Why is That Asterisk There?
Mar 12, 2012 David Lang

Why is That Asterisk There?

Whenever you open a new resource in Accordance, you'll see an asterisk entered in the search entry box. Why is it there?

To understand the purpose of the asterisk, you must first understand that in Accordance, everything is a search. What you have entered in the search entry box of any resource window will determine what you see in that window's display pane. Enter a book name in a Bible window with Verses selected, and you'll see that book, and that book only, in the display pane of the window. Do a word search, and you'll see only those verses which contain that word.

If everything in Accordance is the result of a search, you need an easy way to display the entire contents of a book or Bible. Now you know what the asterisk is for. Any time an asterisk is entered in a Bible window with Verses selected, the entire search text is displayed from beginning to end.

Why don't we just make you enter a range of books like Genesis-Revelation rather than using an arcane asterisk symbol? Well, for one thing, it's a lot easier to enter an asterisk than to type the names of a first and last book. More importantly, what do I do when I open a corpus I'm not that familiar with, like the Dead Sea Scrolls or the works of Philo? If I don't know the first or last book off the top of my head, there's a chance I might enter the wrong books and end up viewing only a portion of those texts. The asterisk is a quick and easy way to say "show me everything" no matter what text I'm working with.

If you've been doing a series of searches and you just want to get back to viewing the entire text, it's easy enough to click the Verses button and type the asterisk, but an even easier method is simply to double-click the Verses button. Do that, and the asterisk will automatically be entered and the search window updated to show the entire text.

Now that you know what that asterisk symbol is there for, I'll use the next several posts to show you what else you can do with it.

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Archived Comments

Sam

March 12, 2012 10:08 AM

One frustration I have is this -- let's say I do a search. Now I want to go back to viewing the whole text. I double click "Verses" and I get returned to the top of the text. I would much prefer to stay where I am. What am I doing wrong?


David

March 12, 2012 11:06 AM

Sam, when wanting to see the context of a search result, you don't want to change your search by double-clicking the Verses button. Instead, simply drag the context slider all the way to the right. You'll see all the surrounding verses while retaining your search result (and your place in the text!).

Hope this helps.


Sam

March 16, 2012 12:44 PM

I guess I get that. It seems unintuitive to me. I'm done searching. I feel uncomfortable (I don't know why, and it's probably JUST me) leaving a search enabled even if I then drag the context to ALL.

 

A more relevant issue, perhaps, is that it is very easy to go back to viewing the whole text. It is more cumbersome to "zoom" in and out in terms of context. Double-click in the right spot and and wham! you've got your search cleared. Oh, you want to see the whole text? OK, mouse over there, click disclosure triangle here, slide this over there. OK, context set. 

 

Now I want to search again, so back to the context slider... OK, set context back to where I need it. Now search.  And on and on.  Wish it was easier.


David Lang

March 16, 2012 2:27 PM

Sam, I'm not sure I fully understand your complaint here, and I suspect from your description of the process that you're not using Accordance 9. In Accordance 9, there's no disclosure triangle for More Options, just a simple slider that you can drag or click to toggle between all context and none.

The context slider is designed to make it easy to do a search, scroll through the hits until you find a verse you want to explore in context, then drag the slider to get the context. Want to go back to exploring other search hits? Remove the context and scroll the list of hits again.

If you are merely doing a search so that you can find a given passage to read, and it bothers you to begin reading with the search results still highlighted, just select the reference of the verse you want to read in context and click the Context button on the Resource palette. That will open a separate text window showing that verse in context with no search results.

Hope this helps.


Sam

March 23, 2012 10:37 AM

I've only been using Acc9 for a little bit -- forgot the disclosure triangle was gone. As a former programmer and generally-computer-savvy user, it seems foreign to me that the "proper" way to be done searching still leaves the search intact. So my search window up top will still have my search terms and matching results will still be highlighted, even though I'm no longer interested in them. 

 

Maybe I can re-frame my question this way: Why is it important that Accordance return to the top of the text when doing a search for all verses (i.e. double-clicking the Verses button)? Why not stay at the current marker? It seems arbitrary to me that you would assume the user wants to leave their current position. It's particularly frustrating when reading the NT in Greek/English parallel, when double-clicking takes you back to Genesis and hence a half-blank window.




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