There’s a new WORDsearch update. WORDsearch 11 comes with a new user interface, an updated library feature, better note card feature for research and some better speed in indexing resources. Add multi-monitor support and the old Lesson Maker that WORDsearch forgot they owned. It’s now integrated into WORDsearch.
The Theotek Podcast team got a look from Rick Milone of WORDsearch. He’s one of their official trainers as well as a user. He showed off some of the new features.
Open WORDsearch 11 and it displays the Home page. Older versions included a smaller version of this, but this time it takes over the full screen. Notice the list of links along the left and list of specials or deals in their store along the right labelled “Latest News.” All the “news” seems to focus on books I can buy. Too bad they don’t follow other programs and actually offer some real content besides just sales items. This would get me to actually look at this instead of ignore it on my way to opening my library or picking up where I last left off in my studies.
Along the bottom of the Home page we get a bunch of links. These take the user to their apps for iOS, Android and the only myWSB. That’s one of if not the best online Bible study site available today, especially for WORDsearch customers with a large library that they can use the online version without paying extra, as some programs do.
The other set of links at the bottom of the page takes me to WORDsearch social networking accounts. These include:
Move on to the Study and Library pages or tabs to get some real work done. Clicking library shows a grid of books I own in my library. WORDsearch 11 will offer to download your books the first time you click a title to open it from the Library. This takes a long time for people with large libraries like mine.
We get an option to list our books or show them in this default grid format. There’s also a search box to easily find books by title. Users with user-created content like User Books, Verse Lists or Documents can find them by clicking the items in upper left corner list. As always the categories of books shows up on the left side.
The WORDsearch 11 Study window looks the same as it did before while getting an updated set of toolbar buttons. Gone is the Library panel that we used to open along the left edge of the Window. that makes it a little less intuitive for new users to open their books. Use one of the dropdown boxes on the toolbar to open books.
The toolbar includes buttons for the following:
Open – opens the Open Book dialog box where the user can search for books and a list of search results shows up. Double-click to open the book or highlight and click OK.
Search – brings up the Search dialog box which includes advanced boolean search functions. Users can limit searches to certain books or just Bibles.
Results – brings up the Search Results dialog box showing the last search. Users can manipulate the results to get a cleaner look at what they want to find.
Verses – opens a kind of research assistant tool that finds your verse in various books in your library. The tool lets the user decide wich books to look in like commentaries, dictionaries, illustration books and any other book in the library.
Topics – a topical Bible browser that finds content in your library based on topics like grace or cross, etc.
Cross-Refs – lists cross references for a given passage.
Notes – opens your own notes browser.
IVS – Instant Verse Study tool that goes out and gets content in your library about a given passage.
Verse List – create verse lists.
Word Proc – opens the word processor so you can create documents like Bible studies or sermons inside WORDsearch 11.
NoteStack – a note card research tool. See more on this below or in the Theotek Podcast above.
Back/Forward – moves back and forth in the history of places you’ve visited in WORDeearch.
Opening books from
Lesson Maker – the great lesson creation tool owned by WORDsearch and not updated in years till now
Morph – morphological explorer research tool for language study.
Arrange – quickly arranges open books in either horizontal or vertical alignment.
Desktop – works with the Desktop tool that lets users create window arrangements that make quickly switching between study layouts.
Users of older versions of WORDsearch will see that the old Resource Pane along the left no longer shows up. It’s gone, replaced by the Library tab. If you know the title of a book you want to open, then click on the Open button and start typing the title into the dialog box. You can also open books from the Bible and Commentary buttons. The Library tab shows every book installed.
Users of multiple monitors can take use of the new multi-monitor support. Put a Bible and a notes window on one monitor and a commentary or language study tools on the other. Arrange things however you prefer. Save them in a predefined Desktop to quickly open it up.
Lesson Maker is Back
WORDsearch owns a great lesson creation tool called Lesson Maker that many of us loved. It was the first WORDsearch product I bought long ago. The tool quickly creates a lesson using questions in a database of tools.
The Lesson Maker tool shows up as a button on the toolbar. Open it up and create a quick lesson. This isn’t a replacement for doing careful study, but it can rescue you in an emergency. Here are the ways I’ve used Lesson Maker.
Throw together a quick lesson when you don’t have time due to a busy schedule or a last-minute emergency.
Create lessons for a last-minute fill-in who takes your place when you’re sick or get called away.
Study hard to teach a lesson and use Lesson Maker to supplement the Bible study
Digital Note Cards in Note Stack
Remember the old note cards that your English teacher taught you to collect while writing a research paper? WORDsearch 11 offers a tool called Note Stacks. there’s a button on the toolbar to open the Note Stacks dialog box. Create a stack around a topic, a sermon passage or a book of the bible. Whatever you’re teaching, preaching or just studying can become a Note Stack.
Now, while studying in commentaries, language studies, Christian Living books or any place in WORDsearch 11, you can select text and right-click. Choose Create a Note from selected text. The Notestacks box opens with the text already entered into the note. Give it a title, add it to a category from the drop down box, and edit other parts of the dialog box. Then hit Save.
WORDsearch 11 Cost and Value
Users can upgrade to WORDsearch 11 for only $40 for the Windows version or for the Mac version. It’s not the most significant update, but if you can afford it, then go get it. The new user interface makes for easier Bible study. The look of the update isn’t as modern looking as some programs, but that’s a minor complaint. I’m glad I got the update.
Mac users can get access to their WORDsearch library on Mac and it works exactly like the Windows version, but on top of emulation software. It’s not a native Mac app written for OS X. However, if you don’t mind the emulation, it works fine.
The few readers who are using the beta version of OS X El Capitan should wait till WORDsearch makes an El Capitan version available. It’s not compatible as of yet, but will work soon. OS X 10.10 Yosemite users won’t have this issue.
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.