How to make TheWord run FASTER

Share your favorite tips, workarounds and shortcuts for theWord
ErikJon
Posts: 431
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:24 pm

How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by ErikJon »

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Welcome to a thread where we can all share tips for making TheWord run faster.

While I understand that there is a limit regarding how much we need for good Bible study, I am a firm believer of building my own personal library to include as much material as I can practially use, as long as I do not sacrific important time that should be dedicated to other tasks. If it were a question of spending money, the limit would be greater, but after all, most of the material that we use in TheWord is free of charge, thanks to the work of Costas, who created the Program, and to and hundreds of other generous brethren who have taken the time to create hundreds of new modules, such as Josh Bond, Dr. Dave Thomason, and David Cox, to name a few. One of my goals is to build up my offline collection, little by little, to the point that I will no longer depend on an Internet connection for my research, should it ever become unavailable for whatever the reason. (If you ever live in the Third World, you will know what I am talking about.)

Consequently, I currently have over 1,900 modules installed, and continue to build my library, little by little.

Nevertheless, I have noticed that operations in TheWord become a very tiny bit more sluggish when many modules are installed. At first, I thought that the change was due solely to the quantity of modules, but I have since discovered that there are other factors that affect the speed of the program, also. Perhaps some of you have noticed yourself. We are not talking about great differences in speed, but rather slight differences, some of which produce delays of just one or two seconds, and can sometimes create problems, making the program think that you were clicking on one thing, for example, when, in fact, you were clicking on another. I have noticed immediate improvement in speed by applying some of the suggestions presented below. Please feel free to post your own on this thread, little by little.

For the sake of keeping things consolidated, I may eventually integrate your own ideas into this initial post, but will, of course, give you credit by name for each of your suggestions, so please bear that in mind, as you share.

Some of my suggestions below (and some from other contributors below) have not been officially acknowledged by the creator of the program, but by a process of simple testing I have found them to be very logical conclusions. For example, if I suspected that by closing some of my windows, the program would run faster, and I closed some windows, and the program immediately ran a little faster, my hypothesis was essentially proven, as far as I am concerned, although not officially acknowledged.

I would hope to keep the emphasis in this thread on tricks that can be accomplished within the program, rather than on hardware improvements, but feel free to share what you will. (Be sure to read the excellent observations from Petrosd below, on the subject of hardware improvements.)

Please share any of your failed attempts to improve the program speed, as well as your successful attempts, so that we can all learn from each other's mistaken conclusions and thereby avoid wasting our time using the same methods.

Here is the list that I have come up with, so far.

Install only the modules that you will probably use. While that may sound ridiculously obvious at first, what it means is simply not to install every module that you get your hands on, but only those that you might realistically need.

You may love John Wesley, for example, but do you really need copies of all the personal correspondence that he ever wrote? Do you really need his brief material on ancient languages, when works from more modern and expert specialists would be even better? Just because somebody else thought it would make a wonderful module, and just because it was well formatted, does not mean that you really need it yourself. Keep the works that you need, of any author, and discard the rest. Otherwise, keep the obscure modules stored somewhere else on your computer for future possibilities, and keep TheWord as lean as you know how.

(Dr. Dave Thomason has a nice article on the subject of "just how much is enough," which makes for very good preaching, but may be hard for many of us to swallow: https://www.doctordavet.com/253tools.html)

Keep the number of open windows to a minimum. Having fewer windows means fewere calculations for the program to perform, less sorting, organizing, searching, and so on. I have noticed that keeping fewer windows open makes the program run just a tiny bit faster, but keep in mind that the difference is more noticeable only when you have over a thousand modules installed, for example.

Do not concern yourself much with your external folder structure. At least in theory, it does not matter where you store your modules in the program folder, such as whether your group your commentaries, group your dictionaries, and keep things nice and tidy. TheWord seems to read whatever structure we have at startup, and adapt.

Organize your "custom module sets" efficiently. In a sense, the more detailed our folder layout for the sake of sorting modules by subject, the better, from the point of view of research. However, from the point of view of program operation speed, the fewer folders it has to organize, the better. Personally, I am not willing to sacrifice my organization for the sake of speed, at this point, as I would rather have each item in the right spot, than concern myself with losing a millisecond of processing time. Still, it is worth mentioning.

Remove duplicate modules. Believe it or not, there are many duplicates out there, and perhaps you have even installed many duplicates without realizing it. They are hard to catch because they do not usually have the same exact title. You may have one commentary entitled "biblecommentary-matthewhenry.cmt" while another may be called "henry's-bible-commentary.cmt," and still another, "MHCC.cmt." Inside each, they may be identical, although not necessarily formatted by the same person with the same font options. Essentially, you should lighten the load by keeping the best-looking, most legible, and best-indexed of the bunch, while deleting the inferior duplicates. (Please read the thread entitled, "Tips on how to locate and delete hidden duplicate modules," for recommended duplicate-removal software and other tips. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7223 )

Turn off the "word look-up" feature, unless you use it. TheWord goes a bit faster. (Apparently, the fewer tasks we give the program to perform simultaneously, the faster it goes.)

Turn off all synchronization options in the Bookview windows where synchronization is not needed. Perhaps you have a window open containing a book on Jewish history and culture, for example. Is it really necessary that that window synchronize with whatever you happen to click on in your Bibleview window? Probably not. On the other hand, if you have another bookview window open, dedicated entirely to commentaries, you will probably want that one to synchronize all day long, as you probably use it continuously. Conclusion: enable the (paper-clip) synchronization on the windows where you need it, and disable the feature on the windows where you do not.

Somewhat related to this suggestion is the next one below...

Disable only the synchronization options that you do not need. If you have one bookview window open for commentaries, for example, then why should you select the option (in the paperclip icon) of synchronizing maps and dictionaries also? You could just as easily keep a separate bookview window open for those things, while disabling synchronization altogether in those windows. Meanwhile, in your commentary window you could select only the option called "link commentaries", and thereby begin to see a very slight increase in program speed, as less searching and synchronization will be required of the program.

Consolidate modules wherever feasible. For example, perhaps you have a collection of Spurgeon's famous quotations, in two volumes, arbitrarily arranged, and printed in two volumes only for the sake of not having either volume too large and heavy for practical use. There is no reason to keep the volumes as two separate modules, when you can easily combine them into one. (In fact, you can just keep both modules open, with the topic tree revealed in each, and drag the topics from one, over to the other, until one of the modules contains the entirety of the text. Then delete the other module. Now you have fewer modules for TheWord to sort, search and organize.

Perhaps more common than this scenario is when we just have a new module created for random articles that we come across online. Perhaps most of them address the same field, such as "marital counseling." Why have ten separate modules of only a few thousand words in each, when you could just combine them into one module with ten separate topics entitled "Articles on Marital Counseling?"

Don't put too much text in any one topic. When I am creating a new module, for example, I begin by just stuffing the complete text into one topic, and then I divide it into separate topics, little by little. This is not a problem unless your text has over 500 pages of information in it. At that point the module itself may become sluggish. I have not perfectly proven this point just yet, but there is definitely something strange happening with the modules that have too much text in one topic. This is corrected either by removing the module from view (i.e., opening another module in the same window), or by separating your topic into indiidual chapters (topics), as far as I can tell. The problem may be compounded if synchronization is active for the window in question.

Use ReadyBoost. Someone said that by using "ReadyBoost" memory, the program would work faster, but I have not yet tried it. This is technically a hardware improvement, so it is somewhat off the subject, as the goal is to concentrate on things to do within the program, to improve the speed of operation.

Use separate installations of the program. David Cox and others have suggested that, by having entirely-separate compact installations--such as one for daily Bible reading, with only a few commentaries and dictionaries installed, and another with many modules installed, for complicated research--the program would work faster in the smaller installation. This seems to be true, but

Now it's your turn. Any other proven solutions for making TheWord run faster?
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Last edited by ErikJon on Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:23 am, edited 13 times in total.
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I'm an Independent Baptist running TheWord portable v 5.0.0.1481 from an external 500GB hard drive with over 1,900 modules installed and loaded in my current module set. I'm using 32-bit Vista Ultimate SP1 with a 2.7gHz processor and 4GB RAM.
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RubioTerra
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:13 pm
Location: Brasília, Brazil

Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by RubioTerra »

- Avoid having too many files in theWord folder and subfolders (same for all extra paths). theWord have to check every file at startup.
Rúbio R. C. Terra
Brasília/DF - Brasil
ErikJon
Posts: 431
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:24 pm

Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by ErikJon »

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So, which works faster for loading: having all book modules in subfolders by type (e.g. CMT, GBK, etc) or having all of them loose in the one "books" folder?

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I'm an Independent Baptist running TheWord portable v 5.0.0.1481 from an external 500GB hard drive with over 1,900 modules installed and loaded in my current module set. I'm using 32-bit Vista Ultimate SP1 with a 2.7gHz processor and 4GB RAM.
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csterg
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Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by csterg »

There is no difference at all whether modules are in folders or not and whether it is a compact installation or not. An SSD would make a difference here, nothing else.
As theWord currently works, it has to open each file on startup. This creates an overhead and it's not easy to change it. There have been some optimizations for this, but the real solution would be difficult.

On the other hand, all of us expect to have a tool where we do as we please manually in the folders (e.g. move files, update the databases, change values in the tables, move to sub-folders, allow 3rd party installers to move things around, etc) and then magically we want to restart theWord and, voila, everything is there, all our layouts updated, and maybe theWord should warn us if there are duplicates :)

So, there is here a conflict:
1. Either I have to program theWord to NOT open the 1000 modules on startup and see what changed so it loads faster, but we lose all the flexibility of 'do as you please and theWord will find out'
2. Either I have to remember/save the previous situtation or NOT open all file/module until requested...

The current situation works exceptionally well with a reasonable amount of modules (e.g. <1000) for 99% of users. Actually there is no solution to this 'problem' because in reality it is not a problem: it is just a matter of deciding what is the best thing to do.
RubioTerra
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:13 pm
Location: Brasília, Brazil

Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by RubioTerra »

RubioTerra wrote:- Avoid having too many files in theWord folder and subfolders (same for all extra paths). theWord have to check every file at startup.
Clarifying, I mean avoid having too many extraneous (non-modules) files.
Rúbio R. C. Terra
Brasília/DF - Brasil
ErikJon
Posts: 431
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:24 pm

Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by ErikJon »

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I appreciate your confirming that neither the folder arrangement nor the type of installation affects the speed.

I do not mean to suggest for a moment that there is any "defect" in TheWord. It is a good program, as it is. Some of us just like to stuff it full and push it to its limits. If it can handle it, fine. If not, fine. So far, with 1,000 modules installed, TheWord has not wept nor complained.

I just like to hear tips and tricks from other abusive users out there.

The biggest drawback to installing so many modules is that I spend more time formatting and organizing them, and end up with relatively little time leftover for reading them! Can TheWord fix my mental problem in a future version?

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I'm an Independent Baptist running TheWord portable v 5.0.0.1481 from an external 500GB hard drive with over 1,900 modules installed and loaded in my current module set. I'm using 32-bit Vista Ultimate SP1 with a 2.7gHz processor and 4GB RAM.
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csterg
Site Admin
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Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by csterg »

Don't worry, no offense taken (don't spend time on excuses, I am not offended).
Back to the matter: I have thought of this issue several times. To be honest there are optimizations that can be done, but they are hard to make. Actually they are more than optimizations, they are ground-breaking changes of how theWord uses and load modules. I have made many optimization in the way that things works currently. I haven't said my 'last word' yet, but for now it's hard to change things so much as to accommodate so many modules.

Costas
ErikJon
Posts: 431
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:24 pm

Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by ErikJon »

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That is good to know.

I just thought that, with all the user-modules available, many more people were pushing the program to the limit as well. I did not know that I was in such a minority group. It would seem to me that seminary students, for example, would want all that they could get their hands on.

Anyway, thanks for your attention.

More suggestions forthcoming.

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I'm an Independent Baptist running TheWord portable v 5.0.0.1481 from an external 500GB hard drive with over 1,900 modules installed and loaded in my current module set. I'm using 32-bit Vista Ultimate SP1 with a 2.7gHz processor and 4GB RAM.
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chetk43
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:44 pm

Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by chetk43 »

Would your computer speed affect this?
ErikJon
Posts: 431
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:24 pm

Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by ErikJon »

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Yes, but I meant any suggestions besides the usual hardware issues, such as more RAM, a faster computer, etc. Thank you!
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I'm an Independent Baptist running TheWord portable v 5.0.0.1481 from an external 500GB hard drive with over 1,900 modules installed and loaded in my current module set. I'm using 32-bit Vista Ultimate SP1 with a 2.7gHz processor and 4GB RAM.
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vertel
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:05 pm

Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by vertel »

2 things that really worked for me:

Disable Last Access Time Stamps on ntfs volumes
links for how to and info


and defrag you harddisk with a defragmenter that can sort on name, even the big files.
Personaly i use this free defragmenter
It starts with the Word
Everything else follows
ErikJon
Posts: 431
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:24 pm

Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by ErikJon »

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Thank you, Vertel.

I have used the defragmenter, but not the time-stamp trick. I will look into that.
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I'm an Independent Baptist running TheWord portable v 5.0.0.1481 from an external 500GB hard drive with over 1,900 modules installed and loaded in my current module set. I'm using 32-bit Vista Ultimate SP1 with a 2.7gHz processor and 4GB RAM.
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vertel
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:05 pm

Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by vertel »

Your welcome :)

The defragmenter did do a lot for me, normal defragmenters have all different kind of algorithmes, but this free sorted all the files/modules on there name on my harddisk, so at load my harddisk wasn't swapping anymore that much ( it became even more silent :wink: )


Ooh and other VERRY usefull trick, within your antivirus program, exclude the folders from the Word from scanning by you antivirusprogram, but make sure everything you put there is scanned before you place it there. :wink:

Good luck
It starts with the Word
Everything else follows
ErikJon
Posts: 431
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:24 pm

Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by ErikJon »

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Very interesting idea. Thank you.
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I'm an Independent Baptist running TheWord portable v 5.0.0.1481 from an external 500GB hard drive with over 1,900 modules installed and loaded in my current module set. I'm using 32-bit Vista Ultimate SP1 with a 2.7gHz processor and 4GB RAM.
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mathetes
Posts: 333
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 6:08 pm

Re: How to make TheWord run FASTER

Post by mathetes »

If the speed comes down to how the files are sorted and defragmented then maybe you will want to try an ssd drive. Access time will be much faster and no defragging is needed since there are no read/write heads to move back and forth.
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