3 Logos Shortcuts You Can Use Right Away

logos shortcuts

Bible study isn’t supposed to be fast. It takes time to mine biblical riches. But it’s the digging that should take time, not the shovel selection process. That’s why I use keyboard shortcuts, so I can call up tools fast and put them to use. Keyboard shortcuts are almost always faster than using the mouse.

Here are three Logos shortcuts you can start using in your study right away.

1. Shortcut icons

If there are particular books, guides, or tools that you use frequently, you can make a clickable shortcut to them by dragging the title from the tab to the menu bar. To open a resource, click the icon—or drag it to where you want it to open:

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2. Keyboard shortcuts

I almost talked about Quickstart Layouts—and layouts in general. They are quick ways to get what you need out of Logos. But time-saving articles can only have three points, so I had to choose something I think fewer Logos users know about and use: keyboard shortcuts.

I’m a keyboard shortcut devotee. A student of the art. I try to find a keyboard shortcut for any and every computer task I find myself performing repetitively (on my Mac, in this case): taking screenshots (⌥⇧4) and screencasts (⌥⇧5), switching apps (⌥⇥), calling up my password manager (⌘/). If my mouse batteries die, I can still do most of what I need to do.

All the standard shortcuts work in the appropriate places in Logos—for both Mac and Windows:

  • Copy (⌘C, Ctrl+C)
  • Paste (⌘V, Ctrl+V)
  • Close window (⌘W, Ctrl+W)

But there are three others that I hope Logos users know and use—and yet I fear many don’t:

  • Open a book without touching your mouse. Just bring up the Library window with ⌘L (Mac) or Ctrl+L (Win), type your book name, hit the down arrow (↓) until you reach your book in the list, and hit enter.
  • Find a biblical reference within your resource. ⌘G (Mac) or Ctrl+G (Win) puts your cursor into the reference box so you can type whatever Scripture reference you need without having to click anywhere. This is most valuable, of course, in Bibles and commentaries.
  • Get to the command bar fast. ⌘⌥L (Mac) or Alt+D (Win) places the cursor in the command bar. There is so much you can do in the command bar, and I’ll show you some of the most valuable things in the next point…

(There are full lists of keyboard shortcuts for both Windows and Mac.)

3. Command bar

The command bar is my new favorite feature in Logos, because it enables me to control the app from my keyboard. To my shame, I had been a Logos user for years before I sat down and figured it out.

One little example of its power is that it can close all my tabs: just type “close all” and hit enter.

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There’s much more it can do, but the thing I find myself doing most frequently with it is searching the Bible. Just type whatever you want to search for (“the love of Christ” or “Jesus NEAR Peter” or “dropsy”) and hit Ctrl+Enter to search your top Bibles for your search term(s). The other day I was curious to see whether “dropsy” is used in any Bible translations beyond the KJV, so I searched for it (I use the mouse in the gif only for illustrative purposes; in real life I hit Ctrl+Enter):

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Since searching for Bible verses through my top Bibles is the number one most frequent thing I do in Logos, it’s advantageous to learn the keyboard shortcuts that make it happen quickly.

Bible study isn’t a rush job—not if you want to get something meaningful out of it. But when you use shortcuts like those outlined here, you’ll spend less time clicking and scrolling and more time reading and pondering.

mark ward
Mark L. Ward, Jr. received his PhD from Bob Jones University in 2012; he now serves the church as a Logos Pro. He is the author of multiple high school Bible textbooks, including Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption.

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Comments

  1. Mark,

    I actually use an “shortcut icon” specifically, the one that looks like this: >_. I really dislike typing, so I do not have to type “close all”, I just click on the icon.

  2. Don Johnson says:

    So… I just used your tips to find the list of keyboard shortcuts, then dragged it to my menu bar as an icon to click on (!) while I work on learning them.

  3. This post, helpful as it is, only screams louder for user-customizable shortcut bar icons. The icon set Logos provides has not been updated, as far as I can tell, since L4 was introduced. It is woefully short of options that have any real meaning, and with the shortcut bar real estate so limited, turns an fantastic attribute into a bit of a liability.

    I’ve had a UserVoice suggestion out there for several years to fix this, but it has been mostly ignored by the FL folks. Please go add votes for this option so they can’t continue to look the other way. Here’s the link to the UV suggestion:

    https://logos.uservoice.com/forums/42823-logos-bible-software-7/suggestions/4293374-allow-users-to-customize-shortcut-bar-icons

    The Shortcut bar is phenomenally useful, but extremely limited. Allowing custom icons (or at a minimum, a larger set of icons) would greatly enhance the usability of the software.

    • We do stay abreast of user concerns, most definitely. Bob Pritchett is, if I may so so, rather fanatical about doing so. But he’s also rigorously logical about UI/UX and holds his own in debate.

      I can’t honestly say that I’d care for more icons, but more commands—that is an interesting idea. And I suppose more commands would demand more icons… What commands in particular would you like to be able to access through the shortcut bar?

      • I just hit up the forums and we had mentioned an “update current layout” shortcut as a keyboard shortcut. I wouldn’t mind it being a shortcut icon, like a “save” button for the current layout.

      • I didn’t mention anything about commands, so I assume you are talking about another comment.

        I wish I could post screenshots here so I could demonstrate how messy the shortcut bar gets when one is left using text, rather than icons, for meaningful shortcuts. Perhaps you don’t use the SC bar as much as I do, or perhaps you prefer typing things in the command bar. But if you do use the shortcut bar much at all, you’d have to admit the choices are spartan at best.

        • Send me a screenshot if you would (you can do so here). I’ll put it up in the comments for you (technically, you can do it, too, but you’d have to host the image elsewhere).

          • Done.

            Note the SC bar runs out of real estate (that’s another issue for which I’ve requested a fix…a second row of space). There’s an arrow there to move back and forth…not ideal for a “shortcut” bar, but better than nothing.

            The shortcuts I have, in order from left to right, are: Close All (command), Show Highlight Toolbar (command), NIV (resource), LHI (resource), LGNTI (resource), Show Collections (command), Show Layout- Library Browsing (command), Show Favorites (command), Show History (command), Update Active (command), Show Cited By Tool (command), Show Layout- Book Reading (command), ESV with NA27 Parallel Resource (command), Serendipitous Notes (command), and partially visible is Serendipitous Clippings (command).

            When a resource is placed on the SC bar, a small icon that looks like the cover of the resource is used (that’s great!). Having the popup on hover is even more helpful, as I can’t remember all my covers. But where commands are dragged to the SC bar, I’m stuck using one of the (very few) generic icons, like the one for ‘Close All’, or using a text description. Now, the text descriptions work well, and if there was more real estate available, the problem would be moot. But there isn’t, and you can see how much I’ve had to abbreviate the text descriptions to save what space I can, but I’ve still run off the available visible space using only fifteen shortcuts. I can think of dozens more I’d like to put there, but can’t because if you can’t see ’em, they aren’t much use as a shortcut.

            Having a larger set of icons, with some thought to the types of commands that are wont to be put in the SC bar would help. Allowing customized icons would be even better.

            Hope this helps.

          • Good for you. Good work.

            Two suggestions while your suggestion is considered:

            1) If there are shortcuts you use super commonly, if you go ahead and assign them icons, even if those icons are less than ideal, do you think you’ll just come to remember the order and color of the icons? (That is, the Greek Omega character comes after the ESV, and that’s my NA27.)

            2) Would learning a few keyboard shortcuts enable you to jettison a few of your icons? (I personally also use TextExpander on my Mac to “cheat” with some keyboard shortcuts, like typing “‘scan” to produce the command “Scan Users/markward/Dropbox/Full books/Logos Books Scanned/.”)

          • Okay, here’s your screenshot:

  4. Thanks for the great tips, everyone!