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

Thursday, August 30, 2007  

The Logic of Triple-Clicking

On a recent Forum thread, someone asked for a keyboard equivalent to triple-clicking a word to look it up in a dictionary or commentary. I wrote in and said that we could do something like that, but you would still have to use the mouse to select the word to be looked up.

Shortly after my contribution to the thread, another user chimed in to say that he felt "triple-clicking is a pain" and that "anything past 2 clicks might as well be 20." While I obviously don't agree with him, I felt he had every right to "Amen" a feature request and I didn't give it another thought.

Today, however, I noticed that someone had attributed this user's complaint to me:

I agree with David Lang that triple clicking isn't ideal, although I'm not sure 3 is the same as 20! That would be a pain.

Okay, so now I had to set the record straight, and while I was at it, I figured I might as well explain the logic behind why we make you triple-click. I'll reproduce my post here for the benefit of those of you who don't follow the Accordance Forums:

Don't pin that on me! Someone else said that.

I'm a fan of triple-clicking. I've seen programs use a single-click to look up words, in which case you can't do anything without accidentally getting some dictionary window popping up. Other programs use a double-click, but if I just want to select a word and do something other than look it up, I can't just double-click like I do in every other Mac program.

Triple-clicking is a logical extension of the double-click. The old Macintosh Bible book used to explain that double-clicking an icon in the Finder was really a two-step action: with the first click you selected the file, and with the second you indicated that you wanted to open it. In Accordance, double-clicking a word selects it, and then the third click perfoms an action.

Incidentally, this is why you only have to double-click a label in the Atlas or Timeline. Because those items are not treated as a string of text, you click once to select the label and once more to perform the action. So again, we're consistent with Mac interface standards.

Personally, I don't find triple-clicking any harder than double-clicking, but perhaps I'm more coordinated than some! ;-)

Okay, maybe the jab at the end was a little uncalled for, but I just couldn't resist—particularly since physical coordination has never been my strong suit!

My point was that we thought through the triple-clicking procedure pretty carefully, and felt it achieved the best balance between convenience and consistency with Mac interface standards. It may take some getting used to, but if you're like me, double-clicking took a little getting used to when you first tried your hand at using a mouse. While we'll certainly look into ways to make things even more convenient, there really is a method to our madness! ;-)

i too really like triple-clicking!
always enjoy it, when it is needed.

Ah, but let's stretch this box a little. :-)

Already, Accordance's interface treats a single-click like a selection of the whole word (functionally, at least) in regards to amplifying, etc. Why not take that to the next step, the first click, actually selects the entire word, rather than simply putting the I-beam in the word (am I the only one who has problems finding that skinny bar sometimes?) have the first click select the entire word. Then, the second click acts as the triple-click does now.

At least as an option would be nice--especially for beginners. It took me a while to discover the triple-click years ago, when I first got started with Accordance. Just a thought...

Not, mind you, that I don't like the triple-clicking. I do, but with people complaining, I thought this might be an option.


David, I'm surprised that you say Accordance's behaviour on triple-clicking is consistent with Mac interface standards. Triple-clicking in text editors and browsers (at least) selects the full paragraph. I habitually use this when I'm reading long passages on-screen - it helps me focus and keep track of where I am. In Accordance, I often attempt the same without thinking, and get a new tab instead. Accordance's behaviour is not intuitive to me, though it is admittedly useful when I want to perform an action on a word.

I would be thrilled if there were a keyboard shortcut (and contextual menu) to perform an action on the selected text, and if I were then able to (optionally?) get Accordance to select paragraphs... in a manner consistent with other players on the Mac interface.

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