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Wednesday, September 17, 2008  

How Much Context Do You Want to See, Part 3

In my previous post, I talked about how you could use the Show pop-up menu to adjust the amount of context displayed in the Tools window. The default setting for most tools is "All Text," which displays search hits in the context of the entire tool. "Articles" will show only those articles containing a hit. "Paragraphs" will show only those paragraphs containing a hit, which, as I showed in the last post, can sometimes make it hard to see which article each paragraph belongs to. "Add Titles" shows the hit paragraphs with a minimal context of the article titles.

When you merely open a tool, the Show pop-up defaults to All Text. But when you amplify to a Tool, so that you're automatically presented with a search result, that may not always be the case. For example, if you select a Greek word and then choose Louw & Nida from the Resource palette, the Show pop-up menu is set to "Articles" rather than "All Text."

Whenever we develop a new tool module, one of the things we ask ourselves is how a user is most likely to want the results of a search displayed. In the case of Louw & Nida, which has multiple entries for each Greek lexical form, we decided that the most helpful view after you amplify from a word is to see only the Articles which contain a definition of that word. The advantage of this view is that you can scan the search results to get a quick idea of that word's semantic range. The downside of this view is that it breaks each entry out of the context of its semantic domain. If you're interested in viewing other words which belong to a particular semantic domain, you would want to switch the Show pop-up menu to All Text.

There aren't many tools like Louw & Nida which are set to show only the hit articles after amplifying, but we do have the flexibility to do that with tools for which a narrower context is advantageous.





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