Feb 5, 2009 David Lang

Brilliant Idea for Multi-Column View

Between all our online video training and new webinars, we're making every effort to teach our users all the ins and outs of Accordance. But every so often, our users come up with a trick we haven't thought of. In a recent thread on our user forums, one of our users requested the ability to flow the text of a single Bible text across multiple columns. He even created a mockup of what he envisioned. Here it is:


As you can see from the screenshot, the advantage of a multi-column view is that you can see more of the text at one time. Several other people chimed in to say it was a good idea, and I quietly began to ruminate on all the technical and interface ramifications of such a feature. Then Robb, one of our regional Accordance trainers and a real Accordance power-user pointed out a way that you can create such a view right now, with the current version of Accordance!

Here's how to do it:

1. Open three (or more) parallel panes containing the same Bible text and navigate to the passage you want to display.

2. Click on the second pane, then hold down the control (ctrl) key and click once in the scroll bar underneath the scroll thumb.

3. Click on the third pane, then hold down the control key and click twice in the scroll bar underneath the scroll thumb.

The resulting window should look something like this:


Now, let me explain how this works. Usually when you scroll a window with parallel panes, all three panes stay in sync. However, you can temporarily break this synchronization by holding down the control key while you scroll the selected pane. Clicking in the scroll bar underneath the scroll thumb will scroll the text one "page," so that the verse at the bottom of the pane will be advanced to the top of the pane. This is just a little quicker than scrolling the selected pane one verse at a time. Thus, by paging down once with the second pane and twice with the third pane, you can quickly arrange the panes as though the text were flowing across the three columns. When you're ready to go beyond the last verse of the third column, then page down the third column without holding the control key. This will advance all three panes to the next section of text, and then you can hold down the control key to page down the second and third columns again.

Obviously, this is a little more work than if Accordance automatically did all this for you, but once you get in a rhythm, it should be easy to set up. And best of all, you don't have to wait for some future upgrade. Thanks, Robb, for a brilliant outside-the-box solution.

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Archived Comments


February 05, 2009 3:40 PM

You wrote 'click twice in the scroll bar underneath the scroll thumb' What is a scroll thumb?

David Lang

February 05, 2009 3:44 PM

"Scroll thumb" = the little blue thing in the scroll bar that you drag up and down.


February 05, 2009 3:49 PM

Thx, I would have guessed that I am at work so I do not have Accodance available.  Sounds a little more sophisticated to call it a "scroll thumb" and not the blue thingy ;)


February 05, 2009 7:21 PM

Hmm. I'm ctrl+clicking under the thumb, but the text in the second or third panes, just jump to that part of the text, not necessarily to the next "page" after pane one. 

David Lang

February 05, 2009 7:33 PM

Tom, check the Appearance settings in your System settings. You apparently have the option set to "jump to here" instead of "jump to the next page."

J. P>

February 07, 2009 7:30 PM

For a generally elegant reading on-screen reading experience, you could also export the text or print to PDF and read the resulting file in Tofu.

Chris Grizzell

July 12, 2009 11:34 AM

I\'m so glad someone else has asked for a multi-column option - it is something I have wished for for a long time. I do a lot of my work on a 24-inch iMac and it\'s a long way from left to right. And very easy to skip a line when coming back to start a new one.