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Monday, December 04, 2006  

New in 7.1: Citation Preferences

A couple of weeks ago, we released a free downloadable update to version 7.1. Like nearly all our point-one updates, this release included much more than a few bug fixes. There are a host of new features designed to make your life easier. Today I'd like to talk about one of my favorites: the new Copy As Citation preferences.

Never used the Copy As Citation feature? It's been around since version 6, and has worked both from within Accordance itself and also in conjunction with the widget (when you check the Copy As Citation option on the back). You access it through the Copy As submenu of the Edit menu, or using the keyboard shortcut control-command-C. Basically, this feature lets you select text in a Bible pane, and copy it in a nicely formatted paragraph. Thus, when you select this:

Gen. 1:1 ¶ In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Gen. 1:2 ¶ Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
Gen. 1:3 Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

. . . then choose Copy As Citation, when you paste into a word processing document, you'll get this:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light."
(Gen 1:1-3 HCSB)

Pretty cool, huh? This feature can save you a lot of time reformatting the text of the Bible to look good in a document . . . provided you happen to like the format just displayed above. Until now, that was the only formatting option for the Copy As Citation feature. If you didn't happen to like that format, the Copy As Citation feature wasn't much help to you, because you would still have to spend time tweaking the format of the pasted citation.

Thanks to a couple of gadflies who wouldn't let us off the hook on this limitation, we have now added the ability to set the formatting of text copied using Copy As Citation. In the Preferences, you will now find a new Citation panel which looks like this:

As you can see, this Preference panel has three sections.

The Content section determines the appearance of the actual text of the Bible.

Do you want the copied citation to be enclosed in curly quotes? Parentheses? Brackets? Simply enter the characters you want to appear before and after the citation in the Markers fields. You can enter up to seven characters in each field, so if you want smiley face emoticons to appear before and after the Bible text, knock yourself out!

The Show as pop-up menu lets you choose whether you want each verse in your citation on a separate line, or whether you want the text to appear as continuous paragraphs. You also have the option of displaying the text as a continuous block of text without any verse or paragraph breaks (by checking Copy text as one block).

The other options in this section let you choose whether or not you want poetic formatting or superscript characters in your pasted citations, and whether you want the text scaled to a particular font size. This last option lets you view text on screen within Accordance at large font sizes, but paste the text into a word processing document at standard sizes like 12-point.

The Content References section determines how the reference for each verse in your citation should appear.

The default is to omit the entire reference, but you can choose to include full or partial references before each verse, enclose them in whatever Markers you choose, and abbreviate the book name if you like.

Other formatting characteristics of the content references (such as font style) are determined by the appearance of the text within Accordance. Thus, if the references are underlined in Accordance, they'll be underlined in the citation. You can override this, however, by checking the Ignore reference style checkbox.

The Citation Reference section determines the appearance of the summary reference for the entire citation. You can place this Before the citation followed by a colon, or After the citation preceded by an em-dash, or Above the citation enclosed in brackets, etc. You can also choose whether to have the book name abbreviated and the text abbreviation (KJV, NIV, etc.) included.

These new formatting options give you a tremendous amount of flexibility in how pasted citations appear, and as I mentioned above, these settings also affect the appearance of text inserted by the widget.





Comments:
Cool. Thanks David. Finally got it.
 

I wondered why suddenly my citations looked wrong. I should have known it meant an added feature! Bravo!
 

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