One time-saving new feature in Accordance 8.3 is Copy as User Tool Link. User Tool links are links to other texts and tools which you can create from within an Accordance user tool.

A user tool link is essentially a search, in which you tell Accordance what module to open, what field to search, and what to search for. So, for example, if I wanted to link to BDAG’s article on agapao, I would enter [BDAG, Greek Entry, agapaw] in a user tool edit window and then format the whole thing as a hypertext link. When I update the tool, I’ll have a clickable link that will open BDAG and perform the search automatically.

Accordance has offered that capability for a while now, but you had to type all that information yourself. The new Copy as User Tool Link command now lets you copy a properly formatted link containing the search argument of the currently active window or tab. So if I have BDAG open and I’ve searched for agapao, choosing User Tool Link from the Copy As submenu of the Edit menu (or from a contextual menu) would instantly copy [BDAG, Greek Entry, agapaw] to the clipboard. Then all I need to do is paste it into my user tool edit window and format it as a link.

Now, what if I’m just reading through a book and I haven’t necessarily done a search to get there? For example, let’s say I’m reading through John Frame’s book No Other God (part of the new Frame-Theology collection), and I run across a paragraph about Aristotle’s conception of God which I want to link to. I haven’t done a search for this paragraph, so choosing Copy as User Tool Link at this point will just get me [Frame-Theology, Titles, *], which will simply open the tool to the beginning. However, I can get a properly formatted link to this paragraph by selecting the first several words of the paragraph and clicking the Search button on the Resource palette.

Select a Paragraph then click the Search button on the Resource palette

This causes Accordance to search the correct field of the current tool for the selected text, even formatting the search argument properly to account for things like punctuation. In this second Frame-Theology window, I can choose Copy as User Tool Link and get [Frame-Theology, Content, Aristotle’s god is his * Prime Mover].

Then Choose Copy As User Tool Link from Edit Menu or Contextual Menu

Now I can paste that into my user tool, format it as a link and get right to that paragraph any time I need to.

If you need an easy way to collect all your research or get back to key passages in the modules you use, consider creating a user tool with links to those passages. With the new Copy as User Tool Link command, this has never been easier to do.