Doing Things Faster with the Keyboard, Part 2

In yesterday’s blog post I talked about how using keyboard shortcuts can make work in Libronix faster than using just a mouse. The post was triggered by an interaction that I had with a friend who was adjusting to Logos after years as a user of another Bible software program.

One of the other things that he said he missed in Logos was a command line. This is where the Quick Navigation Bar (a.k.a. Go Box) comes in handy. The Quick Navigate Bar is a toolbar that comes with the free Power Tools Addin (read about or watch how to download it). Here’s what it looks like.


The Quick Navigate Bar

It should appear in your toolbar area, which by default is at the top of your screen. If you don’t see it and have the Power Tools Addin installed, make sure to activate it by right clicking in the toolbar area and checking the box next to Quick Navigate Bar.


Toolbar Menu

Since we’re talking about saving time with the keyboard, the first thing you’ll want to know is that to activate the Go Box and be able to start typing in it, you’ll want to use Ctrl+Shift+G. If your hands are already on the keyboard, this is quicker than reaching for the mouse and clicking the box.

So what can you actually do with this box?

Its most basic use is to jump to a passage of Scripture in your default Bible (which you can set on the home page or in Tools > Options > Keylink > Keylinking > Bible). Type in any standard Bible reference, and your preferred Bible will open instantly. References like John 3:16, Jn 3.16, Jn 3 16 will all work.

You can also use it to open up various Bible translations. By typing ESV or NIV and hitting enter, the appropriate Bible version will open. Hit tab (which activates the reference box in the newly opened resource) and type in a reference to jump to a particular location. Most of the standard abbreviations for Bible versions will work.

The Quick Navigation Bar also recognizes some of the standard commentary series abbreviations like WBC, PNTC, NIGTC, and K&D. You can type in the full titles like Preaching the Word or New American Commentary or portions of titles like Pulpit and Lange’s.

You can use it to open other essential tools like BDAG (by typing bdag), HALOT (by typing hal or halot), Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (by typing anchor), ISBE (by typing isbe), and many others.

The guaranteed identifier for each resource is the file name minus the extension. So, to open up MacArthur’s commentary on 1 Corinthians, you would type 1comntc. You can find this information by viewing About This Resource, which is available in the right-click menu in My Library or in the Help menu (with the resource opened and selected). Taking the time to look these up and memorize them will probably be worth the time investment if you frequently open certain resources. Or you might prefer, as I do, to simply create keyboard shortcuts.

While some things are faster with the mouse, others are faster with the keyboard. It’s best to get in the habit of using both for the things they do best. Give some of these tips a try and see if using the Go Box doesn’t speed up some of the common tasks you perform in Libronix.

For more on the Go Box, check out these two previous posts:

See also part 1.

Comments

  1. Jonathan says:

    Why when I type NAC for New American Commentary does it jump to the 1st resource in the Serial Association rather then the appropriate one? Because of this I have been using a button on a custom toolbar to accomplish the job. I did notice that the shipped serial association in C:\Program Files\Libronix DLS\Common\ResourceAssociations\NewAmericanCommentary.lbxras appears to be wrong, and am using a custom association file that places them in the other order (which matches the English Bible in Book order).
    Specifically, it has NAC21 and NAC20 swapped. and

  2. Jonathan says:

    It would seem comments have a length limit. it actually doesn’t jump to the first resource in my custom serial associations (or the default), any time it takes me to the wrong book in a given commentary series, it takes me to the commentary book on “Deuteronomy” for that set (Daily=Daily Study Bible, and NAC are the one’s I’m testing with). (I’ve tried many different passages)

  3. NAC is one of the abbreviations that doesn’t seem to work. You’d actually have to use the full New American Commentary or type in the exact identifier (e.g., nac27, etc.). One negative to opening a commentary with the Go box (rather than with a keyboard shortcut as I demonstrated in the previous post) is that it doesn’t seem to respect resource associations. So if you had your Bible opened to Romans and then typed New American Commentary in the Go Box, you’d then have to either (1) link your commentary to your Bible or (2) manually navigate to the passage in Romans by hitting tab and typing, e.g., Romans 6:1. In my view, the custom keyboard shortcut is the easier route.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Is there anyway to see a list of what commentaries work? I tried the New American Commentary (written out as above in the post, as well as NAC) simply because you gave it as your example. I’d like to see this as something we can add to in V4 (even if its only by pointing to a serial resource association on a bible datatype and giving it a shortcut name)

  5. generally, I just keep trying different words from a title until something happens – it usually works and if not, its not difficult to hit ctrl+L.

  6. Is it possible to add my own abbreviations to the quick navigation bar? For example, I’d really like “Wallace” to open Wallace’s “The Basics of New Testament Syntax.” TIA.

  7. Hi, James, you currently cannot create your own abbreviations. For Wallace, you’d have to use the exact identifier (gs_ggbtb) or “Beyond the Basics” or “Exegetical Syntax.” My suggestion would be to create a shortcut key like Alt+W to open Wallace. Refer to the previous post for instructions.

  8. Timothy D. Lee says:

    In my case, I want to override the default shortcut, but can’t seem to get it working.
    CTRL-SHIFT-C shows Contents pane, but pressing the shortcut again doesn’t hide the pane. I created a tool on the toolbar to take Toggle Locator Pane. But using CTRL-SHIFT-C still returns the default behavior. I know I can choose another shortcut, but I’d really like to have the CTRL-SHIFT-C toggle the pane. Am I missing a setting somewhere to allow user keyboard shortcuts to override defaults?

  9. Phil Gons says:

    Hmm. That’s strange. I use Alt-C to show and hide the contents pane, and it works just fine. Perhaps you can’t override CTRL-SHIFT-C. Why don’t you give Alt a try instead? It has the advantage of being one less keystroke for your shortcuts.