Accordance Blog
Jul 13, 2012 David Lang

Using Accordance to Teach a Bible Study, Part 5

This is the last in a series of posts on using Accordance's Slide Show feature. Part 1 explored how to set up a workspace with separate tabs for each Bible passage you plan to cover. Part 2 showed how to add a map. Part 3 demonstrated how to add a series of images from a resource like the PhotoGuide. Finally, Part 4 showed how to use the Search All window to search your entire library for just the right graphic. Once all the pieces of your slide show are assembled, all that's left to do is to present it. In this post, I'll explain how to do that.

Remember that the Slide Show feature takes every tab in a workspace and turns it into a separate "slide." The one caveat is that the workspace must have a single zone, so while preparing your workspace, you may need to drag the title bar of one zone into the tab area of another, thus combining all the tabs in a single zone. When finished, your workspace should look something like this:


To start the Slide Show, simply select Slide Show from the Window menu, or use the keyboard shortcut command-option-S. Accordance's palettes, search interface, as well as the OS X dock will all be hidden and the current tab's contents expanded to fill the screen. Like this:


A small slideshow control palette will fade in and out as you mouse over its location at the bottom of the screen. This palette includes buttons to go to the first slide, the previous slide, the next slide, or the last slide. The stop button will stop the Slide Show and return Accordance to normal operation. You can also press the escape key on the keyboard to exit the slide show, or use the command-option-S shortcut again.

In addition to these controls, the Slide Show palette also includes a pop-up menu listing the name of every "slide." You can quickly move to the slide you want, no matter where it appears in the sequence, by selecting its name from this menu.


To make it easier to find the slide you want from this menu, it's always helpful when preparing a slide show to rename tabs to reflect their actual content. You can do that by control- or right-clicking the tab and choosing Active Tab Name… from the Set Tab submenu of the contextual menu.

When in Slide Show mode, the Instant Details box will appear whenever you mouse over an item with more information to display. Thus, when showing Bible text, you can mouse over a word in a Key number Bible to show its Greek or Hebrew equivalent. When showing an Atlas map, you can mouse over any point to show its elevation and coordinates. When you move your mouse off of this kind of content, the Instant Details box will once again fade away.

If you haven't used Accordance's slide show mode in a teaching environment, you really should give it a try. While it does not offer the effects and transitions you get with dedicated presentation software like Keynote, it has the advantage of offering dynamic Bible study-related tools in an attractive, full-screen view.


Jul 12, 2012 David Lang

Using Accordance to Teach a Bible Study, Part 4

In this series of posts, I've been relating how I used Accordance's Slide Show feature to teach a Bible study on the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. I began by creating separate workspace tabs for each passage I wanted to read. Next I added a tab with a map showing the location of Mount Carmel and the political boundaries at the time. Then I showed how to add a series of pictures from the PhotoGuide. In this post, I want to show how I did a broader search to find just the right image.

In addition to showing pictures of Mount Carmel from the PhotoGuide, I wanted an image that would show how Mount Carmel receives more annual rainfall than the surrounding areas of Israel. My point was that Elijah chose a site known for its rainfall and lush vegetation for a showdown between the God of Israel and Baal, the Canaanite god of the storm and fertility. In essence, he was giving Baal a kind of "home field advantage."

Hoping to find some map of annual rainfall in Israel, I opened a Search All tab, selected Caption from the Language pop-up menu, and entered "rainfall." Within seconds, I found several such maps, including this one from the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible.


Using methods such as these, I was able to assemble a series of helpful visual aids in a matter of minutes. When it came time to teach the Bible study, I simply chose Slide Show from the Window menu and then accessed each "slide" in turn. I'll show how I did that in my next post.


Jul 10, 2012 David Lang

Using Accordance to Teach a Bible Study, Part 3

In this series of posts, I've been relating how I used Accordance's Slide Show feature to teach a Bible study on the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. I began by creating separate workspace tabs for each passage I wanted to read. Next I added a tab with a map showing the location of Mount Carmel and the political boundaries at the time. Today I want to show how I added tabs for the various images I wanted to display.

First, I wanted to show photos of Mount Carmel itself. The best place to find location photos is the Bible Lands PhotoGuide, and for me the best way to access the PhotoGuide is by double-clicking a place name on the map. (You can link the PhotoGuide to the Atlas in this way in the Map Tab Display settings of the Preferences.)

As I scanned the PhotoGuide article on Mount Carmel, I found several photos I wanted to show: a view of the summit, a photo of the Mukhraka monastery which commemorates Elijah's showdown there, an area below the summit where the people might have stood, etc. Clicking on one of the thumbnails will open a picture tab containing the full-size picture.


Picture tabs are usually recycled, which means that if I go back to the PhotoGuide and click a second thumbnail, that same tab will be re-used to display the new picture. Recycling windows avoids a proliferation of unwanted tabs, but when you're preparing a workspace for a slide show, you want a separate tab showing each picture you want to display. You can turn recycling off in any tab by clicking the green recycle icon at the top right. So to open a number of separate Picture tabs, you could click a PhotoGuide thumbnail, disable the recycling of the tab, return to the PhotoGuide, click another thumbnail to open a new picture tab, disable the recycling of that tab, and so on.

Now, you know there's got to be a more streamlined workflow than that, right? Here's the shortcut: simply command-click a picture thumbnail to open it in a picture tab with recycling turned off. That way you can simply command-click multiple thumbnails in the PhotoGuide to open each picture in a separate tab. Using this trick, you can very quickly assemble the picture slides of your slide show. Give it a try.

In my next post, I'll show how I found additional pictures in other resources.


Jul 2, 2012 David Lang

Using Accordance to Teach a Bible Study, Part 2

In my previous post, I began showing how I taught a Bible study using the Slide Show feature of Accordance. This feature lets you present any workspace with tabs as a series of "slides," with each tab constituting one "slide." The only caveat is that all the tabs have to be in a single zone, so you may have to drag one into another before you use this feature.

In setting up the workspace I would present as a slide show, I began by assembling the various passages I would be reading. My main passage was the story of Elijah's showdown with the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18, but I also wanted to read a few related passages. I set each passage up in its own tab so I could quickly turn to each one without scrolling or navigating. Again, see my previous post for details on how to do that.

Next I wanted to add some visuals: a map showing the location of Mount Carmel (the setting of this story), photos of the location, images of Baal, etc.

To get the map, I simply selected the word "Carmel" in my main passage and clicked the Map button on the Resource palette. A map opened with Mount Carmel highlighted. Because this story took place during the period of the Divided Kingdom, I chose to overlay the Divided Kingdoms region layer on my map.


Now, here's where I used a little power-user trick. Because I had searched for Mount Carmel, the name Carmel was highlighted on my map in red. When I added the Divided Kingdoms region layer, the kingdom of Israel was shaded pink, and the combination made the Carmel label difficult to read. So I decided to change the red text to black.

To do that, I simply chose Set Map Display from the Display menu. In the dialog that appeared, I chose Extra Region Names from the main pop-up menu, then changed the Color pop-up from Red to Black.


By the way, the Extra Site Names and Extra Region Names in the main pop-up refer to site and region labels which have been added to the map as the result of a search. They are "extra" in the sense that they appear on the map regardless of whether or not they are actually included in the currently displayed map layers. Accordance gives you the ability to customize those extra labels independent of other map elements.

When I clicked OK to close the Map Display settings dialog, my map now looked like this:


During the course of the Bible study, while I was presenting the map, I realized that I wanted to remove the Divided Kingdoms region layer so people could better focus on the topography. If I had anticipated that need, I could have set up a second map tab with a different set of layers and simply switched to it. Because I hadn't done that ahead of time, I had to exit Slide Show mode in the middle of the Bible study, tweak the map to look the way I wanted, and then enter Slide Show mode again. Fortunately, exiting Slide Show mode is as easy as hitting the escape key, and entering it again merely requires choosing Slide Show from the Window menu. The entire process only took a few seconds.

If you use the Slide Show feature a lot, you should also learn the keyboard shortcut command-option-S, which will toggle the Slide Show on and off.

In my next post, I'll demonstrate how I gathered the images I wanted to present in my slide show.


Jun 29, 2012 David Lang

Using Accordance to Teach a Bible Study

For a while now, I've been attending a Wednesday night Bible study which uses a DVD series showing sites in Israel and discussing the Biblical events which happened there. This past Wednesday, the normal teacher was out of town and I was asked to fill in. Rather than using the DVD series, I chose to teach a lesson of my own, but to maintain consistency I focused on explaining a Biblical passage with reference to its location. I chose for my text 1 Kings 18: the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.

I wanted to bring out a number of interesting aspects of this story, such as why Mount Carmel was the perfect location for this showdown (see my blog post, Why Mount Carmel?) and how the name of Elijah is used as a motif throughout this story (see my post, "What's in a Name?"). Explaining the importance of Mount Carmel required giving some background information about the Canaanite deity Baal and the fact that Mount Carmel is the rainiest location in that part of Israel. I wanted to be able to show images of Mount Carmel and Baal, as well as a map of Israel, so I decided to use Accordance's Slide Show mode.

If you're unfamiliar with Accordance's Slide Show feature, it turns each tab in a workspace window into a separate "slide," expanding the content to fill the entire screen and hiding interface elements such as the search entry box, the various palettes, etc. You can activate it by choosing Slide Show from the Window menu.

The first step to creating a slide show is simply setting up the various tabs you want to display. The one thing to keep in mind when setting up your workspace is that Accordance's Slide Show feature does not yet support workspaces with more than one zone. So as you open maps, images, and various resources, they may open in additional zones, but you'll need to combine all those tabs into one zone before you start a slide show. This is most easily done by dragging the title bar of one zone into the tab area of another. When you release the mouse button, all the tabs from the dragged zone will be added to the destination zone.

I started with a tab containing my default Bible and navigated to 1 Kings 18. Realizing that I would need to explain the background of King Ahab's idolatry, I scrolled back until I found the passage on his accession to the throne: 1 Kings 16:29-33. Because I didn't want to scroll back to this passage during the Bible study, I decided to put it in a separate tab. That way, I would have another "slide" I could easily switch to. The easiest way to create a new tab with this passage was to select the verses I wanted and then click the Context button on the Resource palette. This opened a Text window showing the verses I selected in the context of the entire Bible. But I didn't want the surrounding context, so I just unchecked the Show all text checkbox. That left me with a tab showing just 1 Kings 16:29-33.

To make it easy to distinguish this tab during the course of the slide show, I right-clicked the tab itself and chose Active Tab Name… from the Set Tab submenu of the contextual menu. I then changed the name of that tab to "Ahab's Idolatry."


Next I knew I had to summarize Elijah's role in the three-and-a-half years of drought which preceded the episode in 1 Kings 18. So I repeated these same steps for 1 Kings 17:1-10, naming that tab "Elijah No Rain". Finally, I wanted to read Jesus' reference to Elijah and the widow of Zarephath in Luke 4:23-30, so again, I created a new tab containing this passage and renamed it "Jesus in Nazareth." My resulting workspace now looked like this:


I now had the passages I intended to use all ready to go. Next I needed a map and a number of images to show. I'll show you how I set that up in my next post.