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View Full Version : Bibleworks vs. Logos vs. Accordance Interface



Lee
05-03-2010, 02:36 PM
I have been contemplating purchasing Bibleworks or one of the other "big three" for several years now. I know the general strengths and weaknesses of each of them, and I think any of them would give me far more than what I currently have. Trying to decide which is best has been a big part of slowing me down from making a purchase, but I finally realize that I need to take the plunge one way or another. It seems for the combination of price, speed, search functions, and original language resources, Bibleworks is the way to go. However, one thing that really turns me off to Bibleworks is its interface. It looks nowhere near as user-friendly as the other two. I would like to hear from Bibleworks users who have thought similarly, at least initially. After using the interface for a long enough period I'm sure it gets better, but wouldn't you still prefer to look at and use the Logos or Accordance screens? I know that blogs have posted software comparisons ad nauseum, but I would like to hear what Bibleworks users have to say specifically about this apparent weakness. And any other advice you might have would be appreciated too!

Thanks in advance.

Adelphos
05-03-2010, 02:42 PM
I found the exact opposite. Ergo, the interface of Logos and Accordance seemed to me to be much less user friendly than BibleWorks.

That just goes to show the variety of users and their opinions.

In any case, the BibleWorks interface is really quite logically layed out, and once you get used to it I think you'll find that to be the case.

With regard to actualy Bible study, I wouldn't even begin to include Logos in the same categories as BibleWorks and Accordance. I don't think Logos has anywhere near the capabilities of these two.

Thus, it comes down to platforms. If you are going to be operating in a Windows environment, then BibleWorks is hands down the way to go.

ccozier
05-03-2010, 06:07 PM
Interface is an interesting idea. I find that Bibleworks makes optimal use of every pixel on the screen....I think of it as a "dense" interface. What Logos and Accordance will do with several dialogues or nested menus BibleWorks tends to fit into a single very dense window. Take for example my favorite lexicon, Louw Nida. In BibleWorks, in a single window I get the domain listings, the domains possible for a particular lexeme, and the specific definitions for a lexeme in a particular semantic domain. I can get the same thing in Accordance, but by the time I set the window up to display all that information, it looks amazingly like BibleWorks. Generally, everything I can do in BibleWorks I can also do in Accordance. In BibleWorks I need to spend some time understanding command line syntax to be productive, but in Accordance the real "magic" tends to be buried under the search menu and various combinations therein.

It's subjective, but my feeling after using it for years is that Accordance and Logos simply don't show me as much information on a particular screen as BibleWorks. I think that density is good interface design, but I'm sure it looks different to someone who is just starting out. I'm amazed that after all the work that has gone into the graphic user interface design, we've seen the rebirth of the command line in utilities like Gnome Do, Launch Bar and Launchy. Sometimes the more productive interface isn't the most graphically appealing.

Just my 2 cents worth today.

Lee
05-03-2010, 06:45 PM
I went ahead and took the plunge. I ordered BW 8 with the BDAG/HALOT add-on. I'll figure out how to work the thing eventually, even though it looks foreign to me. Thank you for your responses--they helped give me that last little "nudge."

Adelphos
05-03-2010, 06:47 PM
I went ahead and took the plunge. I ordered BW 8 with the BDAG/HALOT add-on. I'll figure out how to work the thing eventually, even though it looks foreign to me. Thank you for your responses--they helped give me that last little "nudge."

Congratulations. And you already know where to ask if you need help, i.e., right here.

arggem
05-03-2010, 07:09 PM
Welcome to the forums, Lee! And, most of all, to the wonderful world of BibleWorks!

As Adelphos said

you already know where to ask if you need help, i.e., right here.

ccozier
05-03-2010, 07:18 PM
I went ahead and took the plunge. I ordered BW 8 with the BDAG/HALOT add-on. I'll figure out how to work the thing eventually, even though it looks foreign to me. Thank you for your responses--they helped give me that last little "nudge."

Lee,

You'll have a great journey ahead of you. Be sure to work through the screen cams of various BibleWorks functions in the help system....those always inspire me to new ideas. Also, sign up for the classroom tips, they are always great. Here is the link:

BibleWorks Classroom Resources (http://www.bibleworks.com/classroom/)

ingosorke
05-03-2010, 09:15 PM
Be patient with the learning curve (which all 3 programs have); the screen layout and interface will richly reward you - it's the cleanest, most uncluttered of all three. I can see so much more instant and composite info in Bibleworks than Logos or Accordance. Bibleworks is the one program that has consistently kept me from switching to Mac altogether. The number of versions and translations for the price is phenomenal in itself.

My top 5 hints to get started:

l niv = limit search to NIV
. God = find all occurrences of God
'Jesus said = find all occurrences with exactly "Jesus said", in that word order
Esc = takes you back to the Command Line
Shift as you move cursor = Allows you to move cursor to other screen areas without changing info
(like the Results Window)

Best wishes!

Ingo

Lee
05-03-2010, 10:44 PM
Thanks for the tips, and thank you for the warm welcome! Even though I have yet to receive and install BW, you all make me feel like family.:)

Ben Spackman
05-03-2010, 10:53 PM
I'm a long-time user of both BW and Logos, and have played with Accordance. (Macbook +Parallels +Dell desktop)

I don't own any Logos base packages, and do nearly all my textual work in Bibleworks. One of the advantageous things in BW is that in doing Greek/Hebrew/ARamaic searches, you don't have to manually change the keyboard, it adapts to whatever your search version is. :)

Don Johnson
05-04-2010, 01:53 AM
This was quite a few versions ago! I saw BW on a friends computer and thought it looked quite unwieldy. Then I got my own copy (I think I started with version 3???).

Yes, there is a bit of a learning curve, but one feature I really appreciate with BW is the tutorial videos. They really helped me get going on the areas that were important to me.

So I would recommend spending time as needed with the videos. They will answer a lot of questions and you should be enjoying BW pretty quickly.

And I echo everything the others have said in this thread.

Of course, there are folks who might prefer the others, and you would find them championing their software on the other fora, but as a user of BW and Logos, I have to say I much prefer BW, although Logos is OK as a library program.

calvary
05-04-2010, 02:10 AM
Well, I reckon enough's been said; but I'm going to put my two cents in anyhow. :)

Having owned and used all three products for years (though not currently using Accordance), I believe that BW is very user friendly. Yes, there is a ton under the hood. I'm constantly finding new features and am always pleasantly surprised when I do. But as Scott said, the BW user face is very intuitive. I'm not trying to put down Logos or Accordance, but for straight forward exegesis of the text, I find myself hardly ever using anything but BW these days. And for the money, BW's value is unsurpassed.

Blessings to you as you decide,

Dave

MGVH
05-04-2010, 05:42 PM
Ingo provided a good list of top five keyboard shortcuts. Let me add a couple others:

Esc Esc >> brings you to the command line and clears it

(with mouse clicked anywhere in Browse [center] pane) CTRL-SHFT down-arrow >> toggles through browse options; look at bottom left of window; most helpful is "Scroll mode is in Sync Mode" > now when your mouse is clicked anywhere in the Browse pane, the up/down arrow keys move you previous/next verse

in Browse pane, double-click on any version indicator (ie, BGT or NET or NRS ...) to make it the focus version

(with mouse clicked anywhere in Browse [center] pane) hit "b" to toggle browse mode on/off

For help setting up your system, I have some suggestions I provide for my students HERE (http://www.gettysburgseminary.org/mhoffman/greek/software/bw7&logos.htm).

MBushell
05-05-2010, 03:45 PM
People feel passionately about user interfaces and it can get to be a touchy subject. Our approach may not be the best for all people but I think it is a good approach for many people. As I have told many people, when BibleWorks was started many years ago, it was done for me, to work they way I wanted to work. I like to have as much information on the screen at one time as I can. It helps me think. I also like to be able to do as much as possible with a minimum of keystrokes and mouse movement. Those two things drive the interface. It can make it look a little busy. And it is probably not the best interface for a new user. But for those who use the program on a daily basis, most appreciate the density of information. If you are a new user, give yourself a little time to adjust. And don't be afraid to ask questions. There are lots of helpful and friendly users here.
Mike

Adelphos
05-05-2010, 05:33 PM
As I have told many people, when BibleWorks was started many years ago, it was done for me, to work they way I wanted to work....

When did you first make BibleWorks available publicly, and was it at that time a commercial product?

jdarlack
05-06-2010, 12:02 PM
I've put together a bare-minimum tutorial for folks just starting to use BibleWorks on our seminary computers.


LINK (http://www.gordonconwell.edu/sites/default/files/bibleworks_tutorial.pdf)

One of the biggest things I stress to beginners is that it's worth learning the command line shortcuts and 'control characters' right off the bat. Hence, in the tutorial, I introduce commands like bgm <enter> d c bgt lxe nrs <enter>, and I highlight the necessary and powerful period ( . ), apostrophe ( ' ) and forward slash ( / ).

*Unfortunately, we've not been able to upgrade to version 8 yet, so the tutorial is specifically geared to version 7, but all of the info, as far as I can tell, is still valid even if the screenshots don't reflect the latest version.
*The tutorial is very 'dense' because it's intended to be printed on a single double-sided sheet of paper.

MBushell
05-07-2010, 12:38 AM
When did you first make BibleWorks available publicly, and was it at that time a commercial product?
Scott, that was almost two decades ago! The first version was somnething that I wrote for my own use because I was unhappy with what was available for Bible Study on PCs. It was written for the first non-Dos operating system from Microsoft - Windows 3.0. I bought some raw data disks from a company in Montana to incorporate into the program and the guy I bought them from wanted to market the program, so I said OK. That was a long time ago.
Mike

Adelphos
05-07-2010, 08:09 AM
Scott, that was almost two decades ago! The first version was somnething that I wrote for my own use because I was unhappy with what was available for Bible Study on PCs. It was written for the first non-Dos operating system from Microsoft - Windows 3.0. I bought some raw data disks from a company in Montana to incorporate into the program and the guy I bought them from wanted to market the program, so I said OK. That was a long time ago.
Mike

Sounds quite providential to me. :rolleyes:

ccozier
05-08-2010, 10:05 AM
Scott, that was almost two decades ago! The first version was somnething that I wrote for my own use because I was unhappy with what was available for Bible Study on PCs. It was written for the first non-Dos operating system from Microsoft - Windows 3.0. I bought some raw data disks from a company in Montana to incorporate into the program and the guy I bought them from wanted to market the program, so I said OK. That was a long time ago.
Mike

Mike,

Did the company from whom you purchased the data disks market a DOS bible study product? I remember using LBase (the precursor to Bible Windows / Bibloi) in conjunction with a DOS text based bible study tool. I always thought that DOS tool was the precursor to BibleWorks, but now I'm not so sure. I do remember when your product first came to the market....those of us who had coded queries into LBase and Gramcord ( or lived in the text screen world of DOS) were blown away.

SkipB
05-09-2010, 01:18 AM
My first commercial software for Bible study was the ccat texts available with my word processor (Nota Bene). At Temple, I had access to Ibycus and we wrote pascal routines to search beta code. I first read about BibleWorks in the old Bits & Bytes Review newsletter. I think my first purchase was version 3 and I have been hooked ever since. BibleWorks saved me literally thousands of hours in researching my dissertation.
I am always amazed at how much it has grown and how refined the UI has become. And it has been a privilege to correspond with other users and the BibleWorks team over the years. This may sound pathetic, but BibleWorks has become part of my life. I could not imagine my academic work or pastoral work without it.

bkMitchell
05-09-2010, 10:23 PM
... It seems for the combination of price, speed, search functions, and original language resources, Bibleworks is the way to go. However, one thing that really turns me off to Bibleworks is its interface...I would like to hear what Bibleworks users have to say specifically about this apparent weakness. And any other advice you might have would be appreciated too!
Thanks in advance.

My advice is:
(1) Get BibleWorks (and you did)
(2) Load/boot up BibleWorks and look at it's interface
(3) Click on "Veiw" scroll down and click on Show/Hide then de-check Toolbar and Analysis Window
(4)Notice, the much simpler or less crowded interface you now have.
(5)You may or may not be in favor of that arrangement, but you know now that it is possible to change BibleWorks. For example you can also have the analysis placed at the bottom of the browse window, change font size and color, and much more. So, take sometime to explore and play with BibleWorks many options.

BibleWorks is a highly configurable program, allows you to rearrange, and manipulate various aspects of it's interface. If you find that have two or more different arrangements you are fond of you can use the Enable configuration manager option to save these different arrangment under specific titles.

Lee
05-10-2010, 05:34 PM
I just got my BibleWorks DVD today, and I feel like a kid in a candy shop. It's going to take me a while to figure this all out, but I certainly appreciate the many tips you all have given me. I plan to give them all a try. Thanks again to all of you for taking the time to respond.

arggem
05-10-2010, 07:05 PM
I just got my BibleWorks DVD today, and I feel like a kid in a candy shop.

Yup, I know the feeling! Congratulations!!! And stay in touch.

Dale A. Brueggemann
05-11-2010, 01:40 AM
I just got my BibleWorks DVD today, and I feel like a kid in a candy shop....

And I feel the same way whenever I update to a new version. BW provides so much value on new releases, that it's like getting a brand new program. The well established user interface stays pretty stable, but the features, modules, and power increases by startling jumps over the previous version.

Lee
05-11-2010, 05:51 PM
I've put together a bare-minimum tutorial for folks just starting to use BibleWorks on our seminary computers.


LINK (http://www.gordonconwell.edu/sites/default/files/bibleworks_tutorial.pdf)

One of the biggest things I stress to beginners is that it's worth learning the command line shortcuts and 'control characters' right off the bat. Hence, in the tutorial, I introduce commands like bgm <enter> d c bgt lxe nrs <enter>, and I highlight the necessary and powerful period ( . ), apostrophe ( ' ) and forward slash ( / ).

*Unfortunately, we've not been able to upgrade to version 8 yet, so the tutorial is specifically geared to version 7, but all of the info, as far as I can tell, is still valid even if the screenshots don't reflect the latest version.
*The tutorial is very 'dense' because it's intended to be printed on a single double-sided sheet of paper.
Thanks for the tips. However, the link you provided seems to be dead. Is the tutorial available somewhere else?

bkMitchell
05-11-2010, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the tips. However, the link you provided seems to be dead. Is the tutorial available somewhere else?

Hello Lee,

I am not Jdarlack and I am sure his tutorial will be helpful once, he gets back to you.
But, until that time and If you have not done so already I highly recommend you take a look at:

(1) the Video Study Guides that come with BibleWorks

(2)The official Bibleworks' tips found here here:
http://www.bibleworks.com/classroom/

(3) Explore the BibleWorks Wiki Web
found at (http://wiki.luthersem.edu/bin/view/BibleWorks/WebHome)