In yesterday's post, I urged you to check Open initial window as workspace with tabs in the General Settings pane of the Preferences, because using workspaces "makes it much easier to manage all your windows". Another David then commented that workspaces do not make his life easier because he is typically "glancing back and forth between two windows," and he doesn't like having one window hidden every time he glances at a different window. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better setup for today's post, in which we'll discuss the ins and outs of working with Workspaces. Thanks, David!
A Workspace is basically a container window that keeps other windows neatly displayed as tabs. Although, as the other David pointed out, the content of each tab gets hidden when it is placed behind another tab; the tab itself always remains visible along the top of the Workspace. So bringing another window to the front again is as simple as clicking on its tab, rather than having to fish through the Window menu for the name of the window.
The good news about the Workspace window is that you're not limited to just one. Neither are you limited to using only tabs or only separate windows. You can combine both methods of managing windows to create an arrangement that works for you.
Let's say you're working in the tagged Greek New Testament (GNT-T) and you triple-click on a Greek word to look it up in your default Greek lexicon (I'll use BDAG for this example). If you started with the GNT-T as a tab within a Workspace window, BDAG will appear as an additional tab within the same Workspace.
Now suppose you go back to the Greek text and continue triple-clicking word after word to look each one up in BDAG. As the other David pointed out, you're doing lots of flipping back and forth between tabs. Wouldn't it be more convenient to have both the GNT-T and BDAG displayed side-by-side? Sure it would.
The answer is to detach the tab containing BDAG so that it appears as a separate window. To do this, go to the Window menu and select Detach Tab. If you work with Workspaces a lot, it's worth it to remember that command-option-T is the shortcut for detaching a tab.
Now you've got a Workspace containing the GNT-T and a separate window displaying BDAG. Choose Tile Windows from the Arrange submenu of the Window menu (or use the keyboard shortcut command-I) to have Accordance automatically arrange the windows side-by-side.
Now as you triple-click each word in the GNT-T, the window containing BDAG will update to show the entry for that word. No flipping back and forth required.
Now, suppose you click a hypertext link for one of the Scripture references in the window containing BDAG. What happens? A separate window opens displaying the text of that reference.
Why wasn't this window opened as a tab in my workspace? Because Accordance assumes that whatever I was doing last is what I want to keep doing. Since BDAG is displayed as a separate window, any window I open from BDAG will likewise be displayed as a separate window. If I had followed a Scripture link from a tool displayed as a tab within a Workspace, the new window would have been opened as an additional tab in that Workspace.
Okay, so what if we don't want that Text window opened as a separate window in front of BDAG? What if we want a second Workspace containing both BDAG and its associated Text window? To do that, just choose Merge Windows from the window menu. The two frontmost windows (in this case, BDAG and the Text window) will then be merged together into a new Workspace window.
Note that I didn't have to open a second Workspace window first. Merging two separate windows automatically resulted in a new Workspace being opened to contain them. Next Tile the windows again to arrange the two Workspaces side-by-side. Now as you triple-click a word in the GNT-T, BDAG will display the article for that word, and if you click a Scripture link within BDAG, those verses will be displayed in a tab in that Workspace. Even though BDAG gets obscured by this tab, it will be brought to the front again whenever you triple-click another word in the GNT-T.
Pretty cool, huh? Maybe it will even be enough to entice the "other David" to give Workspaces another chance. :-)