Help: Search in Texts

ios-search-init ios-hist When first opened the Bible text is in reading mode. Tap the Search icon in the top bar to reach the Search view. Here you can:

  • Tap the History icon and select Read, or a prior or new search.
  • Choose to search for Words or Verses. (The initial selection is Verses but this can be changed in the Settings view.) Searching for Words is not supported in Unicode Bibles.
  • Enter a verse reference, or a word or phrase in the entry box using the keyboard. (Tap and hold on the entry box to magnify the text and move the insertion point. You can copy and paste text using standard iOS methods.)
  • ios-search-moreTap the button with the name of the text to select a different text to search.
  • Tap More to display another row of buttons:

Tap Commands to select a search command and add it to the entry box.
Tap Tags (for original language texts with grammatical "tagging") to select a tag such as NOUN or VERB and add it to the entry box.
Tap Options to limit the scope of the argument or the range of the search, or to add context verses around the hits.

  • ios-search-optionsTap Less to hide the extra buttons.
  • Tap Search to perform the search.
  • Tap Cancel or the text in the background to return to the previous screen.


After a search the top bar displays the details of the search criteria and results.

ios-heb-searchresThe search text and the range
The criteria from the entry box
Words/Verses and the number of the hits with the number of verses displayed.

Tap and hold the Search icon and select Read to return the text to Reader mode, showing the top verse in the current view.

Search Details

ios-hebsearch For more details on the powerful search functions, please see the Help for Accordance for Mac.

Language: Greek and Hebrew words can be entered using the unicode keyboard for that language, or simply using the English keyboard equivalents, based on Accordance fonts. Thus, searching for bra or‏ ‏ברא ‏ gives the same results.

(To add international keyboards go to the system Settings: General: Keyboard: International Keyboards.)

In the "tagged" texts the search matches the dictionary form of the word, and finds every word in the text that is "tagged" with that dictionary form.


* (asterisk) stands for any word or any number of letters, or all verses
? (question) stands for a single unknown letter
. (period) searches for the following character, so .? finds all question marks
, (comma) separates words in a list
- (hyphen) means a range in a verse reference, or a negative
@ (at) joins two expressions so that both apply to the same word
' or " (quotes) searches for that word in the text (inflected form) instead of the underlying dictionary form
= (equals) finds that exact word (uppercase, accents, apostrophes, etc.)
+ (plus) finds all words derived from that root
( ) (parentheses) group words
In verse references :, ;, and ff are used conventionally

ios-search-commands Commands are entered from the list, but can then be edited in the search box. Commands which require further definition are entered with a default value. Select and edit the value as decsribed above. Unique abbreviations are accepted, for example [RANGE Ge] searches only within Genesis.

Connecting Commands always link two words (or expressions)
<AND> finds both words
<OR> finds one or both
<NOT> finds one without the other
<XOR> finds one but not both
<FOLLOWED BY> finds in the same order
<PRECEDED BY> finds in reverse order
<WITHIN * Words> finds within the set number of words
Stand-alone Commands
[FUZZY *] finds the phrase even with some words added or missing (up to the set number)
[RANGE *] lets you limit the search to the defined verse references
[COUNT *] finds words that occur the specified number of times in the underlying range
[KEY *] finds the key number specified (with the G or H prefix)
[STYLE *] finds the verses in which the specified highlight style has been used
[FIELD Begin] used with WITHIN to specify the beginning or end of the search field

The asterisk in some of these commands is replaced by a default value, which you can then edit.

ios-search-tags Tags

The tags consist of the parts of speech found in th at text. If entered after a word it is automatically linked to the word with the @ symbol. You can simply use the tag or edit it to add further modifiers. For example:

[NOUN] finds all nouns
[NOUN fem] finds all feminine nouns
agap* @ [NOUN fem] finds all feminine nouns that begin with agap (in the dictionary form)
[ANY fem plu] finds all plural feminine wordsios-search-field

Search Options

Search Within Every: offers a choice from Verse to Book and Clause to Paragraph. This setting limits the context for searches using commands such as AND or NOT. The default is Verse, so a search for Adam <AND> Eve finds both in the same verse.

Search Range: offers predefined sets of books of the Bible as well as the default All Text.

ios-search-rangeAdd Context: adds the set number of verses before and after each hit verse so that you can see the immediate context. Select All to highlight the results in the entire text, and use the Up and Down arrows to go to the next search hit. The default of None or All can be changed in the Settings view.

Tap Reset Search Options to restore the default settings.

These settings remain in effect as long as you are viewing and searching the same text.

Watch the podcast:

••• next topic: Search in Tools •••

••• prior topic: Amplify •••

••• return to Help index •••