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

Friday, May 26, 2006  

New in 7: Arrange Modules & Favorites

Wow! Since we released Accordance 7 on Wednesday, the response has been absolutely overwhelming. Our sales staff has been hard-pressed to keep up with all the orders. I'd just like to thank all of you for your continued support and enthusiasm.

Now, assuming most of you have had a chance to download your copy and play with it a little bit, I'll continue covering some of the new features in detail.

One of the biggest changes to the Accordance interface in version 7 is the new Arrange Modules window, which you can use to group, organize, and arrange your modules however you like. To open this window, simply select Arrange Modules... from the Edit window. Here's what you'll see:

As you can see, each module category is listed with a disclosure triangle. Expand one of these categories, and you'll see every currently installed module of that type. To change the order of a module, simply drag it to a new position in the list. If you want to group modules according to a particular subcategory, simply select a module category, then create a folder by clicking the New Folder button. The new folder will be placed inside the selected category. Then just name the folder, and place whatever modules you like into it. You can select multiple modules by shift-clicking, command-clicking (to select noncontiguous items), or dragging a marquee around them.

The way you arrange your modules is reflected in the way those modules get listed in the corresponding text or tool menus. Any folders you've created will be displayed as submenus, and any dividers you insert will appear in the menu as divider lines.

As you can see from my own arrangement of Bible texts, I have folders for the Greek New Testament, Hebrew Bible, and LXX at the top of the list, followed by my most used English Bibles. I could have put all the English Bibles in a folder, but I prefer to have them at the top level of my text menus:

In addition to being able to organize the modules within each category (Texts, English Tools, Greek Tools, Reference Tools, etc.), you can also place modules from any category into the Favorites. The modules you specify as your favorites will appear in the Favorites pop-up menu in the bottom right corner of the Resource palette. Just as you can do within module categories themselves, you can group your favorites in folders, separate them with divider lines, or alphabetize them.

You can also add modules to Favorites when you're working in those modules themselves. If, for example, you're looking at ISBE and you decide you want to make it one of your favorites, simply select "Add to Favorites" from the Favorites pop-up on the Resource palette. ISBE will appear in your Favorites menu from that point on. Thus, you don't have to have the Arrange Modules window open just to expand your list of Favorites.

The real advantage of the new Favorites pop-up is that it gives you a single, convenient place to go for your most frequently-used modules, no matter what module category they happen to belong to.

By the way, note how the Favorites pop-up on the Resource palette has taken the space formerly occupied by the Context button, which has been moved up next to the Parallels pop-up in the Texts section of the palette. This seemed like a logical arrangement, and it keeps your Favorites easily accessible at the bottom of the palette. We realize those who often used the Context button will have to make an adjustment (that includes me, by the way), but since it's now so easy to add context by control-clicking the More Options region of the Search window, I'd encourage you to take this opportunity to learn a "more excellent way."

Okay, one last thing about the Arrange Modules window. For those of you who would prefer to access your modules through a browser rather than a series of pop-up menus, the Arrange Modules window doubles as a module browser and launcher. Simply double-click any of the module names and Accordance will open a new window (or tab) displaying it. I wouldn't recommend this for the 12-inch PowerBook owner, but those with 17-inch displays could decide to narrow the Arrange Modules window and leave it open all the time. Then they could use the Arrange Modules window for opening modules and the Resource palette for automatically searching them!

If you decide to use the Arrange Modules window that way, here's a little trick that may help you. You can automatically expand every module category (and every folder within those categories) by option-clicking a closed disclosure triangle at the top level of the browser. To collapse every category, simply option-click an open disclosure triangle at the top level of the browser.

With an ever-expanding collection of available modules (and so many new ones on the way I never have to worry about job security!), we knew it was high time to give our users a better way to organize and access their modules. The Arrange modules window, the subfolders in the menus, and the Favorites menu are all aimed at meeting that need.

Hi David, have downloaded Acc 7 and very impressed with it. Just one problem - the context button on the resource palette doesn't seem to work (worked perfectly in Acc 6). Am I doing something wrong or have other users encountered the same problem?


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