Thursday, March 17, 2005

What Ever Happened to Sword Drills?

With OneNote and e-Sword on my Tablet, my notes from sermons, conferences, discussions, etc., are more complete than ever before. Not only can I include diagrams and sketches in my notes (just as I could on paper), I can quickly include whole passages of scripture (in any of the 28 translations or languages I have installed!) rather than just the reference. It is wonderfully convenient when I am reviewing my notes to have the whole passage under discussion included right in the middle of them.

One of the standard features of Windows applications is cut and paste, so this probably doesn't seem like anything too special, and in a technical sense it isn't. But it is the combination of handwritten notes, with all their advantages, and full Bible passages rather than just references that makes it so good. Plus, in less time than it would take to locate a passage in a paper Bible, I can find the passage in e-Sword, highlight it, copy the verses in one of several formats, and paste them into my notes. (Finding a book is easy enough in e-Sword to not really require someone to know the order of the Bible books--hence the title of this post.) There I can use a highlighter or pen to mark specific parts of the passage, draw circles, or generally mark it up any way I want. I used to do this in my Bible, but after the second or third reference to the same passage, it was time to find another Bible!

e-Sword offers two ways to copy something, "copy" and "copy verses." "Copy verses" does differ from a regular copy in a couple of significant ways.

First, the "copy" command will only copy exactly what you have highlighted. "Copy verses" will grab the entirety of all verses you have a portion of highlighted. It is much faster as you only need to get a part of the verses at either end of the passage. Sometimes using a pen to get exact locations in text is a pain and can slow things down.

Second, with "copy", you have no control over format. You get plain text, with carriage returns at the end of each verse. With "copy verses" you have the choice of seven alternative ways of formatting the copied verses with regard to separation (or not) of verses, location of reference, etc. You can additionally control whether or not character formatting (i.e., red letters or italics in the original) is copied, whether the translation name is included in the reference, or whether the book name is abbreviated. I have a definite preference for one of the formats, and fortunately, e-Sword remembers this choice for me between sessions.

e-Sword could make this a little more convenient by having a short-cut key to do the verse copy. CTRL-C just does a regular copy. It would also be nice if it allowed some additional options in the verse copy, such as double spacing. But these minor quibbles aside, e-Sword and OneNote or another note-taking application are a dynamite combination when taking notes on a Sunday morning.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have four hard copy Bibles that contain deuterocanonical books. They all have a different sequence for the books.

Sword drills only work for Bibles that contain protocanonical books.


[Who doesn't remember his blogger login.]

10:00 AM  

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