“Be kind to your older folks.”

Last week I got an email with the subject line “Be kind to your older folks.” Good advice, and biblical too (1 Tim 5:1-2; cf. v. 8). Here’s what she had to say:

Would you please be kind to us older folks whose eyes are not as sharp as they used to be? You young programmers love 10 pt. fonts for some reason which I have never understood. Are you conserving space or something? Please make it possible for us older folks to enlarge the font size of static webpage text, especially things like our personal prayer lists. I get eye strain every day just trying to read my own prayer list, and it discourages me from using Logos for that purpose.

Thank you for your consideration and bless you for all the work you do for us.

I understand how frustrating it can be when software doesn’t function the way you think it should. There’s a particular feature in Microsoft Office that drives me crazy every time I use it.

We want to hear from you regarding things you’d like to be able to do and things you wish were different. We can’t always implement them, and often we can’t implement them immediately (though occasionally we can), but we do want to hear them. You can use suggest@logos.com or our suggestion newsgroup to let your voice be heard. We’re listening.

What often happens, though, is that suggestions provide an opportunity to demonstrates features already in the software. Such is the case with this request, at least for the most part. It is possible to change the font size for prayer lists to make them more readable.

Here’s how:

  1. Open your prayer list by going to File > Open and selecting “Prayer Lists” and the particular prayer list you’d like to open.
  2. With the prayer list opened and selected, go to View > Zoom and select something like 150%, or larger if you’d like.

Your prayer list will go from this:

to this:

or even bigger.

If you’d like to make this change globally so that it applies to all of your resources, reports, and other documents, go to Tools > Options > General > Text Display and set your default zoom to whatever size you’d like. Make sure to uncheck the box “Use Default Zoom Only with Resources” if you’d like it to apply to things like your prayer lists.

The zoom allows you to make the font size as big as you’d like in order to make your reading—and praying—more comfortable.

A Bidding Strategy for Community Pricing

The Community Pricing Program has made many bidders happy by allowing them to add top-notch public domain titles to their digital libraries for just a few bucks per book. The recent St. Paul and Justification is a perfect example of how low prices can go. Hundreds of people picked it up for a mere $3—far less than the cost of a gallon of gas in most places. (Regular unleaded is about $4.50/gallon here in Bellingham.)

But not everyone gets in on deals like these. Almost as many people bid too low and miss out. The bad news comes in an email something like this:

Your community pricing bid of $4.00 for Calvin and the Reformation: Four Studies [DOWNLOAD] was not successful.

The final community price for this product is $6.00.

You can still place a Pre-Pub order for this product by visiting http://www.logos.com/products/prepub/details/4205

Thank you for your interest in this product!

A customer wrote in to one of our CS reps disappointed that his bid of $4.00 for Calvin and the Reformation was not successful, wondering if it was too late for him to raise his bid to $6 rather than buying it at the Pre-Pub price of $14.95 (which, by the way, is still a good price compared to the cost of the print volume). Unfortunately, once a book leaves Community Pricing, it is no longer possible to pre-order it at that price.

If this has ever happened to you (or if you want to make sure that it doesn’t), then this post is for you. With this simple bidding strategy, you’ll never miss out on a Community Pricing title again.

What a lot of people do is bid the lowest possible price, but that’s generally a bad idea for a few reasons:

  1. No book has ever crossed the 100% mark at the lowest price.
  2. Bids that are too low don’t help move the title any closer to production.
  3. Worst of all, they put you in the prime place to miss out on the deal altogether.

Here’s the strategy that I recommend. Never bid the lowest price. Don’t even bid the highest price that you think you’d be willing to pay. Like the individual who missed out on Calvin and the Reformation, you’re probably usually willing to go up a little higher—a much better option than having to pay the higher Pre-Pub price. Here’s my recommendation: if you’re interested in a title, always bid somewhere above the midpoint.

Your first response may be that you’re not willing to pay that much money for the book. That’s okay. You won’t have to. Keep three things in mind:

  1. Every book has crossed the 100% at the midpoint or lower and usually goes even lower, and no matter how high above the crossover point you bid, you always get the lowest price that covers production costs (e.g., if you bid $20, and it crosses over at $5, you get it for $5, not $20).
  2. By bidding above rather than below the crossover point, you’ll drive the price even lower.
  3. You can always remove your bid or cancel your pre-order if you’re convinced that it’s not worth the final price.

The moral of the story is that if you bid high you’ll never miss out on a deal, but if you bid too low you won’t be able to change your bid after the title moves from Community Pricing over to Pre-Pub.

“Aquinas’ Summa Theologica is my favorite book after the Bible.”

http://www.logos.com/images/products/thumb_4245.jpegWe mentioned in yesterday’s blog post that Dr. Norm Geisler is here in Bellingham, WA and will be speaking tonight on “The Importance of Creation.” You may recall our talking about Dr. Geisler on the blog before. Back in February Scott Lindsey, the director of our ministry relations department, spent a day with Dr. Geisler and shared loads of interesting tidbits from their conversation.

One of the things that didn’t make that blog post was something that Scott shared with me about Dr. Geisler’s favorite book—after the Bible, of course: Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica (aka Summa Theologiae).

Dr. Geisler expressed surprise that Aquinas’ magnum opus wasn’t available for Libronix, so we decided to look into it.

Someone (whose initials are WD) commented on that post about Geisler:

Dr. Geisler is one of the BIG GUNS, not just in our time, but all of Church history. His name appears on lists with Augustine and Aquinas.

Speaking of Aquinas, when are you guys at Logos going to offer the Summa? Dr. G would totally approve……..

Well, WD and Dr. Geisler, we’re happy to finally announce that Aquinas’ Summa Theologica is on Pre-Pub, in both English and an English-Latin bundle!

“The Importance of Creation”

The Logos Lecture Series is back already with what might be our biggest event yet! On Friday, June 27 Dr. Norm Geisler will present "The Importance of Creation" at Christ the King Church in Bellingham, Washington. The lecture is free to attend—you don’t even need a ticket to get in.

Here’s a quick description of what Dr. Geisler will be covering.

"With the explosion of the Intelligent Design movement, many Americans are once again forced to take sides in the long-standing battle between creation and evolution. Yet many feel inadequately educated on the judicial process of this battle. This lecture will discuss the biblical, Constitutional, ethical, legal, and educational importance of teaching creation. During the lecture Dr. Geisler will draw from 30 years of research and his experience as an expert witness in the "Scopes II" trial in Little Rock, AR."

Norman L. Geisler is author or coauthor of some sixty books, including The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics and his four-volume Systematic Theology. He has taught at the university and graduate level for nearly forty years and has spoken or debated in all fifty states and in twenty-five countries. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Loyola University and now serves as president of Southern Evangelical Seminary. A few of Dr. Geisler’s works are also available for Logos Bible Software. Titles include Norman L. Geisler’s Systematic Theology (4 Volumes), The Norman L. Geisler Apologetics Library, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, and A General Introduction to the Bible.

Event Details

  • "The Importance of Creation"
  • Dr. Norman L. Geisler
  • June 27, 2008 at 7:00 PM
  • Christ the King Church in Bellingham, Washington

If you are able please join us at the lecture. After all, it’s not every day one of the biggest names in apologetics rolls into Bellingham.

Adding RefTagger to a Blogger Blog

A few days ago someone asked if we would make it possible to use RefTagger on a Blogger blog. I was happy to let him know that RefTagger works very well with Blogger, and I explained to him two ways to get it up and running on his blog in just a couple of minutes.

It occurred to me that not everyone who has a blog is used to messing with code and editing template files, so I thought I’d do a brief tutorial here on the blog.

If you use Google’s Blogger and would like to add RefTagger to your site, here are two methods for setting it up.

Method 1: Adding a Page Element

Perhaps the simplest way for beginners to get RefTagger up and running is to add a page element. From your Blogger dashboard, click “Layout.” You’ll be taken by default to the “Page Elements” tab. Click “Add a Page Element” at the bottom of the page (not the one in the sidebar), and choose “HTML/JavaScript.” Leave the title blank, and paste in the customizable code that you get from the RefTagger page. Then click “Save.” Blogger should add the new page element to the bottom of your layout page automatically. If it appears in your sidebar, simply drag it to the very bottom of the footer. If you make any changes, make sure to save it before leaving the page.

When you’re done, your page should look something like this:

Method 2: Modifying Your Template File

The alternate method is to manually add the code before the closing body tag in your template file. From your Blogger dashboard, click “Layout.” Then click “Edit HTML.” Scroll all the way to the bottom of the code and paste in the customizable code that you get from the RefTagger page right before the closing body tag (i.e., right before </body>). Then click “Save Template.”

That’s it. RefTagger should now be up and running on your Blogger blog.

If you have any trouble or would like to see a tutorial for another blogging platform, leave a comment on this post or send an email to reftagger@logos.com.

Ibid., Footnotes, and the Auto-Lookup Feature

A comment on a recent blog post asked,

Concerning footnote text, when I am in a resource and move my cursor over a footnote, if it is a previously cited work, then the text shows up as "ibid." Is there any way to list the footnotes, so that I don’t have to go through the text to find the author of the citation?

Yes, in fact, there is a way to show all of the footnotes in a list. The Auto-Lookup feature should do the trick.

Sometimes you can just look at the previous footnote to find the source you’re looking for, but many times the previous footnote is a couple of pages earlier, and often you have to trace a trail of ibids before you finally find what it’s pointing to.

If you click a footnote only to see the infamous Ibid., there is an easier way to find the source behind it than looking at the previous footnotes. Simply right click anywhere on the page and select “Auto-Lookup.” The Auto-Lookup report will instantly show you a list of the text from the surrounding pop-ups like footnotes and Bible references.

So next time you run into ibids, look no further than the Auto-Lookup feature.

Please show us your work!

Do you use Logos Bible Software to prepare sermons or lessons? Do you create handouts or PowerPoint slides for your class or congregation?
If so, we’d love to see them. We want to make future versions of Logos Bible Software even more useful, and it helps us to see what you take to the lectern. We’d really appreciate it if you would email some recent samples to slides@logos.com or handouts@logos.com. We’ll keep them to ourselves, and won’t republish or distribute them. We’ll just look at them for ideas on how we can do an even better job of helping you prepare.
(Feel free to send files in whatever format you have them.)
Thank you for your help!

Linking Between Note Files and Other Documents

A question I get occasionally is how to link from note files to Word docs, PDFs, etc. Here’s a recent email from a friend:

My dad uses Logos in his personal Bible study, and he keeps his notes in the Logos notes files. He recently asked me if it was possible to link from Logos notes to Word or Excel files (and vice versa). Based on my playing around, I don’t see that capability, but though I’d shoot you an e-mail just in case you knew differently.

Since its not obvious how to do this, I thought I’d give a quick tutorial.

But before we get there, allow me to mention briefly how to link to Bibles and other resources in Libronix from your notes.

Linking to Bible Verses

Creating links to Bible verses in Logos note files is simple. Just type or paste in one or more Bible references and click the “Tag References As Hyperlinks” button (highlighted in the below image). Logos will automatically link them. Single clicking on any reference will open the passage in your default Bible.

Linking to Other Libronix Resources

You can easily create links to other Libronix resources as well. Type some text like “See the article in the NDT on Eschatology.” Open the resource to the location you’d like to link to. Next, select the portion of text that you’d like to be the hyperlink, and click the “Insert Reference” button (highlighted in the below image). Choose the appropriate location from the drop-down box, and check the box “Specific to this resource” if you’d like the link to open to the article on eschatology in the NDT rather than some other dictionary or encyclopedia. Finally, click “Insert.” You’re all set.

Linking to External Documents or Web Pages

There are two ways to link to external documents or web pages from a note file.

Option 1: Paste in the Location

The first way is to paste the file location or web address directly into the note file. Libronix will automatically turn it into a hyperlink. Clicking on the link will launch the page or file in your web browser.

Pasting in web addresses if straightforward. An example would be http://www.ccel.org/ccel/anselm/devotions.iii.iii.i.html. Pasting in the location to a local file may be less familiar to many of you. There are two things you need to remember: (1) you have to add the file protocol (i.e., file:///) in front of the location, and (2) you have to replace spaces with their HTML equivalent %20.

So if your file is located here: C:\Documents and Settings\pgons\My Documents\Sermons\Romans 8.28.pdf. You would want to past in file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/pgons/My%20Documents/Sermons/Romans%208.28.pdf. (You’ll notice that I changed the backwards slashes into forward slashes, but Libronix will recognize either way.)

Option 2: Create the Links in Word or Another Program

If you don’t want to have long, messy-looking links showing in your note files (like you see in the above image) and don’t want to remember how to create a link to a local file, this option might be the better solution for you. Simply create your note file in Word or a similar program (or paste it there from your note file), add your links to web pages and/or local files, and then paste your text back into your note file. While this does require an extra step or two, it allows you to hide your links behind text and more simply link to your local files.

Linking to Note Files

You can also link to Logos note files from Word docs, PDFs, and even from other note files. With your note file opened to the location you’d like to link to and the window selected, simply click “Copy Location to Clipboard.” You’ll find this under the “Favorites” menu. (You can also use the shortcut Alt+Ctrl+C.)

Then simply paste that link into Word or another program to create the hyperlink. Follow the steps in Option 2 above to link from one note file to another.

To learn more about linking and your Libronix library, see External Linking to Libronix Resources and Reports.

Genesis One As Ancient Cosmology

It’s time for another Logos Lecture Series event. This one features Dr. John Walton of Wheaton College, who will be speaking on “Genesis One As Ancient Cosmology.” If you’re in the area, join us at 7:00 PM on Monday, June 23, at the Mount Baker Theatre here in Bellingham, Washington.

About the Lecture

Dr. Walton will be discussing the controversy that rages between secular science and people of biblical faith concerning the origins of the cosmos. Whether the biblical account in Genesis 1 is being defended or questioned, it has often been treated as if it could or should be adapted to modern scientific terms as an account of material origins. In this lecture Dr. Walton will argue that reading Genesis 1 as an ancient text resolves the presumed problems that are the focus of modern controversy.

About the Speaker

Dr. John Walton is a professor of Old Testament studies at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He earned his Ph.D. in 1981 at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since that time he has published numerous works through Zondervan and Baker publishing houses including the Expositor’s Bible Commentary on Jonah, NIV Application Commentary on Genesis, and Obadiah-Jonah: A Bible Study Commentary.

Event Details

  • Title: “Genesis One As Ancient Cosmology”
  • Speaker: Dr. John Walton of Wheaton College
  • Date: Monday, June 23
  • Time: 7:00-8:00 PM
  • Location: Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham, Washington

Field Searching in the Critical Review of Books in Religion

Critical Review of Books in Religion (1988-1998)I didn’t plan to continue my field searching series, but I just stumbled across some very helpful fields in the Critical Review of Books in Religion that I didn’t previously know about. They’re too good not to pass on to you. (It really does pay to look carefully at the information in “About This Resource”!)

In addition to the standard Surface Text and Footnote Text fields, there are Review Title, Author, and Review Author fields.

Review Title Field

This field allows you to search for words that appear in the titles of the books being reviewed. I can think of at least two scenarios where this would be beneficial.

First, if you are doing research and trying to build a list of resources on a particular topic, a Review Title search would turn up a very targeted list of hits in seconds. Let’s say that you are writing a paper on Calvin or getting ready to preach through Romans. The search rtitle:calvin turns up 8 books about Calvin, and the search rtitle:romans turns up 45 books on Romans. You can then read the reviews to see if the books look helpful.

Second, you could use the Review Title field to look up a review on a specific book. If you know the title of the book, a simple quote search will normally suffice, unless the name is fairly nondescript. But if you don’t know the exact title, searching on a word or two in the Review Title field will give you much more targeted results.

Author Field

With the Author field, you can quickly find all the books by a particular person. The search author:carson turns up three reviews for three different books by D. A. Carson. The search author:n* author:wright turns up the two reviews of books by N. T. Wright. Whether you want to read the reviews, look up some missing bibliographic information, or find new books by your favorite author, the author search will serve you well.

Review Author Field

Since there are thousands of reviews, many of the reviewers will be unfamiliar to you. It’s often helpful to know the reviewer’s basic views on the Bible to properly assess his opinions. For this reason you may want to read especially the reviews written by scholars whose opinions you trust. The Review Author fields lets you do just that. A search for rauthor:moo will take you to Douglas Moo’s review of James Edwards’ Romans commentary. Since Moo has one of the best commentaries on Romans ever written, he is well equipped to review other Romans commentaries.

If you enjoy having access to all these book reviews in the Critical Review of Books in Religion (CRBR), you’ll be please to know that the Review of Biblical Literature (RBL), which is essentially the continuation of CRBR, is soon to be available in Libronix.