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Maximizing eSword’s Reference Library by Editing File Names

 

For years, eSword devotees had been begging for a better way to handle their large library of .topx files. For some, wading through 2,000+ files to find study information was impractical. To be quite frank, it just didn’t work.

 

So, in order to best utilize eSword’s .topx file system, you either had to 1) be well acquainted with the digital contents of each module - and be able to remember them; 2) use a third party utility tool like “e-Sword Smart Starter”* or something similar to it (which very few users ever discovered); or 3) develop a personal filing system “outside the box” from what eSword expected to see.**

 

When Rick released eS10x in late 2011, one of the major upgrades he included was the Reference Library - the new way to view .topx files. One of the major benefits to using the Reviewer is the ability to filter .topx files based on their titles.

 

So, if you are looking for study materials on “The Armor of God” from Ephesians 6:10-18, with eS10x you can click open the Refviewer, and at the top right of the window, type in “Ephesians”. Now, only modules that have the word Ephesians in the title will show up in the drop down box. Instead of wading through hundreds (thousands?) of .topx files, you can just look at the files on Ephesians. Very nice indeed!

 

But there is one problem: what if the word Ephesians isn’t in the title of the module? Hmm. Good question.

 

Real world example: Handley Moule wrote a commentary on Ephesians called “Grace and Godliness.” Most module builders follow this format for naming .topx files: Last Name, First Name Middle Initial. - Title.topx”. Moule’s Grace and Godliness has been made into an eSword module, so it could have been named thus:

 

“Moule, Handley C.G. - Grace and Godliness.topx”

 

But how useful would that be if you’re “filtering” modules looking for resources on Ephesians? Unless you remembered that specific module is on Ephesians, I believe you’ll never use it. Ever.

 

Fortunately, whoever created this module (BibleSupport.com’s “SpreadTheWord”) was wise enough to add one important word to the title, so in reality it is named this:

 

“Moule, Handley C. G. - Ephesians - Grace and Godliness.topx”

 

See the difference? Now when you filter for “Ephesians,” this module will show up in the filtered list!

 

All of the modules built by OMLB and posted here at DDT have always included something substantial in the title (like “Ephesians” or “Holy Spirit”, etc.). If it wasn’t included by the author in the title, then we added it in parenthesis after the title. Let me give you an example. Here is a real world module built by OMLB and posted here at DDT.com:

 

“Brooks, Keith L. - Jews And The Passion For Palestine (Prophecy).topx”

 

See that word “(Prophecy)”? The parenthesis tells you it was not originally in the title; but the title, all by itself, tells you nothing about the contents of the module. So now, if you filter for “Prophecy”, this module will show up in the search.

 

Helpful, huh? We aim to please!

 

Now, here’s the thing: you can do the same thing to modules, too. By adding words to the file name, you can make your modules “filterable.” Both .topx & .refx modules can - and should - be modified to add meaningful words to the titles for filtering. And it’s so easy! Here’s how to do it:

 

1) make sure you back up your modules (!!)

2) navigate to your “...program files...\e-Sword” folder

3) right click any individual .topx file and choose “rename”

4) add as many words to the file as you want, making sure to keep “.topx” at the very end of the file name

 

That’s it. Really. Why not give it a try and see?

 

Some Windows users may find they have “permission” issues when attempting to change file names in the “...Program Files...” folder. If you find this problem, simply add two additional steps:

 

1) make sure you back up your modules (!!)

2) navigate to your “...program files...\e-Sword” folder

FIRST ADDITIONAL STEP: right click any file (or ctrl-click several files) and choose “cut”. Then move to the desktop and choose “paste.” Now the file(s) are editable

3) right click any individual .topx file and choose “rename”

4) add as many words to the file as you want, making sure to keep “.topx” at the very end of the file name

SECOND ADDITIONAL STEP: right click the edited file(s) and “cut/paste” them back into the “...Program Files...\e-Sword” folder

 

One final note: if you change the name of one of Rick’s official modules, the eSword downloader will show you that it is not installed; that’s because it is looking for a specific file (that no longer exists, because you changed it). Be cautious about editing Rick’s official resources.

 

Making sure all of your .topx files are “filterable” will go a long way towards making your Refviewer even more powerful than it already is.

 

END NOTES

 

*SmartStarter temporarily renames .topx files, creating an environment where the user could select only certain .topx files to show up in the Topic Editor. Smart Starter is still available, but not nearly as necessary with eS10x.

 

*I think it was “DSaw” that first suggested the use of a folder/sub-folder system for handling .topx files. OMLB’s own “EdSandlin” used a similar system, too. Unfortunately, the multiple file folder system does not work as smoothly with eSword 10x as it did with eSword 7x-9x.