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 The Word vs. e-sword 
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Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:56 pm
Posts: 1
Post The Word vs. e-sword
For those of you who are familiar with The Word, what are its advantages over e-sword? What makes The Word a good alternative over e-sword and other freeware programs? I'm fairly new to Bible software, and have been using e-sword for a few months, but just discovered The Word. It seems like it gives all others a run for their money. Although there are so many settings and options, the learning curve is a little steeper than that of e-sword. But i do appreciate being able to customize so freely. Much thanks to the developer! I'm always so impressed with those who commit so much time for such little compensation.

Also, I can't convert any of my e-sword modules to The Word. They are all protected, even though they are open source. What can I actually use the converter for?

Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:09 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:09 pm
Posts: 8570
Location: Corfu, Greece
Hello ntd822,
let me give some insight in this question, but pls remember that i am the developer so i will obviously be subjective.

I think that the main advantage of TW (The Word) over ES (e-Sword) is the ease of use (the learning curve is something that is only present now because TW3 is still in beta and upon first installation all "bells and whistles" are on: in the final version -which will include the layouts- the user will be able to start in a very simplistic layout with most of the details hidden).
By 'ease of use' i mean the overall feeling of the program as you use it. I think the only fair assesment is to use each program for some time (e.g. 2-3 days) and then see if you can go back to the other. How fast is to do what you want with one and the other.

Apart from the above, TW is much more loaded with features in just every part. It also understands non-English languages very well (ES aims to english users primarily), it can search non-English texts, etc.

BUT: eSword is an older product, it has more resources available and it is well thought out to be enough for the majority of the users. TW is not yet at this point (still in beta), so it really depends on what you want to do.

The issue with the modules:
although almost all of the eSword modules are in public domain, the developer has decided to password protect the module files. Although i have requested permission to access these files (something technically feasible) i have not been granted this license. But there are many non-official eSword modules out there that are NOT password protected: for this, the importer can convert them easily.
So, it is just an issue of 'politics'....
In the bottom line: TW will have almost all of these modules really soon, i just refrain from officially providing them because i have not yet finalized the module file format: once this is done, i will be adding more content. But if there is something specific that you would like to have, pls ask it and i can do it in 1-2 days.

Hope this helps, I believe others can post their opinions also,

Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:01 pm
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Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:33 pm
Posts: 460
Location: Herten, Germany
I´m a user of e-S for a long time (probably more than five years). Its author has blessed many with his program and other utilities he has developed (it´s actually a ministry). I thank God for its developer.

I think TW has its own direction and purpose. It happened to me that as soon as I ran across TW it immediately caught my attention. I thank the Lord for bro. Costas as well, and immensely.

My personal opinion is that I don´t think one program should compete with the other. I´m sure this is not in the minds and intentions of both developers, exactly for the same reason that one missionary does not compete with another: the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus and the building of His body.

As far as I´ve seen, TW simply takes the user into a deeper level in Bible study. Its flexibility and power amazes me; and it´s exactly what has attracted me.

e-S, on its part, has some useful features but mostly oriented for the average user. Although has some characteristics of its own, here´s some:

    1. e-S has given the users the freedom to develop and compile their own Bible resources, something that most programs normally keep away from the end users, especially the commercial ones (in my opinion this is what has made e-S gain such a widespread popularity.)

    2. Some features e-S has not found even in commercial Bible programs, like Bible-Analyze Verses..., Extended Search, Bible Reading Plan, Daily Devotions, Prayer Requests, Scripture Memory tool, etc..

    3. Ease of use (its default and probably only layout, although has some features (not many) hidden for power users).

But e-S has some great limitations, especially the kind of database engine it uses, lack of flexibility, lack of support for in-depth study, slow update cycle, and that it is almost impossible to contact the author (far from me be to blame Rick for this but instead we should blame it on the overwhelming requests and opinions from such a large body of users).

I think they can cohabit and both be a blessing for many. The body of Christ has many souls (millions and millions Rev 7:9), in fact they cohabit in my computer ;).

I hope this helps.


Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:42 pm

Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:27 am
Posts: 122
Post additional Information
Hi Leoram and the others,

I liked very much one thing that you said:
I don´t think one program should compete with the other.
That's absolutely right, and I know that Costas is not in a competition with other bible programs.

One of the main reasons I use The Word 3.0 is because it's just stable. I used e-Sword quite a bit, but than suddenly an error occurred and I lost all my personal notes. (Maybe they could have been restored, I don't know. The fact that it just broke down for no reason up set me.) I also tried to install e-Sword on a USB-Key but it wouldn't work. That's a major minus! I'm using THE WORD 3.0 on a USB-Stick, and even when I download an add-on from a random computer, the add-on is automatically installed in the right folder!

THE WORD 3.0 is a little bit bumpy right now as Costas said, but it's nevertheless relatively easy to find out the functions I think. It would be nice though to have a list with all the short cuts that the software provides since I use short cuts A LOT and THE WORD provides a whole lot of short cuts for functions or tools.

ntd822, you wrote:
Also, I can't convert any of my e-sword modules to The Word. They are all protected, even though they are open source.
Maybe you should ask the e-Sword developer if you can use it with THE WORD. Good luck. He didn't allow me to do it, even though I donated 50$. 1. Explanation: Technically not possible. (That's wrong, Costas could do it if he would like to. I know that as a fact.) Afterwards he said simply: It's illegal! (That didn't make me smarter, because that's what the license says.) I don't know what the real reasons are and think that I shouldn't prejudice his decisions. Ask him if you can use his add-ons. If you get the permission, I'm sure that Costas will convert the add-ons for you. So all you can import are your personal notes. Maybe a working together between THE WORD and e-Sword will be able at a later stage.

Warm regards,

Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:51 pm

Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:30 am
Posts: 8
Location: Columbia, MO. USA
Post Portability
Hello everyone!

I just began using TW today and I must say, I'm very impressed. I've been an e-Sword user for over 5 years. I too am looking to switch because I need the portability that TW offers. I'm running it from a usb flash drive. I did notice that there are a few personal files...(there's a cache shortcut and a personal data shortcut) pointing to My Documents folder. Will these be there after the beta release? I searched for two days to find a portable Bible Study application and I found a lot of people looking. It would be a shame if this wonderful tool lost it's portability. I teach Bible Study two nights during the week and it's great to be able to have all I need on a flash drive.

One last question concerning importing e-Sword topic files. I have personal topic files I've created for my Bible studies and it imports fine except the links aren't fully functional. The cursor changes to the "hand" when you mouse over them but the verse doesn't come up and when you click them, nothing happens. Any thoughts? Thanks so much and God Bless!

In Christ,


Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:46 am
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:09 pm
Posts: 8570
Location: Corfu, Greece
Hello Pat,
let me try to answer your questions:
1. The "Cache" shortcut points to a directory where some automatically maintained data are stored. This brings no problem to the portability of TW.

2. Concerning the "Personal Data" shortcut: this will be an option. Microsoft recomends that all personal data are stored under this folder, and this is very convenient on a PC that is used by many users (so everyone has his own personal data). But it will be an option if you want to store the data there or not. Anyway, TW still recognizes all files that reside in the same folder: so if you copy any of the files from the "Personal notes" folder in the same folder with the "theword.exe" file, it will work properly. So, the only question is copying some files in the USB stick, that's all. In the final version i will have a way to either directly install TW in a USB stick or transfer an existing installation in a USB.

Concerning the import of eSword files:
The links should work fine. Please, tell me what language (for the program) do you use and which version. Could you also send me a sample file that has this problem? Please, use my email root@theword.gr


Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:17 am
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