Text Studies, Guides and Searching

2 11 2009
The new home page
Logos 4’s new home page with the “Type passage and hit Go!” pane at the top left.

I’m not a big “Type in a passage and hit Go” person. Logos 3.x’s default arrangement with reports on the left half of the screen, an English Bible at the top right and original language Bible at the bottom right just doesn’t suit me terribly well. My Logos 3.x opens to a blank page so that I can choose a more personalized arrangement from among my workspaces that makes it easier for me to work between multiple lexicons, translations, critical notes and my notefiles. In fact, the only thing I use the Logos 3.x home page for is looking up the next Sunday’s lectionary selections from Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal. My old Bible Study Starter element is usually minimized.

Greek text study Layout.
Greek text study Layout.

With Logos 4, I’ve been using the Go button. The new arrangement is much more useful, much more informative, much more impressive. Now, that may change for me. The truth is that I haven’t been able to play around with customization features enough to make it work in just the way I want it to. Nonetheless, I won’t be brokenhearted while I figure more of that stuff out. The current arrangement works well–except for the annoyance that, by default, it doesn’t actually open up a Greek or Hebrew Bible. I guess with a “click Go” maneuver I shouldn’t expect that, but I do. It could at least be one of the tabs. Oh, well. It’s simple enough to add to the middle-top pane just by clicking that little “+” button to the right of the tabs. That calls up a parallel resource selector and I can grab the NA27 from the list.

Parallel Resource selector.
Parallel Resource selector.

You’re already seeing some of the vast improvements in the way that selecting and displaying resources is handled in Logos 4. More on that later.

It’s hard to say at this point how much of my workflow is going to change due to the big, new changes to the Guides in Logos. And here I’m not talking about the improvements to various elements of the Passage and Exegetical Guides. I’m talking about whether or not I will change my approach to taking notes while I’m doing a text study. The big change in Logos 4 is that when you produce a Passage Guide or Exegetical Guide (or a customized mix of the two that you can create–cool, huh?) you can take notes in the actual Guide that is produced and save that as a document in Logos.

I had gotten the impression long ago from one of the guys at Logos (this was well before the NDA’s about the next version started appearing), that these saved guides would not be dynamic. They would become a static document that you could call up as a representation of what you were looking at back when you first did your study on that text. That does not, however, appear to be the case in the final version. Many of the elements of saved guides, such as hits on commentaries and grammars, seem to be recreated every time you open up the document so that they are up to date with your current library. Notes taken on those sections are not attached to particular hits (although you can “star” ones that you feel are exceptionally important). Rather, there’s a spot for taking notes in the guide right underneath those hits.

Passage Guide notes on hits.
Passage Guide notes on hits.

In the Exegetical Guide, on the other hand, I can take notes on individual words in the Word by Word section and those notes will stick to that one element of the guide and will be retrievable in the future whenever I run a guide on an intersecting text.

Exegetical Guide note on a word.
Exegetical Guide note on a word.

Note in the last image the integration of the ESV Reverse Interlinear into the guide. Every word listed is also listed with its English equivalent from the ESV-RI. That’s pretty handy when you’re comparing translations in a difficult section. It helps you keep your place in a long section, as well.

The approach to searching has been simplified, as I mentioned in my description of the Search Button. All the different search dialogs of Logos 3.x have been combined into a single search pane that can be used for Basic, Bible, Morphological and even Syntax Searches.

Basic search pane.
Logos 4 Basic Search pane.

You click in the upper right corner to change the type of search and thus get a different set of dropdown lists in that area right above the text box. For instance, here are the Morphological search options:

Morphological search--selecting form.
Morphological search–selecting form.

Even the Syntax search can be accessed through this simple method, although you can also call up the new graphically-oriented syntax search window for the kind of stuff that you were used to doing in 3.x–assuming, of course, that you used the rather difficult syntax engine in 3.x.

Graphical version of the syntactical search.
Graphical version of the syntactical search.

Sorry, but I didn’t have to do any complex syntax searches this week. I just threw that one in there.

I found the new “untransliteration” engine to be simple to use and a lot less frustrating than the old method of switching your language keyboard with F2. Logos includes full Unicode support in all the text boxes, as well, so you can just change your Windows keyboard the way you do in other programs if you prefer.

Untransliteration engine.
Untransliteration engine.

Logos 4 Initial Impressions
Text Studies, Guides and Searching
Library and Resource Management, Conclusion



7 responses

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6 11 2009
Dan Walters

You mention not having a greek or hebrew Bible open by default when you hit the “go” button. There is a way to do this! When you “prioritize” books from your libraries, the first five bibles you have on that list will show up after you hit the go button. If you put your favorite greek and hebrew bibles into this list (just not as the first bible listed) they will show up after you hit go too! The greek one will show up for an NT text, the hebrew for OT. Pretty nice!

6 11 2009
Aaron Frey

Right, Dan. L4 does that for me now that I’ve more finely tuned my prioritizing. I just thought it a little strange that the space is set up by default to grab five Bibles next to a passage guide and exegetical guide, yet none of those Bibles is Greek or Hebrew.

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