Accordance 9: Hone Your Zones
Yesterday I described the new Zones feature of Accordance 9. Zones are areas of a workspace which can each contain multiple tabs. You might have a zone with tabs containing Bible texts, another zone with tabs containing dictionaries, and a third with tabs containing commentaries. Or you might divide your resources among zones completely differently. Zones are designed to let you work however you like.
Today I want to explain how new zones are created and how Accordance attempts to guess which zone you're going to want a new resource to appear in. While there's no way we could anticipate every possible use of zones, we have tried to create a system which is flexible enough to adjust to your way of working.
By default, a new zone will be created for each different kind of resource you open. For example, let's say you have a workspace containing only your default Bible and you choose to open the tagged Greek New Testament (GNT-T) from the resource palette. Since you've opened a second Text module, the GNT-T will appear in a new tab within your workspace's one zone. The first time you open a new Tool module, however, a new Tools zone will appear next to the current Texts zone. If you then open other tools, such as Greek or Hebrew lexicons, commentaries, or dictionaries, those will appear as tabs within the Tools zone. Other kinds of resources, such as Maps, Timelines, or Parallels, will open in additional zones.
That's how zones and tabs within those zones are opened by default, but if you create custom zones for specific purposes, Accordance will try to utilize those zones as effectively as possible. For example, let's say you have a tools zone with two tabs: one containing Anchor Bible Dictionary (an English Tool) and another containing the New American Commentary (a Reference Tool). You decide you want your commentaries to be in a separate zone, so you grab the tab containing NAC and drag it to another area of the workspace to create a new zone. You now have one zone with Anchor and another with NAC. From that point on, any additional reference tools you open will appear as a tab in the zone containing NAC, while other kinds of tools will be opened in the zone containing Anchor. In this way, Accordance tries to open resources in the most logical zone available.
Here's another possible scenario. Let's say I combine a Greek text like the GNT-T and a Greek Tool like BDAG in the same zone. From that point on, any Greek Text or Tool I open will appear as additional tabs in that Greek Resources zone.
In short, when you open a new resource in Accordance 9, Accordance looks at the available zones to see which one is the best fit for that kind of resource. And the logic is flexible enough to consider various ways of grouping resources: by resource type, by language, or by some combination thereof. Knowing this, you can hone your use of zones so that new resources open right where you want them.