Today’s guest blogger is Sean Boisen, senior information architect at Logos.
Suppose you want to tell someone how to get to your office. You could give them step-by-step directions:
- Head north from Seattle on the I-5 freeway and travel for about 90 miles
- Take exit 253 (Lakeway Drive), turn right on King Street, and take the first right onto Lakeway
- Follow that down the hill about a mile (it turns into Holly) and look for Commercial Street
- Turn right on Commercial, and, about half-way down the block, look for the building on the left with the big picture windows
But isn’t it more effective to simply tell them the final destination?
Go to: Logos Bible Software1313 Commercial Street Bellingham, WA 98225*
Supplying the address lets them choose their own route if they’re starting somewhere else. They can even plug the address into online resources like Google Maps and get a map of the area and driving directions.
In the same way, information in Logos 4 has an address, similar to other web addresses we’re all familiar with, and knowing how to use that address lets you link to Logos resources from web pages, Word documents, PDF files, email, and even Facebook and Twitter!
As a simple example, suppose I want to suggest to a friend that they read the Parable of the Soils in Mark. I can email them a link to the ESV text of Mark 4:1-9 in Logos. The address looks like this:
And I can insert this as a hyperlink in my email (with Microsoft Outlook on Windows, that’s Ctrl+k) to make my email look like this:
Check out the Parable of the Soils!
If the recipient has Logos installed, clicking this link will open Logos and take them directly to this passage: no need to describe the directions step-by-step.
Creating Logos Links
Though the link address looks complicated, you can create these links automatically inside Logos 4. The link you capture will be the current position of the resource you’re looking at, so check that first.
To create a link, first choose a link style. In a Logos resource, click the icon in the upper left corner of the panel, and set “Copy location as:” to URL (this is often the best choice).(screenshot)
Once you’ve set this, the link style is remembered, so you don’t have to visit the panel menu each time: just press Ctrl+Alt+C (Command+Alt+C on a Mac) to copy the URL to the clipboard. Now you can paste this URL into whatever other document you like. Note if you don’t see the “Copy Location as:” menu option, that means this particular resource isn’t linkable (but most are).
What You Can Link To
This feature is great for linking to specific Bible passages, but you can do much, much more! Here are just a few examples: try them yourself and you’ll probably starting thinking of others.
- A position in a book: The Bible Knowledge Commentary article on Mark 4:1-9
- Passage Guide or Exegetical Guide for Mark 4:1-9
- Bible Word Study: sower or σπείρω
- Biblical Places: Galilee, Biblical Things: seed, Biblical People: Ruth
- Basic Search for “grace” or Bible Search for “grace”
- Text Comparison or Passage Analysis for Mark 4:1-9
- The Logos Infographic for the Parable of the Sower
- The Timeline for New Testament Books
There are some limitations:
- Linking like this assumes the user has Logos 4: if that’s not the case, you can link to Bible Passages (and some free books) at Biblia.com, using links like http://biblia.com/bible/Mk4.1-9
- You can link to your own notes, handouts, syntax searches, sentence diagrams, and other files to help you keep track of your personal information. But other people don’t have access to them, so the link will only behave correctly for you.
- Not all resources are linkable
How You Can Use Logos Links
Here are a few suggestions for how you might use this powerful feature:
- Your own teaching materials: you won’t have to waste time looking for things you’ve already found once
- Curricula for your school or church (syllabi, assignments, course notes, or reading lists)
- Your blog posts, or discussions in the Logos Forums: links enable others to look directly at what you’re talking about
Web Sites that Don’t Handle Logos Links
Since these links don’t start with “http://”, some web sites won’t recognize them as links at all (in technical parlance, they use a special protocol handler that gets installed along with Logos 4). These sites include Facebook and Twitter, which automatically turn http-based links into hyperlinks, but leave these as text and refuse to treat them as links.
If you’re just sharing a link to a Bible passage, you can always use ref.ly’s http links instead (see Bob’s recent blog post on Biblia.com, or this older post of RefTagger and Ref.ly) . But if you want the richer kind of linking that Logos 4 offers, the alternatives get a little more technical:
- Recipients can copy and paste the text of the link directly into the Logos 4 command bar: here’s what happens if you do that with logosres:esv;ref=Bible.Mk4.1-9 (screenshot)
- You can use a URL shortening service like TinyUrl to produce an http link to the Logos link, like http://tinyurl.com/2cwjkh3. Note that some shortening services (like bit.ly) won’t handle links that don’t start with http.
Does this seem like too much work? Consider this: when you give someone a link, you’re not just sharing words, you’re opening the door for them to a universe of information. They can turn around and easily (and concisely) share that link with others who have Logos. Embedding links in your documents makes them like specialized reference documents, all backed by the power of Logos!
You can learn more about Logos links on the Logos Wiki at http://wiki.logos.com/Hyperlinks, where our user community has contributed additional material. This page also describes link anatomy, in case you want to create or edit links by hand.
*And if you do come here (Logos Headquarters), be sure to stop in and say hi!