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

Wednesday, April 02, 2008  

Determining What Gets Displayed

One of the fundamental design elements of the Accordance interface is the ability to determine how the results of a search are displayed. For example, when you do a word search in a Search window, Accordance displays only those verses which contain the word or phrase you were searching for. The advantage of this view is that you can quickly scan the results of a search, without having to scroll past all the surrounding context.

There may be times, however, when you prefer to have your hit verses displayed with a little more context. The Add context pop-up menu in the More options section lets you choose to view a certain number of verses on either side of the hit verse, or to view the hit verses in the context of the entire text.

This concept is pretty easy to grasp when dealing with Bible texts, but did you know you have similar display options for tools? The Show pop-up menu lets you choose how much of the surrounding context you want to see.

For most tools, the Show pop-up menu is set to All Text. This means that when you do a search, the entire text of the tool is displayed, and the hit paragraphs are bookmarked. To advance to the next hit, you would click the down Mark button.

The advantage of viewing the entire text of a tool is that nothing is hidden from view. But there may be times when you want to focus on your search results without having to scroll past the surrounding context.

For example, let's say I want to find all the quotations in Gathered Gold that mention "courage." I search the Content field for the word "courage" and get a variety of quotes in different articles. With the Show pop-up menu set to All text, I need to jump from hit to hit using the Mark button.

If I want an easy way to scan all the quotes that were found, I need only change the Show pop-up menu to Paragraphs:

If I want to see which articles these quotes come from, I can choose Add Titles, which basically shows the hit paragraphs plus the titles of the articles which contain those paragraphs.

Finally, the Articles option lets me see the complete text of any article which contains a hit (as opposed to just the titles).

In this way, I can control how much of the text I deal with at any given time. For example, if I want to print out all the quotes on courage, I can just show the hit paragraphs and print. If your only option was to view the text in its entirety, you would have to jump to each hit paragraph, copy and paste that quote into a word processor, and then print the word processing document you created. By giving you the flexibility to adjust the display to your needs, Accordance makes it easier to work with the information you find.

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