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Becoming very frustrated with learning Accordance


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#1 davidmedina

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 03:21 PM

I hate to be a sour note in a rather happy place, but I am stuck in frustration trying to use Accordance.

 

I devoted the whole friday (until 4am this morning) to learn Accordance. I watched many of Dr. J podcasts and re-watched some of the webinars. Got really excited to sink my teeth using Accordance. Opened Accordance and decided to put into practice what I have learnt.  

 

Open a Bible in Genesis 1. Great. started reading. Great. So far so good. To put into practice what I learned I chose to check out the word "God". 

 

First thing I did was to command+click and waited few seconds to get Instant Display shows me the entry about God from the IVP New Bible Dictionary. Good that is what I want.

 

Now I want to open the IVP New Bible Dictionary but cannot find any way to select from the Instant Display to open the New Bible Dictionary to read more. Bummer.

 

Wait, what about triple clicking the word... Ok. did it. But wait... not the IVP  New Bible Dictionary but the Hebrew Dictionary. Not what I wanted. Next...

 

I select the word God again and right click. Good, I see a Look Up option and the Dictionary is there. Click on that but it does not open on the New Bible Dictionary but on a hebrew dictionary. Again, not what I want. 

 

So far I cannot get to y information. 

 

But wait, I remember something about Amplify from the book in the Library. Great. Open Library, look for the IVP  New Bible Dictionary and while the word God is highlighted, click on Amplify next to the IVP  New Bible Dictionary. Awesome, it opens. But when it opens it does not show what I saw in the Instant Display but an article about the Authority of God. Not what I wanted. Bummer.

 

I know that what I am looking for and what the Instant Display showed me is there because if I go to the IVP  New Bible Dictionary index I find it.  But I don't want to have to open each and every book manually to find the information I am looking for. That is why we use Bible Study software for, right? To help us quickly and efficiently find the relevant information.

 

The Instant Display tells me the info is there. it is prove that Accordance can find it. And i want to keep reading what Accordance told me it has for me. But why is so hard to get to it? What am I doing wrong?

 

Then, I thought, what if I just open the IVP  New Bible Dictionary and search within the book for the information? So, I enter the word God  and lo and behold, the article about the Authority of God and not what the Instant Display show me nor what I am looking for.  I tried Flex, I tried Exact, article and paragraph. No luck. 

 

Sure, I could go to the index and see what is there or keep clicking in every hit until I find what I am looking for, and in some situation that is the best way to go, but if the Instant Display can do what I need why can't the rest of the software can?

 

Am I doing something wrong?  Or Am I expecting Accordance to do something that it does not? Is my approach wrong?  

 

Then I decided to try something else. So I selected the word God again, right click again, and well, under lookup there isn't anything that will get me to the New Bible Dictionary.  Then I saw workspaces listed and a workspace called "English Study". Clicked on it. Pretty neat trick I though... maybe I can get a Passage Guide alternative.

 

On the Bible I see all the words God in red, and on the commentary I see that it opened to genesis 1:1. I see some English Bible dictionaries opened on the right.

 

I check Easton and what it has is something about the Decrees of God. Not what I am looking for spite the fact that Easton has an specific entry for God. Not what it is showing, though. Bummer.

 

Then I checked on Eerdman and finally I see a proper result for what I am searching. 

 

I do not want to offend or get into an Accordance vs. Logos, I know from reading old threads that mentioning or comparing Accordance to Logo can upset some people, but I am sorry, it is what I am coming from and I am use to. I cannot avoid comparing what I was able to do with what I can and cannot do now.  The fact is that I did the same thing in Logos 5 and less than 2 seconds I was done and with the potentials to go even deeper right away. Even when I opened just the New Bible Dictionary or any dictionary and search for God within the book I got the Dictionary article for God right away and not the Authority of God which is what Accordance gives me. 

 

I have heard so many great things about Accordance and they have been nothing but great with. I really want to give Accordance a fair chance, but I am getting so frustrated that I am getting close to deleting the program from my computer and consider it money and time lost.

 

To me it seems that what Accordance does is to just look for words and verse references. On the bibles that's fine because is what we are looking for. But on reference material it has to be a way to get to the right information. If a dictionary has an article on God that is what I want first and not the one about the Authority of God. I asked for God and not for the Authority of God. If I want that, I just search for that. Accordance can be lighting fast but if I have to manually search for the information the same way I did with printed books, what good is then to have a powerful and fast search engine?

 

What am I doing wrong? What is the best way to do these type of searches? I mean, Instant Display does it. How can I just open what the Instant Display shows me?

 

Thanks,


"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Rom. 12:2
 
Blog: The Renewed Mind.

#2 Joel Brown

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 05:03 PM

Hi, David!  I'm very sorry to hear of your frustrations.  I hope to be able to clarify a few things, so they hopefully make just a bit more sense to you.  I am glad you are working hard to understand Accordance, and I sincerely hope that at the end of it all, you have a software suite that works well for you, so you can focus more on your studies than the software. But, of course, I understand that right now this simply isn't the case for you :)

 

So, lets retrace your steps a little bit.  You started by displaying Genesis 1 in your bible text, and you command-clicked to pull up instant details.  Presumable, you did a click and hold to get the information (rather than option-click, or simply hovering to display it in your instant details zone).  Regardless, a instant details lookup in a tagged English text shows you both Original Language lookup, and English Word lookup.  So, you likely saw entries for both, e.g.:

 

 

 

[KM Hebrew Dictionary]
GK H466 | S H430   אֱלֹהִים   ʾelohiym   2,602x
n.pl.m. & f. [468; cf. 446]. God (plural of majesty: plural in form but singular in meaning, with a focus on great power); gods (true grammatical plural); any person characterized by greatness or power: mighty one, great one, judge. → angel; God; judge.
☞  NIV | ESV | HCSB | NRSV | JPS | NKJV | KJV
 
[IVP-NB Dictionary]
God is and he may be known. These two affirmations form the foundation and inspiration of all true religion. The first is an affirmation of faith, the second of experience. Since the existence of God is not subject to scientific proof, it must be a postulate of faith; and since God transcends all his creation, he can be known only in his self-revelation.
The Christian religion is distinctive in that it claims that God can be known as a personal God only in his self-revelation in the Scriptures. The Bible is written not to prove that God is, but to reveal him in his activities. For that reason, the biblical revelation of God is, in its nature, progressive, reaching its fullness in Jesus Christ his Son.
In the light of his self-revelation in the Scriptures, there are several fundamental affirmations that can be made about God.

 

The reason it does both lookups is that our standard way of distinguishing simply isn't available in instant details!  This "standard way of distinguishing" is your friend, the 'Shift' key.  This lets you determine, do I want to do a study on the original language word behind my selection (אֱלֹהִים), or my selected word instead (God).  The default for keyed texts is always the original language word, to help users get to the original languages easier (plus, they more often look up the meaning of words like 'trust' or 'faith' or 'justice' or similar, non-proper nouns, than a dictionary lookup of a name or place).  To go to your English lookup instead, hold the shift key.  So, a shift-triple-click will go to your IVP-NB Dictionary, similarly holding shift and doing Right-click -> Look up -> Dictionary.

 

So, I hope this clarifies why you got your Hebrew Dictionary rather than IVP NB Dictionary when triple clicking.  Since the shift key means something else in Instant Details, we simply combine both articles (convenient, but takes up more space), while the normal lookup lets you choose.

 

 

OK, so moving on, you've done your triple click to IVP NB Dictionary, but it displays the article 'Authority of God'!  This is because Accordance's lookups are simple searches, identifying which article titles contain your word.  Since instant details has no way to choose other articles (we'll get this in a second), it has to 'guess' which article you actually intended.  Many times it gets it right, sometimes it doesn't, but unfortunately with ID, you don't really have a choice - it gives you what it gives you.

 

With a tool window, it does the simple search, but since you have a bunch of navigation options, it doesn't try to guess.  It simply brings you to the first article.  If possible, the verse reference is used to get a more accurate article, but this depends more on the tool.  So, you've done your triple click, its the wrong article, what do you do next?  A couple of options!

 

1) Use the Mark buttons.  These are the blue buttons at the bottom (identified with Mk) that cycle through your different hits.  You can use Command-Option-Up or Down arrow the same way (hold Shift to go 10 at a time!).  This is a very easy and fast way to scan through your found items to see which article(s) is/are of interest.  Perhaps you wanted exactly 'God', or maybe you ended up being more interested in the similar article, 'God, Names Of'.  The Mark buttons are an easy way to scan through your hits.

 

2) Adjust what is being shown.  Using the gear menu at the top right, you can adjust the 'Show Text As' to see what you are showing.  Perhaps instead of the whole tool, you just want the hit articles?  Or maybe just the actual found paragraphs, potentially including the article title instead.  By setting a Show as mode (cycle with Command-colon), you can then just easily scroll through your results normally, only seeing what is relevant, to find what you wanted.

 

3) Use the table of contents/Goto box.  This is your best bet if you know exactly where your article is.  The table of contents is the button at the top-left of the tool pane, next to the Page or Paragraph number.  Opening it lets you very quickly see where you are, and you can click to jump to anywhere else in the tool.  So, if you want the article on specifically just 'God' just click on the 'G' item in the table of contents (or drill down and select the God article itself, if you want).  The goto works similarly, but lets you type in.  So, you could just click (or tab) in there, and type 'G' or 'God' to jump straight to that area.

 

There may be more navigation ways, but this is what I remember off the top of my head, and frankly may be too many choices already :)

 

The key here to remember is one of the principles of Accordance.  Whenever possible, we don't try to think or do your study for you, we simply want to make the tools as available and easy to use as possible.  So, we don't necessarily want to assume what you mean by 'God' (though we do when we have to), but we make it easy for you to find your answer, regardless of what you were initially looking for.

 

 

Finally (to keep an already long reply from getting too much longer), on the Favorite Workspaces you found.  These are hugely customizable, that hopefully you can find a way to use it as you like it.  Basically, you can set up any workspace to have the resources open in whatever configuration you like.  You could set up your main text, with 3 parallel panes, with a commentary, dictionary, 2 grammars, and a devotional open.  Save this workspace as a favorite, and it will always be available to you.  Then you just select a reference or word, amplify to it (as you did with the sample 'English Study' workspace), and all of your results will be right there across all of the tools.  Now, you may still have to do some navigation (mark buttons, perhaps) in the tool to find your specific result, but as I said before - the result is more dependent on what you want, than what Accordance gives you!

 

 

I hope this helps, and please feel free to post any followup questions on any matter.  I (and many others) have it as our utmost desire that you are able to study the text most effectively, so please do not hesitate to ask!

 

 


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#3 davidmedina

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 08:35 PM

Hi Joel,

 

I really REALLY appreciate your explanation. I knew tat it had to be a combination between learning how Accordance does and me not understanding how t do it. 

 

Your explanation was great.

 

Few question about "Show Text as"

 

(1) is there a explanation of what Article, paragraph and Add tile each do?

 

(2) By playing with it I noticed that  each of those mode hide text. I assuming that only on All Text, everything is visible. What happens if I put it on Article and I forget to put it back to All Text? Is there any warning letting me know that I am not on All Text? If would be nice if it does it.

 

I known that it is a matter of time and use to learn it. And your explanation was great. My frustration was due that after watching hours of videos I was still lost.

 

One more question - for the moment - :) What is the purpose of the recycle icon on top of each panel?

 

 

Thanks,


"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Rom. 12:2
 
Blog: The Renewed Mind.

#4 Jonathan C. Borland

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 08:39 PM

Hi David,

Sorry to hear of the frustrations. I felt much the same way when I started using Acc almost 2 years ago. You've done the right thing to post what you've wanted/tried to do and the roadblocks encountered. For myself, I had to tinker with the Preferences to get my preferred tools, texts, etc. to pop up when I wanted. On the iOS it has to do with putting them first in order in the library. I'm glad Accordancers like Joel are here to help us get from 0 to 1, and then progress from there.

Maybe, there should be a link under the Help menu of accordance to a single podcast on setting up Accordance's preferences. I know I watched one a couple years ago that helped me avoid too many initial frustrations.

Sincerely,

Jonathan

#5 davidmedina

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 08:54 PM

Thanks Jonathan.

 

My frustration comes from my desire to use the tool and getting stuck in first gear... actually, more like parking. lol 

 

I knew that if I posted about it someone would come to my help. 


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#6 Daniel Semler

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:04 PM

Hi David,

 

  Check out the doc information on recycle. http://accordancefil...hlight=recycle. The most confusing thing I found initially was when exactly a recycle tab would be used again and when a new one would be used. One simple example is provided in the doc, from which one can expand with tests.

 

  I have found reading the doc and playing with the tool and asking questions, here in the forum, to be about the best way to learn the tool. I have downloaded and watched a bunch of podcasts. Having downloaded them I can work along side them and pause them as needed and revisit them as often as needed. I don't use a wide range of functionality in Acc really so I have to look up stuff that I use rarely.

 

Thx

D


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#7 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:12 PM

David,

 

I'm glad you are asking questions.  Accordance, as powerful as it is, does have a learning curve. Especially, I think, for those used to other ways of doing things.

 

[Daniel answered the recycle button question while I was working on this, but I decided to still post my take on it.]

 

The recycle button/icon indicates whether or not the tab in question will be reused for subsequent amplifications to that tool or text. 

 

For example, say I am reading the article on the Ark of the Covenant in Holman Bible Dictionary, and I want to see the text of a Scripture reference (say Gen 50:26, the first reference in the article).  I could see it in Instant Details, but I can also click on it, to open up a text tab.   By default, recycling is on, to the icon is blue in this new tab.

 

I keep reading, and now I want to check out the next reference, 2 Kings 12:9-10.  If I click on it, Gen 50:26 in the text tab is replaced by 2 Kings 12:9-10.

 

If, on the other hand, I want to open a new tab for each Scripture reference in the article, I would need to turn off recycling by clicking on the icon (or hitting command-K on the Mac.  Presumably control-K on Windows, but I don't have access to a Windows machine tonight to double check that)  Note: Command K toggles the recycle button:  If it's on, it turns it off.  If it's off, it turns it on.

 

One time it won't recycle (as Daniel alluded to) is if you are searching a different field in the tool.  For example, say I'm reading Exodus 1:2.  If I click in the verse reference, and amplify to Holman Bible Dictionary, a Holman tab will open, and search the Scripture field for Exodus 1:2.  If I click in or select the name Reuben, Accordance will open a new Holman tab--even if recycling is turned on--because this time it is the Titles field that is searched.  (Depending on your preferences, this tab may add an additional Scripture field, too.  But that's another story)


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#8 davidmedina

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:29 PM

Ok. Got the Recycle. 

 

Thanks


"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Rom. 12:2
 
Blog: The Renewed Mind.

#9 Joel Brown

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:49 PM

David, I'm glad things are making a bit more sense.  Again, please don't hesitate to to post any other questions you come across.

 

To answer your question about the 'Show Text As':

 

(1) The help is fairly exhaustive, so it is a great reference source.  For this case, you can find the descriptions here (I found it by searching for 'tool actions' and looking around a bit):

Digging Deeper > Study Aids: Tools and Parallels > Using Tools > The Pane Bar in the Tools Tab

 

(2) This Show Text As is one of the (few) things we don't make visible, generally because it is a fairly temporary state, and usually fairly obvious.  I say its temporary, because tools always open to 'All Text', and will even jump back to 'All Text' if you try to jump to another part of the tool, such as via the Table of Contents or the Goto box.  I say its obvious, because its usually fairly easy to tell if you can see all the text, or just specific articles.  Mainly, this is because if you are limiting the text, every article or paragraph will have a hit word in it (highlighted in red, or whatever your choice is).  This is almost never the case for All Text.

 

I hope this helps!


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#10 Matt Fredenburg

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 11:46 PM

Hi,

  I am still an Accordance neophyte and after reading through the excellent questions and explanations within this thread, I'm wondering the following:

 

  1. If I have Anchor open with the Field option set to 'Entry' and type 'god' (without the quotation marks) with the Search Option set to 'Flex Search', I get 110 flex hits. If I change the Search Option to 'Exact Search' I get 110 exact hits. What would be nice is to be able to simply search for the entry that is simply 'God,' nothing more, nothing less, a truly exact search. It would be even more helpful if this were something that could be configured when triple-clicking to a resource.
  2. If one were to do any kind of search in a resource such as Anchor, it would be nice to be able to simply view the list of articles in which matches were found. If more than one match existed in a particular article, the match count could be indicated next to it. One way I envision this would be that in the context of an active search, displaying the table of contents of the search would have an option to simply display a 'table of contents' for the matches instead of just the normal table of contents.

For some reason, both of these seem so obvious, that I'm fairly certain that they already exist in Accordance and I'm simply missing how to enable/utilize them!

 

Thanks,

 

Matt


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#11 davidmedina

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 01:03 AM

Matt, I suspect that the Flex option may only work on Bible searches. 

 

As far as question #2, that was my question and initial source of frustration and I believe the answer is no, Accordance does not do it that way. 

 

But hopefully someone will tell me that I am wrong and that would be great. :)


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#12 Daniel Semler

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 01:22 AM

Hi ya,

 

  Flex and exact can give different results in tools such as ZIBBCNT for God. flex giving 5246 , exact 3544. Now if Anchor's entry field does not contain any morphological variants of God, such as God's, then I would expect Flex and Exact to return the same numbers. Are there any ? God == god == GOd == .... etc etc. I believe.

  If you literally want God then "=God" will give you the exact word with capitalization and so on but apparently only in texts - the = does not appear to be well-received. I tried it in ZIBBCNT and was presented with a lookup dialog to choose a word from. Interestingly trying to search for "God's" in exact works fine and in flex returns an error dialog about a missing quote. Not sure if that's intended or not.

 

  On the second point I don't know but I don't know of a way.

 

Thx

D


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      OSX 10.9 (Mavericks)                    Win 7 Professional x64 SP1


#13 Matt Fredenburg

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 02:07 AM

Hi ya,

 

  Flex and exact can give different results in tools such as ZIBBCNT for God. flex giving 5246 , exact 3544. Now if Anchor's entry field does not contain any morphological variants of God, such as God's, then I would expect Flex and Exact to return the same numbers. Are there any ? God == god == GOd == .... etc etc. I believe.

  If you literally want God then "=God" will give you the exact word with capitalization and so on but apparently only in texts - the = does not appear to be well-received. I tried it in ZIBBCNT and was presented with a lookup dialog to choose a word from. Interestingly trying to search for "God's" in exact works fine and in flex returns an error dialog about a missing quote. Not sure if that's intended or not.

 

  On the second point I don't know but I don't know of a way.

 

Thx

D

Hey Daniel, so it appears that the = sign does not allow us to do an exact search for 'God' then. I just tried '=god' in Anchor and it popped up a dialog from which I chose 'God' and then the search performed exactly as previously, i.e. 110 matches.

 

Thanks,

 

Matt


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