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

Thursday, June 14, 2007  

"In the Can"

No, I'm not talking about where Eglon's servants thought he was spending a little too much time (see Judges 3:23-26), I'm referring to the expression movie-makers use to describe a completed film which has been placed in those round metal movie-reel containers for distribution. Why am I referring to an obscure expression which few people understand in this age of digital film-making? Because I'm glad our new video Training DVD is finally "in the can."

We first began developing a DVD containing video training sessions on various aspects of Accordance a couple of years ago, and I quickly discovered that it was a much bigger project than I had anticipated. When I took too long to cover everything I wanted to, we decided to stop with the basics, release a preliminary version of the DVD, and create a more comprehensive update later that year. As I said, that was a couple of years ago. Higher priority projects kept forcing us to delay updating the DVD until now, and once we started work on it again, we found it to be one of those projects that just kept growing in scope. As I struggled to cover most of Accordance's features, I found myself grumbling, "Why does Accordance have to do so much?!" I must confess that I kept looking for something I could get away with cutting, but I really wanted the DVD to be as comprehensive as possible, so the only real option was just to keep pressing on.

At last, it's finally "in the can," and I'm happy to say that the new Training DVD covers the majority of the program's features and most of its customization options. Here's a list of what's included:

  • The Accordance Interface
    • Basic Concepts
    • Recommended Settings
    • Knowing Your Way Around
    • Working with Windows and Workspaces
  • Searching the Bible
    • The Search Window
    • How to Search by Verses
    • Searching by Words and Phrases
    • Creating and Using Search Ranges
    • Working With Key Numbers
    • Searching More Than One Module
    • Using the Simple Construct Window
  • Working with Search Results
    • Marking Verses and Creating Reference Lists
    • Comparing Texts
    • Getting Statistical Details
    • Customizing the Text Display
    • Highlighting the Text of the Bible
    • Copy Options
  • Viewing Parallel Passages
  • Tools
    • Using Tools
    • Customizing the Tool Display
  • The Bible Atlas
    • Using the Bible Atlas
    • Customizing the Bible Atlas
  • The Timeline
    • Using the Timeline
    • Customizing the Timeline
  • Doing Your Own Thing
    • User Notes
    • User Tools
    • User Bibles
    • Arranging Your Modules
  • Advanced Topics
    • Tagged vs. Untagged Greek and Hebrew Texts
    • Accordance Fonts
    • Searching Greek and Hebrew Texts
    • Greek and Hebrew Construct Searches
    • Searching for Grammatical Tags
    • Using MT/LXX
    • Advanced Commands
    • Searching by Root
    • Language Tools
    • Exporting Greek and Hebrew

All in all, it amounts to more than five hours of video instruction. If you want to get the most out of your investment in Accordance, I think you'll find the Training DVD a fantastic resource. It costs just $29, and for a limited time, those who own the first DVD can upgrade to the new one for just $10. If you'd like to try before you buy, you can download the introductory session on the Search window.

Ultimately, while it's good to have the Training DVD "in the can," the only thing that will make it worth all the effort is if it ends up in your hands.

So has the printed manual been abandoned altogether? The DVD sounds great, but I still like the printed form for when we are "in the can" ourselves :)

No, unlike many other developers, we have not abandoned producing a printed manual. But if the DVD was a big project, a comprehensive update to the manual is gargantuan: especially when you consider the rate at which new features are being added. We strive to keep the online help current with each release of Accordance, but the manual does tend to lag behind. All that is to say that we're working on it. :-)

Here's a "geeky" question. I noticed the sample video was encoded using Apple's "Animation" codec at 5fps. I was not surprised by the codec as much as by the frame rate. You have a fixed "camera" position and not much motion so I suppose that's why it worked so well. Still it was surprising. My question: what did you use for the screen capture? Looks a bit like SnapZPro excpet for the little "P" in the upper left-hand corner. Inquiring minds want to know!

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