Greetings to All From A New User

Pilgrim Roy

I have just registered and am working my way through the training videos. One of my main reasons for choosing SwordSearcher is my desire to use it to create searchable personal commentaries and note files. I would appreciate any helpful advice in that area before I get started and regret some of my set up choices.

It says I can create unlimited files. Am I better off creating a file for each Bible book, or use a large file called "My Notes," or perhaps an OT and separate NT file?
How do others handle sermon files to build them into the program?

Thanks for any help given. I look forward to working and sharing with all of you in the future ahead.

Searching is really personal preference as SwordSearcher's search features can handle anything. Maybe do some practice searches on modules already included in SwordSearcher and you'll get a feel for how you want to set up your modules.

I have my personal notes in a single commentary like "My Notes" and have a Bible panel widget linked to it so I can easily and quickly enter new notes and see old notes.

There are a bunch of user modules on this forum that have been created and uploaded that you might like to check out.
I have all my comments in a tab I call _Notes and all my topics in a tab called _Tpx. Using the underscore causes the tab to sort to the top left corner of the Commentary window and the "Books and Dictionaries" window respectively. Be sure to use "static" option shown below in preferences. You can have as many topics as you want in your _Tpx tab and you can link topics to individual verse notes in the _Notes tab. That's handy if you want the same topic to show up in multiple verse comments. There is a lot to discover and a lot of options. It's a great program.


Welcome, Pilgrim Roy. I think you'll find SwordSearcher absolutely amazing for what you want.

You can always make some sample user modules and later delete them after you decide what works.

The short names of modules (what shows up in the tabs) can only be 9 characters long. The actual description that comes up when you hover over the short name can be very long. The idea @wsbones shared above about naming your modules with a leading underline is a good one. I did not do that, but wonder if I should have (names can be changed later, though, so no biggie). I named mine with my initials first and a dash, but I like Bills' idea a lot.

It is perfectly OK to have only one user book (not commentary*), but the way I describe below it may not be best for your desires.

My suggestion to have one user book is based on the idea that then you can have one item in the margin links if you just want to see if you have user-created content on that verse somewhere. (If you want to separate by topic for your modules (i.e., each topic has its own module), that's perfectly OK, and in the margin the topics will be presorted by topics that have references to those verses.)

If one module is enough, then you could have topics as entries in that user book named, e.g., Tpx-Inspiration, Tpx-Names of God, etc. You could have book commentaries in that same user book named as Bk01Gen, Bk02Ex, Bk03Lev and so forth.

If you want a commentary module to comment verse by verse, I definitely would not recommend more than one for the entire Bible. There's no reason I know to make separate commentaries for each book or to make separate OT & NT commentaries.

You'll probably want to set the margin links so your module(s) show up there if there are hits. If there is more than one hit in a book (really, the chapter of a book [called an "entry" of the module]), you can scroll through them with + and -.

Hope that helps,

*because every commentary entry is linked to a verse, but when you use margin links, AFAIK SwordSearcher does not search the commentary text to report hits of verses other than the main one that it's linked to (if I'm wrong on that someone will correct me). Commentaries are great if you are commenting on that verse alone.
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Thank you all for your speedy replies. I think I will do some experimentation before I jump in full speed. I am very excited about finding both the app and the community. I started years ago with Quick Verse, first in DOS and then in Windows 3. I also purchased Logos back then, but never found it a useful a tool for my study. I was using Word Search when it sold out to Logos and have tried to use Logos since then. It is a wonderful tool, I am sure, but after investing a large amount of time and money into it, I still don't find it really suits me. After finding Sword Search, I am beginning to wish I had looked at my options much sooner.
Welcome to the SS family, a loving, helpful selection of members of the body of Christ scattered across the globe but one in Him. I see that you're on your way with lots of great advice and know that whatever you do you'll find much joy in delving into the Word of our precious Lord. Be much blessed!
What a great post to start a thread!

If you haven't watched it yet, here's the introduction to creating books and commentaries:

And I do think reading the whole section in the manual on user modules would be a good idea too, although it isn't necessary to use it.

Since you're going to be adding personal important material to it, you'll want to protect your modules with backups, which is easy to do with any backup solution or even just regularly copying the user module files to an external drive. This part of the manual tells you where they are:

You've already got some great ideas and advice from others here. I'll just tell you how I use personal modules myself.

I have one commentary I call BStaggsC where I jot my verse-based ideas/comments/cross-references. I have a verse widget in the Bible panel assigned to this commentary. I personally don't see any reason to split the commentary up by OT/NT, etc, since it is all verse-based anyway.

I have a Book module called BStaggsL, for Brandon Staggs Lessons, where I store all of my lesson plans that I build for my family. For titles of entries in there I just have a running count, like 000 Romans 1:1-5, 001 Romans 1:6-10, etc. Each entry is just my outline for a lesson for my family I have done. Since all of the verse references are automatically linked, a BStaggsL link will show up next to verses in the Bible margin where I have written something touching that verse in a lesson.

I have another Book module called BStaggsT, for Brandon Staggs Topical. This is a catch-all where I store copies of articles I have found useful, or topical information I have personally created. Again, all verse references link in the Bible margin.

I do think it's very useful to have a module where you store copies of articles/studies from other sources you find. You can quickly copy-and-paste articles into new entries that you find useful on the internet, and then you don't have to worry about the website going away, and the content is immediately searchable and you get instant verse reference indexing in the Verse Guide and Bible Margin (if you want it there).

Hopefully this is useful to you. Thanks for using SwordSearcher.