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

Monday, October 22, 2007  

Don't Forget to Amplify

One of the greatest strengths of the Accordance interface is the ability to amplify a selection of text: that is, to select a word or verse and instantly search for it in any Accordance resource. For example, if I select the word "earth" in Genesis 1:1 and then drag my mouse over the Resource palette, the cursor will change to a magnifying glass to indicate that whichever resource I choose will instantly be searched for the word "earth." This ability to get instant information about any word you select makes it easy to follow a train of thought or explore an idea through multiple resources.

Yet the ability to amplify a selection of text is more than just a convenient time-saver; it is also a way to have Accordance do the work of defining searches for you.

For example, users of grammatically tagged Greek and Hebrew texts sometimes get confused by all the different search options available to them. Do they search for lexical or inflected forms? How do they distinguish homographs? Do they have to worry about vowel points or accents? Does the Hebrew "word" they're looking at contain prefixed or suffixed lexemes which need to be distinguished? If you're typing a Greek or Hebrew search in the search entry box those are all things you need to be concerned about defining, but if you select some Greek or Hebrew text and amplify, Accordance will enter the correct search syntax for you.

In the screenshot below I've selected the Hebrew phrase meaning "the heavens and the earth" in Genesis 1:1.

While this phrase looks like it is made up of three Hebrew words, it is actually made up of six. If I were to copy and paste this Hebrew text into the search entry box and click OK, Accordance would give me a series of error messages until I had separated all the component words and entered their correct lexical forms. Who wants to go through all that?

If, however, I simply select the phrase and click the Search button at the bottom of the Resource palette, Accordance will open a new search window, enter a search for the selected phrase using all the right syntax, and find every occurrence of that phrase—all in the blink of an eye!

So if you're looking at some text you want to search for, and you're not quite sure how to construct the search, try selecting the text and amplifying rather than entering everything by hand.

Thanks, David. That's a really helpful tip.

Have a great day.

Grace and peace,
Tim Archer

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