WORDsearch 11, initial thoughts: Setup

I purchased and installed the new WS11 upgrade last week. I hadn’t been sure I’d actually do it, but after attending a free training session to get some exposure to the new StackNotes feature, I was impressed enough with the potential of the tool to lay out the $40 upgrade fee and give the new version a try.

I downloaded the installer to a network share and ran it on my Windows 10 laptop, but the installer failed with a non-descriptive error, so I copied the installer file to my local desktop, and it ran through to successful completion.

However, the installer did not find my WS10 personal data to import – a fact I attribute to the installer asking for Administrator account authentication, which account it then apparently ran the entire installation under, thus creating the user-specific links and folders in the Administrator user profile instead of under my own user profile. After completion of the installation, the application launched under the Administrator account (as I figured out later), and I did a little preliminary poking around after going through the Settings Helper wizard. As suspected, not much had changed with the application, though it had a somewhat cleaner but duller look (very grey, like the new MS Office). There were a few new things, but aside from appearance, it seemed to be functionally pretty much the same app as WS10. It was several days before I had the chance to look at it again, during which time my PC updated and rebooted.

Prior to re-opening the app, I wanted to find a way to get my WS10 personal data available in WS11. No migration utility presented itself, so I figured I’d live chat tech support to see if there was any programmatic conversion that needed to take place during migration, or if I could just copy and paste. However, it was evening (after work), and I discovered that tech support is only available during the day. Not wanting to wait, and correctly assuming there’s be no harm in copying the user data over, I used the Support Info (Help|About|Support Info) link to my WORDsearch “UserData” folder to jump to the folder within my Windows user profile, then navigated between the WS11 and WS10 folders there to find and copy the data (Desktops/Templates; Collections; Bible Notes; Illustrations database; Favorites; Carousel configurations).

Upon starting up the app, I was prompted to go through the Settings Helper wizard again – likely because the application was now running under my Windows user logon, not the Administrator user. However, the next time I started up the application, I was prompted to install a program update (to, which I did. As with the original install, the installer again asked for administrative credentials to execute, after which it launched the WS11 application under the Administrator user ID. This was obvious to me at this point, because I no longer had my personal data available, and the Desktop that loaded was the one I’d been monkeying around with the first night I installed the app. Checking the UserData path in Support Info confirmed this. I shut it down and restarted, and it came up using my user profile. That condition could be pretty confusing for users who don’t understand the underlying PC technology that will be making it look like user data is disappearing and reappearing after running updates.

Having completed setup with a modest amount of pain, I’ve had a chance to investigate a little deeper some of the new (and newer) tools and features, and I hope to post my observations over the next few days, then get my WORDsearch product eval page updated for the new version.