I know it’s like stabbing the sacred cow to criticize eSword or TheWord. Too many people use both of them, and I’m going to offend someone.
Rick has most definitely tweaked eSword to make it work. The issue is, I don’t know if it’s eSword’s architecture, or the format he invented for dictionaries, but any attempt to make eSword usable for an IFB leads to an abominably slow program.
What do I mean?
Get the free dictionary of the 1828 Websters. Load in the TSK. Open a commentary or three.
go to your go window and type this command: mt 4.1-11
I bought a Dell recently (I think I wrote about it) and it’s hugely fast. It still took 6 seconds from the moment I typed it to get the windows to change.
That’s a huge upgrade from the 13 or so seconds under eSword 10. Rick has elminiated half of the drag created by the program. Maybe he found the memory leak, and plugged it, or tightened up the code to using more DLL’s I don’t know. Anyway, that’s how long it takes me to do anything in it.
It takes 2 seconds now to get the 1828 to display a word, as opposed to the 6 seconds from previously.
It’s much better, but I’m wondering how HP laptops (the most popular, and usually loaded wtih bloatware and spyware processes you do not need at all) are doing. I used HP laptops for years, and I really did like eSword! But the huge lagtimes were driving me nuts. Which is why I switched to TheWord and hated it. And someone got me Bible Explorer, and hey… it was cool.
And then Lifeway bought out Wordsearch, and suddenly Wordsearch decides to get rid of Bible Explorer and make all the titles importable. I upgraded to Wordsearch 9, then… 10… then 11…
And now I like Logos, finally having figured out how to use it.
There is a million aftermarket tools for eSword. Some work well, some not so well. Commentary Creator apparently not so well.
I figure as popular as this program is, I don’t need to tell you all how to run it. I just want to say – eSword says it is free. It really is not. If you like it, you really should send a donation. Rick has made that clear. That means , it really is incumbant upon you as a Christian, to send a donation if you use it.
I’ll just say, there’s really no dedicated tool for sermon writing. There’s a sermon illustration tool that lets you collect sad, pithy stories about crying sheep. It seems to work okay, but since I don’t use eSword, there’s no sense in me loading it up and seeing if it makes the program run any slower or not.
I do like the Journal tool. I wish other programs had it, or one this good. To do Journalling in Wordsearch, well, I’ll write an article on how to do this in other programs soon.
The real strength of eSword (and its biggest danger) is the overwhelming wealth of free addons for it. And if you want to buy the other Bible versions to combat Multiple Version Only-ism, Rick will sell them to you.
I’ve got commentaries and dictionaries for free for eSword that all othe other Bible companies charge you for. All of them are public domain. Really, if you wanted to make an issue of it, Logos is stealing by selling “out of copyright” books. In many ways, the Logos packages are probably about 50% theft. I underSTAND that they need to be paid for their labor. Yes, I understand that. But make the free stuff free, and sell the other stuff.
Writing a sermon it this…you’re supposed to use the study notes or topic notes editor. That’s how Rick envisions it. He did give away the plugins to make Microsoft Word a part of eSword. I think I did the first two years of seminary that way! I basically opened eSword and never touched it, and used just the Word plugin to paste in Bible verses. Seemed okay. Just not a healthy way to study God’s word.
My summary – I know that eSword is highly popular. But it doesn’t work for me. If you’re in the ministry, I strongly recommend that you choose a different option.