Accordance 5.0 Released at MacWorld

by David Lang (Posted: 7/19/01)


At this year's MacWorld Expo in New York, in the midst of all the cutting-edge technology and glitzy marketing, OakTree Software (my employer) is quietly debuting the latest release of Accordance Bible Software. And while Accordance 5.0 may not garner much media attention or win any MacWorld Best-of-Show awards, for those interested in studying the Bible it's about as cutting-edge as anything else you'll see on the show floor of the Javitz center.

For us, MacWorld Expo is at once exhausting and rejuvenating. We usually arrive there already somewhat sleep-deprived from the weeks of trying to finish up a new version of the program or to release a new CD-ROM in time for the show. Once we arrive, we're running around trying to get the booth set up, talking ourselves hoarse while demoing the software to hundreds of people, and trying occasionally to slip away long enough to take a quick look around at the other booths in the exhibit hall. By the time we get everything packed up and back home, we're generally pretty pooped.

But MacWorld Expo is also our opportunity to see people's reactions to all the work we've been doing, and that can be a wonderfully rejuvenating experience. When a die-hard Mac user comes up and tells you he had no idea there was any Bible software for the Mac, and then he sees that he can do things with your software that he never dreamed were possible, it's pretty exciting. When somebody asks you if your software is also available for the PC, and they're pleasantly surprised when you inform them that it's only available for Mac, it's a nice change from the people who think you're crazy for "ignoring 95% of the market." When their mouths hang open, or they say "Wow!", or they just laugh after you show them a cool new feature, it really helps to reenergize you.

So what are we showing this year at MacWorld? Version 5.0 of Accordance includes a number of interface enhancements and cool new features. Here are just some of the highlights. For more detailed information, check out the Accordance web-site.

User Tools By far the most significant feature of Accordance 5.0 is the ability to author your own custom Accordance-compatible tools. Accordance User Tools let you create your own Topical Bible or Bible dictionary, develop a database of sermon illustrations and anecdotes, store your class notes and outlines, or download a public domain text from the Internet and add it to your Accordance library. All such user tools are fully searchable and seamlessly integrated with the rest of your Accordance texts and tools.

Highlighting Styles Another major new feature is the ability to create color highlighting styles that you can use to mark up the text of the Bible, just as you might do in a print Bible. By combining different colors, levels of intensity, shapes, and patterns, you can create literally hundreds of different styles, and you can assign a name to each style so that you always know why you've highlighted text a certain way. You can choose to display or hide the highlighting at any time, so it never gets in your way. You can even search on your highlighted verses!


Reference Tool and User Notes Panes One of the unique features of Accordance since version 1.0 has been its ability to display multiple Bible texts in separate "panes" of the same window. With version 5.0, you can now open panes displaying commentaries, translator's notes, cross-references, and even your own user notes. These panes can be oriented horizontally or vertically, and always scroll together with the Bible text panes. It's like being able to set up your own custom study Bible!


There's a whole laundry list of additional features, as well as new Bible texts and study aids which are now available, but you get the idea. We've worked hard to pull this new release together in time for MacWorld, and we're working even harder to carbonize Accordance for compatibility with Mac OS X (the OS X version will be offered as a free update to users of version 5.0). In the meantime, though, we'll get to spend a few days showing our stuff to people who are delighted to find Bible software for the Mac, and who actually like the fact that it's Mac only. Ah, to be among kindred spirits, if only for a brief time!

David Lang is CMUG's Content Editor. David works as a developer of Accordance Bible Software, and lives in Maitland, Florida with his wife and four children.