BibleWorks 9 - The Fourth Column

Written by Michael Hanel on June 29th, 2011

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A number of years ago Taco Bell began a campaign which was supposed to bring in college students (and others) with a case of the late night munchies. Known as the “fourthmeal,” this campaign was not well received by nutritionists and doctors who only saw it as a caloric catastrophe.

BibleWorks’ new fourth column will not, I hope, face such negative criticisms. It’s true, it may have you pining for a wider monitor (or even more than one), but overall you’ll quickly see that this addition can help you run exegetical miles around the block even quicker than before.

The fourth column is an addition to the analysis window. So instead of the normal set up of a search window, browse window and an analysis window, you can have all of those plus one more analysis window. You can have the fourth column active or you can choose not to use it. But when you do use it you can arrange the tabs in the analysis window so that now, for the first time ever, you can have the Resources Tab and the X-Refs tab (or any other combination) open at the same time! The fourth column allows users to customize how they want to use it. So you can drag tabs back and fourth from the analysis window to the fourth column and arrange them in whatever order you desire. You can still use pop up windows (like the editor, browse window, analysis window) if you want, but this allows you to do what you couldn’t before within the sole BibleWorks window. This might sound like a minor addition, but you’d be surprised how handy you will find this feature. However, I will say, to get the full power out of this feature, you’ll really want to haveĀ  a widescreen monitor (or use multiple monitors), a 15 inch laptop just won’t cut it.

Here’s a picture of what BibleWorks can look like with the fourth column active. The column is toggled by clicking the red arrow box that I’ve circled in the picture. Tabs can be dragged from one column to the other. In this view I have the Resources Tab and the Verse Tab (new to BW9) active. I can see parsing info and the CNTTS apparatus all without having any other windows open.

This is an example of one of the new interface features that is new to BibleWorks, but it really works well with some of the other additions to BibleWorks 9, especially the Use Tab, something which I will talk more about later.

Another example of what you might want to do with the fourth column is to use it to have another browse window open so that you can have multiple versions open in the main browse window, but have a single version open in the Browse Tab in the fourth column so that you can also keep an eye on the context within which you are working.

Yet another example of a new feature is that you could use the fourth column with the Verse Tab. So far the Verse Tab allows you to use one of the following resources: NET Bible, ESV Study Bible, Tischendorf Apparatus, Metzger’s Textual Commentary, or CNTTS Apparatus. If you use the Verse Tab and have one of those resources open, it will automatically follow along with the active verse in the browse window. So for instance here’s what it looks like with the NET Bible active in the Verse Tab. As you can see, you can now easily access the NET Bible notes while keeping the Resources Tab open at the same time.

As you can see, there’s lots to love about the fourth column. It’s a huge improvement to the program’s interface and it’s one that will make you pine for a larger monitor in no time flat!

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