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Thread: Confusion in BW9 Help sec. 65 "BibleWorks Keyboard Layouts"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Confusion in BW9 Help sec. 65 "BibleWorks Keyboard Layouts"

    I don't do much Hebrew or Greek typing in the BibleWorks editor. Just now, though, I was trying to type some Hebrew and needed to look at the keyboard layout. I searched Help and found section 65, "BibleWorks Keyboard Layouts." At the very beginning of this there is some serious confusion.

    First it shows an image of a keyboard, and says, "Clicking on this button will bring up the Keyboard Layouts Window. You can also open the window by selecting Tools | Keyboard Layouts from the Main Menu." Then there's an image of a key with a small alpha on it, and the text says, "Clicking on this button will open up the BibleWorks Keyboard Window. This window contains a clickable BibleWorks Keyboard that shows you how to type characters in the various BibleWorks fonts." This is basically backwards, and not at all what happens when you click the corresponding buttons on the BibleWorks 9 toolbar. Here is how my toolbar looks (unmodified, I think, from the BW9 default).
    Name:  BW9 toolbar.JPG
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    Clicking the key-with-an-alpha button on the toolbar (8th from the right on toolbar) in fact opens the Keyboard Layouts Window:
    Name:  BW9 KB Layouts window-ppc.jpg
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    Clicking the keyboard-looking button (5th from the right on my toolbar), on the other hand, brings up the thing I was looking for, a dialog/window titled BibleWorks Keyboard with a drop-down selector for various languages and the keyboard layout for the language selected. (Pressing Shift shows the shifted state of the keyboard layout.) When I click one of the keys in this dialog/window, the corresponding letter is entered on the command line; I cannot get it to enter letters into the editor (i.e., the Editor tab in the Analysis Window). This is that window:
    Name:  BW9 KB window-ppc.jpg
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    Clicking the Keymap Tables button in that dialog/window opens a different window with tables selectable by a dropdown list of BW fonts. For each key, ranging from ASCII 33-255, there is a number, the symbol corresponding to that number in the "Latin" (i.e., Western European-language) font, and the symbol that will be produced by pressing this key in the selected font. For Bwhebb, for instance, key 33 shows an exclamation mark ! and a Hebrew final nun. Double-clicking will enter it on the command line and copy the European-language equivalent to the clipboard. This is that window:
    Name:  BW9 Key Maps window-ppc.jpg
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    I would suggest that this Help section needs attention, since these tools are useful and may often need to be accessed by many users.

    On a related note, the window/dialog that will enter a character into the editor is opened by clicking the button on the editor toolbar that has a capital A and says, "Choose Character." From the window that opens on clicking that button, one can select a font, such as Bwhebb, from a drop-down list and then double-click on a character to enter it into the editor. This is that window:
    Name:  BW9 Editor Choose Character window-ppc.jpg
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    Finally, on a somewhat-related note, I can't find any window that will display the Unicode Hebrew keyboard layout. Simply typing keys in it I could eventually find what I was looking for, but the arrangement seems bizarre and counterintuitive. But this may be a feature of Windows and/or Unicode, since I notice that, in the editor, clicking the Unicode Hebrew Font button switches the Windows input language indicator on the taskbar to Hebrew.
    David Rensberger
    Atlanta, Georgia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    First, you're 100% right, they switched the icons in the Help file and have them backwards.
    Second, you express some frustration because you cannot click on letters on the keymap and have those letters appear in the Editor window. I can understand that frustration, but that is by design (which is to say, you're not doing anything wrong, it's just not meant to do what you want). Clicking letters will only put those letters into the command line, nowhere else. In my opinion, the best use of the keymap is not to click on letters, but to have that reminder, oh this is where that letter is and type the appropriate key on your keyboard.

    In my opinion, fonts are a nightmare. Unicode was supposed to have been the magic cure, but I think I've been using Unicode for over 10 years and don't find it much easier. Part of what makes it difficult is that it is incredibly versatile. That means not all Unicode fonts are created equal. Some will contain the characters you need, others won't. That can be nice, but it's usually just a bigger pain in the butt. The second thing is that although you could always switch keyboard assignments in Windows (e.g. from QWERTY layout to DVORAK or whatever), I think 99% of people never did any of that (at least I have never met anyone who exclusively used a non QWERTY keyboard or keyboard layout). However, it's extremely common to use multiple different layouts for Unicode keyboards. And that makes it extremely difficult to get instructions straight. For instance, I use Tavultesoft's Keyman exclusively for Unicode Greek and Hebrew work. Within Keyman you can assign whatever keyboard layout you want to use and switch with relative ease. Although you can theoretically do the same type of thing in Windows with Keyman, Keyman just made it easier and gave me less stress, so I made the switch. But because of that, if someone asked me how to type in Unicode or how to do accents, etc. I'd probably not have a quick answer because in Keyman it's easy.

    Anyway, I think that's partially why the BW section on Unicode fonts is not very helpful by itself. Even it refers you to the file BiblicalHebrew(Tiro)Manual.pdf
    Last edited by Michael Hanel; 01-25-2013 at 03:53 PM.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Thanks, Michael. Yes, I really did want the keyboard chart just for reference, to know what key to press. It does seem curious, though, that clicking will enter letters onto the command line but nowhere else. Anyway, moving right along....

    Sounds like the problem with Unicode text entry is the one we run into all the time with computers: The great thing about standards is, there are so many of them! (Wish I knew who first said that.)

    I do virtually all my Greek and Hebrew in Nota Bene, which is my main word processor and research tool. It is fast and easy for typing multiple languages. The few times I've had to do Greek or Hebrew in Word, it's been a nightmare, or at least a total pain.

    The one drawback of Nota Bene is that I don't think it is fully Unicode compliant yet. They're working on that, though, as the newest version is being developed. That should produce the excellent combination of NB's simple text entry with Unicode fonts. (I'm speculating -- I don't really have any inside knowledge.)
    Last edited by DavidR; 01-25-2013 at 06:30 PM.
    David Rensberger
    Atlanta, Georgia

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