TMA SoftStar News March 2013
by Hank Friedman
Note: The links to online resources within these articles are shown as underlined. You can find them on my web page: /tma.htm
Vedic Astrology Bookshelf 1.2.1
The Vedic Astrology Bookshelf is an incredible reference for students, researchers, and practitioners of Vedic Astrology. It will run on all current versions of Windows and on the Mac running up to version 10.6/Snow Leopard OS (with upcoming support for the newer Mac operating systems). It contains the full text of 16 classical Vedic books.
The Vedic Astrology Bookshelf has many different noteworthy functions. Its Classical references menu offers large lists of planetary significations, as well as delineations for the Ascendant and Navamsha by sign, and for all of the Nakshatras, houses, Drekkanas, Tithis, Yogas, Karanas, Vaar, and Vama. The menu also offers the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra in Sanskrit, and 1001 yogas.
The 1001 yogas (also in Parashara's Light), analyzes a person's chart for over a thousand yogas, and presents a list of all of the yogas that apply to the chart, with delineations for each one.
There are two incredibly outstanding features in the Vedic Astrology Bookshelf. The first is its ability to search for any word or pair of words in all of its Vedic texts, and show all of the verses that contain these words. The second is the ability to extract only the verses that apply to a specific person's chart. After running this for my chart, I got a wonderful 39 page report. Wow!
For both of these functions, you can copy all of the pertinent verses to the clipboard, e.g. to paste into your word processor, or print them out, or only print out the specific references themselves.
You can also read any of the books, and quickly select a specific chapter in them.
The program can create new charts, edit retrieved charts, and select the chart style, color coding, ayanamsha, and many other features to use with each chart.
The Vedic Astrology Bookshelf shows a detailed screen of information for each birth chart, and its file manager can open Quick*Chart files, so it can read files from most astrology programs. The list of people in a chart file can be sorted by name, birth date, or the sign, nakshatra, dignity, strength, or house occupied of any planet, or by the number of planets in a specific sign, nakshatra, dignity, or house.
The Vedic Astrology Bookshelf is a truly excellent resource for anyone interested in Jyotisha, and is very well done!
Word Processing and Astrological Glyphs
When astrologers write articles, blogs, and books, they need to be able to easily insert astrological symbols into the body of the text.
Now there is a new utility for both Windows and Macs called PopChar that makes it easy to insert glyphs and other astrological characters into the documents you are creating.
As the company states:
PopChar makes it easy to insert astrological signs and symbols via your computer keyboard - no matter what application you're using. There is no need to search for and remember different keyboard combinations. All you need to do is open PopChar, click on the desired character and it instantly appears in your document.
You can download a trial version, to try before buying it. I found PopChar to make entering glyphs into documents a breeze!
Free Astrology Fonts
In the past, I have listed sources of free astrology fonts. Since then, many of those links have expired, but the good news is that I've just found several excellent free astrology font sets that you can use in your articles and books.
The Euro Hamburg Symbols is my favorite of the bunch. It is a public domain font with an amazingly complete set of astrological symbols, including planets, signs, aspects, and extras like lilith, the East Point, etc.
The Starfont package by Matthew Skalan contains two public domain fonts designed by Anthony I. P. Owen. One is a serif font, and particularly well done, and the other is a San Serif font. They contain symbols for the planets, signs, angles, aspects, and more.
Finally, Zodiac Hellron by Hellron is a lovely free set of light scripted Zodiac signs.
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