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 As front-ends are further developed, some items may become out of date.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

Please add content to the empty cells.
Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS2 PS SPW SB ST Xi XS
Runs on Windows 95/98/NT/ME no yes no no no no no yes yes no no
Runs on Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8[1] no yes yes yes yes yes no no yes yes yes yes yes
Runs on Mac OS X 10.3+ no yes no no yes no no no no yes no no
Runs on Mac OS X 10.4+ no yes yes no no yes no no no no yes no no
Runs on Mac OS X 10.5+ no yes yes no yes yes no no no yes no partial[2]
Runs on Linux no yes yes yes yes yes no no no no yes yes yes
Runs on other Unix no yes yes yes yes yes no no no yes yes yes[3] yes
Runs on iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch[4] no no no no no no no yes no no yes [5] no no
Runs on Android yes no no no no no no no no no yes [6] no partial [2]
Can be installed to run from USB drive no no yes[7] no yes[8] yes[9] yes[10] no yes[11] no yes [12] no yes
  1. Windows 8 is only supported on x86 processors, so Windows RT is unsupported.
  2. 2.0 2.1 xulsword is essentially a Firefox Add-On, and can run anywhere Firefox runs, but the libxulsword engine must first be compiled for this system.
  3. BSD. Solaris cannot be supported at this time because its library support is crippled with respect to the required build tools.
  4. iOS 3.1.3 and higher.
  5. Currently, only the web-version. Online mobile app is coming soon.
  6. Currently, only the web-version. Online and offline mobile apps are coming soon.
  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. 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.
  12. Yes in theory. Similar to BD, but not tested.

Module related

Module Support

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS2 PS SPW SB ST Xi XS
Daily devotions start with today yes yes yes yes no yes yes no yes yes
Daily devotions show friendly dates[1] yes yes yes yes no yes no no yes no
Shows testament introductions no no no yes no yes no no yes
Shows book introductions no no yes no no yes no yes no no yes yes
Shows chapter introductions no no yes yes no yes yes yes no no yes yes
Personal commentary no no yes no no yes no yes no no yes[2] yes
Journal no no no no no no no no no yes[2] no
Right to Left scripts[3] yes yes yes no yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Complex scripts[4][5] partial[6] yes[7] partial[8] partial[6] yes[9] yes
Transliteration yes[10] yes partial [11] yes no
Can display Ruby markup[12] yes
Footnote expansion yes yes yes yes yes[13] yes yes yes
Glossary links[14] no no yes yes
Alternate Versification[15] yes[16] no no yes no no yes yes no[17] yes[18] yes yes
Show deuterocanonical books[19] no no no yes no no yes no[17] yes no 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. Does not use ICU and appears incapable of transliterating anything other than Greek and Hebrew. Even Greek and Hebrew transliteration is limited to a small subset of texts.
  12. 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].
  13. Notes appear in popup. Extremely long notes may appear truncated in the popup.
  14. i.e. For reference elements with attribute type="x-glossary" ...
  15. Modules with a different book order may have navigation problems in some front-ends.
  16. As of version 1.9.0 which provides mapping between Synodal, German, Leningrad, Vulgate, KJV, and NRSV versifications and adds the IBT repository as a download location.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Latest binary available for public download is v1.5.11, which does not support av11n. The next release, based on 1.6.x, does.
  18. Including converting from one versification to another for Synodal, German, Leningrad, Vulgate, KJV and NRSV.
  19. This implicitly requires support for av11n, yet showing DC books also requires being able to navigate to them via the passage selector, etc.

Module Management

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS2 PS SPW SB ST [1] Xi XS
Integrated module manager yes yes[2] yes yes partial[3] yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Module unlocking support[4] yes[2] yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes yes[5]
Multiple download repositories[6] yes yes[2] yes yes no yes yes yes yes yes yes yes[7] yes
Local repositories (e.g. CrossWire CD) no no yes no no yes n/a yes yes yes yes yes
Use of Proxy configurable yes no n/a yes no no no yes n/a yes
Downloaded modules are available immediately without restart yes no yes yes yes yes yes yes no no yes yes yes
User is warned of internet access yes[2] yes yes n/a yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
User is advised about download size yes[2] yes no n/a yes no yes no no no yes[8] yes
User can continue working while download is in progress yes yes n/a yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Download can be canceled yes[2] yes yes n/a yes yes yes yes no partial yes
User is warned if module already exists yes[2] yes no no yes [9] yes [9] yes[10] yes [9] yes
User is notified of module updates no yes no no no yes no yes yes
User is notified of new modules no no no no no no no yes no
Hiding/showing installed modules[11] no no yes no no yes[12] n/a yes no yes[13] yes yes
Modules sorted by type yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Modules are further sorted by language yes yes yes yes no yes no yes no no yes yes yes
Module manager displays localized language names yes yes n/a n/a yes n/a n/a yes yes yes
Modules can be archived/exported[14] no no no no no no no no no yes no
Companion module support[15] yes no no no no no no no no yes yes
Can install specified font[16] yes no yes[17]
  1. Available on desktop version only for obvious reasons
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 via plugins
  3. Zip installer for locally available modules only
  4. The application allows the user to supply the unlock key. The user does not have to manually edit the module's conf file.
  5. Also supports built-in key generator capability
  6. Integrated installer allows download from more than one SWORD module repository.
  7. Xiphos supports automatic repository discovery, using the standard set maintained at CrossWire
  8. Xiphos will extract info from repository if provided
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Installed modules are highlighted
  10. The user is now shown the option if the module is already installed.
  11. This refers to the ability to select which of the installed modules are listed for selection, without having to uninstall any modules.
  12. Modules can be sorted for installed/uninstalled
  13. Modules are displayed in 2 columns: 'available for download' and 'installed'
  14. Packages a module into SWORD's shareable "Raw Zip" format.
  15. For example, linked glossary modules for Bibles. Many of the modules from the IBT repository have this feature.
  16. Where a redistributable font is specified in the module conf file, installing the module can also install the font.
  17. The font may be included within the module's zip file, under a "fonts" sub-directory, or else a URL can be used to specify the font.

Image Module Support

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS2 PS SPW SB ST Xi XS
Image resizing no no no no no no yes no no no yes no
JPEG format[1] yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes yes
PNG format yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no[2] no yes yes
SVG format no no no yes yes yes no no yes 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 MS2 PS SPW SB ST Xi XS
Window layout flexible yes yes yes yes no yes yes [1] yes yes
Un/Linkable[2] yes yes yes n/a yes[3] yes yes yes
Parallel display[4] yes yes yes no no yes yes yes yes yes
Text comparisons in parallel displays yes yes yes
Multiple texts yes yes yes no yes yes yes yes yes
Module default font[5] yes yes no yes yes yes no[6] yes yes
Font settable per module yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no[7] yes yes
Font settable per language yes yes yes yes yes no no partial[8] yes no
Transliteration no no no no[9] no yes no yes yes no
Doublespace lines option no yes[10] yes
  1. STEP's layout is so different to others that it is hard to compare. The user is given a choice between showing 1 panel or two, and whether to collapse the bookmark functionality or not. The user can also move the info/lexicon popup. Since all searches and Bible passages happen on different areas of the page, there is limited scope for layout.
  2. 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
  3. Only linked at the moment
  4. Several bible +/-commentary texts can be displayed in a set of parallel columns
  5. Used if the font is installed
  6. The fonts are set in stone on a language basis
  7. The fonts are set in stone on a language basis
  8. The fonts are set in stone on a language basis but this is not exposed to the user.
  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 MS2 PS SPW SB ST Xi XS
Able to create a search index yes yes yes yes yes yes[1] yes [2] no yes no yes yes yes
Able to download a search index[3] yes no no no no no no yes no no no no no
Able to delete a search index yes yes[4] yes yes yes yes yes yes [5] n/a yes yes yes yes[6]
Index in background[7] no yes no yes yes n/a yes yes no
Indexed Search yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes
Cross Verse Proximity Search yes yes yes[8] yes no yes no yes yes
Indexed Strong, Morphology and Body search yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes
Indexed CrossRef search no yes yes yes yes no no no yes no no
Indexed Note and Heading search no yes yes no yes no no no yes no no
Advanced search options[9] partial[10] no yes yes yes
Fuzzy search[11] no yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes
Strong's search lexicon results[12] yes[13]
Strong's search reverse lexicon[14] yes[13]
GenBook and Commentary search partial[15] yes yes partial[15] yes yes [15] yes yes yes[15] yes yes
Combined module search no no yes no no yes no no yes yes[16] no
Return to last search results[17] yes yes [18] yes[19]
Search within search results no no yes yes no
Search scopes[20] yes yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes yes yes
Result highlighting[21] yes[22] yes yes yes yes
Automatic/On-Mouse Strongs/Morphology lookup n/a yes yes yes yes yes yes n/a yes yes yes yes yes
Automatic/On-Mouse Glossary lookup n/a no no yes [23] n/a yes yes 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. For a mobile device, it's generally much faster to download an index than to create one.
  4. Through plugins
  5. via deleting the module or by resetting PocketSword via the iPhone System Preferences
  6. Done automatically as required, but the delete function is not accessible to users.
  7. User can continue to use application while index is being created.
  8. Allowing phrases across verse boundaries
  9. e.g. All words / Exact phrase, Regular expressions, Boolean combinations, Case-[in]sensitive, etc.
  10. All words, any word, exact phrase.
  11. Finds words based upon approximation.
  12. Provide a table of matched words and their frequencies corresponding to any Strong's tag search.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Result includes up to 500 search results.
  14. Provide a table of matched Strong's numbers and their frequencies correspding to any regular search of a Strong's tagged module.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Commentaries when treated as Bibles
  16. Creation of lists of modules to be searched together
  17. Without having to search again.
  18. If we mean we're coming from a different type of search or a passage lookup.
  19. via independent search result windows
  20. Limit search to one or more passages or books
  21. Search term(s) highlighted in results
  22. With results in view, use Highlight all in Firefox Find (for the same search term)
  23. Via context menu

Bookmarking, Tagging, Listing and Notes

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS2 PS SPW SB ST Xi XS
Bookmarks, verselists, or tags yes yes yes yes yes[1] yes yes yes yes yes yes
Manual adding yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Bulk adding of search result yes yes yes no yes no
Permanent yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes [2] yes yes
Hierarchical no yes yes yes yes yes no no yes yes
Drag and drop management n/a n/a yes yes yes yes yes n/a no yes yes
Exportable yes yes yes no no yes[3] yes
Importable[4] yes no yes yes
User comments no yes yes no yes no yes yes
Delete all no yes yes
Study notes yes no yes no no yes yes yes no yes yes
  1. Utilizes FF bookmarking system
  2. (until cookies in browser history are cleared)
  3. Plaintext, XML, HTML; for plaintext and HTML, with or without referenced material.
  4. Bookmarks Standard

Session and State Management

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS2 PS SPW SB ST Xi XS
Layout stored yes partial[1] yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Interface language yes yes n/a yes [2] yes yes yes yes
Open modules yes no yes yes partial [3] yes yes yes yes yes yes
Search results partial[4] yes [5] partial [6] yes yes partial [6]
Storing of multiple sessions n/a no yes no yes yes [7] yes no
  1. Size and location of windows only
  2. 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. 6.0 6.1 Not result but search query is stored
  7. This is done by bookmarking URLs

Help System

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS2 PS SPW SB ST Xi XS
Manual, English yes yes yes no no yes yes yes no
Manual, Other yes no no no yes[1] no
Active links to online help yes no yes[2] yes[3] yes
Tooltips yes yes yes yes partial yes yes yes
  1. French
  2. Links to help based on Atlassian Confluence.
  3. 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 MS2 PS SPW SB ST Xi XS
GUI RtoL support[1] yes yes yes yes no no yes no no yes yes
Localized numerals[2] yes yes no no yes yes
English yes 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 yes no no yes yes no
Deutsch (German) yes no yes yes yes no no yes yes no yes yes no
Português (Portuguese) yes no no yes no no no yes yes no no yes no
Suomi (Finnish) yes no no yes no no no yes no no yes no
فارسی (Persian) no no yes no no no no no no no yes yes
Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese) yes no yes no yes no no no no no no no
Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian) yes yes no no no no no yes no no no no
Français (French) yes no no yes no no no yes no no yes yes no
Česky (Czech) yes no no yes no no no yes no no yes no
Magyar (Hungarian) yes no no no yes no no yes no no yes no
Español (Spanish) yes no no yes no no no yes no no yes yes no
Polski (Polish) yes no no no no no no yes no no yes no
Svenska (Swedish) yes no no no no no no yes no no no yes no
Dansk (Danish) no no no yes no no no no no no yes no
Slovenščina (Slovenian) no no no no no no no yes no no yes no
Afrikaans yes no no no no no no no yes no no no no
日本語 (Japanese) yes no no no no no no yes yes no no yes no
Latviešu (Latvian) yes no no no no no no no no no no yes no
Slovenčina (Slovak) no no no no no no no no no no no yes no
עברית (Hebrew) yes no no no no no no no no no no yes no
Norsk (Norwegian Bokmål) yes no no no no no no no no no no yes no
Nederlands (Dutch) yes no no no no no no yes no no no yes no
Cymraeg (Welsh) yes no no no no no no no no no no yes no
Român (Romanian) no no no no no no no no no no no yes no
Русский (Russian) yes no no no no no no yes no no yes yes yes
Italiano (Italian) yes no no no no no no yes no no no no no
Українська (Ukrainian) no no no no no no no yes no no yes no no
ภาษาไทย (Thai) yes no no no no no no yes no no no no no
한국어 (Korean) yes no no no no no no yes no no no no yes
Türkçe (Turkish) yes no no no no no no no no no no no no
Ελληνικά (Greek) yes no no
Swahili (Kiswahili) yes no
Қазақша (Kazakh) no no no no no no no no no no no no yes[3]
Къумукъ (Kumyk) no no no no no no no no no no no no yes[3]
Кыргызча (Kyrgyz Cyrillic) no no no no no no no no no no no no yes[3]
عىزچا (Kyrgyz Arabic) no no no no no no no no no no no no yes[3]
Татар теле (Tatar) no no no no no no no no no no no no yes[3]
ئۇيغۇرچە (Uyghur) no no no no no no no no no no no no yes[3]
O‘zbekcha (Uzbek Latin) no no no no no no no no no no no no yes[3]
Ўзбекча (Uzbek Cyrillic) no no no no no no no no no no no no yes[3]
  1. Layout flips from Left-to-Right layout to Right-to-Left based on user's locale.
  2. Chapter & verse numbers use localized script.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Available at IBT: http://ibt.org.ru/pc

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.

Please add content to the empty cells.
Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS2 PS SPW SB ST Xi XS
Menu has a print option no no no[1] no n/a[2] yes[3] no[4] yes no [5] yes[6] yes[7]
  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. Browser has a print menu, however doesn't print everything that is on the screen.
  6. Current chapter
  7. Prints parallel passages, bookmark and user-note selections, search results, or any passage up to an entire Bible, with user selected options such as footnotes, cross-references, headings etc.

Other

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Feature AB ABS BD BT BPB FB MS2 PS SPW SB ST Xi XS
Extramodular Bible reading plan yes yes yes no no no no yes no no
Other extramodular content no no no yes[1] yes [2] no yes[3] no yes [4] no yes[5]
Read aloud yes[6] no partial[7] no no yes no no no yes yes[8]
Skins[9]/Themes[10] no yes[11] yes[12] yes[13] yes[14] yes[15] yes
Export passage to clipboard[16] yes yes yes
Other features not listed otherwise yes[17][18] yes[19] yes[20] yes[21] yes[22] yes[23]
  1. Bible Study HOWTO
  2. Gospel Harmonies, Guess the Verse game
  3. Notes (RTF files) management
  4. Topical verse lists
  5. Some XSM (XulSword Module) files, like Central Asian Russian, install extra localized material such as a topical index, essays, bookmarks, maps, tables, audio files, and more.
  6. Only for Android devices that have a TTS Engine.
  7. On MacOS 10.3+ only
  8. Supports playback of read or dramatized Bible passage recordings. IBT has a special repository of such audio recordings at ftp.ibt.org.ru/pub/modaudio. Faith Comes By Hearing specializes in such recordings.
  9. See Skin (computing) in Wikipedia.
  10. See Theme (computer) in Wikipedia.
  11. Via OS and saved themes.
  12. By installing Firefox themes, e.g. Bible Fox
  13. Via OS and saved themes.
  14. Via OS
  15. Via OS and saved color preferences
  16. Configurable feature.
  17. Night mode display option (white text on black background).
  18. Tilt to scroll – the more you tilt the faster it scrolls (this requires a couple of sensors that are in most, but not all devices).
  19. Display Strong's headwords
  20. Integrates with Ubiquity
  21. Full screen view; floating, transparent preview window; tabbed panes detachable to seperate window; automatic software download and update
  22. 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.
  23. xulsword features recursive popup windows to help make xulsword's interface simpler and intuitive. Xulsword supports localized XSM (XulSword Module) files which may contain any number of SWORD modules, bookmarks, audio files, video clips, fonts and more, for automatic installation into xulsword.
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