Accordance Blog
Jun 11, 2012 David Lang

Option Key Secrets: Searching for Key Numbers

How often do you hold down the option key when using Accordance? Holding down this simple modifier key can open up a host of powerful features you may not have known were available to you. In this series of posts, we've seen how you can option-click the close icon of any pane, tab, or zone to close all the other panes, tabs, or zones; option-click any verse to "bookmark" it; and option-click the Search button of the Resource palette to search for selected inflected forms rather than lexical forms. In this post, I want to show how you can hold down the option key to search for Key numbers.

When working with an English Bible tagged with Key numbers, you can select any word and click the Search button of the Resource palette to search for that particular word. For example, if I select the word "grace" in Ephesians 2:8 and click the Search button of the Resource palette, a new search tab will open and find every occurrence of the English word "grace." But what if I want to find every occurrence of the Greek word which is translated "grace" here? To do that, simply select the word "grace" in Ephesians 2:8 and option-click the Search button of the Resource palette. (Depending on your settings, this may bring up a menu, in which case you would also select the Search item.)

KeyNumberOptionAmplify1

Holding the option key down tells Accordance to search not for the selected English word (the default) but for the Key number with which that word has been tagged. Since the Key number represents a specific Greek word, this is an easy way to search for a Greek word and see all the ways it has been translated.

Now, what if I want to search for that Greek word in a resource which does not include Strong's numbers. For example, I might like to search the Greek Septuagint for the Greek word translated "grace" in Ephesians 2:8, or I might like to look that word up in BDAG, a high-end lexicon which does not include Strong's numbers. Once again, all I need to do is select the English word "grace" in a Bible with Strong's numbers, then hold down the option key while selecting LXX1 or BDAG from the Resource palette. The option-key tells Accordance not to search for the English word, but for the Greek word the Strong's number represents. This enables me to go right from my English Bible to any Greek text or tool.

This option-key trick even works with Search All. If I select a word in a Bible with Strong's numbers, then select [All Texts] from the Search menu of the Resource palette, I can instantly see where the Greek word translated grace is used in Josephus, Philo, the Pseudepigrapha, the Apocryphal Gospels, the Apostolic Fathers, and more!

KeyNumberOptionAmplify2

All this without typing a single letter of Greek! That's the power of this particular option-key secret.


 

May 25, 2012 David Lang

Option Key Secrets: Searching for Inflected Forms

How often do you hold down the option key when using Accordance? Holding down this simple modifier key can open up a host of powerful features you may not have known were available to you. On Monday we showed how you can option-click the close icon of any pane, tab, or zone to close all the other panes, tabs, or zones. On Tuesday I showed how you can option-click any verse to "bookmark" it. Today I want to show how you can option-click to search for Greek or Hebrew inflected forms.

First, let's review the difference between inflected forms and lexical forms. A "lexical form" is simply the form of a word typically found in a lexicon or dictionary. When I look up the English word "ran" in a dictionary, if I find an entry at all, it will do little more than point me to the entry for the word "run." Under that "lexical form" of the word, I will find a list of other forms of the word, such as "runs," "running," "ran," etc. Thus, the lexical form of a word is that form which is typically used in a dictionary to represent every form of that word, and each variation of that word's form is known as an inflection, or "inflected form."

In Accordance, when you're looking at a grammatically-tagged Greek or Hebrew text, the words you see are "inflected forms." That is, each word has been inflected to indicate things like tense, voice, mood, gender, number, case, etc. If I am writing in English, and I want to indicate that the action of running occurred some time in the past, I will use the inflected form "ran." In the same way, Greek and Hebrew writers chose the appropriate "inflected forms" to communicate what they intended. Once again, when you look at the words in the text, you are looking at specific "inflected forms." In fact, one of the challenges of learning an ancient language is being able to identify the "lexical form" a particular "inflected form" comes from—so that you can know what the word actually means.

In a grammatically-tagged Greek or Hebrew text, scholars have actually "tagged" each word in the text with its corresponding "lexical form" and parsing information to make life easier for those of us who haven't completely mastered the languages. (Can I get an "Amen!"?) This also enables you to find every instance of any "lexical form" no matter how it has been inflected. In fact, when you search for a word in one of these texts, Accordance assumes that you want to search for the lexical form rather than a particular inflected form. Nine times out of ten, a lexical search is more helpful than an inflected search, but there are times when you want to search for a particular inflection.

For example, let's say you're reading John 6:35 in the Greek New Testament and you see the phrase ἐγώ εἰμι. You want to search for all instances of this phrase, so you select it and click the Search button on the Resource palette. (Depending on your settings, this may bring up a menu, in which case you would also select the Search item from the menu.) A new Search tab will open with ἐγώ εἰμι entered in the search field. However, because Accordance defaults to searching for lexical forms, this search is actually looking for any form of the word ἐγώ followed by any form of the word εἰμι. Consequently, the first result it finds is the phrase μού ἐστιν rather than ἐγώ εἰμι.

 

EGWEIMILex

 

Is there an easy way to search for inflected forms rather than lexical forms? Of course! Simply hold down the option key when you click the Search button on the Resource palette, and Accordance will open a new Search tab with "ἐγώ εἰμι" (note the quotation marks) entered in the search field. The quotation marks tell Accordance to search for specific inflected forms rather than lexical forms, so that you find only the phrase ἐγώ εἰμι.

EGWEIMIInflect

You can, of course, enter the quotation marks manually any time you want to do an inflected search, but when you select text and use the Search button on the Resource palette, holding down the option key will automatically set up an inflected search for you.


 

May 22, 2012 David Lang

Option Key Secrets: Marking Verses

How often do you hold down the option key when using Accordance? Holding down this simple modifier key can open up a host of powerful features you may not have known were available. Yesterday we showed how you can option-click the close icon of any pane, tab, or zone to close all the other panes, tabs, or zones. Today I want to show how you can option-click any verse to "bookmark" it.

Let's say I want to put together a list of every verse that mentions James the brother of Jesus. I can do a search for the word "James," but that also turns up references to James the son of Alphaeus and James the son of Zebedee. I need an easy way to sift through the results and isolate the verses I'm after. The simplest way to do this is to option-click each verse which speaks of James the brother of Jesus. Doing so will put a blue bookmark icon in the right margin of the text pane.

MarkingVerses

Once I've bookmarked the verses I'm interested in, it's easy to place all those verses in a separate Reference List that I can save and use in a variety of ways. Simply choose New Reference List Tab from the Add Marked Verses To submenu of the Selection menu. A new Reference List tab will open containing only those verses I marked.

AddMarkedVerses

Now for the pièce de resistance. If I want to copy that list of verses into a word processing document, I need only select all the verses in the Reference List window and choose Reference from the Copy As submenu of the Edit menu. Accordance will then copy a nicely formatted string of references to the clipboard. Like this: Matt 13:55; 27:56; Mark 6:3; 15:40; 16:1; Luke 24:10; Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; 1 Cor 15:7; Gal 1:19; 2:9, 12; James 1:1; Jude 1:1.

Marking verses is an easy way to sift through your search results to get the exact set of verses you're looking for. All it takes is an option-click.


 

May 21, 2012 David Lang

Option Key Secrets: Close Multiple Panes, Tabs, or Zones

How often do you hold down the option key when using Accordance? If your answer is seldom to never, you're missing out on a lot of Accordance's power and convenience. In this new series of posts, I'll be sharing a series of option key secrets. Learn a few of these, and you'll be well on your way to being an Accordance power user.

In last Thursday's post, I showed how Accordance lets you pair any study Bible with any translation you wish. I even showed this screenshot of a search window with four parallel translations and three sets of study Bible notes.

4 translations and 3 study Bibles in parallel

Sometimes in the course of using Accordance, you'll open a number of resources in parallel panes like this. When you no longer need those extra panes, you can close each one by clicking its close icon, but in a case like this one, getting back to a single pane view would require six separate mouse-clicks. Surely there must be an easier way, right?

Enter the option key. If you option-click the close icon of the pane you want to keep, all the other panes will be closed in one easy step.

This trick works for tabs and zones as well. If you have a bunch of tabs in a zone and you want to get rid of all but one, option-click the close icon of the tab you want to keep. If you have a bunch of zones in a workspace and you want to get rid of all but one, option-click the close icon of the zone you want to keep.

By the way, you can use this same trick in Safari whenever you have multiple browser tabs open.