Xiphos Manual

Andy Piper

Pierre Benz

Dr Peter von Kaehne

Karl Kleinpaste

Matthew Talbert

Dominique Corbex

French translation 
Xiphos Development team

This manual describes version 4.0.0 of Xiphos.


For more information on Xiphos, please visit the project website at http://xiphos.org.

To report a bug or make a suggestion regarding the Xiphos application or this manual, Use the Tracker on SourceForge or the mailing lists

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL), Version 2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. You can find a copy of the GPL at this link or in the file COPYING distributed with this manual.




Revision History
Revision Xiphos Manual V4.0.0December 2014

The Xiphos Team

The Xiphos Team


Xiphos is an application to aid in study of the Bible.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Getting Started with Xiphos
2.1. Starting Xiphos
2.2. Starting Xiphos For The First Time
2.3. Launching Xiphos
3. Interface
3.1. Menubar
3.2. Toolbars
3.3. The Sidebar
3.4. The Bible Text Pane
3.5. Previewer
3.6. The Commentary Pane
3.7. Dictionary Pane
3.8. Keyboard Shortcuts
4. Preferences
4.1. Introduction To Preferences
4.2. General Settings
4.3. BibleSync Settings
4.4. Fonts And Colors
4.5. Module Settings
5. Module Manager
5.1. Introduction To The Module Manager
5.2. Sword Module Configurations
5.3. Installing, Updating, and Maintaining Modules
5.4. Installing Non-Standard Modules
6. The Search Function
6.1. Simple Searches
6.2. Advanced Searches
6.3. Search Syntax using Regular Expression
7. The Studypad
7.1. Using The Studypad
8. The Personal Commentary
9. Journals and Prayer Lists
10. Getting Help Online
10.1. Users Mailing List
10.2. Live Chat
11. Original Language Research
11.1. Installing Needed Modules
11.2. Setting Up
11.3. Searching for Strongs Numbers
11.4. Additional Modules

1. Introduction

Xiphos is a Bible study and research tool based upon the "SWORD Project" libraries and the GTK libraries. You can use Xiphos to do the following:

  • View your favorite Scripture verse

  • Make sermon or personal notes on selected passages

  • Automatically follow Bible footnotes and cross-references

  • Compare translations in parallel

  • Work in original language study using the available Hebrew and Greek translations

Xiphos aims to provide a simple and clean user interface while providing a powerful tool allowing a personalized Bible study environment.

Figure 1. The SWORD Project logo

The SWORD Project logo

"The SWORD Project" is based at http://www.crosswire.org. Other applications under the same banner are MacSword for the Macintosh, BibleDesktop, a Java application, BibleTime (another Linux program), and The SWORD Project for Windows (aka BibleCS or WinSword).

Figure 2. Xiphos in action

Xiphos in action


Xiphos is currently in development, so this manual may not reflect the program as you see it. If it does not, please file a bug at the project website, or email . All help is appreciated, as it will improve the software.

2. Getting Started with Xiphos

2.1. Starting Xiphos

You can start Xiphos in the following ways:

Applications menu

Choose EducationXiphos Bible Guide.

Command line

Type xiphos, then press Return.


Go to All ProgramsXiphos Xiphos.

2.2. Starting Xiphos For The First Time

When you start Xiphos for the first time, Xiphos creates a default selection of options for display. Also, if no other Sword application has ever been run, and thus there are no Bible modules installed, then Xiphos starts the Module Manager so that you can select and install a Bible module in your language preference.

Figure 3. Xiphos Download Question

Xiphos Download Instruction

Xiphos then opens its interface with one tab displayed, showing Romans 8:28. Once the interface is open, you can use EditPreferences to change any of the selections already made by default.

2.3. Launching Xiphos

When you start Xiphos, the following interface is displayed:

Figure 4. Xiphos interface

The Xiphos Interface

The Xiphos interface contains the following elements:


The menus on the menubar contain several commands which extend the use of Xiphos . These include the StudyPad and advanced search functions. The menus also help you to customize your use of Xiphos.


The toolbar contains buttons that let you quickly navigate through the Bible.


The Sidebar provides access to several features. It contains your bookmarks and the list of installed books. It can also be used to perform simple searches.

Bible Text Pane

The Bible Text pane displays the Bible text which is currently being viewed.


The Previewer displays Bible text module options. These include Strong's numbers, footnotes and morphological tags. It is located below the Bible Text Pane.

Commentary Pane

The Commentary pane displays commentaries on the current Bible Text being used.

Book Pane

The Book Pane displays general books available from the Sword Project. These include modules like "Calvin's Institutes", "Josephus: The Complete Works" etc. This Pane can be accessed via the Book View tab just below the Commentary Pane.

Dictionary/Book Pane

The Dictionary/Book Pane displays dictionary information on selected words in the Bible Text Pane. It is located just below the Commentary Pane

When you right-click in the different interface sections, the interface displays a context popup menu, which provides access to more module-specific options, including display controls and printing services.

3. Interface

3.1. Menubar

At the top of the Xiphos main window is the menubar. Almost all of the functions are available by activating the appropriate menu item. The functions have been grouped according to their type. For example, the file operations have been grouped into the File menu.

Figure 5. Menubar

Xiphos menubar

3.2. Toolbars

The function of the Toolbar is to provide control over the Bible and Commentary Panes. Activation of the Toolbar option is done by moving the mouse cursor over the desired toolbar button and selecting it. A tooltip will appear if the mouse cursor is held stationary over a toolbar button, describing the function of the button.

Figure 6. ToolBar

The Toolbar

The Toolbar consists of the following functions:

  • History View Toggle and drop-down menu

  • Bible Book Selector

  • Bible Chapter Selector

  • Bible Verse Selector

  • Bible Passage Summary

3.2.1. History Forward/Backward Selector

Switches between current and previous passage selections.

3.2.2. Bible Book Selector

Selects the Biblical book to be displayed in the Bible Text Pane and Commentary Pane. Changes take immediate effect.

3.2.3. Bible Chapter Selector

Selects the Biblical chapter of current book to be displayed in the Bible Text Pane and Commentary Pane. Changes take immediate effect.

3.2.4. Bible Verse Selector

Selects the Biblical verse of current chapter to be displayed in the Bible Text Pane and Commentary Pane. Changes take immediate effect.

3.2.5. Bible Passage Summary

Allows manual editing of passages which are displayed in the Bible Text Pane and Commentary Pane. Changes take effect once Enter is typed.


Ensure that edited book,chapter and verse naming is correct, otherwise the wrong or no information will be displayed.

3.3. The Sidebar

Figure 7. Sidebar

The Sidebar

On the left hand side of Xiphos there is the Sidebar. Here the user can switch between the different Sword modules, view bookmarks, do simple searches and view verse lists. In the Modules listing, a module may be chosen for viewing in the current tab of the main window by clicking it. Using the context (right-click) menu, other options are to open a new tab using the module, open a separate (i.e. detached) window, or to view the "About" information for the module.

To switch between all Sidebar functions, buttons have been placed at the top of the Sidebar.

Figure 8. Sidebar Shortcuts

Sidebar shortcuts

3.4. The Bible Text Pane

Figure 9. The Bible Textpane

The Bible textpane

Positioned to the right of the Shortcut bar is the Bible text pane. All translations are displayed here. When starting Xiphos, the translation last used in the leftmost tab will be displayed.

3.4.1. Opening A Specific Bible Translation

In order to change the current Bible translation to another of your choice:

  • right-click in the Bible Text Pane. In the popup menu choose FileOpen Module and select your specific translation that you want to view.

  • under the Modules option in the Sidebar, choose Biblical Textslanguage choice and select your specific translation.

3.4.2. Using the Parallel View Mode

A nice function in Xiphos is the ability to view your specified bible text in several parallel translations of your choice. The Parallel View mode can be accessed by selecting Parallel View just below the Bible Text Pane, next to the Standard View tab.

You must choose which modules to display in parallel with the Preferences dialog found under the Edit menu. In the dialog, choose Modules, then Parallel. You can add or subtract from the list of modules that will be shown in the parallel view. The toolbar gives you a selector tool to erase the list, delete a module from the list, and add modules to the list.

The Parallel View shows just one verse at a time. You can change the verse by selecting another verse, chapter, or book at the toolbar. Also note that modules that are Old Testament or New Testament only (e.g. Westminster Leningrad Codex, Byzantine Majority Text) will not be able to display books that they don't have.

Figure 10. Bible textpane - parallel view

Bible textpane - parallel view

Additionally, a separate Parallel View window can be selected from the right click menu with Detach/Attach. Your Bible pane will return to its normal single text view, and the new Parallel View window will show the complete chapter, showing the same translations.

Figure 11. Parallel View - separate window

Parallel View - separate window

3.4.3. Opening A Separate Bible Translation

In order to view a Bible translation separate from the Xiphos main window interface, under the Modules option in the Sidebar, choose Biblical Textslanguage choice. Then right-click on a translation and choose Open in dialog. The module will open in a separate, detached window of its own.

Detached Bible and commentary windows have a synchronization button in the upper-left position beside the navigation bar. When this button is depressed, the main window Bible and commentary will synchronize with detached Bible and commentary windows. The synchronization goes both ways: Any detached window will synchronize navigation with all other detached Bibles and commentaries plus the main window, and the main window will drive all detached Bibles and commentaries whose synchronization button is depressed.

3.4.4. Finding Out About The Current Translation

To find out about the Bible translation currently being displayed:

  • right-click in the Bible Text pane. In the popup menu choose About module name.

  • Under the Modules option in the Sidebar,choose Biblical Textslanguage choice. Then right-click on a translation and choose the About option.

3.4.5. Module Options

Most Bible translations have additional options which the user can select.

  • Words Of Christ In Red

  • Strong's Numbers

  • Morphological Tags

  • Footnotes

  • Scripture Cross-Reference

  • Headings

  • Image Content


Translations in other languages such as Greek or Hebrew have specific options which deal only with the specific language.

In order to access these options:

  • right-click in the Bible Text pane. In the popup menu (example shown), choose Module Options and select the specific option.

Figure 12. Module Options

Module Options

3.4.6. View Options

There are several additional modes that can be selected from the menubar's View pulldown.

Figure 13. View Options

View Options

The first 4 checkboxes control whether each named subwindow is displayed. The viewable state of the subwindows is remembered on a per-tab basis. This makes it possible, for example, to have a tab dedicated to a maps module alone (in a dictionary module, having alphabetically-listed places), by turning off the display of Bible, Previewer, and Commentary for that tab.

The remaining checkboxes control these other display features:

  • Link Tabs - When more than one tab is open, each one's verse is navigated separately in the disabled case. If tab linking is enabled, then all tabs navigate together, keeping all translations on the same verse.

  • Read Aloud - If you enable this, then Xiphos will funnel all selected verses through the festival text-to-speech system. Festival is a widely-available TTS, often installed by default in Linux distributions.

    Also, mouse-selected text may be read aloud from Bibles, commentaries, and general books, using the right-click menu, regardless of whether Read Aloud is selected.

  • Show Verse Numbers - Normally enabled, this toggle can be disabled to prevent display of verse numbers within the text.

  • Highlight Current Verse - Initially disabled, this toggle replaces mere alternate colorization of the current verse with a substitute high-contrast highlight. The colors used may be selected from the Preferences dialog.

3.4.7. Display Control with CSS

Users familiar with CSS (cascading style sheets) may wish to create the file "default-style.css" in the .xiphos directory to contain whatever CSS controls are desired. Beware, it is very easy to shoot oneself in the foot with CSS, and this will affect all modules' display. The facility exists to provide the capability that advanced users may wish.

3.4.8. User Annotation

Many users wish to make personal annotations on individual verses, without the need to put a full "personal commentary" module to use. Xiphos provides this in the right-click context menu in the Bible pane. This brings up a dialog showing the current verse reference and offering a text box into which to enter a brief personal note. Once the user closes the dialog with "Annotate Verse," the verse will be displayed in reverse-highlight (default, blue on yellow) and a marker *u will be inserted at the verse's beginning. This is metaphorically similar for users who mark verses in paper Bibles with a yellow highlighter and write personal notes in the margins.

Selecting an already-annotated verse will (in the usual case) bring up the existing content for re-editing. An already-annotated verse can be unmarked; the verse will cease to show in reverse-highlight.

If the user deletes the module name from the reference at the top of the dialog, then the annotation will apply to any Bible module at the selected verse. However, in this case, re-selecting the annotated verse will not initialize with the existing content, because the dialog is created based on the specific module reference.

3.4.9. Geography Support

A connection to browsing BibleMap.org is available by mouse-selecting a place name in any text. Use the right-click context menu to select Lookup SelectionBrowse in BibleMap.org. A web browser will be brought up to show the selected name's geography via BibleMap, which provides Biblical detail overlaid on a Google Maps interface.

3.4.10. Specific Word Meanings

In order to check the meaning of a specific word, double-click on the word you wish to lookup. The word should then highlight itself and the explanation should be displayed, if available, in the Dictionary Pane.

3.4.11. Finding A Specific Word

To find a specific word within a passage:

  • right-click in the Bible Text Pane. In the popup menu, choose EditFind. A dialog will appear, which provides text searches. Fill out dialog and click the Find and Find Next buttons.

3.5. Previewer

Figure 14. PreViewer


The Previewer is where the user sees Strong's numbers, morphological tags, footnotes, and cross-references that the Bible Text Pane provides.

Footnote content is displayed in the Previewer when you hover over the indicator *n in the Bible text; it remains visible until your mouse moves over another indicator, Strong's number, etc. Sometimes you may want the text to remain anchored until you can move the mouse to the previewer to click on a link or to read large footnotes. To anchor the text so that you can scroll it in the Previewer, middle-click the indicator (or hold down the Shift key) and move to the Previewer.

Cross-reference indicators *x work much the same way. Clicking the indicator will send the set of references to the Verse List in the Sidebar, where you can click them individually for reading in the Previewer. Alternately, a Preferences selector is available, so that cross-reference lists are sent to the verse list instead.

Any verses shown in reverse-highlight have personal annotation associated with them, and such verses will include *u at the beginning of the verse. Hovering on this marker will show the annotation in the previewer, just as for publisher's footnotes.

If a devotional has been set via the Preferences dialog, then the day's devotional reference will also appear in the previewer, either on program startup or when the user requests it via the View menu.

3.6. The Commentary Pane

Figure 15. The Commentary Pane

Commentary Pane

The Commentary pane is where the commentary modules are displayed. This provides easy reading, reference, and access to different commentaries currently installed. The passage viewed by the Commentary pane is directly controlled by the current passage viewed in the Bible Text pane, so in order to change to a different passage commentary, select the desired passage on the Toolbar.

If there are images that are part of a commentary, general book, or dictionary/lexicon, they may be clicked to invoke a viewer on that single image, in order to get a better view. This is particularly useful if image resizing has been enabled with the result that images are made very small in the subwindow.


By changing to passage settings on the Toolbar, the contents in the Bible Text pane and the Commentary Pane will be changed.

3.6.1. Finding Out About The Commentary Module

To find out about the commentary currently being displayed:

  • right-click in the Commentary Pane. In the popup menu choose About module name.

3.6.2. Commentary Headings.

Many commentaries have additional headings which enable introductory information about the book and chapter currently being displayed in the Bible Text pane. In order to view them:

  • right-click in the Commentary Pane. In the popup menu choose Display Book Heading or Display Chapter Heading.

3.7. Dictionary Pane

Figure 16. The Dictionary Pane

The Dictionary Pane

The Dictionary Pane's content is driven by its up/down selectors, typing in its navbar text, or double-clicks in the Bible, Commentary, or Book Panes.

3.8. Keyboard Shortcuts

Several keyboard shortcuts exist in Xiphos, listed below in rough functional groupings.

Window selection/opening and navbar selection:

  • Ctrl-L focuses and selects the main verse navbar text. You can then immediately type in new verse selection text. Be aware that, as is the case with most Sword applications, Xiphos understands many abbreviations: "G" is adequate to specify Genesis, for example, and any book name by itself implies 1:1.

  • Alt-C brings the Commentary View forward when previously obscured by the Book View.

  • Alt-G is the opposite of Alt-C, focusing on the general book.

  • Alt-D focuses on the dictionary navbar text.

  • Ctrl-T opens a new tab.

  • Ctrl-[1-9] makes the Nth tab current.

Verse navigation and Bible features:

  • Ctrl-p/Ctrl-n: Verse previous/next. Also k/j.

  • p/n: Chapter previous/next.

  • P/N: Book previous/next.

  • Shift-F10 brings up the context menu for the Bible pane.

  • Alt-S: Toggle Strong's display.

  • Alt-M: Toggle morphology display.

  • Alt-R: Toggle "red words of Christ" display.

Opening special windows:

  • F1 opens this manual.

  • F2: opens the Preferences dialog.

  • F3: opens Advanced Search.

  • Ctrl-F3: brings forward the simple sidebar search.

  • F4: opens the Module Manager.

  • Alt-A opens an annotation dialog on the current verse.

  • Alt-B opens a bookmark dialog on the current verse.

  • Ctrl-F opens the "Find" dialog. The subwindow to which it applies depends on which of them are visible: The Bible is first preference, then the commentary or general book, then the dictionary. So a tab can be dedicated to just a book, and Ctrl-F will perform "Find" within that pane.

  • Alt-P detaches/re-attaches the parallel view dialog.

  • Alt-Z opens editor on the personal commentary named Personal.

Font size control:

  • Ctrl-Plus/Ctrl-Minus increases/decreases the base font size.

  • Ctrl-0 (zero) sets the base font size to zero.


  • Ctrl-Alt-Shift-P puts BibleSync into Personal mode.

  • Ctrl-Alt-Shift-S puts BibleSync into Speaker mode.

  • Ctrl-Alt-Shift-A puts BibleSync into Audience mode.

  • Ctrl-Alt-Shift-O turns off BibleSync.

  • Ctrl-Alt-Shift-N causes BibleSync to navigate your current main window point transiently as a one-shot event. BibleSync must be transmit-ready, that is, in Personal or Speaker mode.

4. Preferences

4.1. Introduction To Preferences

Figure 17. The Preference Dialog

The Preferences Dialog

4.2. General Settings

4.2.1. Locale, General Preferences and StudyPad directory

Figure 18. Locale, General Preferences and StudyPad directory

General Preferences and StudyPad directory

If you wish Xiphos to display its interface in a language other than the default, you may select one here. A restart will be required, so that the locale can be initialized.

If you enable Default Dictionary, then that named dictionary (see Special below) module will always be used when double-clicking a word anywhere in Xiphos.

Certain dictionary-style modules are Daily Devotionals whose keys are numerically in the form "Month.Day". If you have such a module installed and it has been selected as your preferred devotional, then you can ask that Xiphos display today's selection during startup.

If you enable Resize images, Xiphos will automatically resize image content in commentaries, general books, and dictionaries so as to fit the subwindow which contains them.

Highlight current verse, if enabled, will cause Xiphos to substitute mere current verse colorization with a high-contrast alternate color scheme on the current verse. The colors used may be chosen from the color selector pane (see below).

Highlight user annotations uses inverted highlight color choices when marking user-annotated verses.

By default, Cross-references go into the Previewer. Selecting this checkbox puts them into the verse list instead.

Verse number display can be offset in several ways provided by the checkboxes.

4.3. BibleSync Settings

4.3.1. Controls for BibleSync

Figure 19. Controls for BibleSync

BibleSync Settings

BibleSync is a shared navigation protocol using LAN multicast. It is useful for a single person when running Bible programs on multiple machines or devices, all of which you wish to navigate through the Bible together, or for a group working closely together, such as translators. Also, it has a "lecture" mode, where a speaker's Bible program induces the audience's programs to follow along. The difference in the modes regards who transmits and who receives navigation. In Personal mode, BibleSync navigation is both transmitted and received; as Speaker, it transmits only; as Audience, it receives only.

To enable BibleSync, select a mode from the radio buttons. Also, choose whether to accept navigation directly, so that Xiphos moves immediately to a specified verse, or whether incoming navigation is instead sent to the verse list, where you can decide whether to follow.

If you use a firewall, you must punch a hole in it for UDP port 22272.

If you run more than one BibleSync-compatible program on your computer and do not wish your activity among them to be shared on the local net, you can use Personal mode combined with the Private checkbox. This will tell Xiphos not to broadcast outside your system.

You can send a verse list from the sidebar search or Advanced Search window via BibleSync; see the context (right-click) menu. A particularly good use case for this is when using a simpler Bible program, such as on a mobile device, with another such as Xiphos that has significant search capability: Do searches in Xiphos and send the resulting verse list to the mobile device. Be aware that size limitations on the protocol are small, and though a search may generate hundreds of results in the verse list, at most a few dozen will pass in the protocol to the receivers. For Xiphos, receipt of multi-references always induces indirect verse list navigation.

Xiphos is the first Bible program with a BibleSync implementation; as such, its utility may be limited for now. But a number of other programs' authors and support organizations have indicated their intention to support BibleSync as well, including Laridian, theWord, BibleAnalyzer, and Accordance, as well as other Sword Project applications.

4.4. Fonts And Colors

4.4.1. Setting Font Colors

Figure 20. Font Colour Settings

Font Colour Settings

The Invert color pairs buttons are provided to make it easy, for example, to move the main window into "night mode," with white text on black background.

4.4.2. Miscellaneous Font Settings

Figure 21. Miscellaneous Font Settings

Miscellaneous Font Settings

In individual modules' display, the right-click menu's Module Options selector provides font name and size selection.

The base font size is the size initially chosen for all modules displayed by Xiphos. The verse number and individual modules' font size choices are relative to the base font size.

The font name and size used for display is chosen from this order:

  • The selection made via the context menu for the specific module, under Module Options.

  • The per-language selection made under Preferences, here.

  • The module's own default selection, in its configuration file.

  • The application default.

4.5. Module Settings

Figure 22. Parallel Preferences

Parallel Preferences

Figure 23. Various preferences Modules

Various Preferences Modules

5. Module Manager

5.1. Introduction To The Module Manager

The "module" is the unit of content in Xiphos, and Sword generally; a Sword module is a resource available for viewing in Sword applications. There are several varieties: Most importantly, Bible texts, as well as dictionaries and lexicons, commentaries, and general books, any of which may include image content (e.g. atlases). They are installed either from a local directory structure (typically on removable media, such as a CDROM distribution) or remotely via ftp from a repository such as Crosswire, which is the home of Sword, and from which all officially Sword-sanctioned modules are available. Also, many other modules are available from non-Crosswire repositories. In particular, there is the Xiphos repository, containing a variety of otherwise-unofficial modules produced primarily by contributors to Xiphos itself.

If you have other Sword applications installed, they will all share the same set of Sword modules that you install through the Module Manager.

Figure 24. The Module Manager Dialog

The Module Manager Dialog

Notice the View Intro button above. You may see an introductory explanation of Module Manager operation at any time.

5.2. Sword Module Configurations

5.2.1. Module Sources Settings

Figure 25. Module Sources Settings

Module Installation

There are other repositories available besides CrossWire's own, though the modules available from other repositories do not represent content officially sanctioned by Crosswire. On the web, see this page for list of those repositories known: http://www.crosswire.org/wiki/Module_Repositories

The list of standard repositories is maintained at CrossWire. Xiphos normally auto-synchronizes with that list one time, when the user first puts the Module Manager to use. The list may change, as new repositories come into existence; occasional re-synchronization with the list is suggested, which is accomplished by clicking Load Standard.

5.2.2. Sword Module Installations

Figure 26. Sword Module Installations

Module Installation

After you have selected your Install Source, click the Refresh button to cause Xiphos to find the module summary available from that source before moving on.

Take note of the "Install Destination". In most cases, you will have a choice of a personal area or a system area. The details vary according to your operating system. Linux

Unless you run as root (via su or sudo) you will only be able to install in your personal area, under ~/.sword. If you run as root, or change permissions on the shared directory, you will also be able to install modules for all users, typically in /usr/share/sword. There have been some requests for Xiphos to provide a means by which an ordinary (non-root) user could start the program, gain temporary write access to the system area while installing modules, and then revoke that access after installation is complete. Attempting to devise a scheme to do this has proven quite difficult, given the different superuser management schemes employed by various Linux distributions. Therefore, at this time there are no ongoing plans to try to solve this problem, and users are advised to enable write access to the system area outside Xiphos. Windows XP

You may install modules to a shared folder so the modules are available to all users. If you have previously used "The Sword Project for Windows", this folder will be "C:\Program Files\Crosswire\The Sword Project\Sword". Otherwise it will be "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Sword". You may also install modules to a location that can only be seen by you. This location is "C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR NAME\Application Data\Sword". Windows Vista

Vista works much the same as XP, except for the locations. The private location is "C:\Users\YOUR NAME\AppData\Roaming\Sword". The shared location is "C:\ProgramData\Sword".

5.3. Installing, Updating, and Maintaining Modules

5.3.1. Installing, Updating, and Maintaining Modules

Figure 27. Installing and Updating Modules

Module Installation

The module manager generates both a per-type module list as well as a parallel availability list. The latter is intended to make it easier to find new items without having to work one's way through the per-type list, one subtree at a time. Modules which are either not yet installed or updated beyond what is currently installed will appear in both lists.

Modules that are already installed will show a checkmark beside them. If a fast search ("lucene") index is available, a magnifying glass will be displayed, otherwise an "X" will be shown; creation of the index is available on the Maintenance pane. Locked modules, which require that you purchase an unlock key from the module's copyright holder, will show a lock symbol. If there are modules installed for which a more recent version is available, a refresh icon will appear between the differing old and new version stamps. There may be an approximate size displayed, if the repository management provides this information, otherwise a question mark ("-?-") will be shown.

Select new modules to be installed by clicking the checkboxes and then the Install button at the bottom. Any number of modules may be requested for installation at one time.

If you acquire a locked module and have obtained the cipher key for it, the module is then unlocked in the main window: Open the module, which will probably appear blank, then using the right-click context menu, choose "Unlock This Module."

5.3.2. Module Maintenance

Figure 28. Module Maintenance

Module Maintenance

Several maintenance functions are available: Removal, archival, index, and index deletion.

Removal disposes of a module entirely. There is no recovery of the module unless you have previously archived a copy of it.

Archival is available for any module, although it is provided with personal commentaries specifically in mind. A *.zip of the module is left in the directory ~/.sword/zip. Archival prior to removal of personal commentaries is recommended, in order to be available for future re-install if the subject matter of the personal commentary becomes important again.

Indexing is provided so that the underlying Sword search support can create the index needed for the "lucene" fast-search functions. If the index is not created, plain multi-word search will still be available, but it will be much slower. With the index in place, searches through an entire Bible can take just a few seconds.

Indexes may be deleted as well.

5.4. Installing Non-Standard Modules

Some resource modules in Sword Project format are available from sources other than Crosswire and not from a module manager-ready repository. Necessarily, installing such a module is a manual task.

Modules are normally packaged as *.zip files; they contain a configuration file plus a number of data files. Installation of such a module is done by cd'ing to your personal Sword (not Xiphos) configuration directory, ~/.sword, and unzipping the file there. The configuration file will be left in "mods.d", and the module's data files will go into a subdirectory of "modules". Alternatively, if you have write access to the system Sword directory, typically /usr/share/sword, you may cd there instead before unzipping.

Restart Xiphos after installing such a module, so that a fresh instance of the program can notice the new module in place.

6. The Search Function

6.1. Simple Searches

To conduct a quick search within the current Bible or commentary module, the Search Bar in the Sidebar should usually be adequate. Click either in the menu bar EditSearch or in the Sidebar ModulesSearch to access it.

Figure 29. The Search Bar

The Search Bar

The Search Dialog consists of the following parts:

  • Search Key Entry box

  • Search Module Selector

  • Search Type Selector

  • Search Options Checkbox

  • Search Scope Selector

  • Search Results View

6.1.1. Search Key Entry Box

Allows entry of the key for which you would like to search. The search key can be a word, part of a word, several words, a phrase, or a regular expression depending on the type of search selected. When the search key is entered and all other selections in the search dialog are complete, click the Find button to begin the search.

This search uses the optimized search method (see next section) if the module has previously been indexed, and will use AND semantics by default (matched verses contain all words you entered).

6.1.2. Search Module Selector

Allows selection of which modules you would like to search. Select Bible to search Bible versions or Commentary to search commentaries. Only the currently active module will be searched.

6.1.3. Search Type Selector

Allows selection of the type of search. There are three search types available:

Multi word

This type will match any verse that has all the words in the search key, regardless of where they appear in the verse. By default, "lucene" fast search will be used, with fallback to the slower plain version of multi-word search in the absence of an index.

Regular expression

This search uses a regular expression as a search key. A regular expression is a pattern used to match a string of text. A regular expression can be used to find verses with words that match a particular pattern. For example the regular expression [a-z]*iah will match verses that contain the words Aiah, Ahaziah, Athaliah and Amariah.

A complete discussion of regular expressions is beyond the scope of this manual, but more information can be found in the grep man page.

Exact phrase

This type will match the search key exatly as entered. If the search key is it is good, this search would match a verse which contains "it is good," but would not match a verse which contains " good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

6.1.4. Search Options Checkbox

Allows selecting of search options. The only available option is Match case. Check this box to make the search case sensitive.

6.1.5. Search Scope Selector

Allows defining the range within the specificed module that will be searched. There are three search scopes available:

No scope

This button causes the search to to include the entire module.

Use bounds

Selecting this button produces two dropdown selector boxes marked Lower and Upper. Select the first book to search in the Lower box and the last book to search in the Upper box. The search will begin with the Lower book and end with the Upper book and include all books in between.

Chapter and verse numbers can be entered into the search bound boxes as well to further narrow the search.

Last search

Select this button to do a new search including only the verses returned as a result of the last search. Use this with a new search key to narrow the search further.

6.1.6. Search Results View

This shows a list of the current search results for previewing, navigation, or saving.


To preview the search result, simply click on an individual result. The entry will show in the preview pane.


Navigation to the search result can be done in two ways. To open the result in a new tab, middle-click the mouse. To open the result in the current tab, double-click the result.

Save Results

You may save your results as a list of bookmarks. To do this, right-click and select Save List. You will be prompted to enter a name for the folder that your results will be saved to. After you have saved the results, you may view them by going to your bookmarks and finding the folder you just named.

6.2. Advanced Searches

More complicated searches might require the use of the advanced search functions, found under EditAdvanced Search.

Figure 30. The Advanced Search Dialogue

The Advanced Search Dialog

In Advanced Search, much more complex queries can be constructed, involving custom search ranges, custom lists of modules over which to search, regular expression matching (see next section), and attribute-based searches such as are found in footnotes or Strong's Hebrew and Greek dictionary references.

The default search uses "lucene" fast searching. It is an optimized search requiring a pre-built index; see the Module Manager's Maintenance page for index creation. In the absence of an index, fallback to the slower, plain multi-word search will be done, or can be selected deliberately here. A web search will provide several references to the syntax needed to put to use the power of optimized Lucene search. A few examples follow:

Simple Searches: just type in the words you want to search for. To return only verses that include all of the words, prefix the word with "+". So, in the KJV, you could find Psalm 23 by searching for "+Lord +shepherd +want". To search for an entire phrase, surround the entire phrase with quotes, like "maketh me to lie down" (note that quotes are unnecessary in all of the other examples).

Single Letter Wildcard: to search for "veil" or "vail", use this syntax "v?il". The "?" represents a single character that could be anything. A more complex example returns both spellings for Isaiah used in the KJV. "?saia?" will return results for "Isaiah" and "Esaias".

Multiple Letter Wildcard: to search for "prophet" or "prophesy" or "prophecy" or "prophesied", use this syntax "prophe*".

AND syntax: in the advanced search to return results for all of the search terms, you must put "AND" in between the terms. To continue our example, if we wish to search for any occurrence of Isaiah or Esaias that also mention either prophet, or prophecy, or prophesy, we can do a search like this: "?saia? AND prophe*".

By default, two standard search ranges are defined, for Old and New Testament; you may wish to define others for e.g. "Gospels" or "Paul's Epistles". One custom module list containing only the first Bible found will be present. If desired, new searches can be performed across only the current results of the previous search. Any modules may be searched, including general books and even dictionaries, in any combination.

Note the tooltip in the screenshot above, for Attributes search. This qualifier is used to perform searches on attributes that are carried with verses, instead of verse content proper, such as footnote content or Strong's Hebrew and Greek references. If this button is selected, specific attribute qualifiers must be made in the Attribute Search tab, at the right end of the tab set. Strong's references are identified with a leading "H" or "G" and the numeric Strong's identifier. Thus, a search of KJV for Strong's Greek #140, using "G140", will return the single result of Matthew 12:18.

If you have indexed your modules, there is a much faster way to search for Strong's references. Enter your search preceded by "lemma:", so to search for Strong's Greek #140, enter "lemma:G140". You must have selected Optimized ("Lucene") for this to work.

Explanations of search syntax are available when either Optimized or Attribute search is selected.

The "Find" button also stops an in-progress search, as its tooltip indicates.

Results will show in the Results tab. If you wish to show Strongs, Morphology, or Footnote tags, make those selections on the Attributes Search tab. Clicking once on the result will show the result in the Advanced Search previewer. Hovering over Strongs, Morphology, Footnote, or Cross-reference tags will show the results in the main previewer. Double-clicking a result will cause the current tab to navigate to that result. This applies to search results in general books and commentaries as well, but note that the respective tab must be visible.


Changes to some of the settings (e.g. scope of search, searched modules, etc.) in Advanced Search will affect the simple search via the side pane but not vice versa.

6.3. Search Syntax using Regular Expression

Regular expression searches provide a way to do simple or complex searches for strings that match a pattern or set of patterns (branches) separated by vertical bars "|". While a pattern can be built to look for a word or phrase, a simple pattern that consists of a word does not look for only that word but for any place the string of letters that make that word are found. A search for "right" will return verses that contain the word "right", but also "righteous", "righteousness", "unrighteous", "upright" and even "bright". A search for "hall not" is not a search for "hall" AND "not" but for the string "hall not" with a space between the second "l" and the "n". The search for "hall not" will find occurrences of "shall not".

The power of Regular Expressions is in the patterns (or templates) used to define a search. A pattern consists of ordinary characters and some special characters that are used and interpreted by a set of rules. Special characters include .\[^*$?+. Ordinary (or simple) characters are any characters that are not special. The backslash, "\", is used to convert special characters to ordinary and ordinary characters to special.

Example: the pattern "i. love\." will find sentences that end with "his love" or "in love" or "is love" followed by a period. The first period in "i. love\." is a special character that means allow any character in this position. The backslash in "i. love\." means that the period following it is not to be considered a special character, but is an ordinary period.

6.3.1. Rules for Regular Expression Search Requests

  • . The period matches any character.

  • * The asterisk matches 0 or more characters of the preceding: set, character or indicated character.

  • + The plus sign matches 1 or more characters of the preceding: set, character or indicated character.

  • ? The question mark matches 0 or 1 character of the preceding: set, character or indicated character.

  • [ ] Square brackets match any one of the characters specified inside [ ].

  • ^ A caret as the first character inside [ ] means NOT.

  • ^ A caret beginning a pattern anchors the beginning of a line.

  • $ A dollar at the end of a pattern anchors the end of a line.

  • | A vertical bar means logical OR.

  • ( ) Parentheses enclose expressions for grouping. Not supported!

  • \ A backslash can be used prior to any special character to match that character.

  • \ A backslash can be used prior to an ordinary character to make it a special character. The Period

The Period "." will match any single character even a space or other non-alphabet character. s.t matches sit, set, sot, etc., which could be located in sitting, compasseth and sottish b..t matches boot, boat and beat foot.tool matches footstool and foot tool The Asterisk

The asterisk "*" matches zero or more characters of the preceding: set, character or indicated character. Using a period asterisk combination ".*" after a commonly found pattern can cause the search to take a very long time, making the program seem to freeze. be*n matches beeen, been, ben, and bn which could locate Reuben and Shebna. The Plus Sign

The Plus Sign "+" matches one or more characters of the preceding: set, character or indicated character. Using a period and plus sign combination ".+" after a commonly found pattern can cause the search to take a very long time, making the program seem to freeze. be+n matches beeen, been and ben, but not bn. The Question Mark

The Question Mark "?"matches zero or one character of the preceding: set, character or indicated character. be?n matches ben and bn but not been. trees? matches trees or tree. The Square Brackets

The Square Brackets "[]" enclose a set of characters that can match. The period, asterisk, plus sign and question mark are not special inside the brackets. A minus sign can be used to indicate a range. If you want a caret "^" to be part of the range do not place it first after the left bracket or it will be a special character. To include a "]" in the set make it the first (or second after a special "^") character in the set. To include a minus sign in the set make it the first (or second after a special "^") or last character in the set. s[eia]t matches set, sit, and sat, but not sot. s[eia]+t matches as above but also, seat, seet, siet, etc. [a-d] matches a, b, c, or d. [A-Z] matches any uppercase letter. [.;:?!] matches ., ;, :, ?, or ! but not a comma. [ ]^-] matches ] or ^ or - The Caret first in Square Brackets

If the Caret is the first character after the left bracket ("[^") it means NOT. s[^io]t matches set, sat, etc., but not sit and sot. The Caret as Start of Line Anchor

If the Caret is the first character in a pattern ("^xxx") it anchors the pattern to the start of a line. Any match must be at the beginning of a line. Because of unfiltered formatting characters in some texts, this feature does not always work, but may if a few periods are placed after the caret to account for the formatting characters. ^In the beginning matches lines that start with "In the beginning". (May need to use: ^.....In the beginning) The Dollar Sign as End of Line Anchor

If the Dollar Sign is the last character ("xxx$") in a pattern it anchors the pattern to the end of a line. Any match must be at the end of a line. Because of unfiltered formatting characters in some texts, this feature does not always work, but may if a few periods are placed before the dollar sign to account for the formatting characters. Amen\.$ matches lines that end with "Amen." (May need to use Amen\....$, Amen\..........$, or even Amen\....................$) The Vertical Bar

The Vertical Bar "|" between patterns means OR. John|Peter matches John or Peter. John .*Peter|Peter .*John matches John ... Peter or Peter ... John. (.* slows a search) pain|suffering|sorrow matches pain, or suffering, or sorrow. The Parentheses

The use of Parentheses "( )" is not supported! The Backslash Prior to a Special Character

The Backslash prior to a special character ("\*") indicates that the character is not being used in its special meaning, but is just to match itself. amen\. matches amen. but not ament and will not locate firmament. The Backslash Prior to an Ordinary Character

The Backslash prior to an ordinary character ("\o") indicates that the character is not being used to match itself, but has special meaning.

  • \b if use outside [ ] means word boundary. If used inside [ ] means backspace. \brighteous\b matches righteous but not unrighteous or righteousness

  • \B means non-word boundary. \Brighteous\B matches unrighteousness and unrighteously but not righteous, unrighteous or righteousness.

  • \d means digit; same as [0-9].

  • \D means non-digit, same as [^0-9].

  • \s means space.

  • \S means not a space.

  • \w means alphanumeric; same as [a-zA-Z0-9_].

  • \W means not alphanumeric; same as [^a-zA-Z0-9_].

7. The Studypad

7.1. Using The Studypad

The Studypad can be opened by choosing FileOpen StudyPad

This is what the Studypad typically looks like:

Figure 31. The Studypad

The Studypad

The Studypad will save into your working directory, making it useful for collecting and exporting information and Bible study material from Xiphos into other programmes.

Toolbar 1

  • Font Size and Environment

  • Font Type

  • Bold, Italics, Underscored, Crossed Out

  • Left, Centre and Right Bound

  • Shift Paragraph Right or Left

  • Colour Selector

Toolbar 2

  • New, Save, Delete and Print

  • Cut, Copy, Paste and Undo

  • Find and 'Find and Replace'

  • Spellcheck

In order for spellcheck to be available, one of the languages under EditCurrent languages must be set.

8. The Personal Commentary

To build up a personal commentary you will need to install the editable 'Personal' sword module from the English Commentaries section. Right click it and choose EditNotePersonal in the menu.

An editor window similar to the Study Pad will appear. Edit your comment and save it; in the future it will appear as your comment to the relevant verse.

Figure 32. The Personal Commentary Editor

The Personal Commentary


  • Synchronise Button

  • Bible Book, Chapter and Verse Selectors

  • Location Summary

Use the Synchronise Button to quickly change location of your editor to that of the underlying Bibletext or use the Book, Chapter, and Verse selectors to choose to edit your comment to one particular verse.

Toolbar 1

  • Font Size and Environment

  • Font Type

  • Bold, Italics, Underscored, Crossed Out

  • Left, Centre and Right Bound

  • Shift Paragraph Right or Left

  • Colour Selector

Toolbar 2

  • Save, Delete and Print

  • Cut, Copy, Paste and Undo

  • Find and 'Find and Replace'

  • Spellcheck

In order for spellcheck to be available, one of the languages under EditCurrent languages must be set.

To create a link to other verses right click the text and choose Link... In the pop-up window enter the link location and the module linked to.

It is possible to rename a personal commentary to suit a particular subject of study for that commentary. Thus, multiple personal commentaries may be installed: Rename the existing personal commentary, and then re-install another instance of the personal commentary if desired. Personal commentary names can consist only of letters and digits, and cannot duplicate an existing module's name. Rename is accessible off the right-click menu.

If the study embodied in a particular personal commentary is no longer needed, archival is available in the module manager, prior to removal, for possible future re-installation. See the module manager's Remove/Archive page. Any module may be archived, not just personal commentaries.

Although there are 31,102 verses in standard versification, it is unlikely that more than a tiny fraction of all verses will have personal commentary attached to them. A verse list showing where personal commentary notes exist is available from Right Click Dump Pers.Comm..


The created commentary page will be attached to an individual verse only. To write commentary pages from within Xiphos, attached to longer stretches of text use the Link.. function to link several pages together

9. Journals and Prayer Lists

Xiphos supports user-created and -editable modules to contain general content. Initially conceived as simple prayer lists, they have expanded to include daily journals and topic-outline content. The user can maintain prayer lists, or prepare sermons, or write any structured content desired.

To enable prayer list and journal support, see the Preferences dialog as previously described. There, in General Options, check the item labeled Enable Prayer Lists. You will see a new item appear at the bottom of the sidebar's module list for "Prayer Lists/Journals".

Right-click on this entry, and you will be offered a context menu to create new modules. All the offered options are of the same type, but what is offered is a variety of templates from which to work. There are 5 templates at this time.

Figure 33. Creating a journal or prayer list

New journal or prayer list

Their structure is the same, but the offered templates provide a variety of hints regarding ways to organize content. Simple is trivial, and can be considered a mental Post-It note. Subject is useful as a more organized version. Monthly provides a per-month structure in which to track needed content. Daily Journal is a full 365-day calendar in which to track a personal journal or ongoing prayer needs. And finally, Outlined Topic is a full, expandable outline suitable for topics and subtopics.

Journals and prayer lists have the structure of a general book: If simply selected for display from the module list, they will appear in the usual subwindow for general books.

Editing a journal or prayer list is done by right-clicking the module name to get its context menu, whose middle item is Open in Editor. The sections and subsections will be listed in the left margin. Click one, and the editor navigates to that section. The context menu on right-click of section keys provides for adding, deleting, and editing the names of sections and subsections.

If the general book subwindow is currently displaying the journal or prayer list being edited, it will synchronize with new content when Save is used.

As mentioned, these user-edited modules are in effect general books. This means they can be viewed in any Sword Project application. Thus, you can use these modules immediately in BibleTime, for example; or from the Module Manager's Maintenance page, you can archive a zip file to copy to a Windows system where you can then install the zip content as a module for the Windows user interface. Few other Sword Project applications provide for editing these modules, however, meaning that they will appear in such other applications as just ordinary general books.

In the future, it is planned that a module sharing facility will become available, by which user-edited modules such as these can be uploaded to become available to a wide audience. The current install repository facility will be expanded to provide upload as well as the existing download capability in order to support this. Thus, users will be able to share their sermons, Bible studies, and other personally-authored content with other Sword application users.

10. Getting Help Online

10.1. Users Mailing List

One way you can get help with Xiphos is using our low-traffic users' mailing list. You can sign up by clicking this link. Once you are signed up, you can email the list with any problems you are having and other users or the developers will respond, typically within a day.

10.2. Live Chat

Another way to get help is with online chat. Xiphos has an IRC channel on freenode, #xiphos. If you don't know what that means, it's ok. Just click this link (it will open your web browser), type a nickname or accept the default, and click "Click to join chatroom". This will take you to a chatroom where the developers and other users are available to help you with issues you may be having. Although many times someone will answer your question immediately, sometimes you may have to wait a few minutes or longer.

11. Original Language Research

11.1. Installing Needed Modules

Xiphos is ideally suited for studying the original Greek and Hebrew. To get started, you will want the following modules:

From Crosswire Repository:

  • StrongsHebrew Dictionary (or get StrongsRealHebrew from the Xiphos Repository)

  • StrongsGreek Dictionary (or get StrongsRealGreek from the Xiphos Repository)

  • Robinson Dictionary

  • KJV Bible

From Xiphos Repository:

  • StrongsRealGreek Dictionary (same as StrongsGreek, but with Greek characters, B-Greek transliteration, and self-referencing links)

  • StrongsRealHebrew Dictionary (same as StrongsHebrew, but with Hebrew characters and self-referencing links)

  • InvertedStrongsRealGreek (key in or copy actual Greek word, rather than number)

11.2. Setting Up

While still in the module manager, create indexes for all of the modules you just installed. Then close the module manager and open Edit Preferences and go to ModulesMisc. Set your Hebrew and Greek lexicons according to what you installed. Close preferences and open the KJV module. Turn on the module options Right ClickModule OptionsShow Strongs and Right ClickModule Options Show Morphology. You should see the Bible text change to show Strongs numbers underneath the appropriate English words. Hover over the numbers (or letters for morphology) with the mouse and you will see the definition displayed in the previewer pane. Click on the link and the definition will show in the dictionary pane. If you are using StrongsRealGreek or StrongsRealHebrew, you can click on any other number referenced in the definition and you will be taken to that entry.

11.3. Searching for Strongs Numbers

Choose EditAdvanced Searchor press F3. Under Search Type, select Optimized ("Lucene"). Click on the Attribute Search tab, and make check the box that says Strongs Numbers. Now click in the entry field at the top and search for the number you are looking for preceded by "lemma:" and "G" for Greek or "H" for Hebrew. So to look for the Hebrew word tsad-deek (6662), enter "lemma:H6662". Once the search is done, the results pane will be shown. Notice that when you click on a result, it will show the result in the preview pane, and the strong's numbers will show as well, following immediately after the words they match. Also note that hovering over these numbers will show the definition in the main preview pane.

11.4. Additional Modules

For more advanced research, the following modules are also available:

  • 2TGreek (Xiphos Repository) : This module contains the entire Bible in Greek. It combines the LXX and Tischendorf8 NT into one easy-to-use module. In addition, it contains Strongs, Morphology,Greek Accents, and primary/secondary readings. As with all modules that include Strongs, Xiphos displays 2TGreek in beautiful interlinear form.

  • Elzevir Textus Receptus (Crosswire Beta Repository as of this writing) : 1624 edition with Strongs and Morphology

  • LXX (Crosswire Repository) : the Septuagint with Strongs, Morphology, and footnotes

  • MorphGNT (Crosswire Beta Repository as of this writing) : This is derived from the morphologically parsed GNT provided by UPenn's CCAT. It was reformatted and error-corrected by James Tauber. It includes Greek accents and Morphology.

  • TR (Crosswire Repository) : This is the Textus Receptus with Strongs and Morphology

  • TischMorph (Xiphos Repository) : As described above, this has Strongs, Morphology, accents, and alternate readings.

  • WHNU (Crosswire Repository) : Westcott-Hort of 1881 with Strongs and Morphology

  • GreekHebrew (Crosswire Repository) : This is a dictionary keyed to Strongs. It contains words in the LXX that are also found in the New Testament. In addition, it contains the equivalent Hebrew words also keyed to Strongs.

  • Didache (Crosswire Beta Repository as of this writing) : This is an early Christian treatise in Greek dated to the late first or early second century. It includes Strongs, Morphology, and Greek accents.