Catalina Update

In order to complete the necessary fixes for Wordsearch Bible to run on Mac OS Catalina, we have been working with a third-party company for over a year now to work towards a solution. As soon as Apple announced the intentions to move towards 64-bit requirements, Wordsearch began planning on how to resolve the issue. This third-party company specializes in converting Windows-based programs and retrofitting it to work in Mac environment.

Because of this we have been waiting since the launch of OS Catalina on a build to arrive that we could implement and release.

Just as of this week, we have finally received a test build from our third-party company and have now been able to turn over that code to our internal programming development team. Initial tests on the test build are very promising and we are hopeful for a near-term release. This being said, there are still a couple of hurdles to clear and work will continue on these hurdles throughout this upcoming weekend to ensure that we get the fix out for everyone as absolutely soon as possible.

Overall, this week has been a tremendously large step in the right direction to resolving this very unfortunate and very long delay. We greatly apologize for the massive inconvenience this has caused, and we will look forward to sharing a more exact release date with you very soon.

Please stay tuned to this page as we will continue to provide updates as they become available.


  1. Richard Shough says

    no updates since 1/24 — how close are you

  2. Almost five months without using my books. Are you planning to give mac users any compensation for this? I mean, saying: “don’t download Catalina update, wait for us,” sounds unprofessional, and it just shows that you guys are not prepared for giving this service. Trust is something difficult to rebuild. So dissapointed.

    • Definitely understand the frustration and disappointment David. And yes, we are planning on some kind of compensation. Thanks so much for your patience, and apologies again.

      • Hesse Sr. William says

        I’m making due with another product but I’m not all that happy with it.
        You seem to be doing your best but I miss Wordsearch badly. Please hurry. Thanks, Bill H. Sr.

  3. just saw 17 Feb update and that’s great. I’ve been patiently waiting for a fix so that i can download and start using it. Also, wanted to suggest maybe pinning the update on the home page or at least at the front of the blog page. Its already on page 2 and then you have to click the link to get the in depth updates. Just dont want it to get lost or hard to find for now. Great breakthrough wish yall the best

    • kcornett says

      Hi Ozzie, thank you for your patience. We are updating with all the latest updates as soon as we have them.

      • I have been wanting to download the software since October but since there is no compatibility yet to MacOS I have never purchased it but with this cloud based option could I still purchase it for use and access it or does one have to have had a previous account in WS12?

  4. When you state in your “update” text (February 17th) that the product maybe available as soon as tomorrow and then say nothing for a week it’s very disappointing. I love this product and depend upon it very heavily. But, honestly, keeping Mac users informed on the progress of the update has been very disappointing at best.

  5. Mike zimmer says

    The lack of further updates makes me think something else has turned up causing more delay. I believe you are making the effort to get it right.

  6. The decision of Apple to no longer support 32-bit programs has been frustrating to all of us: programmers and users alike. Not only have I lost Word Search Bible, but BibleWorks as well (which was eventually coming anyway). Personally, I had to invest in a Windows notebook to keep my writing schedule. However, there are many features on the Mac that I miss. May God’s grace be with your team as you move forward to overcome this challenge.

  7. Dr. A A K H says

    I have waited patiently on your team to find a solution for we mac users. This lack of resolution has caused great hardship for myself and others. My question and concern are how committed to customer service is Wordsearch Bible Inc.? The elongated period of time creates a real trust issue as to your commitment to us! There Must be an expedient response to resolve the frustrating trepidation to a seemingly casual, cavalier attitude being demonstrated.

    • kcornett says

      Hi there. We definitely understand your frustration and are truly sorry for the long wait time. I can promise that we aren’t being cavalier about this – we are working as hard and as fast as we can, and update as soon as we have updates. I’m so sorry for the hardship, and thank you for being patient.

  8. Michael Jackson says

    While I understand everyone’s frustration, I don’t understand why some of you can’t access your WS library. I have complete use of everything including my WS library of over 5000 books. I simply have not downloaded Catalina yet. Every day I tell my update manager to check back with me tomorrow. I am hopeful that tomorrow eventually gets here. In the meantime I operate with Mojave. It has worked out okay this long, I guess it will continue to work for me a little longer.
    I have to admit, the wait-time on this upgrade does seem to be a bit excessive. I have not had any problems with any other programs.

    • If you are using Mohave your fine. However, if you use Catalina your dead in the water. Catalina is a major upgrade for the MacIOS and its expedient to use for reasons other than WS12. I’ve not found a way to get to other key aspects of WS12 such as my sermons ,lessons and notes that I have within WS via their on-line portal. They are not accessible. It had been seven months since the Catalina IOS operating system was released and WS still doesn’t have a work around. Honestly if I didn’t have a significant investment in WS I would cut it loose and find a reliable replacement. Sorry for the strong words but don’t feel confident WS has any idea when the new MAC system will be available. I am getting the impression they need to scrap the system and re-write the entire program.

  9. Robert Carter says

    I agree with Pat. WordSearch said that they knew 12 months ahead that apple would go to 64 bit. Now, many months later are still saying “we’re working on it”.
    It’s easy to be condescending and thank us for being patient, but it is very unprofessional.
    If I understand it correctly apple’s system makes use of UNIX so why did they not write a program in UNIX from start given the stated 12 month lead time. A competitor’s program works fine on all OS, so what is the issue?
    My WS library just does not work properly online for me.
    Due to other commitments I had to upgrade from Mojave and WS is the ONLY company that has been problematic.
    I have 10,000 people per week minimum who have been relying on my output, so a “sorry” and “We are working on it” is wearing thin.
    I’m sorry, but I am seriously thinking of simply forgetting WS, abandon years of building up a library and going elsewhere. I am already trialling something that is working.

    • Hi Robert, I’m sad to hear that, but understand. Every app is different, and please believe we are working as hard and fast as we can.

      • Robert Carter says

        Hi kcornett, thanks for your reply. I understand that apps are different as I did programming many years ago and had a communications career (national administrator of a project computerising Australia’s telephone exchange network).

        Like Harry, I started back in the Parsons Bible era and I did some beta testing for you many years ago so I understand the pressure Wordsearch must be going through and that a solution will eventually come.

        Perhaps I sounded hard and if it offended I apologise but I check daily for news and anticipate being able to use it again.
        This will turn out to be a blessing in disguise because I have modified and improved my workflow and am making use of another app that I will retain and make use of both.
        My ministry reached on last recent count a little over 760,000 people and so I had to keep the machinery going.

        Looking forward to a solution.

        Robert Carter

  10. Harry Elliott says

    It is now March 22. I have been a WordSearch user since the Parson’s Bible era, back in 1989 I think? I have the tip-top version of WordSearch that has been totally unusabe since Catalina came out, October 7, 2019. I think Lifeway is setting a record for not making a pretty high-priced program Catalina usable.

    When in fact do you plan on making the program usable on the Catalina platform? Not just some “online” substitute, but the real deal that I and many others paid for?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Harry, I definitely understand the frustration and disappointment. We have been working as hard and fast as we can but keep running into unforeseen issues. We still don’t have an exact date but are still hopeful it will be very soon.

  11. Michael W. says

    Wordsearch, I wonder if you would be so kind as to spell out your vision for the future? It seems from my perspective that there is not the commitment on Wordsearch’s part to be what a 2020 software company needs to be. Wordsearch seems to be backward thinking. Already the UI has felt dated for sometime when compared with other software programs and the iOS app is extremely basic. And now it has been 7 months that Wordsearch for macOS has been inoperable. I could be wrong but it appears from my vantage point that you are trying to jury rig the old system to get by rather than planning for tomorrow. I’m not sure if the problem is an unwillingness to spend the necessary funds to be a frontline software solution, or perhaps LifeWay is struggling financially and is not in a position to make the investment required to keep the software current? I sincerely hope for the best for you, but I have my doubts. I’m not sure the slogan, “LifeWay your trusted source” is appropriate any more, at least in regards to the Wordsearch division. Saying a prayer for you – Christianity certainly needs good biblical resources and software solutions. Feel free to delete my comment if it is not helpful.

    • kcornett says

      Hi Michael, I understand how you would feel that way, and thank you for being patient and for your prayers. We just released a major update today that explains where we are in this process. You can find it here on the blog or at Hope this helps! Thank you!

  12. Robert Carter says

    My ministry is heavily scripture oriented and on last count I reached in excess of 760,000 people.
    I had to switch to another company to prevent total shutdown.
    Nevertheless, I shall remain hopeful for a workable solution and wish you well in your efforts.

    I shall return to WS and retain both applications.

    It is no small task to develop an application and I understand people’s’ frustration. Having said that, I have to agree that Lifeway was caught unprepared, but should not have even reached that position to start with.

    After you have finally produced a workable outcome, may I urge Lifeway to continue unabated,
    start again and create a completely new look, feel and design and a new application that will cater for future changes in all OS?

    Robert Carter

    • kcornett says

      Thanks Robert, we appreciate your patience and understanding. This situation has proved that we can’t continue to service our Mac customers with a non-native Mac program. We can’t provide any specifics at this time, but we are reviewing our roadmap so we can work to avoid this situation from ever occurring again.

      • Robert Carter says

        Thank you. I just received emails about the online solution and have responded.
        I don’t want to seem to be reinventing the wheel, but other apps like Propresenter and Logos are cross platform. Perhaps you would consider starting afresh and do a total makeover for everyone’s benefit?

  13. I am waiting eagerly for this to be resolved. Got into the online AppStream but couldn’t really get a hang on it. A little overwhelming for me. Wish a solution comes soonest.

  14. I am surprised by LifeWay’s statement above: “As soon as Apple announced the intentions to move towards 64-bit requirements, Wordsearch began planning on how to resolve the issue. This third-party company specializes in converting Windows-based programs and retrofitting it to work in Mac environment. ”

    Read what Apple says about how they started to developers the 64 bit technology a decade ago, and in 2018 reached out to developers to transition their apps….

    ’32-bit app compatibility with macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 and later

    About the transition to 64-bit technology and how it affects 32-bit apps.

    Apple began transitioning to 64-bit hardware and software technology for Mac over a decade ago, and all modern Macs now include powerful 64-bit processors that can run advanced 64-bit apps. These apps can access dramatically more memory, enable faster system performance, and take advantage of technologies that define today’s Mac experience, such as Metal graphics acceleration.

    Apple has been working with developers to transition their apps, and in 2018 Apple informed them that macOS Mojave would be the last version of macOS to run 32-bit apps.

    Apple’s transition to 64-bit technology is now complete. Starting with macOS Catalina, 32-bit apps are no longer compatible with macOS. If you have a 32-bit app, please check with the app developer for a 64-bit version.’

    It is not believable that Lifeway has a passion to support pastors and students of the Bible.
    Logos Bible programs use 64 bit technology now.

    • Hi Sylvan, I completely agree this entire process could have been handled better and that it’s absolutely necessary we build a Mac-native program. Any frustrations with us and our delays in providing a permanent offline solution for Catalina is more than understandable. We are continuing to work towards providing that option asap.

  15. Thomas Meade says

    If I buy WordSearch 12 to replace my 11, would this put an end to my not having my program? The “fix” did not give me an app and it seems that I always have to come to the WordSearch website to connect again. Perhaps it’s me in how I am trying connect. Thanks

    • Hi Thomas, unfortunately it doesn’t mater what version of Wordsearch you have, no version works on Mac Catalina. The AppStream is our temporary solution as we work towards getting the offline version up and running.

  16. Mark Siers says

    I wonder how many people there are like me who have sent you questions and you have chosen to NOT post them on this site?! I was the guy who has loyally used your program since the 3.5″ diskette days when you first produced the program under NavPress. Here are in May. This is unbelievable!!

    • kcornett says

      Hi Mark, so sorry about that. I don’t see any other comment from you, could you send it again? Thank you!

    • Robert Carter says

      I also started with floppy disks and did some Beta testing for WS and have basically given up on WS for now. I can’t even visit their web site on Safari as it says it can’t be opened due to a parsing error.
      I didn’t even bother wasting my time contacting support on that one.
      A christian group like this should excel in ministry and have been prepared for this, given Apple had given developers much prior advance. Fingers are still crossed but patience low…

      • You cannot hardly use it if you do get on it because it is so unstable….and if you leave the Wordsearch site for a minute it will cut you off and you have to download all over again…

        • kcornett says

          Hi Ray, a user’s session shouldn’t be suspended until after 30 minutes of inactivity, so you are experiencing this issue, please call tech support so they can help you out. Thank you!

  17. Interestingly, sadly, this page has been pretty silent, not by users, but of the company … the last update was Jan. 24 … or did I miss something? Anyway, what with all the Mac users out there, this hardly seems possible. I, too, used them for years … and the website is a pile.

  18. This is an very unfortunate situation for me. I’ve invested a substantial amount of money in WS Biblical software. However, I’m unable to use it on my MAC away from home. Logos is looking more appealing everyday.

  19. Russell Kirkland says

    I have been very patient and not said anything on this issue since it first began. But, what is right is right. This is not good at all. I think the right thing to do is to give MAC Wordsearchbible users some kind of compensation for the inconvenience. I, too, have invested a lot of money into my WordSearch. The web access is good, but slow and not the same as the stand alone program.

  20. Patrick Hilkey says

    What are the new updates on this transition? I wish you would be open with communication and resolutions. This is very inconvenient and I almost wish I could ask for my money back. I have a lot invested in Wordsearch for Mac ($1000’s of dollars throughout the years). I’ve been patient but looking to the future when Mac upgrades again has me very concerned! Every time I have called, emailed or ask I’m given the same answer that its in the works and very soon! I have not bought anything new since last year because of this. I see lots of great stuff I would have bought but not under these conditions. Please let me know. Thanks Pat

    • kcornett says

      Significant progress has been made. We are currently planning on releasing an offline version of Wordsearch 12 for Catalina sometime next week. More details will be posted soon.

  21. Bob Baker says

    What will the new version cost? Will it be considered an update for new package?

    • If you already own Wordsearch, to get your offline version back, it will not cost anything. Thank you!

  22. Though it has taken much longer than I ever expected I eagerly await the FIX! Hurry please!

  23. I have not been receiving email updates for quite a while. The update page has been down for me today and I haven’t checked it in some time. Perhaps you are editing it.

  24. Thankful to Angel for telling me about the font issue to allow me to open my books – I was trying to use the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit “Charles Spurgeons” Message resource – In using the index when I click on a particular message the program stalls and never open the message – The only way to get out is Force quit the program….any one found a solution to this one yet?

    • Robert Carter says

      i cannot change fonts or font sizes. The application fails. Strongs numbers do not work. I contacted support and sales over a week ago without response. I also asked what is going to happen when Big Sur is released. No reply! Some time back, I recommended a dedicated mac version or a total rebuild to get away from the basic platform currently used. Other companies do this, so why not WS

      • Hi Robert, I’m sorry you haven’t heard back from our support team. If you still have questions, let me know and I can forward them on. Thanks for your suggestion, we are doing the best we can!

  25. Tammy L Lundgren says

    I installed the Beta version of WordSearch for Catalina and I cannot use the Strong’s Index numbers. I use them all the time, is there a way I can get them to work?

    • Hi Tammy, unfortunately the Strong’s links aren’t working in the beta. You can open Strong’s as a resource on its own to look up what you need, and we are trying to get a fix for the linking as soon as possible. So sorry about that.

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