Letter Re: Making a Bible

Hugh,

I have long wanted a homey Bible, one that I don’t have to be careful with, something to take when traveling, on camping trips, accidentally left in a hotel room or airplane, or just something comfortable to read while sitting on the easy chair. The typical Bible, being a book, is bulky, and I don’t always want the whole works, from Genesis to Revelations, there with me. I only want the books that I am going to be reading at the time. I’ve tried digital versions, but no matter how developed they have become, and there are some good ones, they just don’t fit my criteria for easy access.

What I want, ideally, is a notebook-sized Bible in easy-to-read Arial font, no italics, in a 3-ring binder. Such a Bible was something that I was going to have to compile myself as to my knowledge there isn’t anything like this to be had on the marketplace. After sampling numerous formats and styles I decided upon one with the help of several apps, programs. The first one is E-Sword, a free Windows-based Bible software program, also available on the Mac from the iTunes store for $9.99 by Rick Meyer. Although it is free for the Windows version, it requests a donation, which I did. There is a variety of Bible translations, versions, that you can download to E-Sword for free, but I have gradually settled upon the King James Version, KJV. It’s the poetry.

Within E-Sword you can copy an entire book of the Bible to the clipboard and then to a word processing program. I use Libre Office, which uses the ODT format (open document text). After getting it to look the way I want, the document can then be exported (converted) to a PDF file (portable document file– an Acrobat Reader format from Adobe.com) by clicking the icon on the tool bar. I have skipped over a multitude of steps in both of these programs to get to this point, all of which can be accomplished in a couple of hours, starting from scratch.

But here you’re not starting from scratch, you’re just going to print a copy. To print a 2-sided copy I have to be hardware and software specific. Unless you know of another way, you will need the Safari.app and a laser printer capable of 2-sided printing. To print, open it with the Safari.app, not Acrobat reader, and choose to print it 2-sided for efficient use of paper. The default is to print the page at 93% of original document size;, don’t change it. I have individual books of the Bible that can be printed out or a file called “Romans-Philemon” that eliminates half-filled page or blank page at the end of some of the books when printed.

I found a heavy-duty 3-hole punch that will do 30 pages at a time. Although this printed document can be fitted to a 3-ring paper folder, I prefer the 88 cent plastic folder with metal rings that can readily be opened to remove or add pages as need be. I like to add in some ruled notebook paper for notes, scribblings, and bright ideas.

PDF files can be uploaded to a Kindle@ reader and read as individual books, eliminating indexes and navigation chores in other Kindle@ reader Bibles. But here is a real treat; you now have a homemade audible version of the Bible! You have the option of listening to your PDF Bible, and it is very good quality narration. If you do not want to hear the verse numbers, you can choose to leave them out when formatting them in E-Sword. My use of this homemade Bible is the reason why my other big leather covered Bible now sits on the shelf dust-covered. – R.T.

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