Searching As a Kind of Visual Filter

The visual filters in Logos are very helpful. If you haven’t used them much, take a couple of minutes to check them out by going to View > Visual Filters. Notice that you can select to see the visual filters available for All Resources or a particular resource chosen from the drop-down box.

My favorite visual filters are the Morphology Filter (cf. here and here) and the Active Bible Reference (cf. here). Other filters include Page Numbers and Bible Reading Plans. The Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text of the Hebrew Bible has special genre and source visual filters that are pretty cool.

The morphology filter allows you to markup certain words based on criteria that you define. For example, in the Greek NT you can mark up all indicative verbs or plural nouns. It works the same way in the Hebrew OT. You can create as many of these filters as you’d like, save them, and toggle them off and on as appropriate.

One of the benefits of the morphology filter is that it calls your attention to certain words as you work your way through the text. This is great for resources that contain morphological tagging, but what if you want certain English words to stand out as you read or skim through a portion of Scripture, a chapter in a book, or a journal article? While you can use the morphology filter to mark up up English words in the reverse interlinears, there isn’t a visual filter for marking up certain words or phrases in your average English books. You could do this manually with the visual markup tools, but this might not always be the most efficient way to accomplish what you want.

What I like to do when I want my eyes to catch certain words as I work through a text is to use searching as a sort of visual filter.

Let’s say I’m studying the doctrine of the Trinity and working through portions of Gunton’s The Promise of Trinitarian Theology. I want to note especially where Gunton mentions language of subordination. I’m not so much just looking for all the occurrences of the term as I am reading a chapter and wanting certain terms to stand out. So I run a search on subordin* and get an instant visual filter applied as I work through the text.

If I want several terms to stand out, I would simply run multiple searches or add all the search terms in the same search (e.g., subordin* OR trinit*). Logos conveniently highlights each search term with a different color.

Perhaps you’ll find this helpful in your own reading and research.


  1. And if you would like multiple words (synonyms, perhaps) to share the same colour, use a comma to separate them. For example, search for:
    Jesus, Christ OR Saul, Paul
    “Jesus” and “Christ” will be highlighted in one colour, while “Saul” and “Paul” will share a different colour.

  2. Dick Gorski says

    This looks like a great feature, but I am having a bit of a problem. I create a custom morphological filter and save it with a unique name, but when I restart Libronix the created filter is not in the Available box. I am attempting to apply the filter to the same data type (NA27) in which I created it, so I know that is not the problem.

  3. Thanks for highlighting these Logos tools (pun intended). I’ve been using the morphological visual filter in my Greek New Testament for several years and absolutely love it. All verbs appear with a subtle yellow glow, and all conjunctions appear with a green glow. This helps me quickly locate the main words and components of each sentence. The Active Bible Reference filter has also helped me tremendously when doing word studies in large lexicons like BDAG, HALOT, and BDB. It gets me right to the most pertinent information for the verse I am studying.

  4. Thanks for the helpful suggestion, Bradley.