WORDsearch 11 Product Evaluation Posted

I published tonight what I imagine will be the last iteration of my WORDsearch Bible Study software product evaluation page. It’s a more detailed assessment of the various aspects of the program than I’d probably intended to write, especially given my limited use of it these days, but it’s out there. I still get a fairly steady stream of hits on the site for the WORDsearch page, so I felt somewhat duty-bound to update it. But I’d be surprised if I upgraded when version 12 comes out, so this is probably the end of the line for me as a critic of that prod...

WORDsearch 11: New Features, Part 3 (NoteStacks)

The final element of my evaluation of Lifeway’s version 11 release of their WORDsearch electronic Bible Study platform concerns the only really new feature introduced in this version, which is a brand new knowledge management tool known in various contexts as NoteStack, NoteStacks, Note Stacks, and Card Stacks. This tool seems similar to the Sermons & Illustrations tool that appeared in the prior version, but is geared more toward topically or logically organizing content from library resources. More fundamentally, this is a vastly improved mechanism...

WORDsearch 11: New Features, Part 2 (Look & Feel)

The WORDsearch website identifies “Look & Feel” as a new feature, so I will address it as a whole, though the “feature” aspect is really just the new, tabbed user interface as a means of program presentation. The first thing I noticed upon initial start-up is how grey the interface is now. Anyone who uses the 2013/365 versions of Microsoft Office will find this look familiar. I expect it to be a fad that will pass as soon as Apple releases some new gizmo interface using bright, polished colors. It’s not important either way, and I suppose the overwh...

WORDsearch 11: New Features, Part 1

Having addressed the installation and setup of the WORDsearch 11 upgrade last week, I have been evaluating the new release, with a particular interest in identifying and assessing what has changed in the upgrade. The WORDsearch website identifies the following features as new: New! New Look & Feel New! LESSONmaker Integration New! Cloud Backup/Restore New! Second Monitor Support New! NoteStack Window New! Customizable Toolbar New! Topic Explorer and Cross-Reference Explorer Speedup New! "Open Book" button ...

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 i...

Rumblings From a Deep Slumber

Rumblings from out of a deep slumber at MaybeToday.org, as I turn the lights back on to note some activity… WORDsearch LifeWay this week released WORDsearch 11, which is the first major version release in almost four years. I haven’t run the new version yet, and very well may not, at least for the foreseeable future, as the marketing approach being taken ($50 for an engine-only upgrade, discounted to $40 through September) seems hard to reconcile against new product descriptions that identify a few nice-sounding but hardly game-changing improvements to w...

Taking Stock

I went out to fetch some Chinese take-out this evening, and found myself driving past Saint Patrick’s just a few minutes before classes were to start for the beginning of the new CCD year. I sped up just a little. This is the first year in almost a decade that I will not be teaching a class of teenagers. It is a strange feeling, and I already miss the camaraderie of the classroom. I’ve really loved my charges over the years, and they’ve been a great source of joy and satisfaction for me. There’s no good reason to expound upon why I wouldn’t go back this ...

Some Concluding, Year-End Musings on 2012

Logos: Logos Bible Research scored huge in my estimation this year. I had struggled to be productive with earlier versions of their software, but version 4, released just about 3 years ago, represented a dramatic improvement in usability and performance, and I started drifting toward it then – especially since they were also beginning to release quality Catholic resources (e.g. works by Aquinas). Then, this Spring, they put together a series of terrific Catholic base packages, all of which included an outstanding edition of the Catechism of the Catholic ...

WORDsearch, LifeWay, and the Future of Bible Study Software

It’s been a couple of months now since the Southern Baptist Convention’s publishing arm, LifeWay, announced that they had gotten into the Bible Study Software publishing market by buying WORDsearch – a sale that included QuickVerse, which had just been bought by WORDsearch a couple months earlier. I wasn’t thrilled by either of these announcements (especially the second one), and the passing of time has not made me feel much better. As I mention in the summary of my analysis of QuickVerse, I think the sale to WORDsearch was a good thing overall for Quick...

Updated WORDsearch Tweaks

From the better-late-than-never department, I’ve updated my Overview of WORDsearch Bible Study software to account for version 9. I’ve also updated the customizations under the Tweaks tab: more color schemes, more Internet dictionary resources, and a minor re-work of my Bible Search Range Defaults file that works better with the new indexer engine in WS9. This can all be found here.… Read the rest

WORDsearch 9 Released: Initial Impressions

WORDsearch 9 was released Monday, roughly two years after the release of version 8. This is the third release of WORDsearch developed on the Bible Explorer platform for CROSS eBooks. Long-time WORDsearch users who have been waiting for a return of the search results management genius of the old Ref List will not find what they’re looking for, but some significant improvements have been made to version 8 nonetheless. The biggest improvement, by far, was a complete reworking of the window syncing mechanism. In the two previous iterations of WS, as i...