Module Creation Topic Names is a help class on creation of theWord modules, this one on how to make a principled naming rule.
Creation of Topics in a theWord Module
For the most part, the module creator is limited to what the original book has as its chapter headings. But think very carefully how you construct your theword module. Examine the image below and compare how well you recognize what the text is saying in the part above (that I have renamed) and the part below that is not renamed.
First, notice that when you use lower and upper case as it should be, the entire list becomes much, much more readable. This is a pet peeve of mine when I get a module and I start using it. It is very laborious to read all caps. As some have exhorted on social media, never use all caps. It is like shouting and people tender to get bothered when you do it.
Scofield Plain Papers on the Holy Spirit is a work of 5 chapters by the editor of the Scofield Bible, C.I. Scofield. He was a great biblical scholar. I am presenting this work in various formats.
PDF: Scofield Plain Papers on the Holy Spirit
theWord: Scofield Plain Papers on the Holy Spirit
eSword: Scofield Plain Papers on the Holy Spirit
MySword: Scofield Plain Papers on the Holy Spirit
Secondly, notice that I removed all the 10-CHAPTER X. type stuff and opted for a simple, 10.
If you compare below, a lot of the topics are not even visible and the user will have to open the topic part wider to even read what it says. There is no need to force the users to do this if the screen space is there and being taken up by “filler” type material.
Thirdly, consider that Chapter XXX is really not necessary. What are we dealing with here? Books. And the divisions of books are chapters. Everybody using these software knows that. Why make so much confusion and filler? Equally, in searching, this just bloats the results making them more unreadable.
See below for more examples.
Visibility and Readability in Searching Results
Now consider the next two images from the search box.
Here notice how difficult it is to really read the ALL CAPITALS topics versus how easy it is to read the Upper and Lower Case named module topics. I do not recommend here using all lowercase. Use what it normal for book chapters, and that is easy to read on the eyes.
Remember, 17-CHAPTER XVII. THE FOURTH WORD FROM THE CROSS communicates the same thing as 17. Fourth word from the Cross.
Problems in Topic Numbering
Note the way this module was numbered.
When we look at this module and how the topics were numbered, things are just confusing.
The chapter “The Epistle to the Galatians” is number 5 or number 3? This is just confusing and wrong.
When you designate a chapter or topic by a number, only one number should be used, not more than one. Prefaces, Introductions and other prefatory material should really all be in a single topic with the title of the work and the table of contents.
Tell us Something!
I have seen this a number of times. When we create a module, we need to remember that we are preparing a book for users to use and read. Many times this means setting up the book in such a way that the user finds things when they search. If you want to find something like Philpot’s Jesus the Great High Priest, and you search on all the topics in your library. You will not find this work. The chapter topic titles tell you zero. The work doesn’t help any. But it is better to try to put something representative of the chapter than leave it like this.
More Examples of poorly named Topics
Here, let me illustrate a few more points. First of all, text is more easily read if it is lower case, and/or lower case and some upper case. When you make everything upper case, it is more difficult to scan, read, and understand.
So our point here in making rules for naming topics or chapters in a work, we want it to be as easy on the eyes and brain as possible.
My second observation is, English speakers today do not understand nor use Roman numerals. I have been a pastor for 34+ years, and I have been studying for the ministry some 8 years or more before that. I have been sitting under sermons for another 10-16 years beyond that. I understand sermon outlines. What I don’t get is why any sane person would insert Chapter numbers in Roman numbers! Maybe he cannot translate XXXIV into 36, but we should do that for the user. Many users are not in the ministry per se, and this is an unnecessary burden for them.
My next point is that there should be only 1 number assigned to each topic (chapter), bearing the original as more important that what we make up for a Bible program. For example,
40. CHAPTER XXXIII THE APOCALYPTIC VISIONS – 1
If somebody wants to refer to this topic somehow in the module, what do they go by? Chapter 40 or Chapter 33? It just leads to confusion this way. On the other hand, 32. Gehenna is very clear which chapter you want if you say chapter 32.
Again we see the principle of removing the “Chapter” from before the chapters numbers as being a good way to make a topic. The topic should be name with chapter number (period) space and then chapter name. This is the shortest and most direct way of doing it.
I would offer a word of explanation. In e-Sword, the topics are auto sorted by alphabetical order. The problem with this is that roman numbers won’t sort correctly under this rule. That is why when I started making modules in e-Sword, I added 01, 02, 03. When hardly anybody else had mad any modules, Rick Meyers had made a few dozen, I made hundreds of modules and used that rule. The key point here is that Rick Meyers, the software programmer went deaf on my complaints and requests to fix this. The point is that it is fixable and he wouldn’t do it.
So, we are now using theWord, and the developer Costas Stergiou corrected this from the beginning so we do not have to do this. So even if you leave the roman numerals as chapter numbers, it will sort correctly however you order the chapters in theWord. So as a module creator, if you are creating for e-Sword, you are under this unnecessary constraint. If you create for theWord, DON’T DO THIS! Make the module as natural and book like as possible.
Poorly Named Topics
Examine this image of a module by Carey on the Antichrist. We name topics to help us in searching for things. Numbering topics 1, 2, 3, 4, etc will not help anything at all in searching. The table of contents topic doesn’t even have Carey or the word Antichrist in it.
In searching for anti-christ this module will be left out except when you search the contents. The entire work is about the Antichrist, so it should be named such that it would come up better and faster.
I renamed these chapters to this…
Carey The Anti-Christ
Part I. The Antichrist concept was known among early peoples
Part II. Thoughts on the Antichrist
Part III. The Essenes and the Antichrist
At least to me, this would greatly help in indicating something about what is in the topic in doing searches.
More Articles from this Category
- Using the Commentary Template
- Topic Formatting issues revisited
- Topic formatting Issues
- theWord hyperlink creation in theWord
- The End all of Text Manipulators
- Simple Bible Reader