This past weekend, I taught Accordance training seminars in Washington DC and Williamsburg, Virginia. Both groups included some pretty experienced Accordance users, and their questions prompted me to cover some more in depth aspects of Accordance than I usually get to. One thing I noticed in answering those questions was how much I turned to the Preferences panel.
Over the past two decades of development, we've added numerous options you can set in order to tailor Accordance to your specific needs. Most of them can be found by choosing Preferences… from the Accordance menu. This will open the Preferences panel.
On the left side of the Preferences panel, you'll see a list of setting categories. Let's start with the General settings.
The first option you can choose is how you want Accordance to start up. You have the following options:
Default Search Tab: Accordance will open with a single workspace showing a single tab containing your default Bible. It's clean and simple, but you then have to open any additional resources yourself. (Note: You can set your default Bible in the Search Tabs settings.)
Default Session: If you find yourself spending a few minutes each time you launch Accordance opening the same group of resources and arranging them a certain way, you would do better to set things up the way you want them and then save that setup as a Default Session. Then that setup would come up every time you launch Accordance. When you choose the Default Session option, the Set Default Session button will become active. Click this button after you have set Accordance up the way you want, and the current arrangement of workspaces, zones, and tabs will now appear each time Accordance starts up.
Last Session: This is the setting I use. Whenever you quit Accordance, whatever you have open will be saved. When you launch Accordance again, you'll pick right back up where you left off.
Daily Reading: Want Accordance to start up with today's reading from your favorite devotional? Choose the Daily Reading option. (Note: You can set which devotional you want as your default in the Reading/Search All settings.)
In addition to choosing how you want Accordance to start up, you can choose to suppress certain kinds of information dialogs.
Suppress opening splash screen: When you first launch Accordance, you'll see the opening splash screen with our lovely artwork and copyright info.
Naturally, we leave it up there for a moment so you can appreciate the artwork and read the info. But if you would like to shave a second or two off the time it takes to launch Accordance, check Suppress opening splash screen and you'll never have to see it again. (Don't worry, if you want to see it again, you can always choose About Accordance from the Accordance menu.)
Suppress opening text information: This option is now checked by default, but it used to be that the first time you opened a new module, a window would appear showing that module's copyright information. This made the copyright holders happy, but it was a waste of your time. If you still have these dialogs appear, check the option to suppress them. (When you want the copyright info for a module, you can still get it by clicking the info icon next to its name in the Library, or by choosing About the Text… from the Accordance menu.)
Suppress save warnings: If you open a resource and perform a search or make some other change, then decide to close that resource, Accordance will ask you if you want to save that tab. Yet if you use Accordance like I do, you're constantly opening resources, searching them for information, and then closing them when you no longer need them. If I actually want to save some complicated search, I'll do that by choosing Save… from the File menu. The rest of the time, I don't want to be interrupted with save warnings. So I have the Suppress save warnings option checked. Just be warned that if you check this option, you could accidentally close some elaborate construct window and lose your work without warning.
Suppress information tips: There are a handful of tips that appear when you use certain aspects of Accordance. For example, the first time you apply a highlight style, you may get a tip informing you that you can use the keyboard shortcut command-8 to apply that same style to other words you select. These tips are relatively infrequent, so I recommend leaving this option unchecked. Still, if they get in your way, you can easily suppress them.
I'll cover the rest of the General preferences in my next post, and I'll cover other settings categories in future posts.
Whenever I do a training seminar, I'm surprised to see long-time Accordance users still getting the copyright info for each new module they open, or a save warning for each window or tab they close. If you use Accordance the way I do, you're constantly opening resources, looking up information, then closing them again. You don't want to be hassled with all those warning messages and temporary windows, do you?
If you haven't discovered that you can turn those things off yet, go to Preferences right now and select General Settings. At the top of the dialog box you'll see the following options:
Look at all the items in the Information section. By clicking a checkbox, you can suppress the initial Accordance splash screen. Attractive as it is, having it appear each time you launch Accordance takes time. By turning it off, you'll save a second or two each time Accordance opens. You can also suppress the copyright info and save warnings I mentioned above, as well as information tips which appear to offer help in how to use certain features. Since the information tips don't appear very often and are not terribly intrusive, I leave this box unchecked, but you can turn them off if you don't want them.
In addition to suppressing information windows and dialogs which can interrupt your workflow, the General settings also let you determine how you want Accordance to open. In the Startup section, you can choose whether you want Accordance to start with a Default Search window, with a custom window arrangement you set up and save as the "Default Session," or with the "Last Session." Starting up with the Last Session means Accordance will save whatever is open when you quit Accordance and reopen with the same window arrangement the next time you launch Accordance.
If you haven't yet discovered these settings, you owe it to yourself to explore the numerous options in the Accordance Preferences. By the way, if you're not quite sure what a particular option is for, just click the question mark at the bottom right corner of the Preferences dialog. Accordance Help will open to tell you exactly what that option is for.