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Archive for the ‘How to’s’ Category

8 Ways to Read through the Bible with PocketBible

Posted on: December 11th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 14 Comments

My philosophy on Bible reading plans is similar to exercise: find what works for you and do it. We offer a variety of Bible reading plans you can use in PocketBible to get you in the Scriptures on a daily basis. And for those times when life interferes, PocketBible has easy-to-use tools to help you catch up, start over and keep going.

Which PocketBible Bible reading plan is best for you?

  1. M’Cheyne’s One Year Bible Reading Plan (free) was originally designed by the 19th century Scottish minister, Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne to encourage his congregation to read their Bibles. Each day offers two Family readings to be read during family devotions and two Secret readings to be read during personal devotions. At the end of 365 days, you’ll have gone through the New Testament and the Psalms twice and the rest of the Bible once. Since M’Cheyne recommends reading or singing through the Metrical Psalms at least once a year, we have published Scottish Metrical Psalms with Notes by John Brown for use with the reading plan (sold separately for $1.99).
  2. Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System (free) is a unique Bible reading plan. Each day you will read one chapter from each of ten lists for a total of ten chapters per day from the Bible. Since the lists vary in length, the readings begin interweaving in constantly changing ways. You will NEVER read the same set of ten chapters together again and you will experience the Bible commenting on itself in constantly changing ways.
  3. Laridian Reading Plans (free) is a collection of 7 Bible reading plans. We often get requests for a plan that includes a selection from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs for each day. That type of plan is included in this set.
  4. The One Year Chronological Bible Reading Plan ($7.99) provides a reading plan for the entire Bible–books, chapters, and even verses–arranged in the order the events actually happened.
  5. One Year Through The Bible Devotional ($9.99) guides you through the entire Bible in a year with commentary. Each day includes a Bible passage to read with a practical and helpful devotional written by one of the authors of the Life Application Study Bible.
  6. The Daily Walk Devotional ($9.99) is a publication of Walk thru the Bible Ministries. It too is a reading plan plus devotional. Along with your assigned reading for the day you get a related overview, application and insight for the passage.
  7. One Year Bible Companion ($9.99) offers a daily reading assignment with verses taken from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs for each day. This plan offers variety in what you read plus key questions and answers to enhance your daily Bible reading.
  8. OT/NT in 3 Months (free) – tackle this 90 day Bible reading plan any time of the year. Each day offers a selection from the Old Testament and New Testament.

The Bible reading plans mentioned above simply list the verses you are to read each day. You can then link from the verses to any of your Bibles in PocketBible to read the assigned verses in a translation you like. The devotionals mentioned above offer similar verse links but add devotional comments to the verses you have been assigned to read for the day.

If you have a Bible reading plan but want to start over read our tips on Starting your Bible Reading Plan or Devotional Over for a New Year.

NEW! Export, Share and Publish your PocketBible Notes, Bookmarks and Highlights

Posted on: October 16th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 26 Comments

Are you a prolific note-taker, highlighter or bookmarker in PocketBible? We have wonderful news for you! We have a new option on our website that lets you instantly pull your personal data (notes, highlights and bookmarks) out of PocketBible for the purpose of sharing, re-purposing or turning into your own PocketBible book (with BookBuilder). Whichever you want to do!

Possibilities abound

Over the years, PocketBible users have asked for the ability to export their valuable personal data out of the program. Yes, you can now do this but we’ve taken it a step further. You choose whether you want to export your notes, highlights or bookmarks. With any of those three options, we provide you with an html file that you can:

  • Use as-is
  • Bring into a text editor and reformat and publish in a format for sharing (i.e. PDF, .doc, .txt, etc.)
  • Publish as a PocketBible book using Laridian BookBuilder program (sold separately)

What kind of book could you publish for PocketBible?

  • A dictionary of your Bible bookmarks, where each dictionary entry is a bookmark category.
  • A commentary based on your verse notes.
  • A dictionary of your Bible highlights, where each dictionary entry is a highlight color.

To encourage your self-publishing efforts, we’ve lowered the prices of both versions of BookBuilder:

There’s never been a better time to consider publishing a PocketBible book!

Getting Started

The first step is to synchronize your PocketBible data with the Laridian Server. A synchronization option is available in every version of PocketBible (except Android OS – still to come!) The second step is to login to your account on the Laridian website and choose the new My Data link. You’ll find complete information on what you can do with your data and how to do it.

Let us know what you think

We hope you like this new flexibility in using your personal PocketBible data. Is this something you will use? Let us know how you will share your writings in the comments below.

Exploring the places of the Bible with Maps

Posted on: September 22nd, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 3 Comments

You wouldn’t go on a long trip without taking a good map or atlas. In the same way, it’s good to have some maps when you’re travelling through the Bible. The events of the Bible take place in an area that is unfamiliar territory to most of us. And in certain parts of the Bible where many cities, mountains, countries and territories are mentioned (the Pentateuch and Acts come to mind), a map is indispensable. One of the best resources for seeing the places you are reading about while in PocketBible is our Bible Maps product.

Bible Maps is a set of 13 vector-based color maps covering the major events of the Bible. The product also includes a dictionary of place names with descriptions for over 350 cities, sites and locations. With the Bible Maps and Maps Dictionary open in PocketBible, you can simply tap on a place name (i.e. city, river, mountain range) to view the related article. If you are using PocketBible for Windows, you can hover over the place name with your mouse to see the dictionary article.

You can also connect to more in-depth articles on the places of the Bible from your maps by opening a PocketBible Bible Dictionary (i.e. Tyndale Bible Dictionary, New Bible Dictionary, Nelsons New Illustrated Bible Dictionary – each sold separately) instead of the Maps dictionary. Then when you tap (or hover) on a place name, the article that comes up will be from your Bible Dictionary. PocketBible will use what is open. If you like to have multiple dictionaries open, you can set a “Preferred Dictionary” in PocketBible to make sure it looks in your favorite first.

Of course, we usually start our Bible study with the Bible and not a map. It’s when you are reading a passage such as Matthew 11:20-21 that you think about how nice it would be to see the places mentioned on a map: “Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. ‘Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” You can hold-down (or right-click) on any of the cities mentioned in this passage and choose to “Look up” the city. This will take you to your Preferred Dictionary (if set) or to the first dictionary that has an article available. I have my preferred dictionary set to the Bible Maps dictionary. Then when I am taken to an article, I can choose a relevant map to see the cities in context of what I’m reading. You could also set the Bible Maps themselves to be your preferred dictionary which would take you directly to a map and then link to map articles from the map itself (tap on the city name).

Below is a screencast video of using the Bible Maps in PocketBible for iPad.

If you have any questions on using Bible maps, feel free to leave a comment.

Using cross-references in PocketBible

Posted on: September 17th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

Cross-references are often included with Bibles to lead you to other places in the Bible that relate to the verse you are reading. Cross-references can help you see how Scripture interprets Scripture. As Martin Luther said, “Scripture is its own expositor.”

You often see cross-references, in print, in the center column of your Bibles. In PocketBible, you will find cross-references included with some of our Bible translations (i.e. NIV, ESV, HCSB, NABRE), some commentaries reference related verses in their comments, and of course, in the ultimate cross-reference resource: Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is a classic Bible study resource known for its exhaustive cross-references covering the entire Bible—over 500,000 entries in all—and is free for use in PocketBible.

Viewing cross-references in PocketBible

Verse references are hyperlinked in PocketBible meaning you can click or tap on them to view the related verse. If you click or tap to go to the verse and view it in context, all versions of PocketBible include Back buttons (usually an arrow) which will return you to your starting verse. There are some variations among the versions of PocketBible to keep in mind:

  • PocketBible for Windows PC users: you can hover your mouse arrow over the cross-reference to see the verse quoted without even going to the verse.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone users: By default (and popular demand) the back button is set to take you out of the program. You can change this behavior to take you back through previously viewed verses under Settings | History.

PocketBible gives you a mechanism via its Notes feature to record your own thoughts on related verses. Anytime you put a verse reference in a note, PocketBible will link it automatically so you can view the verse with a tap (or hover).

Turning cross-references on/off in PocketBible

Cross-references in PocketBible Bibles can be turned on/off for ease of reading.

  • PocketBible for Android: tap on the Menu button and choose Display Settings and Footnote Style. Choose Hide to completely eliminate footnote indicators; Mark will show the asterisk to mark a cross-reference or footnote; Expand will show you the entire footnote inset in the text.
  • PocketBible for iOS: tap on the Menu button and choose Settings and Footnotes. Choose Hide to completely eliminate footnote indicators; Collapse so you just see an indicator of a footnote available to tap on or Expand to see the footnote in its entirety.
  • PocketBible for Windows PC: choose Edit | Options from the menu and there is a drop down box for Translator’s Footnotes to turn them on/off/expand.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone: choose Settings | Appearance from the menu and choose Footnote Style to to turn them on/off/expand.

PocketBible for iOS users: What can Advanced Features do for you?

Posted on: September 11th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 8 Comments

If you are using PocketBible 2 or later for iOS, here are some good reasons to upgrade to Advanced Features and how to do it.

Why upgrade?

The Advanced Features available for PocketBible on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch offer some handy additions to the basic features of PocketBible.

Tabs (or tabbed panes) are especially wonderful on the iPad. I keep 5 tabs open on my iPad and each tab contains a specific type of book so the headings display category of book (i.e. Bibles, Commentaries) rather than book abbreviation. When you mix different types of books within a pane, PocketBible shows the abbreviation for the top book instead of the category. Tabs make it fast and easy to move from my Bible to a commentary or other type of book and get the information I need to understand what the Bible is saying.

Autostudy is very useful to me because I often compare Bible translations when I read the Bible. If I particularly like or, conversely, don’t understand a verse, I want to see how it is translated elsewhere. Autostudy will put that together in seconds–all on one page. It will do the same for information from other types of books as well – commentaries, dictionaries, etc.. You can get more details on this feature in our article: Have you discovered Autostudy?

Would you like to have the program read the Bible to you? The Advanced Feature Set adds the ability to do this but you will need to make one more purchase of a voice (at $1.99 each) to take advantage of that ability. PocketBible voices are synthesized which means they are electronic and therefore won’t take up as much space on your device as an “audio Bible”. I have found this feature extremely handy for keeping up with my Bible reading in the car, as I clean the house, on a run — time that might otherwise be wasted can be reclaimed for a good purpose.

If you like to copy passages from your reference or other type books, you’ll want the Advanced Features as they allow you to do just that. And if your printer supports AirPrint, you’ll be able to print from the program.

Advanced Features were enhanced with the release of PocketBible 3 and now offers these additional capabilities!

  • A new Journal feature lets you add comments to PocketBible that are not connected to a specific book.
  • You can now rename your highlights colors. For example, you could change the label for salmon to love and use your highlights as categories for specific types of verses.
  • Change the behavior of the touch zone nagivation. The most common customization is to use swipe up and down for page changes instead of swiping left and right. Other customizations are possible.

You can watch a quick overview of the upgrade process and how to use the advanced features at the video link below:

How to upgrade

If you are already using PocketBible 2 or later on your iDevice, adding these new features is straight-forward:

  1. Purchase the Advanced Features at our web site for $4.99 (it is also available in-app for $1.00 more). Add a Voice at the same time if you think you want to use that feature. I prefer Tracy but our best-selling voices are Heather and Ryan.
  2. Go into PocketBible on your iOS device and choose the Menu button and Buy/Apply Upgrade (if you’ve already purchased at our website, you’ll just be applying). Choose Add/Remove Voices to download a Voice if you’ve purchased one.

You’re all set!

If you are still using PocketBible 1.4.7 (or earlier) for iOS, follow our 3 Steps to Move from PocketBible 1 to PocketBible 2 on your iOS device.

Bible Searching Tips using PocketBible

Posted on: August 28th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 8 Comments

A printed Bible limits you to the concordance in the back of the Bible (or your memory) for finding verses but PocketBible lets you search the Scriptures by any word, phrase or combination thereof. How does that work? – keep reading…

Let’s say you want to find every verse in the Bible where Jesus spoke. You could start your search with the phrase “Jesus said.” Depending on what platform you are using PocketBible on, tap or click on the Find icon in PocketBible (or choose Find from the menu) and type Jesus said in the search box. Hit the Search button. The results will list all verses containing the phrase “Jesus said” but only when the words appear in exactly that order. That means you won’t get every verse where Jesus said something. For example, you’d miss Matthew 12:48 where it says, “Jesus didn’t respond directly, but said…”, because the words Jesus and said are not together. To get this additional verse and others like it, modify your search to jesus AND said. AND is one of several Boolean operators you can use to enhance your searching in PocketBible. You can read about using Boolean operators for more effective searches in the program Help File (tap on the ? in any version of PocketBible). Below is a video that explains this concept as well:

Another way PocketBible can help is when you are trying to find a verse but can’t remember the reference (i.e. Book/Chapter/Verse) for it. For example, you want to find the verse where Jesus miraculously feeds the large crowds. PocketBible will let you narrow your search to just the Gospels (since you know the verse is somewhere in those books). Then search for loaves OR fish.

In addition to picking specific books or sections of the Bible, PocketBible will also let you narrow your search to look only in verses you’ve highlighted or bookmarked. Just be careful to clear these options out after you are done with your search or you may end up getting “No verse found” on your next search (when you know there is a verse that contains what you are looking for).

Do you have any questions or tips about searching in PocketBible? Please share them in the comments.

PocketBible Bookmark Basics

Posted on: July 25th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 9 Comments

The bookmark feature in PocketBible is meant to be used the same way you would use a bookmark in your printed Bibles or books. To provide a method for easily returning to a place that you think you might want to go back.

Put a bookmark on a Bible verse and it will be shared between all Bibles.

Put a bookmark in a book other than the Bible and it will take you back to the start of the table of contents entry for the section of text you’re reading. So don’t be surprised when you return to a bookmark in a reference book and you find it is a few paragraphs earlier than what you remember setting it at.

How do you set a bookmark in the different versions of PocketBible?

  • iOS – Hold down your finger on a verse and you’ll get a context menu. Choose Menu and then “Bookmark Verse #”. With the iPad version, use the B’Marks button on the toolbox to easily view your bookmarked verses. If you turn your iPod touch or iPhone to landscape, we use the extra room on the toolbar for a “Bookmarks” button which serves the same purpose.
  • Windows PC – use your right-click menu to set a bookmark. You can delete it from the personalization window.
  • Windows Mobile - press and hold your stylus on the reference you want to add or choose Bookmarks from the Edit menu.
  • Palm OS – from the menu choose Edit | Bookmarks.
  • Android OS – bookmarks are planned but not yet available.

How do you delete a bookmark? The same way you added it! If you try to set a bookmark on a verse or place you’ve already bookmarked, instead of an “add” option, you’ll get a “delete” option.

Do you like things organized? Use categories when you store your bookmarks. For example, you might want to organize your bookmarks by topics such as “salvation” and “repentance.”

Of course, you don’t have to use categories – you can keep your bookmarks “uncategorized.” Conversely, you can place a verse in more than one category if you’d like. Keep in mind that if you delete a bookmark from a category, it is only deleted from that specific category. When you delete an entire category, you’re only deleting the category. Any remaining bookmarks in the category will show up as being uncategorized.

If you’ve already whole-heartedly embraced this feature and have tons of bookmarks, make sure you are backing them up or synchronizing with our server. There are instructions for this in the help for each version of PocketBible.

How are you using bookmarks? Let us know in the comments.

Shortcuts for turning on/off Strong’s Numbers in PocketBible Bibles

Posted on: July 5th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 3 Comments

Do you own a PocketBible Bible that features Strong’s Numbers? The possibilities include:

While you probably chose these Bibles because of the Strong’s numbers and links they provide to included and related dictionaries, it is sometimes nice to turn them off! Especially when you are simply reading the Bible text. Here’s the quickest way to do that in each version of PocketBible:

  1. Windows PC – Use the keys CTRL + U. This keyboard combination quickly toggles the Strong’s numbers on and off. You can also go to the menu and choose View and click the option on and off there. The toggle will work for viewing the text in a Bible window or in “hover” mode when you are hovering over a verse link.
  2. iPad – tap on the Settings icon (looks like a gear) on the toolbar and tap on the menu item “Strong’s Numbers.” You can also find the option via the pop-up menu when you tap and hold on a book and the menu button on the toolbar (Menu | Settings).
  3. iPhone/iPod touch – tap and hold any place in an open book to get a pop-up menu. Choose Menu and tap on “Strong’s Numbers” to turn the numbers on and off. The menu button on the toolbar (Menu | Settings) will also provide this option.
  4. Android OS – choose the menu button and then Display Settings. There is a check box option for hiding Strong’s numbers. Check to hide; uncheck to show.
  5. Windows Phone – tap on the three dots to get the menu and then hide Strong’s numbers to hide or show Strong’s numbers to show.
  6. Windows Mobile – tap View, Options, and Show Strong’s Numbers.
  7. Palm OS – tap Options, and Strong’s Numbers.

Related article: Accomplishing Word Studies in PocketBible.

What’s free with PocketBible?

Posted on: June 28th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

Free PocketBible Books

We often get asked about what free books are available for use with PocketBible. Here’s a one-stop answer to that question.

We offer a variety of free books in different book categories so you can try the program out and see what it can do as well as build your library. Step one is to make sure you actually own PocketBible (or one of our related readers/software programs). Or in other words, you need a reader even to use the free books we offer.

All versions of PocketBible are free to download. This includes PocketBible for iOS (aka iPhone/iPad/iPod touch), Android OS, Windows PC, Windows Mobile and Palm OS. Laridian Bibles also work with Simple Bible Pro for webOS and Noah Bible Study Viewer for BlackBerry (non-PocketBible programs have to be purchased – see product pages for details).

Once you have PocketBible downloaded for your smartphone, tablet or PC, you can download and access our free books (as well as any titles you purchase). For iOS and Android OS, the books are available to you upon registration automatically. Simply log in to your Laridian account within the program and download them. For other platforms or devices, you must order them on our web site (links are below) to add them to your Laridian account for download.

We can offer these titles free because they are in the public domain (not copyrighted). If you have any suggestions for other public domain titles you’d like to see us publish, let us know in the comments below.

Catching up on your Bible Reading Plan

Posted on: February 23rd, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 11 Comments


53 days into my One Year Chronological Bible reading plan in PocketBible and I’m already significantly behind. I blame Leviticus. It gets me every year. Thankfully, PocketBible has those convenient “reschedule” options. If (or when) you find yourself in my position, PocketBible actually offers several scheduling options that can help. Here is the best way to use each one:

  1. Set First Reading to Today – use this option to start tracking progress in any devotional book. You’ll get an option to erase any previous progress (or not).
  2. Set Current Reading as Today – use this option when you have been reading out of a particular devotional book for a while and now decide to start tracking your progress. Or if you’ve been using the printed version of the book and want to switch to PocketBible. When you choose this option, you’ll be asked what you want to do about progress tracking. You can mark all readings through yesterday or today as read.
  3. Catch Up – use this option if, like me, you’ve fallen behind in a plan you have been otherwise consistently reading (you don’t want to use this option if you’ve been reading and marking days here and there because you may get unexpected results). PocketBible will change the start date of the book to put you back on schedule through yesterday or today (you choose).
  4. Reset Progress Data – use this option if you just want to start over and erase any progress in the book. This can be done when you’ve only partially completed a book OR if you have completed an entire book, so you can start it over again.

If you are a visual learner (or you just like videos), here is Laridian president, Craig Rairdin, explaining how the “catch up” feature is used on the iPhone.

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