MyWSB Brings Wordsearch Bible Software to the Internet
Lifeway updated the MyWSB website for a better online experience for Wordsearch Bible Software customers.
If you use an iPad or another tablet or you own a Chromebook then using Wordsearch Bible Software wasn’t possible. They offer a simple book reader for iOS and Android, but it’s not enough for most students of the Bible. The MyWSB web app doesn’t give us everything found in the Wordsearch 12 program for desktops and laptops. However, it’s better than what you get with the iOS or Android mobile apps. They’re pretty horrible for anything other than simple book reading.
What’s New in MyWSB Wordsearch Online?
What’s new in the online app? Most important, Wordsearch updated the user interface. Take a look at the screen shot above and you’ll see the modern look. Sign in and see the home page that offers news about the website. Along the left there’s a sidebar of links represented by icons. That’s where you access your tools for Bible study.
Here’s what each icon does…
Home – shows the main page seen above.
Reader – the reader lets users open books and read them with window panes (see more below).
Library – see all the books in your library with categories of books along the left and cover icons in the main section.
Parallel Tool – opens a window pane with parallel bibles in the Reader.
Word Study Tool – opens a Word Study Tool pane in the Reader.
Store – towards the bottom fo the sidebar we see the Store link where you can find new books to add to your library.
Help – learn how to use MyWSB.
Settings – change how the app works.
Profile – manage the Lifeway account profile details.
The MyWSB Reader
The Reader will display your books in window panes with a toolbar. The toolbar has navigation buttons with back and forward buttons represented by large left and right pointing block arrows. These go back and forward one chapter in the Bible or section in a book. They sit at extreme ends of the toolbar. There’s also a thin back arrow button that takes you back to the previous passage displayed. There’s a table of contents that shows a list view of the contents of the book. Bibles or books tied to passages also have a menu that shows a grid-based book/chapter/verse chooser menu.
There’s also a button to search the book or Bible. The small AA button decreases or increases the size of the book’s font. And the full screen button sits to the right of that.
On the top you see name of the book open in that window pane. Left of the name is the book’s info button. On the right end of the title bar you’ll find a bookmark button, which opens the bookmarks toolbar. The next button returns to the regular toolbar described above. Then there’s an X that closes the book.
The user can resize the window panes using the handle seen in the center of the screen in the screen shot seen under the section heading.
If you highlight some text in a Bible or book, a new toolbar appears at the bottom. It gives options to highlight the text, bookmark it, add a user note or copy a link to that verse. The link will take the person who clicks it back to this spot on MyWSB.com.
Regular readers of this page will know I am a Bible study notes afianado. The notes tool in MyWSB are pretty basic. You can type in basic text, add tags and that’s it.
Word Study Tool
Some Bibles support Strong’s Numbers. These books also have a button to show or hide them inline. Also, some books support displaying the Bible in paragraph or one verse per line. Those books have a button which toggles that method of display. See the NASB95 above with the Bible in verse-per-line mode and with Strong’s numbers showing.
The Word Study tool is open on the right. It shows the Strong’s concordance entry first. Then we see a section named Dictionary Reference. It has the dictionary entry showing a transliteration of the Hebrew or Greek word, a phonetic pronunciation, and the dictionary definition. You can choose which translation with Strong’s tagging you want to use. The drop down is in the toolbar at the top of the Window.
The final section shows the Usage Study section. This lists all the entries of that word in your chosen Bible. Expand each book of the Bible to see the references for that book. The Word Study Tool will show the text of the verses in your chosen translation.
Combining Lifeway and Wordsearch Accounts
The other major change in MyWSB comes in the account backend. Ever since Lifeway bought Wordseach, they’ve wanted to combine accounts so that users have one single sign-on email and password. Finally, they’ve achieved that with this update.
In the past users had to link their two accounts. Now, after they link them one time, they will use their Lifeway user account to log into MyWSB.
Better Mobile Browser Support
The website works much better on a mobile browser. I use an iPad Pro for sermon prep and the iOS app doesn’t work that well. From now on I’ll use the MyWSB app. In fact, I created a website app icon on my iPad home screen.
Add a bookmark to the Home Screen on your iPad by tapping the share button on the Safari toolbar. Find the Add to Home Screen (black box with plus icon in center of the second row above). The Home Screen icon’s not very attractive. Lifeway needs to fix that with a better site icon.
My Evaluation & Recommendation
I really like MyWSB.com for online Bible study. Logos really stepped up their game and they offer an excellent tool, but Wordsearch users will find a lot to like about this site. They site is simple to use and has enough features to make it useful. You can do nice Word Studies and general reading. Make sure to check it out.
I’d rank MyWSB second on my list of favorite online Bible study tools ahead of Bible Gateway and below Logos. That’s only because I have a large Logos library and it has more advanced Bible study tools. It also syncs with their mobile and desktop programs.
Dr. Kevin Purcell is pastor of High Peak Baptist Church, an author and writer at Church Tech Today (www.churchtechtoday.com). He used to write for a number of other Christian and secular technology and mobile tech sites. Now he's one of the hosts of the Theotek Podcast, which you can find by checking the menu above or over at www.facebook.com/theotekpodcast.