WordSearch Bible Categories
All aspects of WordSearch Bible uses categories. They are used to organize the massive library of books. They are used in the WordSearch Bible applications on Windows PC's and Macs and they are used in the iOS and Android in their WordSearch Bible app. LifeWay uses these categories as well. They are even used on their web site and the My WORDsearch Bible online study web site. However there is not general agreement about which of the various categories are a given book may be in or how many categories there are. (In some cases a particular eBook may be in more than one category.) For example:
|MyWSB & WordSearch Bible app||WordSearch Bible Store|
|Bibles, Study||Bibles - Study Bible Notes|
|Dictionaries||Dictionaries & Encyclopedias|
|Fiction||History & Culture|
|Marriage & Family||Literature|
|Miscellaneous||Maps and Atlases|
|Preaching||Scripture based Sermons|
|Study Bible Notes||Study Helps|
|Video Series||Word Studies|
The categories in the WordSearch Bible app and MyWSB cannot be changed. However you can filter the views. For example you can limit the app to only showing downloaded apps or to show recently read. You can also search by Title or Author. The books are listed in alphabetical order within the category but book names starting with 'A' or 'The' will sorted without those words. If there are no books in a particular category it will not be shown.
 Windows and Macs
These applications support many more categories and let you define your own. They also support Sets which is another way of arranging your books. The rest of this page is devoted to Windows and has similar applicability to Macs. A particular eBook will only be in one category, unlike the above categories.
There are also categories within categories (subcategories) to further aid in finding the books you want. Generally both the category and the subcategories will contain books but in some categories all of the books are in separate subcategories.
 The Library View
The Library View in Version 11 has an initial set of categories that are determined by the Metadata Category defined for the book you purchased. It may or may not match the Category in the store. This is also the initial Category used by the WordSearch Bible Resources menu in the Study view. The Library View will be changed to match if you change the category in the Resource menu. For some reason that I don't understand not all books will agree with the change to Resources. You may need to change the metadata file.
 Windows locations
There are two start up files that contain your customizations for categories. There is one for your books and a second for your sets. On my machine this are located at: C:\Users\Dale\AppData\local\WORDsearch 11. Yours will be in your name under \Users. The file name for the books is BookCategories.ini. My file, at one point, looked like:
0:60=Commentaries\New Testament 0:1284=Commentaries\New Testament 0:932=Bibles\Foreign 0:839=Bibles\Foreign 0:840=Bibles\Foreign 0:1054=Bibles\Foreign 0:841=Bibles\Foreign 0:141=Bibles\Foreign 0:843=Bibles\Foreign 0:844=Bibles\Foreign 0:847=Bibles\Foreign 8:57=Study Helps 0:1220=Study Helps 0:2196=Sermon Helps\Outlines and Starters 0:1580=Sermon Helps\Outlines and Starters 0:1270=Sermon Helps\Expositions 0:1207=Sermon Helps\Illustrations 0:1593=Sermon Helps\Outlines and Starters 0:4711=Sermon Helps\Outlines and Starters 0:1324=Sermon Helps\Homiletics
These entries show where each book that I have moved can be found. The books are identified with there book id. You can find the book id in the WordSearch Bible Metadata.
The sets I have moved to a new category are in the file SetCategories.ini My file, at one time, looked like:
TOSB Outline=Outlines Exp. Out.=Commentaries PillarNTCmy=Commentaries\New Testament BEC - NT=Commentaries\New Testament BEC - OT=Commentaries\Old Testament PinkGleaningsGen=Commentaries\Old Testament PinkJohn=Commentaries\New Testament IVPNTCMY=Commentaries\New Testament POSB Outline=Outlines TozerBestOf=Topics TozerTopicalReader=Topics SermonsBusy=Sermon Helps\Outlines and Starters 52 NT SS=Sermon Helps\Outlines and Starters SermonOutlineSeries=Sermon Helps\Outlines and Starters
These entries are similar to the book entries but they are identified using the set name.
Note that the location is both user and version specific. But you can copy this files for other users or other versions you may own. These locations will override the location defined in the metadata or in the metadata cache. These locations are currently not used by the library view in version 11.
 Category Metadata
The WordSearch Bible Metadata file is used to initially determine the Category version 11 release on the Library screen and Resources menu. Most of my category changes were done by editing the metadata file. The advantage of changing the Category entry in the metadata file is that it will be automatically used by every program that shares these book files even if have multiple versions or update the version. The disadvantage is that it is a great deal more work. Categories are always shown in alphabetical order.
It should be pointed out that there are no default metadata entries. All entries come from the Metadata (.cbp) file or from the Resources category command. Categories are removed if they are empty and added the first time they are used. The full category list is built each time the application is started although a cache of the items from the book metadata file may be reused if the app is restarted the same day. (Rebuilding the cache can be done with the "Refresh Library" command and will make the Resource menu and the Library view agree.)
 Category customization
You can change the names and number of categories at any time and you can also have subcategories. My library categories along with an explanation are shown below:
- Foreign - I keep foreign language Bibles here, just to reduce the clutter. Another subcategory might be "New Testament" if you wanted to minimize the main list of Bibles to the full Bible only.
- Commentaries - The main list is for Commentaries that cover both testaments. I try and keep the entries in Commentaries limited to those books that are verse by verse explanations. Summary books I have moved to "Study Helps" or "Surveys". I also keep "Wiersbe Expository Outlines" here as it is really a Commentary in my opinion.
- New Testament
- Old Testament
- Cross References
- Denominational - I set this up to gather books devoted to denominations to avoid having these entries in my top level categories.
- Salvation Army
- Devotionals - I revamped my Devotional category to make finding things easier. The Devotion area is reserved for books containing short topics and are intended for daily use. The main section is used for eBooks that focus on Bible reading. Often these are used in conjunction with a one year Bible Reading program which is often built into the devotion book itself. WordSearch Bible will associate a calendar to the entries and bring up today's entry. You can, of course, change the date inside the eBook. Note that the entry "Daily Reading Calendar" is not really a book at all. Opening this will allow you to build a somewhat customized Daily Reading Calendar which will provide tracking to show where you are during the year or multiple years by allowing you to checkmark days you have read.
- Month - This area contains devotionals with approximately 30 entries in them.
- Topical - This area has devotionals that are not devoted to Bible entries.
- Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
- Handbooks - These will often have handbook in the title.
- History & Culture - I will likely sort this one in the future. It contains books about History and culture and it also contains books by ancient authors that are history.
- Lessons - These are mainly specific to LessonMaker.
- Literature - This needs lots of work. Unlike other categories there are no directly Literature entries in this category. Instead there a lots of subcategories that actually contain the books. I will mention a few of them for now.
- Apologetics is also in Theology. I moved all of the entries from here to a subcategory in Theology and got rid of this one entirely.
- Consolidated duplicate entries like biography and biographies which had two separate categories.
- Christian living is a huge entry and needs a better breakdown. This is an entry used by LifeWay and the WordSearch Bible apps as a top level category.
- Fiction - This is another subcategories here that are top level in LifeWay. It should have some of the books currently in General.
- General - This is a catch all entry that often really means the book was not sorted at all. There are lots of eBooks in this subcategory that should be somewhere else. I have moved a lot but there is more to do.
- Maps & Atlases
- Outlines - this is somewhat duplicated in Sermon Helps but so far I have left it alone.
- Periodicals - You are not likely to have this unless you know about Doxa.
- Photographs & Art - These are really books. See WordSearch Bible Covers and Images for more on this.
- Sermon Helps - Lots of items here could be moved.
- Outlines and Starters.
- Study Bible Notes - I adopted the LifeWay title here as being more precise. This was originally called Study Notes which I found confusing with Study Helps. I moved a couple of books over to Study Helps and renamed this category to contain the actual books that are often included in a Study Bible (or should have been in a Study Bible).
- Study Helps
- Explorer's Bible Study - These two subcategories are there because they contain workbooks. I am not particularly happy with this arrangement. I may turn these into Sets or move them to Teaching Helps.
- RZIM Critial Questions Discussion
- Surveys - There a likely more books I should move into this summary category.
- Teaching Helps - LifeWay and WSB sometimes have a textbook category as well. Any book in this whole library could be a textbook so I got rid if it as being meaningless.
- Theology - I have done a lot of work organizing this category.
- Apologetics - If it argues against false doctrine it belongs here.
- Christ - Theology books that are focused on Christ himself.
- Creeds & Confessions - I also added Catechisms to this group. It could be argued that they belong in Apologetics but they are often just recited.
- Doctrine - usually there are books specific to a subset of theology topics.
- Eschatology - all of the prophecy books
- Holy Spirit - Books devoted to the Holy Spirit
- Systematic - All the major systematic theology books are here. Biblical Theology and Theology books with multiple types are theology are up in the main section.
- Topical Indexes
- Word Studies
- WordSearch media - If you have any of these in your system you should uninstall them as they no longer work.
 My Library List
There are many ways to find the books in your library. The Library view allows either graphics covers view or a list of titles. The resources panel in the Study view allows you to display lists with categories, by author, or by title. There is also an entry on the Tools menu called "My Library List". This list has some unique features and some idiosyncrasies that you should be aware of. It also has a button that allows copying the list to the clipboard which has its own idiosyncrasies.
- This list can contain books you own from WordSearch Bible and from LifeWay if you have accounts on both sites. If you do not have a LifeWay account I would recommend that you get one. It is free and you will automatically get some free books. The list will identify which source the books came from and will even show those that are not displayable inside the WordSearch Bible application on your PC. The list will show where you can display the book.
- The My Library List tracks and uses changes you make to categories. It will display both LifeWay categories as well as the ones you changed using the Resources menu if you have a dual account.
- The My Library List is supposed to contain all of your books but I have found that it misses a few of them. There is usually some reason but I have not been able to find it for some books. The My Library List is fussy about how the category may be listed in the metadata, or how the set is organized, or other reasons. It is much less forgiving than either the Resources panel or the Library View.
- The clip board approach will always display all of the books but is fussy about the category entries. Categories on the clip board are case sensitive so you should be careful with this to keep it from creating different categories and it will create a new category display if the category name ends with a backslash (\) which happens in some metadata files.
- Making this work better will also speed up the startup of the application. Fixes can be easily made to entries in the startup ini files by simply editing the files to ensure no case issues, but some things may require editing the metadata file or even moving the book contents (for sets).
- The clip board contains HTML formatted text so if you paste into an application you will see some formatting. If you paste into a text editor of word processor that does not understand HTML you will lose formatting but all of the data will still be present.
- The clip board will contain duplicate entries if you have the same book licensed under WordSearch Bible and under LifeWay. The duplicates will usually be right together but some LifeWay duplicates will be at the top of the file based on differences in categories from the two sources. The My Library List does not have this problem.
- There is no way to generate a list with authors as well as titles. The Biographer command from the Tools menu can be used to select certain books with publisher and author listed. It also has a copy to clip board feature.
 Fixing Categories
As mentioned above the "My Library List" command sometimes has variations in the entries list. These are many times caused by the original categories as generated by WordSearch. For example there may be entries that start with lower case letter or a '\' at the top level or perhaps a '\' after the last entry. None of these will cause problems in the application itself but will cause problems with the Library List.
You can use the change category command for the book to fix these entries so they will be the same. In the Library List the '\' will be shown as decorative hyphens. If there is one at the beginning or one at the end the list command will move the eBook name into a different list. You can use the change category command to remove the extra '\' characters.
Similarly the category names starting with a lower case letter will be listed separately. This can also be fixed by using the change category command to correct this spelling error.