May 26, 2007

Access Any Menu Item in Your Application with a Keystroke Using Quicksilver Proxy Objects

Being attentive to how you work, when you're doing the Lord's work, is just plain good stewardship.

I have become a big fan of Quicksilver, the Mac utility that puts an endless amount of productivity at your fingertips. Here's a great tip for accessing menu items in an application: Comprehensive and feature-complete applications have lots of menu item options--too many to remember the assigned keyboard shortcuts for those that even have one. Enter Quicksilver. Here's how to gain access to every menu item with a simple keystroke. For adding some great features to Quicksilver, you must enable "Proxy Objects" in the Quicksilver section of the Catalog. Invoke Quicksilver and press Command semi-colon (⌘;) to bring up the Catalog preference pane. Check "Proxy Objects". When you've done this, Quicksilver now has access to the "Current Application" item. Now you can invoke Quicksilver, start typing "Current Appl..." and it will find this action... then tab to the next pane and start typing "Show Menu Items". (Make sure you have that action and not the "Show menu" action.) When you invoke, you'll get a new Quicksilver window with an exhaustive list of every menu items in your current application. A couple keystrokes later and you have your menu item. The real bonus of this method is you don't memorize keyboard shortcuts. If I want to set the text to blue, I just type "bl..." and hit return. One obscure keyboard combination is not quicker than a few keystrokes, because typing familiar words takes less time. The final step to putting all of this into muscle memory is to assign a keystroke to the "Show Menu Items" action. Simply invoke Quicksilver again, get to "Current Application", tab and then "Show Menu Items", but instead of hitting return, press Command apostrophe (⌘') to bring up the Trigger pane of Quicksilver preferences. Press the little "+" sign at the bottom of the window and add a new hotkey. You can see mine is set to Control-Option-M (⌃⌥M) as in menu). I now have instant access to any menu item in any app.

So, let's say I have some text selected in Accordance, and I want to change it to Yellow. I just invoke with my "Show menu items" trigger, and type "Yel.." and return. If this is a menu item that I use alot and it doesn't have a built-in keyboard shortcut, I can make a trigger to that item. Just invoke the menu items, and select "Yellow", hit tab instead of return and then Command apostrophe to bring up the Trigger panel to make a new trigger again.

If there's anything you can't make easy with Quicksilver, this incredible free utility, I don't know what it is. You can also find a video cast on using this feature from productivity geek/guru Merlin Mann. Have fun being productive.

May 24, 2007

Haitian Creole Accordance Bible Module

I've been busy preparing for summer church trips, which include Canada on one trip, and Haiti on a mission trip. I have been asked to teach a mini-course on Revelation to local pastors at the CONESPEH seminary.

Part of my preparation has included some work in Creole, and with the nifty new user bible feature of Accordance, I was able to create a module in Kreyòl Ayisyen. You can download it here, and hopefully it'll make it's way to the Accordance Exchange.

Rev. 1.1 Men revelasyon Bondye te bay Jezikri pou l' te fè sèvitè l' yo konnen sa ki gen pou rive anvan lontan. Se Kris la menm ki voye zanj li bò kot Jan, sèvitè l' la, pou fè l' konnen tout bagay sa yo. 2 Se menm Jan sa a k'ap rakonte tou sa li te wè. Li rapòte mesaj ki soti nan Bondye a ansanm ak verite Jezikri te fè l' konnen an.

May 06, 2007

Klingon Bible Version for Accordance

Hegh tI, 'ej ngab tI naH, 'ach reH taHtaH joH'a'ma' mu' (Isaiah 40:8)

Accordance Bible Software has just released a new free update which includes a huge new feature--user imported bible modules!

And if you want to see just how customized you can now make your tastes, accept this Klingon Version Accordance module as a proof of concept.

From the Accordance Blog:

Build Your Own Bible Modules: We have lots of users who want to be able to add their own Bible texts to Accordance: foreign missionaries who are producing their own translations or who need a particular translation we have not yet produced, people who want to import Bible texts which are freely available on the internet, etc. With version 7.2, you can do just that. Simply create a text file according to certain specifications (which I'll cover in an upcoming post), then have Accordance import it as a full-blown Accordance text module!
In addition to the other enhancements, this is an incredible addition as a free update to users. You can format any bible text you can get your hands on and import it for use along with your other versions in Accordance.

For an idea of the kinds of texts available, have a look here and here. I'm teaching at the CONESPEH seminary in Haiti this summer and was able to make a Haitian Creole Accordance bible module using the HTML Bible resource. What wonderful potential.

Here's the full press release:

Accordance 7.2 Lets Mac Users Import Their Own Electronic Bibles Altamonte Springs, FL—May 7, 2007—OakTree Software, Inc. released a free update to its Accordance(r) Bible Study Software for Macintosh Computers. Accordance 7.2 includes several major new features and minor enhancements, the most significant of which is the ability to import custom Bible texts for use with the software.

"Accordance has the largest collection of Bible texts and translations available for the Mac," said David Lang, Vice President of Accordance Development, "but we have many users who can benefit from the ability to import additional Bibles: foreign missionaries who are developing their own translations into other languages, scholars doing research into historical translations, and any user who may want access to web-based Bibles which have not been licensed for commercial use."

Accordance's new "Import Bible" feature lets users create fully-functional Bible modules from a specially-formatted text file. These electronic Bibles are fully searchable and can be displayed side-by-side with popular translations such as the King James Bible or New International Version(r).

Other new features of Accordance 7.2 include several ways to customize the interface, the ability to print custom highlight colors, and the option to enter Greek text using the Polytonic Greek keyboard layout.

Accordance 7.2 can be downloaded from and is free to users of version 7.0 or above. It can be purchased new for just $39.

May 03, 2007

Open Office to Receive Renewed Energy Towards Mac OSX Native Version

Sun Microsystems has decided to contribute to the porting of Open Office to Mac OSX. What we currently have is a version available through the X11 interface (lame), and NeoOffice-J which is a java code wrapper (quite good but not 100% native). We're talking now of renewing the completion of the Aqua port of Open Office. That is great news for Mac users.

I was delighted to read one area of emphasis:

After that I could imagine that input needs to be improved e.g. for internationalized input as in input methods.
It makes me think they'll be attentive to getting right unicode Greek and Hebrew, even right to left technology.