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News, How-tos, and assorted Views on Accordance Bible Software.

Friday, February 02, 2007  

The Selection Menu

Ever noticed that "Selection" menu in the Accordance menu bar? Ever wondered what it's there for? Well, as its name implies, it is there to help you select material and then do something with it. Here's are some of the highlights of the Selection menu.

The first thing to realize is that when it comes to the text of the Bible, you can select material in the traditional way (dragging the mouse across the text), or you can "bookmark" an entire verse. Let's say you've done a search and you get thirty verses. You go through the hit verses and decide that ten of them are appropriate to your sermon, Bible study lesson, etc. You can quickly "mark" each of these verses by holding down the option key and clicking anywhere in the verse. You'll notice the cursor change to a bookmark when you press the option key, and when you click on the verse, a blue bookmark will appear next to the verse.

As soon as you add at least one mark, two additional text access buttons labeled "Mark" will appear next to the Verse, Chapter, and Book buttons. You can use these buttons to jump to the next or previous marked verse.

If you happen to run into five verses in a row which you want to bookmark, and you don't feel like option-clicking each one, you can drag a selection across all those verses and then choose the first item in the Selection menu: Mark Selection (or use the keyboard shortcut command-7). Presto change-o! A bookmark will appear next to all the verses you selected.

Now that you've marked the verses you're interested in, what do you do with them? Well, one thing you can do is to add them to a Verse Reference List. A Reference List window is a special container window that displays a list of verses. You add verses to a Reference List by selecting or marking the verses you want, then choosing either a new Reference List window or an open Reference List window from the submenus labeled Add Selection To and Add Marked Verses To.

The Reference List window has a text field at the top where you can enter a description of the verses it contains, and like any window, you can rename the Reference List by going to Window-->Set-->Name...

What are the advantages of collecting verses in a Reference List? Well, the first advantage is that the Reference List window can be saved as an individual window or as part of a session. Bookmarks are not saved between sessions, so if you want to keep the verses you've marked, you need to move them into a Reference List.

Now, let's say you want to cite all these verses you've collected in a word processing document. You can Select All and then choose Copy As References to create a nicely formatted list of references to those verses.

Another thing you can do with a Reference List is to search the verses it contains using the CONTENTS command. Simply set up a Search window, enter the search criteria you want to find, then choose AND and CONTENTS from the Enter Command submenu of the Search menu. Using the CONTENTS command in conjunction with a Reference List is a little like creating a very specific search range.

In addition to the commands I've highlighted in this post, the Selection menu also contains the Edit User Note command, which you use to add a note to any verse you select, and the Group and Ungroup commands, which enable you to join or separate items in the Diagram window.

Hidden in the shadow of Accordance's flashier features, the options in the Selection menu can easily get lost, but bookmarks and Reference Lists are useful tools for keeping track of the verses you're most interested in.

First, thank you for the new blog. I look forward to reading them all the time. I am learning in the process.
So far, I was copying and pasting to Word. This seems to be better.


This is one of my favorite features of Accordance. It is extremely useful. The only thing I'd add is that it would be extremely nice if selections could be added to reference lists even when that reference list wasn't already open. Nevertheless, I really appreciate this feature.



Indeed, one of the handy features which gets used a lot by me. I support Jeremy's "it would be extremely nice" for the ability to add these to a reference list.

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