If you have not already installed the app, please see the following website where you will find a link to the Mac App Store, the required minimum macOS version and more information: https://onlinebible.com/olb-en.

A. Help function macOS

The help function of the Online Bible for the Mac is not very extensive. But the program is quite intuitive, so that the usage is fairly self-explanatory. 

B. You can also read on to get an overview:

Overview of the windows:

  • Left window: this is where you choose a translation, commentary, lexicon, dictionary or another title.

    Note: This list in titles can get quite long if you install a large number of books. Categories you do not use so much can be collapsed to shorten the list. To do this move the mouse over the category name and an arrow will appear, click on that. You can expand a category in the same way.

  • Middle window: here there is an upper and lower part. In the upper section the Bible text is shown. In the lower section you see commentaries, dictionaries, or other books. 
  • Right window: this is where the chosen lexicon is shown. Search results also appear here.

Main features of the Online Bible:

  1. Reading a Bible verse in different translations. 

    Choose a translation in the left screen. The name of this translation is then shown at the top of the main (middle) screen. By clicking on the white line of the translation you can choose the required book/chapter/verse.

    You can also choose Open in the menu and Open Bible. This is also a way to open a commentary. 

    You have the choice to open a new window or replace the current one in the main window. In this screen you can also select the translation you want to open.

    If you open a Bible in a new window this remains open until you close it.

    Additionally you can also synchronise the two by clicking on the icon with two small squares at the top.
    By doing this you can easily compare two translations.

    To open a particular Bible passage, click on the reference at the top of the opened Bible window; this window will open:

  2. Opening a commentary

    In the Online Bible various commentaries are available (and again, more can be purchased in the store). Commentaries are shown in the lower part of the main screen. In the same way as described above for two Bible translations you can also open multiple commentaries. As shown in the picture above ⌘ N will also open a commentary. Also here synchronisation with the Bible in the main window is possible by clicking on the icon with two squares as shown above. It then changes to blue. You can also choose the scripture reference from the commentary.

    For more information about the use of commentaries, please refer to the following article:  Using commentaries.

  3. Opening a dictionary

    The Online Bible also contains a number of Bible dictionaries. These can be found in the same way as commentaries. And words within the dictionary can be found by clicking on the name of the dictionary (top of lower screen).

    However, it is also possible to click on a word in the Bible text (top part). In a pop-up screen you then get a list of all installed dictionaries which contain that word as well as the lexicon if that translation contains Strong numbers (see point 4). Select one and it opens in an extra screen. 

    For more details please refer to the following article: Using the dictionaries.

  4. Using Strong numbers

    Strong numbers can be a great help when you are not really familiar with Greek or Hebrew. A number of translations have been linked to Strong numbers, such as the AV and RWebster. When a translation has been linked, you will see the "Strong number" icon (S#) at the top of the screen.

    By clicking on a Strong number you will open a lexicon. If you have multiple lexicons it is handy to define which is the "standard one", i.e. which one opens when you click a Strong number. To do this go to the left pane (where all installed titles are shown), click on a lexicon and with the context menu define that one as standard. You can indicate a standard Greek one and a standard Hebrew one. Obviously other lexicons can also be opened, but the standard one is opened by clicking on a Strong number.

    Note: In the Mac app, on any screen where you get a pop-up you can use the four arrows (see point 9 - Cross References below) to open the result in a separate screen.

    You can find out more here:

  5. Viewing different translations simultaneously (Interlinear)

    A useful feature is the possibility to compare multiple translations (or different verses). These appear in separate screens. 

    For more details please refer to the following article: Comparing translations.

  6. Searching in the Online Bible

    A very useful function is the ability to search for specific words or phrases.

    In the Mac app the search icon (looking glass) is visible in the top right corner. You then get the search pop-up screen.

    On this screen you can enter a search term. 

    The search functionality offers quite a few possibilities. For details refer the following article: Searching in the Bible

  7. Opening a book:

    Apart from Bibles, dictionaries, lexicons and commentaries, the Online Bibles also contains Books. The difference with commentaries is that they are not indexed by Bible verse. They are intended to be read as books. They do contain hyperlinks to be able to see quoted verses etc.

    The titles of these books are shown in the screen on the left, and can be selected here. 

    The book then opens in the lower part of the main screen. When opening, you normally get the index of the book, so the chapters. This way the chapters can be read in a similar way to e-books.

  8. Adding your own notes

    This function is currently not available in the Mac app. It is high on the wish-list.

  9. Cross References

    The Online Bible contains a large number of cross references. These are not linked to a specific translation.

    By clicking with the right mouse button you will get a pop-up menu with the choice to either get the cross references in a pop-up of in a separate window. 

    The difference between the two is that the pop-up disappears as soon as you click elsewhere. With a separate window it is also possible to have multiple cross references open at the same time. The Bible books of the cross references are shown on the right hand side, so that a specific book can be chosen.


    If you had chosen the pop-up, but want the results in a new windows after all, then click on the following symbol (top right):

    Separate window:

  10. Foot notes (Inline notes)

    Some translations contain footnotes or inline notes. On paper some are in the text while others are at the bottom of the page. Within the Online Bible these are always shown in the text, in a different font, and {between these}.

    To turn on footnotes, click on the following symbol top right in the Bible screen:

    The colour then changes to blue. If a Bible does not contain footnotes, this symbol will not be shown.


    Putting a bookmark against a verse can be useful to find a specific verse back again.

    A bookmark can be created by clicking with the right mouse button on the relevant verse number, and choosing "Bookmarks" from the pop-up screen. That will automatically create a bookmark.

    You can find existing bookmarks by clicking on the ribbon icon at the top of the screen.

    Removing a bookmark is done in the same way as adding one. If one exists for the verse where you click, the option to remove the bookmark will be available.

    Bookmarks (together with highlights) are placed in categories. See item 13 for more information. Bookmarks and highlights cannot be synchronised between the Mac and other devices. Android and iOS do have this functionality. 

    Bookmarks are only available for Bibles, not for items in the lower screen.

  12. Highlighting

    Highlighting is also possible, with highlights falling in the same categories as bookmarks. The category also defines the colour of the highlight. Select a portion of text with the left mouse button and then right click, and choose the option to highlight. Highlighting is not limited to one verse. It can also be part of one verse and part of the next, or multiple verses. 

    Removing highlighting is done in the same way as bookmarks, with the right mouse button.

  13. Maintaining categories

    By default, the app has two categories that can be used for both bookmarks and markers. They have a number and a colour.

    If you are a Premium User, you can add new categories, give the categories a name, and also give them a colour of your choice. Obviously you can also change the standard two. Create a category by clicking on the + sign.

    For example, you could create a category "Prophecy of Jesus" and show this text in a specific colour by using highlighting.

    With the option to add a highlight or bookmark, you will also see the option to maintain categories.

  14. Backups

    At this point in time it is not possible to backup your bookmarks and highlighting. In Android and iOS this is poassible, and the backups can be restored on other devices, but that is not yet posible on the Mac. It is planned to have this functionality in the future, but no time frame is available.

  15. Copying text

    There are basically two starting points when inserting a Bible text in a different app:

    - From within a different app (e.g. a word processor) you can type a reference and call up the Online Bible to insert the text. The Online Bible does not need to be open to do this.

    - From within the Online Bible app you can select verses to copy and then paste those in a different application

    We will look at the option to start from a different app first

    Type gen 1:1-5 in your word processor, then select this with the left mouse button. Then press ⌘ and 7 simultaneously to paste the text.

    The Copy Reference Tool has a number of parameters that can be changed. The selected text is shown, but you can also change that in the tool. You can choose a particular Bible translation as well as the abbreviation that will be shown.

    You can also enter the reference here in the Copy Reference Tool. The verses do not have to be sequential.  You then press Copy, and then ⌘+V to paste the reference in the word processor.  

    The tool allows you to decide on a number of parameters. These should all be quite self-explanatory. Please note that the parameters are stored and are identical to those used in the other method of copying. Obviously parameters can be changed at any time.  

    You can also open this tool from within the Online Bible:

    The second method of copying text is from within the Online Bible app. To start this, click with the right mouse button (or Cmd + click if you only have one button) on the relevant verse number (you can also select verses with the mouse). In this verse menu you have two choices, Copy and Quick Copy. Copy provides a pop-up window where parameters can be set. Quick copy uses the last used parameters without the pop-up screen. When you select copy, this pop-up appears:

    With the - + signs you can select the range of verses and under Preferences you find a number of options. If you select an option, you see the result in the preview green screen.

  16. Content updates
    When a title you own has been updated, you'll see an indication at the bottom of the left screen to update your content.
    This wil open a new window, where you can select items you wish to update.

  17. Useful key combinations

    It is quite handy to be able to use the keyboard to achieve a number of tasks, rather than leaving the keyboard and using the mouse.

    Below you see a list of keystrokes which are used in combination with the Command key ⌘:

    ⌘+ = Enlarge font

    ⌘- = Reduce font

    ⌘7 = Open copy screen

    ⌘A = Select all (in the Online Bible defined as one chapter)

    ⌘B = Open a Bible (with the choice between pop-up window or new screen)

    ⌘C = Copy what has been selected

    ⌘F = Open search window

    ⌘H = Hide Online Bible (it remains open in the background)

    ⌘N = Open a commentary (with the choice between pop-up window or new screen)

    ⌘Q = Close Online Bible

    ⌘V = Paste the selected text

And finally ...

You might like to consider becoming a Premium User to support the on-going costs of these apps. 

Please also read this page: The development of more free content