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Formatting Lecture Notes as a USER TOOL

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#1 Brad Pribbenow

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 02:30 PM

I'm very excited to say that the seminary I teach at (lbs.edu) has just signed an Accordance Purchase Agreement to get each of our students their own license of Accordance! In light of this, I wanted to turn my lecture notes into a USER TOOL for my students so they could incorporate into their Accordance program and utilize Accordance search feature for my lecture notes.

 

I am a 10-year veteran of Accordance, but this is the first time I've done this. I was able to import my notes into Accordance by saving them as an HTM file. The import went fine, but my formatting is all awry. Even though I used Word's "styles" feature (to create automatic outline levels in the file), I lost all the indentations in my User Tool. Accordance also did other weird things such as make some bold words into an outline format (where the letters themselves are like block letters, outlined). As I suspected, Accordance also didn't know what to do with inserted pictures or tables.

 

Altogether, I'm not too happy with how this User Tool is going to work for my students. The hardcopy or electronic (.doc or .pdf) notes are going to be MUCH easier to follow.

 

Can anyone assist me with the formatting issues I'm running into? Should I save my notes in a format other than .htm? I want to preserve the Biblical hypertext links. Can other formats do this, too?

 

Thanks for commenting!


`~`~`~`~`~`~
Accordance 10.4.3.2
Macbook OS X 10.9.4
Professor of Old Testament
Lutheran Brethren Seminary (lbs.edu)
Fergus Falls, MN

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Ph.D. Student, Biblical Studies (Old Testament)
Concordia Seminary
St. Louis, MO


#2 Steve King

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 01:09 AM

The user tool is not a feature rich editor. It is fine for importing a basic module which has headings and paragraphs but will not cope with much in the way of formatting, other than headings, italics and bold. Sometimes from a word created HTML document italics and bold can cause formatting issues. This is because the HTML from word is not clean at all. There is a certain amount of cleaning up that can be done with other text editors (textwrangler and BBEdit). In fact others on this forum recommend using BBEdit to create the HTML and steer clear of Word.

User tools cannot include pictures or tables and will lose any indentation you have in Word. So if you have a feature rich Word document from which you want to keep the formatting then a User Tool will not cope.

Importing HTML is the only format that will automatically create links for verse references. It is also the only format that will automatically bring across the basic formatting of headings etc.

There have been numerous requests for improvements in notes and user tools and I'm pretty sure that the Accordance team are working on it but I do not know when that is likely to be released or what features it will support.

Where I have tables/images at the moment I have them on my computer as a separate file and link to them from a user tool. That is OK for personal stuff but not so easy for sharing. Also, of course you cannot search them via Accordance.

Edited by Steve King, 15 August 2014 - 01:10 AM.


#3 Abram K-J

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 11:29 AM

Where I have tables/images at the moment I have them on my computer as a separate file and link to them from a user tool. That is OK for personal stuff but not so easy for sharing. Also, of course you cannot search them via Accordance.

 

If the whole rest of the process isn't too frustrating for you, and you do decide to use User Notes for this, shared Dropbox links for images (as long as you don't change the folder location mid-semester on accident) could be a way to go here.

 

Sorry this isn't working out for you--sounds like a really cool idea for your students!


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#4 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 02:44 PM

Congratulations, Brad!

 

I anticipate you and your students will have a great year. You may want to hold off on making a User Tool for a bit, if you can. I've heard rumors that some improvements are in the pipeline for it.


Edited by Timothy Jenney, 15 August 2014 - 02:45 PM.

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#5 Brad Pribbenow

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 02:54 PM

Thanks, everyone for your replies. After digging around a bit more in the Accordance Forum, I realized others have had this issue, too. And that it's not an easy fix. I may see what I can do with my Lecture Notes--if it's worth it for me to (re)format them as a User Tool. Either way, I appreciate your comments.

 

Brad


`~`~`~`~`~`~
Accordance 10.4.3.2
Macbook OS X 10.9.4
Professor of Old Testament
Lutheran Brethren Seminary (lbs.edu)
Fergus Falls, MN

[and]

 

Ph.D. Student, Biblical Studies (Old Testament)
Concordia Seminary
St. Louis, MO


#6 Douglas Fyfe

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 06:12 PM

It is a good question though - if I had my time again I would've taken all my seminary notes on Accordance and just formatted the lecture notes I was provided myself.

Having them provided as such would've given me a great head-start and rather than being in boxes that I'll never look at again, they would still be handy and searchable.



#7 davidmedina

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 06:15 PM

Dr. J, you just made my day! :)

 

Helen also mentioned some upcoming improvement that I am looking forward too.


Edited by davidmedina, 10 September 2014 - 06:17 PM.

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