SwordSearcher’s 30 Year Anniversary!

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:19

In 1994, I started a simple programming project for Bible searching. I had no idea at the time that I would still be working on this tool 30 years later!

When I released SwordSearcher 9.1 a few weeks ago, I didn’t realize I was releasing the 30th anniversary edition of the software, and it only occurred to me this morning.

It’s highly unusual for small projects to last this long, and I wanted to thank all of you who continue to use and support SwordSearcher, who made this possible. Throughout my career as a Bible software programmer and publisher I have seen a dozen alternatives come and go. It pleases me greatly that SwordSearcher is still here and is still found to be useful and interesting to so many people.

Over the last decade we have seen a trend towards “software as a service,” with most large software suites requiring annual subscriptions rather than offering perpetual licenses. While this method of selling software makes sense for many programs, I am happy to say that I have not had to resort to this revenue method for SwordSearcher. You can still make a single, one-time purchase of SwordSearcher to use it indefinitely, and choose whether to continue to support the project by purchasing upgrades when they become available.

The reason this works is because you are supporting a small family-run company, not a large corporation with huge overhead. And it works because many users of SwordSearcher continue to support it by purchasing upgrades, so thank you!

The response to the recent release of SwordSearcher 9.1 has been overwhelmingly positive. Many of you have written kind and encouraging messages to me over the last two weeks, and while time doesn’t permit me to write detailed responses to each of those messages, please know that I genuinely appreciate them. They are genuinely helpful!

So once again, thank you for using SwordSearcher!

By the way, if you’re curious about the history of SwordSearcher, I have an article about it right here.

By the way, astute observers will note that I called 2015 the 20th anniversary of SwordSearcher. The minor discrepancy is explained by the fact that the first version, 1.0, was actually called “Bible Assistant.” The Bible Assistant help file named SwordSearcher as the upcoming release, which was announced and beta tested in 1994, but made available in 1995. This time when I was thinking about how long I have been developing this software I decided just to go with 2024 as the 30th anniversary. I hope nobody minds too much!

More for your SwordSearcher study library

If you’re interested in adding some more content to your SwordSearcher library, take a look at the Module Repository (a part of the user forum). There are over 100 additional books or commentaries you can download and plug right in to SwordSearcher and it doesn’t cost a dime.
To download more modules, all you have to do is join the forum. Then you can add any of the modules to your library. This post has specific download instructions.

Read here for details about extra SwordSearcher modules.

Extra modules provided by the author of SwordSearcher

Over the years, as I have expanded the SwordSearcher Deluxe study library, I’ve also created books or commentaries that for one reason or another didn’t “make the cut” as “official” modules, but I’ve added them to the module repository. There are about 70 of these, from authors like:

  • John Gill
  • Charles Spurgeon
  • John Bunyan
  • B. H. Carroll
  • J. W. Burgeon
  • Edward Hills
  • and more.

Click here for the complete list of modules that I have personally uploaded to the module repository.

Joining the Forum

Anyone interested in SwordSearcher is welcome in the forum! It only takes a minute or two to join. Forum membership is not in any way tied to your SwordSearcher license.  Just create an account here. If you think you’ve created an account on the forum in the past but can’t remember, just use the password recovery option on the log in page.

See you there!

Quick tip: Library Tab Alignment Options in SwordSearcher 8.1

Version 8.1 adds a new option for controlling the alignment of the library tabs. This option is called Static Multi-Row and affects how tabs are placed in the Bible, Book, and Commentary panels.

Normally, a tab control in Windows software holds to a tabbed folder paradigm. This means that the active tab is always “attached” to the contents below it. If there is more than one row of tabs, clicking a tab in an upper row will move the row down so that it is connected to the contents for the tab. This is how it has always been in SwordSearcher in previous versions. This image demonstrates how the top row “moves down” if one of its tabs is selected:

The usual tab movement for multi-row tab controls. Clicking TSK moves it to the bottom row.
The usual tab movement for multi-row tab controls. Clicking TSK moves it to the bottom row.

Over the years many users have reported that this behavior can be confusing, especially at first. So in SwordSearcher 8.1, a new option was added to fix tab positions regardless of which is active. This is called Static Multi-Row and looks like this:

Static Multi-row Tabs: the BibIllus tab is active, but remains in the top row in its alphabetical position.
Static Multi-row Tabs: the BibIllus tab is active, but remains in the top row in its alphabetical position.

The BibIllus tab is active, but it retains it’s top-row position so that it still appears alphabetically placed.

During beta testing, this new option was liked so well by testers that it is actually the new default setting. So to use this, you don’t need to change anything. However, if you would like to change the behavior, the old alignment method is still an option.

Preferences and Settings (File menu) Tab Appearance page.
Preferences and Settings (File menu) Tab Appearance page.

Choose Normal Multi-Row to use the previous behavior (which is more consistent with other Windows controls). Additionally, you can choose the Single Row option if you do not want multiple rows of tabs at all.

It can also be helpful to change the color of the Active or Inactive tabs here, so that the active tabs “stands out” a bit more. Experiment with the color settings to see what works best for you.

You can also change the shape of the tabs as well. The default setting of Square Corners is the most compact tab style. See what you like best!

Quick tip: Assign a keyboard shortcut to your favorite module

Get to your favorite modules fast in SwordSearcher 8 by assigning them keyboard shortcuts. It’s easy to do!

Go to File, Preferences and Settings, and click Module Shortcuts.

The Module Shortcuts configuration window in SwordSearcher
The Module Shortcuts configuration window in SwordSearcher

From here, all you need to do is click “New Shortcut” to select a module and create a keyboard shortcut for the module.

Adding a module shortcut
Adding a module shortcut

So, what can you do with module shortcuts?

  • From the main window, you can type your shortcut to instantly make the module active and focused, regardless of what modules were visible.
  • You can use the shortcut to select the module from any of the “drop-down module selectors” throughout SwordSearcher.
  • Pretty much anywhere the module shortcut “makes sense” it can be used.

This is just one more way you can customize the SwordSearcher experience to make it faster to do what you want to get done.

Tips for Using SwordSearcher with Multiple Monitors

I am often asked how SwordSearcher can be used with multiple monitors. The most common question is whether or not the individual panels can be moved to separate monitors.



SwordSearcher’s layout system is very powerful and highly configurable.

The secret is to enable layout customization on the View menu (or on the layout toolbar drop-down menu). Doing that will put your SwordSearcher layout into a true power-user mode, where you can move the panels around your screen, change where they are docked, and even put panels on different monitors. Then, you can use the save layout function to save your new layout to make it easy to go right back to it any time.

The Customizing the Layout Video demonstrates the details. Take a look!

If you are really adventurous, you may want to experiment with an advanced feature called “auto hide,” which will slide panels off to the edge when you are not using them. It’s disabled by default, and I only recommend this for advanced users. You can read how to use it in the help file here. Have fun!

Do you use Webroot and have trouble with copy and paste?

Occasionally I will get a support question from a customer who is unable to use the Windows clipboard with SwordSearcher or is unable to copy-and-paste their download information from their purchase email.

After many hours spent, both by me and by my customers, the “root” of the problem has been discovered: Webroot Identity Shield.  Apparently, one of their methods of securing a system is to disable the Windows clipboard for “unknown” applications. This questionable measure would not be such a problem except that absolutely no indication whatsoever is given that Webroot has disabled basic Windows functionality on your behalf, so you are left wondering why nothing happens when you press CTRL+V. Indeed, many customers of Webroot have literally spent hours and hours trying to figure this out.

The authorization code that you are sent when you purchase the download delivery of SwordSearcher is best copied, not typed.  If you are using Webroot and you are unable to get the paste feature to work in the setup downloader, you may need to temporarily disable Webroot Identity Shield.

And once SwordSearcher is installed, you will also need to add SwordSearcher as a known/allowed application in order to prevent Webroot from interfering with the Windows clipboard functions of the software.

I am sorry for this inconvenience, but I have absolutely no control over this.

Know that you are not alone. Other Webroot users have wasted countless hours trying to diagnose this problem, as this poor guy did. As you can see here, this is a fairly common issue among Webroot users, and is not limited to SwordSearcher.

This post on the Webroot forum might be helpful in changing your Webroot settings so that it stops breaking the clipboard.

So far, only users of Webroot seem to have to deal with this problem. I have not yet seen other anti-virus programs interfere with basic Windows clipboard functionality.


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. And I’d like to take a moment to say that I am thankful for everyone who has supported SwordSearcher in the last 18+ years! It’s been wonderful being blessed so much by God to be able to do this for a living. SwordSearcher is how I feed my family, and I am thankful for all of you for being a part of it!

Psalms 26:7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.