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

Wednesday, May 17, 2006  

New Look of 7: Drop-Downs and White Space

Yesterday I gave you a glimpse of the new program and file icons of Accordance 7. Today, we'll continue to look at some other subtle changes to the look of Accordance. Here's a screenshot of a Search window:

Notice anything different? There are actually a couple of subtle changes here.

First, the pop-ups for the search text and for the display text of each pane have been changed from standard Aqua pop-up menus to simple drop-down menus. This change actually has a number of benefits:

  1. By placing the text label on the window itself, rather than inside a pop-up menu, we were able to enlarge the text of the label and make it bold. The result is that the text you're searching or viewing actually becomes more prominent.
  2. Even though the label has become more prominent, the removal of the pop-up menu actually gives the Search window a cleaner, more open look.
  3. While it's not hard to hit a pop-up menu with your mouse, the target area of these drop-down menus is even larger, making them even easier to access.
  4. Finally, drop-down menus support submenus, while pop-up menus do not.

This last benefit is the real reason we made this change, and we were pleasantly surprised that the new look turned out to be so aesthetically appealing. (It's nice when things work out that way!)

Why did we want to be able to use submenus with these text menus? Here's why:

The screenshot shows my search text drop-down menu with submenus containing subcategories of texts. I've always preferred to have my Greek NT, Hebrew Bible, and Greek Septuagint texts at the top of my text menu, but as we've added more and more of these original language texts, this system got rather unwieldy. It meant that every time I wanted to choose a different English Bible, I would have to scroll past a dozen or so Greek and Hebrew texts—texts which I don't use nearly as often as the English Bibles. In version 7, we've added the ability to group your modules according to your own subclassifications, and these all become accessible through submenus. Now when I want to select an English Bible, I can quickly scroll past my various original language texts to get to the Bible I need. If, like me, you have a lot of texts and tools, this feature alone will be worth the upgrade to 7.

I'll show you how to arrange your modules into subcategories in an upcoming post, but for now, let's stick with the changes to the way Accordance looks. In addition to the change from pop-up menus to drop-down menus, there's another subtle change in these screenshots. Did you notice it?

There is now a much larger margin around the Bible text in each pane, making the text more readable and less cramped in appearance. Again, it may not seem like a big change, but when you're staring at the screen for hours on end, the extra white space will become a welcome improvement. And, of course, this expanded margin becomes much more important when you go into slideshow mode. . . but that's a subject for a future post. ;-)

I like the changes. I appreciate that the core look and funcionality has not changed, and the Word of God is still central (as opposed to other software in which you, perhaps, type in a topic and click "Go"). Grouping is a major improvement, and I agree that it's much cleaner with the white space. Thanks for the early AM post. Now we're going to be really spoiled, with high expectations! :)

I love the whitespace! Being a graphic designer, I can really appreciate good use of whitespace. While the untrained eye may not initially notice a difference, rest assured (pun intended) your eyes are thanking you.

Now if only I could create my own personal colors for text and background, I'd be oh-so-happy...

Black text on a white background is a little too harsh. Again this may seem trivial but I can assure you, it makes a huge difference.

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