Accordance Blog
Feb 19, 2014 David Lang

Even E-Books Can't Do This

On Monday, I showed you how to display only the captioned images in a tool so you can easily scroll through all the pictures. This trick, which I use often when checking modules just prior to their release, involves searching every word in a field and then choosing to show only the hit paragraphs. As you might have guessed, a trick like this has lots of other potential uses as well.

For example, yesterday Jeremy posted a very helpful introduction to the just-released Pentateuch volumes of the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary. Among the features he highlighted is the fact that each commentator provides his or her own translation of the passage under discussion. These translations are, of course, interspersed with the other kinds of content Jeremy mentioned, such as the Textual Notes, the Comment section which treats the passage as a whole, and the Notes section which offers verse-level commentary.

This is, of course, a natural arrangement for a commentary, but what if you wanted to begin your study by reading through the Anchor Bible's translation of an entire passage? With the print commentary, you would have to read the translation for one section, then flip past all the commentary before you could pick up reading the translation of the next section. When viewing the commentary normally in Accordance, you would have to scroll past all the commentary or use the more efficient method of clicking the title of each section in the Table of Contents pane. Yet one of the great advantages of Accordance is that we don't just treat modules like electronic equivalents of a book. On the contrary, we leverage the power of the computer to enable you to access each book in new and powerful ways.

In this case, we can avoid navigating past all the commentary we don't need at the moment so that we can focus exclusively on the translation, and we can do it using the same trick we used for images. Simply choose the Translation field, enter ?* (question mark-asterisk) to search for every word, and hit Return. Then choose Paragraphs from the Show Text As submenu of the gear menu.

PicsTrick3

Now you can read large portions of the translation even if they are divided among various commentary sections. In the screenshot below, the translations of Genesis 2:1-4a and Genesis 2:4b–24 appear in separate sections, but we have changed the display so that they appear as a continuous text.

AnchorTranslation

While purchasing large commentary sets in Accordance is always much less expensive than purchasing them in print, they still represent a substantial investment. Accordance lets you maximize that investment by offering the flexibility to access content in ways impossible with a print volume or even other electronic formats.

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