Get an instant book outline from any Bible verse

SwordSearcher includes a book module called Outlines of the Books of the Bible. A great way to use this book is from the Bible margin, where you can link into the verse’s place in an outline of the whole book.

From any verse in the Bible panel, just click the OutlinesBB margin link to see it in an outline of the book, like this:

OutlinesBB link in the Bible Margin
OutlinesBB link in the Bible Margin

This will open the outline for the book, with the verse position highlighted, like this:

Outlines of the Books of the Bible: Esther Chapter 2

That’s it!

What if you don’t see the OutlinesBB book link in the margin?

Right-click the Margin toggle button from the Bible panel, and make sure it is selected in your list of books to include in the margin area:

Right-click the Bible margin toggle button...
Right-click the Bible margin toggle button…
...and make sure OutlinesBB is selected in the list.
…and make sure OutlinesBB is selected in the list.

Quick Tip: Viewing multiple matches from a Full Library Search

If you are doing exhaustive research, one of the tools you might use in SwordSearcher is the Full Library Search (found on the search menu). This lets you find words in your entire library, including books and commentaries, with just a few clicks. Here I am going to show you a very small change in SwordSearcher 8.1 that makes it easier to review search results:

After a Full Library Search, you are presented with a list of entries in your library that contain what you are looking for, along with a preview of the first match in the entry, like this:

Full Library Search results showing that Genesis 1:1 in the Ellicott commentary contains the word "condemned."
Full Library Search results showing that Genesis 1:1 in the Ellicott commentary contains the word “condemned.”

As you can see, there is a match in Genesis 1:1 in the Ellicott commentary. When clicked, the full entry is loaded in the commentary panel.

Now what is important to remember is that the search results are shown a lot like a web search– you only see the first match in the preview. But there may be more.

So in version 8.1, a small change was made to make it easier to cycle through multiple “hits” in the entry. Now there are two additional buttons on the toolbar for the Commentary panel that appear if you are viewing a search result:

The + and - buttons (circled) allow quick scrolling to each match in the entry. These buttons only appear when viewing search results in the panel.
The + and – buttons (circled) allow quick scrolling to each match in the entry. These buttons only appear when viewing search results in the panel.

You can also use the keyboard numeric keypad + and – keys to perform the same action. In fact, this has been possible in previous versions of SwordSearcher, but was hard to learn about without reading the manual. These new buttons make it a lot easier.

The buttons also appear when using the Verse Guide so that you can cycle over multiple verse references matching a verse in an entry.

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!

SwordSearcher 8.1 Released

This is always one of my favorite things to do every new year: announce a new SwordSearcher release! Version 8.1 is now available and brings several enhancements and some new library content.

Be sure to read the Upgrade FAQ if you are already a SwordSearcher user.

What’s New in SwordSearcher 8.1

New Modules:

  • J. C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (4 vol. commentary) [RyleETG]
  • Ellicott’s Bible Commentary for English Readers (8 vol. commentary edited by Charles J. Ellicott) [Ellicott]
  • Through the Bible Day by Day (7 vol. devotional commentary by F. B. Meyer) [MeyerTTB]


  • By popular request, library tabs no longer change position to force the active tab to appear on the bottom row of tabs. (This is optional in preferences.)
  • New StudyClick function: Ctrl-Clicking a module link (like from the Bible margin) loads the module entry in a clone panel instead of the main library panels.
  • Added full support for Windows “High Contrast” mode:
    • The optional High Contrast setting in Windows 8 and 10 is an easy system-wide toggle (left Alt + left Shift + PrintScreen) that changes the way applications appear when you need to have less color or a black background. It’s a good option for those late nights when your monitor is shining too brightly in your eyes. SwordSearcher now supports this display mode 100%! Please see Microsoft’s documentation on High Contrast Mode for more details on using this accessibility mode in Windows.
  • Added “+/-” buttons to Commentary and Book panels that appear when there are match highlights in the text, from Verse Guide, Topic Guide, and Library Searches.
  • The following have been updated with corrections:
    • TSK and KJV-TSK
    • Web1913 (Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary 1913)
    • ISBE (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
      • Rebuilt from a new source text incorporating thousands of corrections and formatting improvements.
      • Some missing entries have been restored.
      • Greek and Hebrew text from the original work is now included.
      • Significant improvements to verse linking.
    • KJVSL
    • SGreek and SHebrew dictionaries
    • SRV, SRVSL updated to Jan 2017 text.
    • TR
    • WH
  • Added search results Verse List right-click popup menu copy option: Copy selected text including highlighting. Use this when you want to include the bold/background formatting of the matches in the text.
  • Editor font list most-recently-used persists between editor loads in the same SwordSearcher session.
  • Various enhancements to the following SwordSearcher features and tools:
    • Verse reference recognition.
    • Scan Text for Verse References tool.
    • Printer Page Setup (File menu).
    • High-DPI and Multi-DPI support improvements.
    • Bible Search Result Information and Statistics window.
    • Main search bar.
    • Bookmark system.
    • Forward/Back navigation handling.
    • Clone panel scroll position.
  • Many additional optimizations and bug fixes. More details can be read here.

Try this in your Bible reading

When you come across a verse that is hard to understand, don’t go straight to a commentary. I know, this may sound like a strange suggestion from someone who makes Bible Software, but just give this a try and see what happens. I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with reading commentaries — that’s not what this is about.

Try to make a habit of cross-referencing before you do anything else in SwordSearcher. Before you read your favorite commentators or start clicking on links in the Bible margin for topical references, check out some cross-references first. If you already do this regularly then you already know how satisfying this is during Bible study. If you never really did it this way before, give it a shot using the KJV-TSK in SwordSearcher [video tutorial]. It will help you with copious cross-references. Another helpful tool is the Find Related Verses function [video tutorial], which helps you do Bible searches based on the words in a verse you are studying.


Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

Understanding the Verse List Bar Graph

When you do a Bible search, the results are displayed in a Verse List panel. At the top of the panel is a Match Frequency Bar Graph that helps you quickly survey the use of the words over the whole Bible.

Match Frequency Bar Graph
Match Frequency Bar Graph

Using this graph you can instantly see where the most and fewest verses are, as well as quickly navigate in the search results.

  • The bars are color-coded for sections of the Bible (Law, Gospels, etc).
  • Hold the mouse pointer over a bar to see the book name and how many verses matched in that book.
  • Click to instantly scroll to the first match from the book.

Just experiment! In no time you’ll see how fast and helpful the bar graph is.

And here are some pro tips:

  • The toolbar in the verse list panel has a toggle button for the bar graph:
Bar graph toggle button
Bar graph toggle button
  • By default, Bible search results show the bar graph, but you can hide it by clicking the toggle button.
  • Other types of verse lists don’t show the bar graph by default. But any verse list actually can display a bar graph, even KJV-TSK reference lists. Just click the toggle button to make it appear.
  • There are even more graphs you can view. Click the Info and Search Statistics button 2017-04-28_13-16-49 on the toolbar for more!
  • If you decide you don’t like seeing the bar graph by default, you can turn it off in preferences. Go to File, Preferences and Settings, Bible and Verse Panels, Verse List Defaults. It’s the setting called Show Bar Graph.

Not seeing the bar graph? It was added in version 8. Please see the upgrade FAQ to learn about upgrading SwordSearcher.

Quick tip: Switch to Concordance View in search results

SwordSearcher 8 has two view modes for Bible search results. The default mode, called full view, shows complete verses with search results highlighted. This is usually exactly what you want, but there is another way of viewing search results that you may want to use on occasion, called Concordance View.

Concordance View screen shot
Verse List showing Bible search results in Concordance View mode.

To switch to Concordance View, just click the Concordance View toggle button in the toolbar.

The layout of Concordance View is similar to a printed Bible concordance, with each match from the search shown on a single line.

Although the normal Full View mode shows more, Concordance View has some advantages:

  • It is easier to locate a single verse out of a large set of results, if you think you will recognize it just by its placement in the verse.
  • All matches are shown in a single page.
  • Each match in a verse is shown on its own line (see the asterisk lines in the above picture).
  • Complex search results with overlapping matches can be easier to understand in Concordance View.

Holding the mouse pointer over a line will present a pop-up preview of the entire verse. Clicking the line will open the verse in the Bible panel. Concordance View has mostly the same options on the right-click pop-up menu as Full View mode.

Verse Widgets are visible in Concordance View. If you would like to turn them off to have more space for the search results, you can do so in File, Preferences under Verse List Defaults.

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.

SwordSearcher 8 Released

I am very happy to be able to announce a major new release. SwordSearcher 8 is the result of a significant effort and it’s great to finally be able to present it to you. Please see below for a summary of the new features and be sure to watch the short video demonstrating a few of them.

All of your upgrade questions are answered here.

What’s New in SwordSearcher 8

New Modules:

  • KJV-TSK: The King James Bible with integrated in-line cross-references from the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.
    • The extremely useful Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (expanded, with over 800,000 cross-references) is now available in an integrated form in this new Bible panel tab.
    • Hundreds of thousands of cross-references are now presented in-line from notation in the Bible text. It is no longer necessary to go to a separate commentary panel to use the cross-references.
  • Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary 1913 [Web1913]
    • A very complete dictionary from the early 20th century. This digital edition organizes identical headwords under a single entry. Not counting plurals or multiple word forms, there are over 120,000 words defined in over 98,000 entries, with over 48,000 cross-linked entries and over 4,300 linked references to Scripture.
    • This does not replace the 1828 Wester’s module — both are included.

New Features:

  • Integrated Bar Graph for Bible search result verse lists.
  • Concordance View mode for Bible search results in Verse List Panels.
  • New KJVSL (and SRVSL) layout: Reverse interlinear.
  • Comprehensive support for high-DPI and 4K+ displays.
  • Assign your own hotkeys to your favorite modules with custom module shortcuts.

And LOTS more.

Current users click here for upgrade info.
Not yet a SwordSearcher user? Order here.