The Power of Indexing, Explained

We are merely hours into the release of Logos Bible Software 4, and while many of you have already waited for your massive libraries to index, you may have caught yourself thinking, “I thought Logos 4 was supposed to be fast. What happened to ‘What You Need, When You Need It’?”

Logos 4 takes searching to a whole new realm with faster, smarter searching. And unlike most search engines, Logos 4 provides matches for synonyms! For those missing the significance of this, if you are searching for articles on communion, no search engine is going to bring results back for synonyms like the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist. Nor will the other search engines ask you if you wanted a closely related topic like fellowship. This is the difference with Logos 4. We have gone through hundreds of topics and manually connected them to relative terms.

Logos Bible Software 4

In order to do such searches, however, every word and every term in the thousands of books available for Logos needs to be indexed during installation. This allows Logos 4 to search a library of 10–10,000 books and return thousands of results in under one second—less time than it takes to pull one print book off your shelf! Nearly 63,000 hits for communion in 35,951 articles in less than 1 second means more time studying and less time searching.

It’s true, this functionality takes a significant amount of time to install—an investment of your time in the beginning—but what you get in return later on is a fulfillment to what we promised from the start, "What You Need, When You Need It." Indexing your entire library allows the time consuming hindrances to be removed so you can get right to the task of serious Bible study.

Indexing. Think of it as if you were waiting for UPS to deliver your Amazon order. A little patience and investment of time up front—during installation—means that later on, whether you’re preparing for next Sunday’s sermon, working on your dissertation, or having your daily devotional time, Logos 4 will deliver thousands of relevant results —fast!

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  1. I am more than speechless with Logos 4. Thinking that version 3 took software to a new level, I never imagined that Logos could be improved – and with such powerful and usable features. The ability to search using synonyms never entered my mind as an option. I have been discovering so much in this new version, and I’ve only been using Logos 4 for a few hours.
    Though the download and indexing took quite a few hours, it was worth the wait.
    Thanks to all the hard work that has gone into making a great product even greater!

  2. Can’t some of the indexing be done ahead of time and cached on the Logos servers so that when we download the books we also download an index with them? At least for the common collections of books that people are likely to buy together? If someone wants to pick and choose a random set of books, perhaps they’d have to wait for a custom index to build on their hard disk. But for the majority of users, couldn’t a pre-built index work and save them all a lot of time at installation?

  3. Yes, it is quick. Now if it could only find all my resouces instead of just two-thirds of them then it would be great.

  4. I love Logos 4. The interface is fast, clean, and everything is right where it should be. Great job. It took me a while to get it running, but once it was, it is great. Also the iPod app is amazing.
    Thanks for all the hard work.
    God Bless.

  5. I don’t quite know what to say. This is absolutely beyond my wildest imagination. I make a notation on one computer and that notation shows up on my laptop!!!! Speechless.

  6. Rick Crampton says

    I have always enjoyed Logos and I use it daily. Logos 4 is an incredible improvement! The more I use it the better I like it. I’m discovering interesting things in my library that I had over looked before. It’s easier to use and fast! I was thinking about building a computer to run Logos faster. Now I can invest that money in more Resources;) I’m a happy camper. Thanks Logos!

  7. Everything looks really cool! The interface is very slick. It blows away the competition leaving them in the dust…
    All other Bible Software look like really cheap Freeware in comparison…And these are the ones that have features that I thought Logos 3 was lacking.
    Logos 4 shut my mouth and dropped my jaw all at the same time!
    I’m impressed. I can’t wait to “wow” my Bible Study group with it!

  8. What Allan wrote. Ditto.
    The initial investment of time – measured in hours, not days – required to get up and running with Logos4 the very day it was released was and is well worth it … and I’ve only barely started to scratch the proverbial surface of the major upgrade of this marvelous tool for both devotional and/or in-depth scholarly pursuit of Scripture!
    As always, Logos has listened carefully and sincerely to its user base and our never-ending suggestions … and in so doing has incorporated many of those “wish list” suggestions, subsequently offering us what looks to be a truly exceptional upgrade in its Logos 4 release November 2nd!
    Mega-thanks from a never-quite-content ;-) Logos4 user!

  9. I am all indexed up and at work on Sunday’s sermon. This is the best software for Bible study that I have ever seen or imagined. Well done!
    And the indexing is no big deal, really. I used to grab a cup of coffee while executing a library-wide (2000+ books) search. Logos 4 returns results lighting fast. When will I get my coffee?

  10. I have spent the last several hours surfing around the new Logos4. It is bitter sweet. I feel I have lost an old friend and made a new one. I was wondering, I only have a 100G hard drive on my laptop and apparently I still have ver.3 as a stand alone. So now my computer is 95% full, only 6G left. What should I do?

  11. Jerry Bush says

    Ditto to Allan’s comments. Wow, Logos. Congratulations.
    For those of you new to V4, be patient with the indexing. It is worth the wait.

  12. This made searches so much faster. What took minutes now only takes seconds (ie an entire library search). Thanks

  13. Steve Tompkins says

    The indexing makes searching so much faster and easier. I used to avoid entire library searches because it took forever. Question: is there a menu anywhere so we can control how and when indexing will occur? I’d like my index to update regularly, but only at night. I just discovered I have a “supplemental index” which needs to merge with the main index. It would be nice to able to set an option somewhere to tell the program to do this automatically at 1am, for example.

  14. I do have a problem, my Spanish reversed interlinear Bibles are not showing on the exegetical guide. Also, it seems like less resources come up when I click on the “word by word” report. Any idea why that’s happening. I’d really like for my Spanish interlinear to show. I have clicked on the choose interlinear and is not showing. I also tried to look it up on my library and is not showing either. It’s like is not registering, so that makes me wonder if all my books are really showing.

  15. Adam Navarrete says

    When you launch Logos 4, if there are any updates or resources to be indexed, you will notice a Logos icon in the System Tray. There is no setting to select a specific time but if you right-click on the icon, you have the option to “Pause indexing for 4 hours.” At any time you want to restart indexing before the 4 hours are up, you can right-click on the Logos icon again and resume the process. Hope that helps.

  16. Leigh Johnson says

    Got the upgrade and started installing on Monday afternoon. Now, Wednesday afternoon, still doing the indexing. Left it running both nights, checked this morning to find a message saying Windows had installed updates and had rebooted. I’m trying to be patient.

  17. There is something terribly wrong with Logos 4 for Mac. When I’m encoding both the video and audio of my multi-gigabyte movies into a different format, it takes anywhere from 4 hours to 12, and my computer doesn’t slow down to a stop (though it slows down a lot). I left my computer on all day yesterday to encode and when it went back to work today it started out saying I had 9:35 hours to go, then 9:30, then 9:25, then 12:00! On top of that, my computer slows down to a halt.
    Don’t tell me that performing an operation on 5 GB of text is more processor-intensive than 5 GB of video and music!

  18. Adam Navarrete says

    I forwarded your message to our Mac support. They will be contacting you shortly.

  19. Reuben Evans says

    Hi Sam,
    I do the video encoding here at Logos on Macs. The big difference here is between a finished program (that you are using for video transcoding) and one that is still in Alpha (Logos 4 Mac) which has not been optimized yet. The indexing process on the PC dramatically improved from beta 1 to the final release. Indexing times were reduced, as was the allocation of CPU resources. I think we will see improvements every couple weeks to the Mac version – our guys are making fantastic progress!

  20. steven Hepting says

    On my second indexing try. Have left MAC on for one full day got all the way to one minute and had to start over again. Now at 12 hours again. I know this will be worth it but the time is BRUTAL.

  21. Does 4.0 indexing include the ability to incrementally index newly added resources?
    Does the 4.0 indexing process require indexing all resources when any resources are added?
    To ask another way, will indexing always take at least as long as it does the first time?

  22. Steve Wagner says

    I am still learning Logos 4. I was wondering if there is a “Save Workspace” feature or am I not seeing it or understanding how it works? Thanks!
    Steve Wagner

  23. Actually, the number of such special topics is 10,774, 4647 of which have one or more synonyms defined. Yes, we’ve been working hard!

  24. I just checked and ALL the new interlinear Bibles that should come with my Gold upgrade are not showing up, not just my Spanish interlinear. I guess I’ll just have to wait for the DVD to come in so I can install the software off of the DVD. I hope everything gets fixed once the DVD comes in. Besides that, I find the new Logos 4 very cool and hope to learn all the functionalities to be proficient in it. Anyway, GBU all!

  25. Martin Webster says

    I am a little encouraged by the positive comments of others. At present I look at Logos 3 and 4 and echo the words of Luke 5:39 “… the old is better”.
    I am very disappointed at the lack of documentation and training material for Logos 4.
    A further point is that how does one know when the entire library had been indexed? Since downloading 48 hours ago there have been several “upgrades”.
    I will persist and trust that I many get to the point of sndorsing the words of the “ruler of the feast” when he said that “thou hast kept the good …. until now”

  26. David Looney says


  27. Dennis Hodge says

    Exactly my thought. Depending on how they are storing the indices, perhaps they can pre-compute an index for each resource, and then just merge them / insert the index rows for the PC indexing phase.

  28. Tim Murray says

    I’m going on 12 hours indexing on an 8 core mac pro. No idea how far along it is. How can I tell?

  29. I’m impressed with Logos 4, nice job and I have allot to learn with the new program. One concern (or issue) I have is the amount of hard drive space it takes.

  30. Jack Nørdam says

    I just downloaded LBS 4 two days ago, and I really like it. The new layout is so much better, and the homepage is a great idea! It is now up to date, I think. I just wounder why LBS 4 have to index more than 1 time, this is the second time, and it will take about 2 hours?

  31. Is there any way to put my “Resources” onto an external drive?

  32. When you purchase new resources, a secondary index is created for the new books in order for Logos 4 to search them. If you run a search after that, the new books will appear at the beginning of the search results. You can reindex later to merge the two lists. Visit our indexing page for more information.

  33. After my upgrade to Logos 4, where do I download and copy my new resources to for indexing and subsequent re-indexing/combine indexing? I used copy the newly purchased resources to my “Resources” files which no longer applies. I do have some new purchases that I would like to make. And how does it work if I purchase logos 3 products from other vendors?

  34. Hi Steve,
    In Logos 4, what you want to do is click Layouts in the top-right corner. You will then see a snapshot of your current screen setup. Simply rename the Snapshot by clicking on the text below the thumbnail. To return to that setup at a later time, go to Layouts and find your renamed snapshot.

  35. Jonely,
    There is no Program Setting in Logos 4 to redirect the program to access resoruces from an external drive. The resource location is set to a default for all users.

  36. There are a number of resources I will never use. Is it possible to delete them? I’m just a lay person and not interested in quite a number of resources: to free up hard drive space?

  37. Reuben Evans says

    Have you checked out

  38. Well, my interlinears are ALL showing now (even the Spanish ones). I do have a question: How do you maximize individual windows? Let’s say I’m running the passage guide and all the info I need shows up on the results, but I want to maximize the commentary window and the font of that window — How do I do that? I’ve been trying to do it but for some reason I have to drag the edges to sort of get a bigger screen on commentary or bible. Anyway, any suggestions would be welcomed!

  39. Your answer seems to confirm that the time it takes me for the initial indexing – several hours for a big library – will be waiting time I will have to invest each and every time I add a new resource to my library.
    So can this indexing be done in the background, so I can have at least some use of the system? (Perhaps my limited use would include only restricted ability or no ability to do searches.)
    Or, will you offer a permanent option of adding new resources without reindexing the entire library? (so the new resources would be searched separately, as you indicated above) If so, perhaps the whole library reindexing could be part of some sort of periodic (annual?) system maintenance? [Generally, I prefer that there be no need for periodic maintenance. But several hours is a lot.]
    Of course, I recommend that you all invent some system that allows the indexing that has already been done to the latest level of indexing detail, be preserved during reindexing. So, the “incremental” reindexing would require only the time to index the new resources . . . and merge the new with the preserved indexing information.
    To say this another way, unless there is an update to the indexing process or to the information captured by indexing, the reindexing process should preserve all the information that has already been captured and that would be the same if it is captured again.
    If anybody can figure out a way to do this, you all are the people who can!
    By the way, nothing in my questions/comments should be taken to mean that I would rather have the slower search times, which whole library indexing should eliminate. If you had given me the choice, I would have made the same personal choice that you system designers made – I would have chosen the whole library indexing – and the resultant very fast searches.
    So, I am just trying to learn how I can minimize the time I have to invest in whole library indexing.
    Thanks for your great work.

  40. Doug,
    Check out the Reading View and Set Program Scaling videos under the Tutorial section of our videos page:
    They should help you do what you want.

  41. Tim Norman says

    Hard Disk Space???
    I’ve purchased Logos, through all of its diferenct versions (I think the first version didn’t even have a number!), and Libronix and it just keeps getting better.
    I’m now on a Mac, and considering getting Logos 4 ….but I only have about 10GB free (with not much scope from freeing up space), and usually find that things slow down when I go below about 8GB. It’s a 160 GB Macbook (4GB RAM) …and lots of people are saying that Logos 4 needs a lot more space. At present my Libronix DLS folder takes4.4GB. Can anyone give me an answer as to how big it would get with Logos 4?

  42. Wow! This is so cool! Thanks! Now I have all my fonts looking a little bit bigger than normal.
    By the way, to all those “complaining” just be patience. The download and indexing time will vary depending on your machine’s GB capacity (the larger GB capacity, the faster it will get the job done). My office computer doesn’t have that large of a system and that’s why it took 14 hours for the program to download and index; whereas my laptop, which has a larger hardrive and DDR GB capacity only took 6 1/2 hours total to download and index. Therefore, do not dismay, “once you build it, it will come” Hehehe.

  43. Tim,
    Our technical FAQ page has the collection size for each of the Logos 4 base packages.
    Keep in mind, these do not take into account Add-on products. Hope that helps.

  44. Thanks for all the help. Two more questions: 1) How do I make the puzzle add more words? I know you could do that with version 3. And 2) How do I insert my own graphics when editing my handouts? Knowing this would allow me to create great personalized handouts. Thanks!

  45. Jack Nørdam says

    I would like to change the lectionary on the home page from catholic to lutheran in LBS 4, but how? And I hope there will soon be some tutorial videos :)
    Gods speed and keep up the good work

  46. Thomas Weil says

    I am deleting v3 as I don’t want to go back and forth for some chance that v3 has something v4 doesn’t. Besides I need the space also.

  47. Monroe R Miller says

    I have the same question about changing the lectionary as Jack, except I need the RCL. It is probably time for you to answer this.

  48. Arthur Joseph says

    I am as speachless as a Baptist preacher can be. Logos 3 was wonderful but 4 is unreal! Yes the download, installation and indexing took a lot of time but both of my computers were ready for use before my DVD arrived in the mail. This is a must for any one who is serious about Bible study.

  49. grizzly bear says

    Just installed logos 4,,, absolutely slow and not user freindly! i dont know what developers were thinking.

    • Ken Sherwood says

      I must confess that I find the searches themselves blisteringly fast but what an obtusely designed programme. It may well be that Logos is capable of doing more than the Libronix, but intuitive it certainly isn’t! My Libronix is far more self-explanatory than this and, relying on a memory which is rapidly fading with age, (along with my eyesight and the rotting wooden leg which has death watch beetle), the Nelson’s programmes were even easier to operate. It’s no good referring to the tuition videos because they are in a language which I certainly don’t speak and anyway, can anyone commit the instructions that they possibly CAN understand and transfer them to usage? It would be good if there was a tutor type of programme that would, as it were, sit on your shoulder and direct key-strokes but I don’t expect that even from a company as clever as Logos and I am quite happy to admit that the company is clever. It is, as stated above, also obtuse. In my view anyway. I recognise that there are loads of super-duper computer whizz-kids out there to whom this is no problem. Perhaps this is a generational thing, after all I haven’t long to go to get my three-score and ten in, with the hopeful poste script of the possible extra ten!?

  50. Frank Harford says

    I have watched new releases come out since the mid 90’s and am always impressed. I can’t imagine where they can go from here.
    The only question I have is the speed. I went through the index process and my searches are still 30 seconds to a minute. I have over 2200 volumes in my library but I am still running XP. Will Windows 7 make that much difference? I hear others talking about under 1 second.
    I have a fairly new computer running Intel Core 2 Duo CPU @ 3GHz and 3.24 GB of RAM and have 161 GB of free space

  51. I just installed logos 4 but stopped the indexing because it was too slow. Now anytime I try logging in again to start the indexing, the program freezes. Any help?

  52. Reuben Evans says

    The program will not function properly until the first index completes. Maybe allow it to index overnight. Depending on the size of your library, it will probably be completed in the morning.

  53. Thanks Reuben. The difficulty I have is that when I click on the logos 4 application to start, it freezes at the login. I have tried it several times but the program still goes into a freeze. I uninstalled and reinstalled several times with the same results – freeze. I left the computer on overnight and the freeze continued till the net morning.

  54. Thanks Reuben. The difficulty I have is that when I click on the logos 4 application to start, it freezes at the login. I have tried it several times but the program still goes into a freeze. I uninstalled and reinstalled several times with the same results – freeze. I left the computer on overnight and the freeze continued till the next morning.

  55. Frank Harford says

    I have watched new releases come out since the mid 90’s and am always impressed. I can’t imagine where they can go from here.
    The only question I have is the speed. I went through the index process and my searches are still 30 seconds to a minute. I have over 2200 volumes in my library but I am still running XP. Will Windows 7 make that much difference? I hear others talking about under 1 second.
    I have a fairly new computer running Intel Core 2 Duo CPU @ 3GHz and 3.24 GB of RAM and have 161 GB of free space

  56. I’m not a “pro”, just a senior citizen that likes to study the Bible. I started a long time ago w/a program from MacArthur, added some more, first thing ypu know I have v3. I added to it thru the years. Now I have v4. Now Greek is still Greek to me, but with 3 I could hold the curser on a Strongs number and find out a lot of stuff, and then go and see everywhere that greek word is used in the Bible. Now I know that you can probably still do that, but how???

  57. Leonard,
    If you have not visited our videos page already, this is a great place to learn about Logos 4. For your specific question, I would recommend watching the video, Bible Word Study from the Featured Videos section. I believe it will provide what you are wanting.

  58. Hi Frank,
    If your searches have not improved any, I would recommend giving our Customer Service department a call. They will be able to make sure Logos 4 is running optimally. Call 1.800.875.6467.

  59. Hi Monroe,
    You can change the lectionary using the Prioritize Resources functionality. Find the lectionary you want in your library, right-click on the title, and select Prioritize this resource.
    For further help read the discussion on this in the Logos Forum.

  60. SIMPLY AMAZING! Very fast and easy to start.

  61. Bruce Mitchell says

    I am getting used to logos 4. I have tried to use the handout feature. The handout displays ok in the left pane but when I click on it my computer freezes and task manager tells me the program is not responding.

  62. Hi Bruce,
    Please make sure you are updated to the latest version of Logo 4 (4.0a SR3). Check under Help | About Logos Bible Software. If you don’t have the latest version, under Tools | Program Settings, make sure Automatically Download Updates and Use Internet are set to Yes. Once they are, in the Command bar, type: update now.
    If you are updated, please contact Customer Service at 800-875-6467 for further assistance.

  63. Gary Hunter says

    I have two drives in my computer. The one that logos indexes on has very little space left. Is there a was to change the indexing path so it will index on a differt drive?

  64. Carey Fountain says

    About 1 hour to download, about 1 hour to fully index. Thanks to the new laptop. Am very impressed with both the hardware and software that will now let me get on with the important stuff, which is the understanding, the applying and the communicating.