Monday, October 1, 2012

Accordance 10: A Worthy Update

Software reviewed: Accordance 10.0.2
OakTree Software, Inc.

Whenever Bible software is updated, I'm always amazed at how many improvements are included. I started using Bible software many years ago when it came on 5.25" floppy disks. After the initial excitement of being able to quickly and easily look up verses and search via key words, I'm glad to say that so many more Bible study possibilities are available in the latest Bible software packages.

As an Accordance user for about ten years now, I've seen it go through some big changes. Accordance 10 has made some positive strides. While it may seem like a minor detail, the move to one unified window for Accordance is something I've wanted for a long time. No longer do I have to reposition various floating windows (palettes). This is especially helpful for those who, like me, work with more than one screen at a time. Bumping Accordance 10 from one screen to another is now much more pleasant due to the unified window structure. You can still "float" windows wherever you want them, by the way.
Accordance 10 features a unified window rather than floating palettes
(click image to enlarge)
Another change I like in Accordance 10 is the quick access to the "search all" feature, which is now right in the toolbar in the top right. Also a welcome addition is the "flex" search option, which is on by default. This uses what is called fuzzy logic to search for various key words that most closely match the phrase typed, thus increasing your chances of finding the passage you are looking for even if you don't quite remember it exactly. You can change this to "exact search" on the fly, for those instances where you know the exact phrasing you want.

What else did Accordance 10 bring? It has narrowed down the number of collections you can choose from when upgrading (six options are available). This is a welcome change since I was often at a loss as to how to determine what steps I should take if I decided to upgrade to additional content since so many options were available.

Accordance 10 also offers an updated library, which is an improvement over the previous version. It's easier to see the title of a resource along with getting instant information about it by clicking the letter "i" that pops up when you hover over a title. I still think Bible software can make some improvements to how users manage their libraries, which can become quite vast these days. Neither Accordance or Logos Bible Software seem to have mastered how to quickly and easily manage your electronic library. Maybe something along the lines of iBooks is in order, where resources can be grouped on virtual shelves.

On the whole, Accordance 10 is a welcome update and certainly worth every penny of the $49.99 upgrade cost. By the way, if you want a preview of what Accordance 10 includes, you can check the website, but also may wish to review some recent video podcasts Accordance offers via Lighting the Lamp.

One more thing: For many years the only way to run Accordance on Windows was via an emulator, but according to OakTree Software a native Windows version of Accordance is coming in 2013.

Note: OakTree Software graciously provided me with a free review copy of Accordance 10.

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