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eSword’s .Refx Module

Understanding The How & Why of This Module Format

(and How It Benefits You)


When eSword 10.0 was released back in late 2011, one of the new features that was incorporated into it was a new type of module called a Reference module (modules now ending with “.refx”). It is basically  identical to the .topx format with the following distinctions:


  1. .Refx files are compressed. They take up about 80% less space than their identical .topx versions. One module I did went from 18Mb down to 3Mb when converted from .topx to .refx format.
  2. .Refx files cannot be viewed in the Topic Editor. They may only be viewed in the “Reference Library Tool” which must be accessed under the “Tools” menu or by clicking the “Reference Library” button.
  3. .Refx files may not be edited, nor may they be converted (easily) to other software programs.




There are several reasons why this module type came into existence. Noting the above distinctions should allow us to “read between the lines.” This module type exists so graphic modules could be introduced without grossly enlarging the size of the files (remember: the .refx files are significantly compressed). This module type also exists so anyone - not just Rick - could make these “ebook” modules “lockable.” Some module makers have loudly complained that eSword 9x would not allow them to “lock” their work. The .refx module corrects that issue.




Like it’s “cousin,” .refx modules are simply the eSword format for “ebooks.” They are not linked to Bible verses like the commentaries are, nor are they linked to words like the dictionaries are. They are simply stand alone books.


Now, this needs to be made very clear: .Refx modules are only viewable with eS10x and above. So, if you are running a version of eSword that is 9x or below, you’ll not be able to utilize this module type at all. Up until now, there have been very few eSword ebooks that have been released in this format. However, as time passes, more and more of these file types will be released. Those who choose not to upgrade to the current version of eSword will lose out on some of these beautiful & helpful resources. Also, all of eSword’s premium “ebooks” formerly released as .topx files will now be released as .refx files. If you want to purchase any of the new premium eSword ebooks, you’ll be required to upgrade to eS10+.


All .refx files should be placed in your “...Program Files.../e-Sword” folder.

And they will all be accessed using eSword’s powerful “Reference Library”

tool (see the picture for how to access the “Reference Library”).


By the way - you can turn any of your .topx modules into .refx files. Open any

one of your .topx modules in the Topic Editor. While holding down the CTRL

key, “right click” the mouse button (known as CTRL-Right Click). A small menu

will pop up, which will allow you to convert the module from .topx to .refx.

The original .topx module is not overwritten (as of eS10.1), and only the .refx

file will show up in the Reference Library. And - you’ll have a much smaller file.




Of course there are the obvious ways this benefits you: you can make your modules uneditable by others; you can save space on graphic intensive files, etc. But one way this will benefit you will be unseen: more module makers will be willing to distribute their materials in eSword format. Over time, you will see modules appear that wouldn’t have otherwise. Builders/authors may not jump right out and say it, but this “editless/changeless” feature will eventually give us even more modules with which we can study God’s Word.