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

Wednesday, March 28, 2007  

The Search Button

Pop quiz! What is the one section of the Resource palette which you can't hide by clicking a disclosure triangle? Answer: The bottom section labeled Search.

See what I mean? Do you think if we don't let you hide the Search button on the Resource palette, we think it's pretty important? In my opinion, the Search button is one of the most important elements of the Accordance interface, and I suspect that many of you don't use it as much as you should.

Whenever you select a word in a text or tool, then click the Search button, that resource will automatically be searched for the word you selected. For example, if you select a word in the tagged Greek New Testament, then click the Search button, a new window will open displaying every occurrence of that word's lexical form in the GNT-T. If you select a word in Anchor Bible Dictionary, then click the Search button, Anchor will automatically be searched for every occurrence of that word.

Why is this such an important feature? Because it enables you to do rapid research on a word or phrase without having to go up to the argument entry box and type the word you want to find. It also enables you to search the current resource for a word without losing your place in that resource, since the search is performed in a new window or tab.

But wait, there's more! How many of you have ever tried to search for a Hebrew phrase by copying it from the text and then pasting it in the argument entry box above? For example, let's say you select bereshith in Genesis 1:1, copy and paste it into the entry box, and click OK. What happens? You get a word list telling you that there is no lexical form in the Hebrew Bible spelled beth, resh, aleph, shin, yod, tav. Why are you getting an error message when you've copied and pasted that word right from the text? Because it's not really a word. It's a phrase made up of the prefix b and the noun reshith. To let Accordance know that you're looking for a phrase, you need to put a space between the prefix and the noun in the argument entry box. If you want to find a long phrase containing numerous prefixes and suffixes, it can be a hassle to go back in and put all those spaces in yourself. Fortunately, you don't need to bother doing that if you remember to use the Search button.

If you want to search for a Hebrew phrase, don't copy and paste it into the entry box and then edit it until you get it right, just select it and click the Search button. Lo and behold, that phrase will automatically be entered into a new Search window with the correct search syntax and every occurrence will be found!

By the way, if you prefer contextual menus to palette buttons, you can control- or right-click a word or phrase and then choose an option from the Search for submenu of the contextual menu. This has the same effect as clicking the Search button.

Well, that should get you started with the Search button, but there's a whole lot more to it which I'll talk about in a future post.

It's also easy to simply click on a word or highlight it (a word or phrase like bereshith), and hit command-4. This does the same thing as hitting the search palette, but since we've got 2 hands we might as well use them!

You actually pointed this out to us at a seminar once - Quite brilliant!

Maybe this has been answered elsewhere, but how can I get the Resource Palette (and the Instant Details) to stay on a second monitor after Quit?

I have a two monitor set up with Accordance's main window opening on my side/reference monitor. The only problem is every time I launch I have to move the palettes over.

Am I missing something?



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