Nov 19, 2019 David Lang

Accordance 13 Tutorials: The Best Way to Eat an Elephant

Blind_men_and_elephant Have you heard the fable of the blind men and the elephant? Six blind Hindu philosophers go to examine an elephant. Each of them touches a different part of the large animal—its side, its leg, its tusk, its trunk, its ear, and its tail—and each arrives at a very different conclusion about what an elephant is like.

Sometimes I think Accordance is a bit like that misunderstood elephant. Most Accordance users learn to do the handful of Bible study or research tasks they most need, and never realize that they have barely scratched the surface of what Accordance can help them do. I’ve run into scholars who see Accordance as indispensible to their work, but who never think to recommend it to pastors and laypeople because they assume Accordance is just for high end scholarly research. Conversely, there are many Accordance users who are happily using it for personal Bible study who have no idea how incredibly powerful it is.

Now, I’m not suggesting for a moment that every Accordance user needs to learn all its ins and outs. I just want you all to avoid missing out on benefits you could actually use. That’s why, of all the new features of Accordance 13, I am most excited about our new Tutorials. I think they’re the quickest way to discover and digest Accordance’s elephantine power and versatility.

Of course, digesting an elephant only happens “one bite at a time,” so that’s precisely how our tutorials walk you through each Accordance task you choose to learn. Pick from nearly 80 tutorials organized by difficulty and by topic, then follow the step-by-step instructions. Along the way, you’ll get helpful explanations and usage tips.

Here are a few tips for getting the most out of Accordance 13 Tutorials.

The First Tutorials Lay the Groundwork for Later Ones

While you certainly don’t have to go through the tutorials in any particular order, if you’re brand new to Accordance, you’ll definitely benefit from going through the first few tutorials in the list before you tackle any of the others. Knowing Your Library and Opening Books will show you where to find your various Accordance books and how to open them. Later tutorials will simply instruct you to open a particular resource without walking you through how to do it. Rather than adding steps to each tutorial for opening a book, we chose to show you how to open resources in the earliest tutorials.

 

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In the same way, most tutorials will simply instruct you to “Open the Preferences” without explaining how to do it. That’s because one of the first tutorials is completely devoted to Opening the Preferences.

Some tutorials include a Next Tutorial button on the final panel to help guide you to other tutorials which expand on what you’re learning.

Choose from Broad Topics and Narrow Tasks

Some tutorials cover a broad topic which may include a number of specific tasks. For example, Using Key Numbers to Study Greek and Hebrew covers Instant Details, Cross-Highlighting, the Dynamic Interlinear, searching by Key Number, and more. A separate, shorter tutorial on Using the Key Command focuses specifically on searching by Key Number. These tutorials complement each other, and you’ll profit from doing both. But if you don’t have time for a broad introduction to an array of related features, you can usually find a shorter tutorial dedicated to one specific task.

Don’t Wear Out the ‘Do It For Me’ Button

Each tutorial panel which instructs you to do something includes a Do It For Me button. This makes it really convenient if you already know how to complete a step and you want a helpful shortcut to completing it. For example, if you know how to open the Preferences, you don’t need to practice that step any more, so rather than mousing to a menu to open the Preferences panel, you can just click Do It For Me and get to the steps you do need to practice.

 

DoItForMe

 

Of course, it’s up to you to know which steps you actually need to practice. When you get to those, resist the temptation to click Do It For Me. Instead, open that menu, click that button, triple-click that word. Actually doing the step yourself will help cement it in your memory, so that you can do it again when you’re no longer going through a tutorial.

Don’t Assume Tutorials are Just for Beginners

We’ve worked hard to create tutorials on a broad range of topics, including some really advanced ones. Even if you’re an Accordance power user, you’re likely to find tutorials which can teach you a few tips or tricks you didn’t already know.

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Remember, the blind Hindu philosophers misunderstood what the elephant was like because they each limited their investigation to one part of the elephant. Accordance 13 offers a lot to explore, and our new tutorials are sure to teach even our most accomplished users something new.


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