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

Monday, March 03, 2008  

Shortcuts and Timesavers, Part 2

Last week, we looked at several options in the Preferences which enable you to save time launching Accordance, opening new modules, and closing windows. Today, I want to look at streamlining the way Accordance starts up.

Set up your default Search window. When you first launch Accordance, you get a Search window displaying the entire text of whichever Bible got installed first. If this Bible is not the one you want to start with, you can, of course, change the default. Yet I'm amazed how many people never bother to do this. They'll just change the Bible text every time they launch Accordance! To alleviate this problem, we added a setup assistant for new users in version 7 which will help them set their default Bible; but if you started using Accordance before version 7, the setup assistant doesn't appear (since it would overwrite certain preferences you might have set).

To set your default Bible text, simply go to Preferences and choose the Search window settings. These settings let you specify how you want a new Search window to open. Choose the default Bible in the pop-up labeled Text. You can also set the Search window to open in word search mode rather than verse search mode, specify that you want the More Options section of the window to be open all the time, etc.

Use a default session. Let's say you launch Accordance and your Search window is displaying the right Bible, but you always want your window to display two other Bibles in parallel along with Word Biblical Commentary. You spend a few seconds each time you launch Accordance adding those panes before you start studying. And while we're at it, you always end up looking stuff up in Zondervan's Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible (ZPEB), so it would be nice to have that already open when you start up as well. To do this, simply set up a series of Accordance windows as you would like them to appear when you start up.

For example, in the following screenshot, I've set up a Workspace with two tabs. The first contains three Bibles and Word Biblical Commentary displayed in parallel, while the second contains the ZPEB.

If I want to start up with this arrangement every time, I can simply go to the Preferences, choose General settings, then select Default Session from the pop-up menu in the Default Startup section of the dialog. When I choose this option, the Set Default Session button becomes undimmed. Clicking this button will save the current window arrangement as the default session, and I'll get that window arrangement every time I launch Accordance.

Pick up where you left off. The final option in the Default Startup section of the General Preferences lets you start up Accordance using the "Last Session." This means that you'll start up with whatever windows you had open when you last quit Accordance. This is the option I tend to prefer, since I typically want to go back to whatever I was last working on, and I don't want to bother saving my windows before I quit.

However you choose to have Accordance start up, taking a few minutes to customize your start up can save you a tremendous amount of time and effort.

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