Accordance Blog
Mar 16, 2012 David Lang

Quickly Nix the Asterisk

All this week, I've been explaining the function of the asterisk in the search entry box of any new Search window you open in Accordance. On Monday, I explained that searching for this symbol with Verses selected will simply display all verses in the search text. On Tuesday and Thursday, I showed how searching for this symbol with Words selected will find and highlight every word, enabling you to do some really cool statistical analyses of those words. On Wednesday, I addressed the use of the asterisk symbol in Tools. Today, I want to end this series by showing you how to quickly nix that asterisk.

I'll sometimes see new Accordance users click with their mouse in the search entry box to place the cursor either before or after the asterisk which is already entered there. They'll then type their new search without realizing that they haven't removed the asterisk. When they run such a search, they either get an error message (if searching by Verses) or unexpected results (if searching by Words, where the asterisk acts as a wildcard representing any combination of characters). What they should have done was to remove the asterisk before entering their new search.

TabKey The easiest way to make sure you clear out a previous search before entering a new one is to press the Tab key on your keyboard. In Accordance, pressing the Tab key will automatically select the contents of the active tab's search entry box. That way, the next thing you type will replace whatever was there before.

To see how this works, try the following sequence of actions in a Search window with an English Bible as the search text and Words selected:

  1. Hit Tab, type "Adam," and hit Return.
  2. Hit Tab, type "Eve," and hit Return.
  3. Hit Tab, type "Eden," and hit Return.

Do you see how hitting the Tab key enables you to quickly enter a new search without removing one hand from the keyboard, dragging with the mouse to select the current search argument, hitting the Delete key to remove it, and then finally typing your new search? At the risk of sounding like Frank Gilbreth, that's a terrible "waste of motions." Mr. Gilbreth would have been pleased to discover the economy of motion represented by the Tab key.

So when you want to quickly nix the asterisk (or any other previous search), just hit the Tab key and type your new search.

Tags: Tab key

 

Mar 3, 2011 David Lang

Can't Go To? Use the Context Slider

Accordance power users know there are lots of little tricks, shortcuts, and niceties which make studying the Bible quick and effective. In this series of posts, I'm offering some simple tips which can save you time and effort. Here's another one:

Can't Go To? Use the Context Slider.

In yesterday's post, I showed how you can hit Tab twice to select the contents of the Go To box so you can enter a verse reference (in a Text) or article (in a Tool) to navigate there quickly. As I explained yesterday, the Go To box is a navigational tool. When you enter a verse or article there, you are not searching for that verse or word, you are simply jumping there. If you've done a search which only shows some of the verses in a Text or some of the articles in a Tool, the Go To box can only take you to the verses or articles which are currently displayed.

For example, let's say you do a search in the HCSB for "faith." The first verse which contains the word "faith" is Deuteronomy 32:51. The next verse displayed is 1 Samuel 23:16. If you then hit Tab twice to select the contents of the Go To box and enter "Joshua," Accordance will take you to 1 Samuel 23:16, because it the closest verse which is currently displayed. Since the book of Joshua is not currently displayed in the window, how can you get there?

The easiest way to make sure that Joshua gets displayed in your window is to drag the context slider on the Search window all the way to the right (the setting for all context). You can also just click on the right edge of the context slider to set the window to show all context. With the context slider set to All, the verses containing the word "faith" will then be displayed in the context of the entire Bible. And with the entire Bible displayed, you can now hit tab twice then enter any verse in the Go To box to jump there.


 

Mar 2, 2011 David Lang

Hit Tab Twice to Go To

In this series of posts, I'm offering some simple tips which will help streamline your Bible study. Here's another one:

Hit Tab twice to Go To.

In the past two posts, I've discussed how hitting the Tab key automatically selects the contents of the argument entry box. Using this shortcut lets you immediately type a new search argument or open a Construct window and have it automatically linked to your Search window.

Hitting the Tab key twice selects the contents of the Go To box at the bottom of the window, enabling you to type a verse reference (in a Search window) or article title (in a Tool window) to jump to the verse or article you entered.

Remember that the Go To box is a navigational tool. When you enter a verse or article there, you are not searching for that verse or word, you are simply jumping there. If you've done a search which only shows some of the verses in a Text or articles in a Tool, the Go To box can only take you to the verses or articles which are currently displayed. I'll explain that further, and show you how to get around it, in tomorrow's post.


 

Mar 1, 2011 David Lang

Hit Tab Before Opening a Construct

Here's another simple tip which can save you a great deal of time in your study:

Hit Tab before opening a new Construct window.

The Construct window lets you define complex searches using an easy-to-understand graphical interface, but in order to work, it must be linked with a search window via the LINK Command. If a Search window is active when you open a new Construct window, Accordance will automatically insert that LINK command for you... if, and only if, all the text in the argument entry box is selected.

If you have a search argument in the argument entry box and it is not completely selected, Accordance is not sure you want that search to be replaced with the LINK command, so it will not insert it. But if the previous search argument is selected, Accordance assumes you want to replace it and will insert the LINK command accordingly.

By now, I'm sure you can see where this is going. Since hitting the tab key automatically selects the contents of the front window's search entry box, you can ensure that the LINK command gets inserted automatically by pressing Tab before you open a new Construct window.

Combine the Tab key with the key combinations for opening a new Construct window, and you can create a construct search very quickly. When I want to create a Greek construct search, for example, it is now second nature to me to hit Tab then command-2. Doing so means I can begin defining my search immediately, without having to remember to link the Construct window to a Search window.


 

Feb 28, 2011 David Lang

Hit Tab Then Type

Accordance power users know that there are lots of little tricks, shortcuts, and niceties which make studying the Bible quick and effective. In this series of posts, I'll offer some simple tips which can save you a great deal of time in your study. Here's the first:

Hit Tab Then Type.

Pressing the tab key in Accordance automatically selects the contents of the front window's search entry box. So rather than going up to the top of the window, dragging with the mouse to select the current search argument, hitting the delete key to get rid of it, and then typing a new search, all you need to do is press the tab key and type. Your old search will be replaced immediately, so that all you have to do is hit Return.