Using Latin in BibleWorks

Written by Michael Hanel on April 16th, 2007

As promised, I thought I’d say a bit more about using Latin in BibleWorks. Right now it has its limitations, the biggest thing being that there is presently no Latin dictionary in BibleWorks. The reason for this is the lack of an e-text for any of the existing Latin dictionaries out there. BibleWorks could theoretically pay a lot of money to digitize a text themselves, but it’s probably not the best use of their means and so for now anyway, one has to accept the fact that BibleWorks is still limited in this area. (For what it’s worth, if you are aware of an e-text of any good Latin dictionaries, email the BibleWorks staff and maybe that will help get it included in a future update of BibleWorks)

However, it’s not completely useless. In BibleWorks 7, the use of the External Link Manager greatly enhances the shortcomings within BibleWorks proper by being able to call up resources outside BibleWorks. Don’t ask me how the External Link Manager works because I wouldn’t be able to tell you, but let me show you how you can use it to help you slog through some Latin prose.

There are two ways to edit the External Links Manager. I will walk you through both ways.

First, through the menu system. Select Resources: Edit External Links. That will pop up a window like thus:
It’s been a while since I’ve played around with this, so I can’t remember if BW7 comes loaded with the option to use Perseus to lookup morphology for Latin. At this point it doesn’t really much matter since Perseus’ website has been down for over 10 days and doesn’t appear to be making a quick recovery. So let’s add a different method which will give both morphology and lexicon options. Click New and fill in the blanks so that your screen looks like the following:

You can’t see the full entry in the box marked webpage, so note carefully that it must read the following: http://lysy2.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/words.exe?<dummy>

The second way to edit the External Links is to open the text file called ShellExec which is found in the directory C:\Program Files\BibleWorks 7\init\ and add the following entry (use the next consecutive number for the External Link #):

//
// External Link #28
//
[Latin lookup in WORDS]
Operation = Open
Directory = NULL
File = http://lysy2.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/words.exe?<dummy>
Parameters = NULL
MenuLocation = Browse Window Latin
TextType = Latin Text
MapToVersion = NULL
Lookup = Form
MenuText = Latin lookup in WORDS
Enabled = 1

Then save the ShellExec file and when you restart BibleWorks, this option will become available when you right click on a Latin word in a Latin database. Like so:

And once you select that, it will load the website in your default Internet browser (note: an Internet connection *IS* required in order to make this work).

Ta-da! And that is just another example of BibleWorks’ ability to improvise so that while it may still not have all the resources someone might ever want, it can still make a few adjustments to help you out. For more on the External Link Manager, go visit the Official BibleWorks forums!

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