 4.0 4.1 Version 1.4.x
  5. BSD. Solaris cannot be supported at this time because its library support is crippled with respect to the required build tools.
  6. iOS 3.1.3 and higher.
  7. 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.
  8. PortableApps.com edition for Windows only. Leaves no trace on host computer.
  9. 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.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Leaves traces on host computer.
  11. 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 related

Module Support

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS MS2 PS SPW SB Xi
Daily devotions start with today yes yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes
Daily devotions show friendly dates[1] yes yes yes yes no no yes no yes
Shows testament introductions no no no no yes no yes no
Shows book introductions no no yes no no yes yes no yes no yes
Shows chapter introductions no no yes yes no yes yes yes yes no yes
Personal commentary no no yes no no yes yes no yes no yes[2]
Journal no no no no no no no no no yes[2]
Right to Left scripts[3] yes yes yes no yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Complex scripts[4][5] partial[6] yes[7] partial[8] partial[6] yes[9]
Transliteration yes[10] yes yes
Can display Ruby markup[11] yes
Footnote expansion yes yes yes yes yes partial[12] yes
Glossary links[13] no yes
Alternate Versification[14] no no yes no no yes yes no[15] yes
Show deuterocanonical books[16] no no yes no no yes no[15] no
  1. Dates use locale appropriate date representation. Month names if used are localized, too.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Exportable as a SWORD module
  3. Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and other modules Right-to-Left scripts are displayed from right-to-left, properly aligned and correctly shaped, and with adequate implementation of the bidirectional algorithm.
  4. See Examples of Complex Rendering.
  5. 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
  6. 6.0 6.1 To the extent that Uniscribe supports a given script
  7. To the extent that Firefox supports a given script
  8. Currently (iPhone OS 3.x), we can't install user fonts, so we can only display fonts that Apple has bundled with the iPhone. This will change for OS 4.0, at which point PocketSword will support this
  9. With pango-graphite installed
  10. Only when compiled with libsword ICU.
  11. Applicable only for modules that have been made from OSIS with Ruby. See Japanese Bibles. Requires SWORD engine 1.5.12 or later. See also [1].
  12. Notes appear in popup. Extremely long notes may appear truncated in the popup.
  13. i.e. For reference elements with attribute type="x-glossary" ...
  14. Modules with a different book order may have navigation problems in some front-ends.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Latest binary available for public download is v1.5.11, which does not support av11n. The next release, based on 1.6.x, does.
  16. This implicitly requires support for av11n

Module Management

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS MS2 PS SPW SB Xi
Integrated module manager yes[1] yes yes partial[2] yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Module unlocking support[3] yes[1] yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes yes
Multiple download repositories[4] yes[1] yes yes no yes yes yes yes yes yes yes[5]
Local repositories (e.g. CrossWire CD) no no yes no no yes yes n/a yes yes yes
Use of Proxy configurable yes no n/a yes no no no no n/a
Downloaded modules are available immediately without restart no yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no no yes
User is warned of internet access yes[1] yes yes n/a yes no yes yes yes yes yes
User is advised about download size yes[1] yes no n/a yes no no yes no no yes[6]
User can continue working while download is in progress yes yes n/a yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Download can be canceled yes[1] yes yes n/a yes yes yes yes yes partial
User is warned if module already exists yes[1] yes no no yes [7] yes [7] yes [7] yes [7]
User is notified of module updates no yes no no no no yes yes
User is notified of new modules no no no no no no no yes
Hiding/showing installed modules[8] no no yes no no yes[9] yes[10] n/a yes no yes
Modules sorted by type yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Modules are further sorted by language yes yes yes no yes no no yes no no yes
Module manager displays localized language names yes n/a n/a n/a yes n/a n/a yes
Modules can be archived/exported[11] no no no no no no no no no yes
Companion module support no no no no no no no no yes
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 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. Xiphos supports automatic repository discovery, using the standard set maintained at CrossWire
  6. Xiphos will extract info from repository if provided
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Installed modules are highlighted
  8. This refers to the ability to select which of the installed modules are listed for selection, without having to uninstall any modules.
  9. Modules can be sorted for installed/uninstalled
  10. Modules can be sorted for installed/uninstalled
  11. Packages a module into SWORD's shareable "Raw Zip" format.

Image Module Support

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS MS2 PS SPW SB Xi
Image resizing no no no no no no no yes no no yes
JPEG format[1] yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
PNG format yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no[2] yes
SVG format no no no yes yes 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

Module Information

Some front-ends can display the complete information from the module's conf file. Others can display hardly anything at all of this information. Please use this section to record what each program can display for module information, and how this is accessed.

Please state whether the front-end can display the ShortPromo link, if present in the module conf file. Except for locked modules, this is the only configuration item that allows HTML.

Windowing and Text Display

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS MS2 PS SPW SB Xi
Window layout flexible yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes
Un/Linkable[1] yes yes yes n/a no yes[2] yes
Parallel display[3] yes yes yes no no yes yes yes yes
Multiple texts yes yes yes no yes yes yes yes
Poetry layout[4] yes yes yes yes [5] yes no no yes[6] yes [7]
Module default font[8] yes yes no yes no yes yes yes
Font settable per module yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Font settable per language yes yes yes yes no no no yes
Transliteration no no no no[9] no yes no yes
Doublespace lines option yes[10]
  1. Open text panes can by user choice be linked or unlinked and will then move together to the next reference or stay at different references
  2. Only linked at the moment
  3. Several bible +/-commentary texts can be displayed in a set of parallel columns
  4. See poetic markup in OSIS.
  5. 2 level indentation
  6. Not indented
  7. 1 level indentation
  8. Used if the font is installed
  9. This is available if compiled with ICU.
  10. A per module option.

Search and Dictionary

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS MS2 PS SPW SB Xi
Able to create a search index yes yes yes yes yes[1] yes yes [2] no [3] yes no yes
Able to delete a search index yes[4] yes yes yes yes no yes yes [5] n/a yes yes
User can continue to use application while index is being created yes no yes yes yes n/a yes
Indexed Search yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes
Cross Verse Proximity Search yes yes yes[6] yes no no yes no yes
Indexed Strong, Morphology and Body search yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes
Indexed CrossRef search yes yes yes yes no no no no no
Indexed Note and Heading search yes yes no yes no no no no no
Advanced search options[7] no yes
Fuzzy search[8] yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes
GenBook and Commentary search partial[9] yes yes partial[9] yes yes yes [9] yes yes yes
Combined module search no yes no no no yes no no yes[10]
Search within search results no yes
Search scopes[11] yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes yes
Result highlighting[12] yes[13] yes yes yes
Automatic/On-Mouse Strongs/Morphology lookup yes yes yes yes yes yes yes n/a yes yes yes
Automatic/On-Mouse Glossary lookup no no no yes [14] n/a yes yes yes
  1. Automatically created searching a module first time
  2. Index can also be created automatically for all installed modules if enabled.
  3. Creating an index on a mobile device is a lesson in patience - instead, we're saving users from that hard lesson!
  4. Through plugins
  5. via deleting the module or by resetting PocketSword via the iPhone System Preferences
  6. Allowing phrases across verse boundaries
  7. e.g. All words / Exact phrase, Regular expressions, Boolean combinations, Case-[in]sensitive, etc.
  8. Finds words based upon approximation.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Commentaries when treated as Bibles
  10. Creation of lists of modules to be searched together
  11. Limit search to one or more passages or books
  12. Search term(s) highlighted in results
  13. With results in view, use Highlight all in Firefox Find (for the same search term)
  14. Via context menu

Bookmarking, Tagging, Listing and Notes

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS MS2 PS SPW SB Xi
Bookmarks, verselists, or tags yes yes yes yes[1] yes yes yes yes yes
Manual adding yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Bulk adding of search result yes yes no yes yes
Permanent yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Hierarchical no yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes
Drag and drop management n/a yes yes yes yes yes yes n/a yes
Exportable yes yes yes no no yes[2]
Importable[3] yes yes
User comments no yes yes no no yes yes
Delete all yes
Study notes no yes no no yes yes yes yes yes
  1. Utilizes FF bookmarking system
  2. Plaintext, XML, HTML; for plaintext and HTML, with or without referenced material.
  3. Bookmarks Standard

Session and State Management

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS MS2 PS SPW SB Xi
Layout stored yes partial[1] yes yes yes yes yes yes
Interface language yes yes n/a yes [2] yes [2] yes yes
Open modules yes no yes yes partial [3] yes yes yes yes yes
Search results partial[4] yes [5] no partial [6] yes
Storing of multiple sessions no yes no yes yes yes
  1. Size and location of windows only
  2. 2.0 2.1 Selected from locale setting
  3. Open tabs can be saved as a bookmark group and/or Firefox can automatically save session on exit. Limited to content viewed in primary browser area, not in the sidebar.
  4. User can store the results of a search as a verse list
  5. Resulting URL can be bookmarked
  6. Not result but search query is stored

Help System

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS MS2 PS SPW SB Xi
Manual, English yes yes yes no yes no yes yes
Manual, Other yes no no no yes[1]
Active links to online help yes yes no yes[2]
Tooltips yes yes yes yes partial partial yes
  1. French
  2. IRC, Mailing lists, bug tracker

Localization

Only languages with at least 70% of the user interface translated are listed.

The following languages are present in these front-end applications.

Please add content to the empty cells, and make changes when locales are added to each front end..
Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS MS2 PS SPW SB Xi
GUI RtoL support[1] yes yes yes yes no no yes yes no yes
Localized numerals[2] yes yes no no yes
English yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
中文 (Chinese, Traditional and Simplified) yes no yes no yes no no no yes no no yes
Deutsch (German) yes no yes yes yes no yes no yes yes no yes
Português (Portuguese) yes no no yes no no yes no yes yes no yes
Suomi (Finnish) yes no no yes no no yes no yes no yes
فارسی (Persian) no no yes no no no no no no no yes
Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese) yes no yes no yes no no no no no no
Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian) yes yes no no no no no no yes no no
Français (French) yes no no yes no no yes no yes no no yes
Česky (Czech) yes no no yes no no no no yes no yes
Magyar (Hungarian) yes no no no yes no no no yes no yes
Español (Spanish) no no no yes no no yes no yes no no yes
Polski (Polish) yes no no no no no yes no yes no yes
Svenska (Swedish) yes no no no no no yes no yes no no yes
Dansk (Danish) no no no yes no no no no no no yes
Slovenščina (Slovenian) no no no no no no no no yes no yes
Afrikaans yes no no no no no no no no yes no no
日本語 (Japanese) yes no no no no no no no yes yes no yes
Latviešu (Latvian) yes no no no no no no no no no no yes
Slovenčina (Slovak) no no no no no no no no no no no yes
עברית (Hebrew) yes no no no no no no no no no no yes
Norsk (Norwegian Bokmål) yes no no no no no no no no no no yes
Nederlands (Dutch) yes no no no no no no no yes no no yes
Cymraeg (Welsh) yes no no no no no no no no no no yes
Român (Romanian) no no no no no no no no no no no yes
Русский (Russian) yes no no no no no no no yes no no yes
Italiano (Italian) yes no no no no no no no yes no no no
Українська (Ukrainian) no no no no no no no no yes no no no
ภาษาไทย (Thai) yes no no no no no no no yes no no no
한국어 (Korean) yes no no no no no no no yes no no no
Türkçe (Turkish) yes no no no no no no no no no no no
Ελληνικά (Greek)
  1. Layout flips from Left-to-Right layout to Right-to-Left based on user's locale.
  2. Chapter & verse numbers use localized script.

Print menu

Use this section to document whether the front-end has any menu options for printing a selection from a module. If so, what restrictions exist as to how much text can be printed in one operation.

Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS MS2 PS SPW SB Xi
Menu has a print option no no[1] no n/a[2] yes[3] no[4] yes yes[5]
  1. Print menu to be added as a future enhancement.
  2. Use Firefox to print displayed passage
  3. Current text display
  4. Talk to me when Apple introduces printing support in iOS.
  5. Current chapter

Other

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS MS2 PS SPW SB Xi
Extramodular Bible reading plan yes yes no no no no no yes no
Other extramodular content no no yes[1] yes [2] no no yes[3] no yes [4] no
Read aloud[5] no partial[6] no no yes yes no no no yes
Skins[7]/Themes[8] yes[9] yes[10] yes[11] yes[12] yes[13]
Other features not listed otherwise yes[14] yes[15] yes[16] yes[17]
  1. Bible Study HOWTO
  2. Gospel Harmonies, Guess the Verse game
  3. Notes (RTF files) management
  4. Topical verse lists
  5. And-Bible also features this, for Android devices that have a TTS Engine.
  6. On MacOS 10.3+ only
  7. See Skin (computing) in Wikipedia.
  8. See Theme (computer) in Wikipedia.
  9. Via OS and saved themes.
  10. By installing Firefox themes, e.g. Bible Fox
  11. Via OS and saved themes.
  12. Via OS
  13. Via OS and saved color preferences
  14. Display Strong's headwords, configurable export passage to clipboard
  15. Integrates with Ubiquity
  16. Full screen view; floating, transparent preview window; tabbed panes detachable to seperate window; automatic software download and update
  17. Pseudo-interlinear display of Strong's/morphology; tabbed interface for multiple Bible/commentary/dictionary study; detached windows for any module; commentary by chapter; lexdict mouse-hover content-to-previewer; tab-able or detached full-chapter parallel window; passage exporter; selectable previewer position; image content display selectivity; double-space text; per-tab subwindow visibility; high-contrast highlight of current verse; external image viewer on click; geography interface through BibleMap.org; yellow-highlighter (metaphor) per-verse personal annotations; text-to-speech using Festival.
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