View Full Version : BibleWorks and PDAs

Joshua Luna
04-27-2004, 06:05 PM

I just wanted to start a thread on using BibleWorks with a PDA. I am remember in the past on the discussion list that there were some discussions about copying texts over to a PDA--it would be nice to bring that information to the forum here :)

I recently was given a Palm, and have been browsing around for different tools for it. I wish BW was available! It would be nice to have software package that included (1) Bible translations and ability to search them (2) Hebrew and Greek texts that are parsed and searchable (3) Hebrew/Greek Lexicons (4) flashcard program. Having all of these resources in a small and compact form that travels easily would be great. From browsing around today it looks like all four of these features are out there (just not in one package), but #2 seems to be a weak spot. It seems that most Hebrew texts (at least on the Palm platform) have issues with vowel points and some search issues. Who knows, maybe BW will step in this market and allow us to take BW on the road! :)

Any suggestions on maximizing ones use of BW by making its databases or tools usable on a PDA would be welcomed :) Thanks for your time.


Believing Sojourner
04-27-2004, 08:33 PM
Joshua, I too have a Palm device, but my Palm device uses Palm OS. If your device is a Pocket PC, then e-Sword has a free product that you can download and install that offers many features, although it is not BibleWorks, of course.

In any case, the download site is worth visiting to investigate. It is http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html . I have been generally well pleased with e-Sword for the desktop, but I assume my PDA cannot handle the software for the Pocket PC. I have been generally dissatisfied with products available for Palm OS that I am aware of, although I have purchased software from Olive Tree (www.OliveTree.com (http://www.olivetree.com/)) and Laridian (http://www.laridian.com (http://www.laridian.com/)). The last time I investigated, which was a long time ago, there were far more databases offered by Olive Tree than by Laridian, but the Laridian search engine was much faster. Since I have to choose, I access the databases from Olive Tree and seldom load Laridian.

--Scott L. Adams

04-28-2004, 09:19 AM
The best PDA program I've found out there is this one: Palm Bible Plus available at: http://palmbibleplus.sourceforge.net/. It is kind of a spin-off of the Olive Tree version from what I understand, before Olive Tree became a commercial product, this version forked off as an open-source development project. It has great capabilities. Most notably, it has the capability to convert Bible texts from other digitial formats (Bibleworks, Logos, etc.) into the format that it can read for use on the Palm. They have a disclaimer that looking into the legal issues is your own responsibility, but the premise is that if you've purchased an electronic copy of a text in one format, you have the right to convert it to a different format for your personal use as well.

It has some capability for (1), (2), and (3). The parsed Bible versions are transliterations (because of the difficulty on the Palm of displaying different fonts next to each other) and I believe the lexicons only work with Strong's numbers, not with the actual original language texts (I've not tried them for this reason). But first, its a good start and has many features (the dual window for viewing English and Original Language is excellent), and second, its open-source so it has the potential to grow and be developed (and you can participate if you have the skills and time).

Joshua Luna
04-28-2004, 02:30 PM
I checked out the OakTree product (looks nice), but the Heb. vowel points are not perfected yet (no dagesh; cholem vav, shureq, and sometimes patach, segol, and other vowels are missing from words).

As for the free reader, it looks nice (the sample picks of the Heb. do not have any vowels though...) Has anyone tried exporting the BW WTT text with vowels? Does it look ok? If the vowels export ok, I guess that would be a good solution until BW makes a PDA lite version (hint hint!).

Btw, after checking around a bit I found that there are a couple flashcard programs out there for PDAs. One is called Miniflash and there are a few products from Zondervan. With Miniflash you can export your own vocbulary lists from Foundationstone (www.foundationstone.com.au (http://www.foundationstone.com.au), which is free). If anyone is like me, I get tired of sitting in front of the computer after a long day, so the idea of doing vocab on a PDA in bed or on the couch is a relaxing one :)

While searching the links mentioned before, the Unibible also seems to have quite a few texts:


Are there other suggestions on using BW (or BW databases) on a PDA for portable study? Any other recommended Bible study related software for PDAs other BW users would suggest? Thanks for your time (and thanks again to BW for their wonderful product). -- Joshua

04-28-2004, 03:26 PM
BW has stated publicly many times that they are not, repeat NOT, going to do a Palm (or PocketPC) product. The reasons are many and varied, but boil down to focus and resources. Don't respond to me on those issues, I'm only the messenger. :)

However, there's really not much need, IMO. As others have mentioned, PalmBible+ does about as much as a Bible product can do on a handheld device. That is, it supports multiple translations, display of two different translations at a time, original language databases (Greek and Hebrew), commentaries, searching any of the above, etc. It also has a converter that will convert a text file to the PB+ format, and others have contributed scripts, etc. that will convert files from the Sword project, BW, and QuickVerse to the PB+ format. It supports hi-res devices with small fonts so you can see more on the screen if your eyes are up to it.

It's not perfect. It doesn't support having the verses wrap in paragraph form (a la NIV/NLT), it's search isn't as powerful or nearly as fast as Laridian's, it doesn't support red-letter, it's generally more sluggish than Laridian (though not horribly so). The Hebrew databases aren't pointed, but I've found that less of a hindrance than I thought; the originals aren't either, so it's good to start reading like a *real* Israelite. :)

As someone else also mentioned, flash cards are available via MiniFlash, which is one of my favorite products on my Palm. I found it a couple of years ago, and Jamie just upgraded it to work with Hi-res devices. It supports pointed Greek and Hebrew, and is generally the best money I've spent on a Palm application, with the possible exception of Datebk5 (and the fact it's only a *possible* one tells you how highly I think of Miniflash :) ).


PalmBible -- http://palmbibleplus.sourceforge.net/
MiniFlash -- http://www.telusplanet.net/public/spaw/

04-30-2004, 02:30 PM
I have tried all the programs for Palm (not Laridian as it is PPC only), and by far the best is Bible With You by Gmpsoft.

gmpsoft website (http://www.gmpsoft.com/)

The searching is amazingly fast for a PDA (I use Sony TG50), and they recently released the UBS4.

I own the NASB package with Strong's and it was been great for me. Plus the program is always freely upgraded. They recently went from 4.0 to 5.0 and it was a free upgrade and also upgraded the database files.

And they respond very quickly to emails.