3 Tips for Using Logos on a Touchscreen Laptop

_MG_6709 copy

I can hardly believe I did it, because I loved my nine-year succession of four MacBooks and two iMacs, but I just moved back to the PC world for some of my daily work.

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks: I love running Logos on a light, touchscreen, Windows laptop. (Note: tips for Mac users will also appear in this post. Don’t run away.)

I was with Logos Bible Software for Mac in its earliest days, before it achieved parity with the Windows app. For years the experience between Mac and Windows has been nearly identical. But there is one thing that necessarily sets the Logos Windows app apart from the Logos Mac app right now: touchscreens. There are currently no touchscreen Apple laptops.

In time-honored Internet fashion, here are three tips for using Logos on a Windows touchscreen laptop or tablet (such as the Surface Pro).

1. Hit F11 to go to full-screen reading mode

When I’m actually reading a book rather than just referencing it, and when I’m sitting down (say, on my daily bus rides), I hit F11 to go into Reading Mode:


(Cmd+Alt+R on the Mac does something similar but with a little more toolbar visible:)


2. Hit Ctrl+Alt+Left to rotate your screen to portrait.

To me it feels more natural—and more comfortable in the hand—to read my laptop in portrait mode, like so:

The quickest and easiest way to make this happen is to hit Ctrl+Alt+Left (this is a Windows system shortcut). Then tap the forward and backward buttons on the touchscreen with your finger—or just touch the right side of the screen to advance a page and the left side of the screen to go back a page.

Hit Ctrl+= to increase text size, and your screen will automatically move from two-column to one-column (this is what I prefer, though to each their own).

Hit Ctrl+Alt+Up to go back to normal landscape mode when you’re done.

(With a little app—I have used Display Rotation Menu—you can switch screen orientations quickly on Mac, too.)

3. Quickly swipe to select text, then highlight it

This third tip won’t work on a Mac yet; it’s only for touchscreens (though it works very nicely and intuitively on iOS): to select text you swipe quickly from the first word you want to highlight to the last one.

This took me a little time to master, because my muscle memory kept telling me to select text the way iOS does (in most apps apart from Logos), selecting one word by pressing long on it, then extending the selection one way or the other with a little handle.

Once you’ve selected text on your Windows touchscreen laptop, you can highlight it quickly if you have already chosen a shortcut key in your highlights palette. I assigned “Y” to Yellow, and that’s the color I use most frequently for highlighting. So after I’ve selected some text I jab the “Y” key and my text is highlighted (cool Millennials such as myself now “jab” keys on their keyboards; it’s just what we do). Then I keep reading.

Logos on all platforms

I am now, like Logos, running all the major consumer software platforms—except Chrome OS (and sorry, Linux users, you don’t count as a major platform and I don’t think you want to; the whole point of being a nerd is vengeful exclusion of those who persecuted you in high school—I should know). I’m on Windows 10 at work, Mac OS X at home, iOS on my iPad, and Android on my phone. In order to serve you, dear reader, I’m trying to make sure I experience Logos as you do, no matter what platform you’re on.

The Logos web app, of course, may one day effectively put Logos on every OS imaginable (and Biblia.com is useful right now if you’re away from your own computer and need to access your library). But for now there are little differences among the platforms. If you’re on Windows, I’ve just shown you some things you can do. (If you’re on Mac, you can use points 1 and 2.)

If my favorite tech reviewer, David Pogue, was right once to compare the Mac vs. PC debate to a religious war, then I’m a relativist peacenik sticking roses in gun barrels. I want Macs and PCs both to stick around (and iOS and Android), putting pressure on each other to innovate. A touchscreen laptop wasn’t something I ever thought I’d care to have, but it has proven genuinely useful, not least in my reading in Logos.

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.


Discover how else Logos can transform your Bible study—take our free, 10-day course! Learn more about this free training, or sign up below right now.

3 Handy Shortcuts to Generate a Passage List


In a comment on a recent LogosTalk blog post, a reader asked a question about saving verses from a Guide to a Passage List. The question reminded me about numerous shortcuts for getting verses into a Passage List document. If you frequently use Passage Lists , then you may enjoy some of these shortcuts!

[Read more…]

How to Use a Commentary to Study the Psalms


Dig and dig and dig, and you’ll never reach the full depths of the Bible. Your lifetime will be a journey to the center of its worth. That doesn’t mean the Bible-gold you’ve discovered so far is iron pyrite; it simply means you should never stop digging.

And here’s the great thing: the wealth of other diggers is available to you. Many of them wrote down what they discovered. They were fallible diggers, yes, some more so than others . . . But for a tiny investment you can have what it took them a lifetime to amass.

[Read more…]

How to Apply a Psalm to Your Situation


If you can’t use the Bible, you don’t really understand it.

It may sound backwards to speak of “using” the Bible: we don’t stand over the Bible, twisting it to our ends; the Bible stands over us and is one major means by which God uses us.

That’s all true, but think of it this way: when I’m tempted, or struggling, or arrogant, or lying, or spiritually lethargic, what am I supposed to do as a Christian? I’m supposed to avail myself of the grace of God, and one major means by which God gives me that grace is my Bible. If my mind is blank of Bible in times of trouble, I’m not using God’s word the way I’m supposed to. To apply a text of Scripture well is to use it with love and faith according to its intended purposes.

[Read more…]

How to Find Every Mention of an Event in Scripture


I was recently reading in Genesis 12, when the Lord calls Abram to leave his homeland and travel to a God-appointed location. Of course this event is recorded in Genesis 12, but I was curious as to where else this event is mentioned in Scripture. With Logos, a search like this is a breeze! Here’s how to find this answer:

[Read more…]

How to Do a Bible Word Study on “Love”

word study agape love

When Jesus is asked to sum up the law, he responds with two commands involving love:


In both commands, the English translation “love” translates the Greek verb agapao. Partly because agape is one of those Greek words that many theologically literate Christians know (along with logos, christos, doulos, and a few others), Bible readers often think that in agape lies the secret key to understanding the love commands.

Assuming that Greek words contain a great depth of meaning hidden by English is a common Bible study mistake. And to show you one reason why: enter Logos Bible Software.

[Read more…]

How to Study a Psalm: 4 Keys to Interpretation

interpret psalms

You and I live in a modern city, but imagine that across the river is another town very different from ours: an ancient one. We drive cars, they ride animals. We chat over coffee at a cafe; they chat over water at the community well. We suffer from a divisive and polarizing political situation; they—well, they do too. Not everything has changed in the last few thousand years. But our two towns are indeed separated by a river of differences in culture, language, and history.

[Read more…]

How to Find Original Language Words behind the English


In a recent blog post, guest blogger Dr. Andy Naselli discussed the concept of conscience, stating that the Greek word for conscience appears 30 times in the New Testament. How can we locate those 30 occurrences and execute the examination of them as Dr. Naselli instructed? If we know one of the instances we can easily perform a lemma search straight from the Bible using the Context (right-click) menu.

[Read more…]

How to Study a Psalm: Essential Steps for Starting Right


Many Christians are faithful Bible readers, but they feel stuck when it comes to Bible study. After you’ve read a Bible passage once, and then read it again, what do you do to study it? Um, read it again? And then what?

[Read more…]

How to Customize Your Bible Word Study in Logos

translation ring

At a recent Camp Logos while I was instructing about the Bible Word Study Guide, someone asked about the Translation ring which shows how a Hebrew or Greek lemma is translated in an English Bible. The question was basically this:

How can I change the Bible on which the Translation ring is based?

To answer the question let’s investigate a specific example.

[Read more…]