Understanding Data Types: Introduction

In Friday’s blog post on the new edition of the Works of Cornelius Van Til, I mentioned how you can now search the works of Van Til for a specific reference or range of references in Calvin’s Institutes or Barth’s Church Dogmatics. This kind of analysis is incredibly helpful for detailed study, and there’s really no other way—at least not that I’m aware of—to get this data apart from doing the tedious work of reading the entire book (or series of books) cover to cover, which is not the ideal solution when you’re dealing with something as large as the works of Van Til!

The reason you can do searches like these in Logos is because we have created data types for Calvin’s Institutes or Barth’s Church Dogmatics (and scores of other resources) and done the tedious work of tagging the references to those data types.

I’ve been spending some time lately playing with data types and have come to realize how powerful they are for advanced study, so I thought some of you might benefit from a brief series of posts on data types. I’m particularly interested in exploring what significance the information in the data type section in About This Resource has for what you can do with various resources.

In this post, let’s just get a very basic acquaintance with data types.

For starters, open My Library, right click on a few different resources, and select About This Resource (or with a resource opened and selected, click Help, About This Resource).

Then scroll down to the Data Types section. You’ll see the data types listed on the left with KeyLink Target and Searchable columns on the right. Each data type will have at least one checkmark after it. Some will have two. Here’s the Data Types section for Van Til’s The Theology of James Daane.

Here’s the Data Types section for the first volume of Barth’s Church Dogmatics.

I’ll explain what all this information means in a future post.

Next, go to Tools > Options > Keylink and select the Data Type drop-down box. Here’s where you can see a list of all of the data types that you have installed on your computer. The number of data types will vary depending on how often you run Libronix Update and what products you own.

Scroll through the list and familiarize yourself with some of the data types listed there.

That’s all for this for post. In the next post, we’ll cover the basics about what data types are and how they can help you do more powerful research.

Other posts in this series:

Bible Speed Search and Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament

First, a teaser. Here’s where we’re going:


Mixing syntactic force and lemmas in a Bible Speed Search?!

[Maybe you just want to cut to the chase and watch the video instead of read. That's fine, go right ahead! — RB]
The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament comes with two primary views. One is the Syntax Graph, (formal title: The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament: Sentence Analysis; shortname is LEXHAMSGNTGRAPH) where the text is in a column on the right, and a graph of arrows and lines shows how the text is structured. Hovering the text brings the Expansions and Annotations data for the word into a popup. If you use the Lexham SGNT, this is probably the view you’re most familiar with.
However, there’s another view, one I like to call the “running text” view. This has the text of the Greek New Testament (UBS/NA) but it has one clause on each line, with indentations to show the relationships. This view is also an interlinear. The resource is The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament, shortname is LEXHAMSGNT. Here’s an example, note that I have my interlinear configured to only show the Greek text and the English gloss line (you can control this in View | Interlinear).


James 3 from the Lexham SGNT

Now, what not many people know about this edition of the Lexham SGNT is that it is tagged for Syntactic Force. This is what many people refer to as “syntax” when they talk about the Greek of the New Testament, and it is the sort of thing that many second-year programs at seminaries and colleges dig into. You can see the clause and phrase breaks and the hierarchy implied by indentation; what you can’t see is that each word carries a syntactic force annotation. So, in the above example, when I hover over ειδοτες, a popup informs me that this could be either a circumstantial participle or an adverbial participle. Definitions of these terms are given as well.


ειδοτες in James 3.1 from the Lexham SGNT

Did you know that you can search for this kind of thing using the Bible Speed Search report? It’s a little verbose, but possible: sgnt-syn = “circumstantial participle” andequals lemma:οιδα In the material covered by the Lexham SGNT, this happens 10 times (I know because I just did the search).
This is just one example; I made a video that explains things a little more. This combines a few different advanced concepts: non-Bible data type searching, the andequals operator (also note the notequals operator) and using the lemma field. But it allows you to find some pretty specific things. Like, copulative conjunctions that aren’t και.

To further facilitate this kind of searching, I’ve also compiled a list of valid syntactic force codes that you can key into the Bible Speed Search dialog. So, instead of having to type “circumstantial participle”, you’d know you could instead type “ptc-circum”. You can download this file (PDF); hopefully it’ll help in your use of the Lexham SGNT.
Lastly, I should note that the Lexham SGNT is a work in progress; at present it includes annotations of Romans-Galatians and Hebrews through Revelation. If you find annotations that you don’t agree with or would like to suggest alternate annotations, we want to know about it. Send an email to syntax@logos.com and we’ll make sure it gets to the editor.

Doing Things Faster with the Keyboard, Part 2

In yesterday’s blog post I talked about how using keyboard shortcuts can make work in Libronix faster than using just a mouse. The post was triggered by an interaction that I had with a friend who was adjusting to Logos after years as a user of another Bible software program.

One of the other things that he said he missed in Logos was a command line. This is where the Quick Navigation Bar (a.k.a. Go Box) comes in handy. The Quick Navigate Bar is a toolbar that comes with the free Power Tools Addin (read about or watch how to download it). Here’s what it looks like.


The Quick Navigate Bar

It should appear in your toolbar area, which by default is at the top of your screen. If you don’t see it and have the Power Tools Addin installed, make sure to activate it by right clicking in the toolbar area and checking the box next to Quick Navigate Bar.


Toolbar Menu

Since we’re talking about saving time with the keyboard, the first thing you’ll want to know is that to activate the Go Box and be able to start typing in it, you’ll want to use Ctrl+Shift+G. If your hands are already on the keyboard, this is quicker than reaching for the mouse and clicking the box.

So what can you actually do with this box?

Its most basic use is to jump to a passage of Scripture in your default Bible (which you can set on the home page or in Tools > Options > Keylink > Keylinking > Bible). Type in any standard Bible reference, and your preferred Bible will open instantly. References like John 3:16, Jn 3.16, Jn 3 16 will all work.

You can also use it to open up various Bible translations. By typing ESV or NIV and hitting enter, the appropriate Bible version will open. Hit tab (which activates the reference box in the newly opened resource) and type in a reference to jump to a particular location. Most of the standard abbreviations for Bible versions will work.

The Quick Navigation Bar also recognizes some of the standard commentary series abbreviations like WBC, PNTC, NIGTC, and K&D. You can type in the full titles like Preaching the Word or New American Commentary or portions of titles like Pulpit and Lange’s.

You can use it to open other essential tools like BDAG (by typing bdag), HALOT (by typing hal or halot), Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (by typing anchor), ISBE (by typing isbe), and many others.

The guaranteed identifier for each resource is the file name minus the extension. So, to open up MacArthur’s commentary on 1 Corinthians, you would type 1comntc. You can find this information by viewing About This Resource, which is available in the right-click menu in My Library or in the Help menu (with the resource opened and selected). Taking the time to look these up and memorize them will probably be worth the time investment if you frequently open certain resources. Or you might prefer, as I do, to simply create keyboard shortcuts.

While some things are faster with the mouse, others are faster with the keyboard. It’s best to get in the habit of using both for the things they do best. Give some of these tips a try and see if using the Go Box doesn’t speed up some of the common tasks you perform in Libronix.

For more on the Go Box, check out these two previous posts:

See also part 1.

Doing Things Faster with the Keyboard, Part 1

A friend of mine has been a longtime user of another Bible software program, but now he’s using Logos as well. As you might expect, he still feels more comfortable performing certain tasks in his other program. One of the things he mentioned to me that he missed in Logos was the ability to use keyboard shortcuts. He felt like having to use the mouse for everything made for slow work.

As one who is convinced of the value of keyboard shortcuts, I was happy to inform him that you can actually do quite a bit in Logos with keyboard shortcuts. I pointed him to our list of standard keyboard shortcuts (which I just updated to include a few more) and to a blog post I wrote several months ago, where I explained how to set up your own custom keyboard shortcuts for opening books you use frequently and applying visual markups like basic highlighting.

I open books and highlight with my keyboard shortcuts all the time, but there’s so much more that you can do. You can create custom keyboard shortcuts for just about any function in Libronix by using a custom toolbar, which I explain in the earlier post.

Here are some examples of the types of things you can do: view About This Resource with Alt+A, toggle the contents pane for your current resource with Alt+C, report a typo with Alt+T, open the Passage Guide with Alt+P, the Exegetical Guide with Alt+X, and the Bible Word Study with Alt+W.

Here are the things I currently have assigned in my keyboard shortcuts toolbar. (I have other keyboard shortcuts assigned in my primary custom toolbar.)

Feel free to download it and use it or modify it you’d like. Put it in \My Documents\Libronix DLS\CustomToolbars. Two suggestions for enhancing the usefulness of this toolbar: you may want to set up (1) parallel resource associations for things like Bible dictionaries, English dictionaries, English Bibles, Greek lexicons, and study Bibles, which will allow you to jump quickly to similar resources, and (2) serial resource associations for (a) any commentaries that don’t already have one (e.g., JPSTC) and (b) your original language texts, if you want your Greek NT and Hebrew OT connected.

There are two things to be aware of when creating custom keyboard shortcuts. First, your key combination might not be available. If your shortcut doesn’t seem to be working or works but does the wrong function, this is probably why. Second, your key combination might be overriding default behavior. Test your keyboard shortcut before assigning it. You might like the default behavior even better! :)

Next up, part 2 on using the Quick Navigation Bar.

Using Libronix to Learn about “Famous” People

I often find myself turning to Libronix to learn more about important people from church history—from Augustine to John Owen to Karl Barth. In my last blog post, I included a pretty hefty list of articles on John Owen that I found in my Libronix library. Several people commented to me how helpful they found that list and wished they had something like that for all the “famous” people in the history of the church.

While I can’t promise that we’ll be able to make lists like that for you, I can give you some pointers on how you can build them for yourself. Here’s the process that I took when I looked for articles on John Owen.

Step 1: Browse My Library

First, I looked for any resource titles in My Library that mentioned John Owen. Depending on how common the name is that you’re looking for, you may be able to try just the last name. If that’s too broad, add the first name, but keep in mind that the individual may have a middle initial or middle name included. Doing this with Owen gave me one good result: John Piper’s book Contending for Our All: Defending Truth and Treasuring Christ in the Lives of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen.

Step 2: Topic Search in Biographies Collection

My second step was to do a topic search for Owen in my biographical collection. One of the first collections I created when I got Logos was a collection of resources with biographical entries. Here are the current contents of my collection:

If you think you’d find this collection helpful, feel free to download it and put it in your My Documents\Libronix DLS\Collections folder.

To do a topic search for Owen, you would type topic(Owen), topic(“Owen, John”), or topic(“John Owen”). The most comprehensive results were with topic(“Owen, John”).

But it’s probably easier to use the Topic Browser. Typing Owen and clicking Search shows me both “Owen” and “Owen, John” as topics. It takes the guessing out of it and makes it a simpler process.

Step 3: Search in Biographies Collection

Third, I did a search for “John Owen” OR “Owen, John” in my biographical collection. This will give me hits were Owen is mentioned in the content of the article, but may not be in the title.

Step 4: Topic Search in All Available Resources

Fourth, I did a topic search for Owen in All Available Resources. This turned up a number of great hits in the theological journals and a few others from resources that weren’t in my biographies collection. I chose to do All Available Resources instead of All Unlocked Resources because I like to know if any of my locked books have relevant material in them. It’s good to know what great resources I’m missing out on, and this is one way to find them. Note that you’ll need to search for topic(Owen) as well as topic(“Owen, John”) to get a complete list, since some articles refer to Owen by last name only. As with step two, it’s probably better to use the Topic Browser for this.

Step 5: Search in All Available Resources

Finally, I did a search for “John Owen” OR “Owen, John” in All Available Resources to see if I had missed anything significant. Again, this will turn up a lot of hits, but if you want to be comprehensive, this search is essential. I found a couple additional relevant articles this way.

Two tips for working through big lists like this efficiently: (1) when you click the plus sign next to the book title, skim the headings for the name you are looking for (not all headings are necessarily topically tagged), and (2) give attention to the articles with the highest number of hits as they are more likely to be relevant.

Now, if you know you want exhaustive from the start, you could skip right to step five since it should give you all the results from all of the preceding steps. But often you don’t know how much information you’re going to find—or even how much information you want—until you get into the process, so it’s usually good to start out small and work your way up. The most targeted list of hits will probably be step two, which is the method I typically use when I want quick results and don’t need to be exhaustive.

What else would you do to find biographical information in your Libronix library? What other resources would you add to a biographies collection? Why not create a list of articles in Libronix about your favorite person from church history and post it on your blog? Let us know if you do.

Looking Up Bible References from the Web

If you have a website or a blog, you can make your content much more useful to your readers by adding RefTagger. A good number of sites are already using RefTagger, but unfortunately the vast majority still have plain old text Scriptures references.

So what do you do when you’re reading content on one of those sites? As a long term solution, you could email them and encourage them to add RefTagger. But your short-term options are either to ignore the passages of Scripture and not check the author on his points, or to take the time to look them up manually in Libronix or at one of the online sites like BibleGateway. I’d imagine that most of us usually do the former since the latter takes a fair bit of time and effort if you’re having to look up more than just a reference or two.

But there is another option. It’s quick and easy and works with just about any web page—and it uses your favorite Bible software program. In Libronix open a new verse list (File > New > Verse List), click Add, select From Web Page, and paste in the URL of the web page that you are viewing.

Libronix will quickly find all the Bible references mentioned and add them to your verse list in the order in which they appear on the web page. You can then decide how you’d like to view them. The default is to show only the references without the text. Double clicking those references will open them in your preferred Bible allowing you to read them in their contexts, compare them with other versions, or dig into your study Bibles and commentaries. If you’d like to see the text of the verses along with the references, you can select "References and Text in One Column" or "References and Text in Two Columns."

I find that this works best on a two-monitor setup, which enables you to have your browser on one screen and Libronix on the other. But even if you have only one monitor, you’re still likely to benefit from this feature by using alt+tab or positioning your browser and Libronix next to each other.

If you find yourself using this often, you may simply want to save the verse list as “Web Verses” (or something similar) and reopen it each time you do reading online. You can easily delete the previous verses by using the delete key and add new ones when you’re reading a new article.

With this simple tool you can now quickly and easily look up Scripture references on the web.

Speedier Reports with Just a Few Clicks

The Passage Guide, Exegetical Guide, and Bible Word Study reports provide you with massive amounts of wonderful information that would take you hours to find in print books. But we realize that not every user wants to see everything available—at least not all of the time.

If you find yourself not using some of the sections in any of these reports, you might want to take the time to customize them. Speedier reports are only a few clicks away.

The first option is simply to collapse any section of the report that you want to see only some of the time. A collapsed section doesn’t take any of your system resources, so it won’t slow down your report. Once you run the report, you can decide if you want to see the information in that section and click the plus sign to run it. Logos will remember your preference from the last time you ran the report, so all you need to do is leave the appropriate sections collapsed or expanded when you close it.

If there are sections that you are fairly certainly you will never want to see, you can uncheck them in the report properties, which is located at the top of the report towards the right. Unchecked sections won’t show up at all, making for a more streamlined report with just the information that you want to see.

The time it takes to load your report will be identical whether you simply collapse a section or uncheck it in the properties. You should decide which method to use based on whether you will occasionally or never want to access the data in that section.

The time it takes me to run the full report above (an Exegetical Guide of 1 Cor 15:28) with everything expanded is about 12 seconds. If I collapse or uncheck the Word by Word section, my time is reduced to just under 7 seconds. Five seconds isn’t a lot of time, but it adds up.

You’ll really notice the difference with bigger reports. A BWS report on ἀνήρ with everything expanded takes about 4 minutes and 40 seconds to run. If I collapse the LXX, Philo, and the Apostolic Fathers, my time is cut to about 45 seconds!

Take some time to customize your reports and you’ll be saving time in no time.

How to Find That Missing Gem

Have you ever had trouble locating something that you previously read in one of your Libronix books? Perhaps it’s that perfect quote for the sermon or paper you’re working on—if only you could find it. If you don’t remember which book it was in, you can always check your history to see which books you’ve used recently. After you find the right book, you could then search or use the find bar to locate what you’re looking for—if you remember an exact word or phrase. But what if you remember only the general idea?

I’ve found that often the quickest way to find something in a situation like this is to use the Next button and select Markup.

I remember reading something in Strong’s Systematic Theology. I don’t recall exactly where it was or the precise wording, but I know I highlighted it. So I open Strong’s, switch the Next selection to Markup, click the button a few times, and I am quickly taken to the exact quote I was looking for. Of course, this works only if you are marking up your books when you read. If you’re not, I’d encourage you to do so, even if only for the benefit of using this cool feature. Keep in mind that if your book has hundreds of markups, you’ll at least need to remember the section or chapter to make this efficient. In my case, the quote I was looking for was in chapter two, so finding it was a breeze.

Another really handy use of the Next Markup feature is to get a quick survey of the parts of the book that stood out to you in your first reading. Try this with a chapter in a book, a large article entry, or a section in a commentary to get a quick recap of the most important points.

Give it a try. I think you’ll find it a convenient feature that will soon become a part of your normal use of Libronix.

Still Accessing Libronix Resources from Your CDs?

I stumbled across a comment on a forum site recently where a user mentioned that he was accessing his books from his CDs and was frustrated by the speed at which they loaded when scrolling through large portions of text.

I was happy to see that someone quickly let him know that he could copy all of his resources to his hard drive and put his CDs in his closet as a backup.

If you are still accessing your Libronix books from your CDs, read on. With the size of today’s hard drives, most of you will have plenty of room for all of your resource files and should not be using your CDs after the initial installation.

There are at least three benefits to copying your books to your hard drive.

  1. Your computer will be able to access your books much more quickly from your hard drive than you can from your optical drive.
  2. You won’t have to be continually swapping CDs.
  3. You’ll have access to all of your books at once instead of being limited to only the books on a given CD.

To copy your resources to your hard drive, follow these steps:

  1. Insert your CD/DVD into your drive.
  2. Open Libronix.
  3. Click on Tools > Library Management > Location Manager.
  4. Wait until it is done discovering all of the resources that need to be copied.
  5. Click the Copy Resources button.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have copied all of your resource files to your hard drive.

For more help, check out our support article Loading Books and our training video Loading Your Books (2:10, 2.69MB).

Greek Syntax: Article Introducting Prepositional Phrase

Awhile back over on the Logos Newsgroup for Greek, someone asked a question:

Someone has commented that there are 484 occurrences of the definite article occurring without a noun introducing a prepositional phrase, such as, "τα επι τοις ουρανοις." I wonder if someone would teach me how to search my GNT (N/A27) to confirm this statement?

The example is (I believe) from Eph 1.10:

εἰς οἰκονομίαν τοῦ πληρώματος τῶν καιρῶν, ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι τὰ πάντα ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ, τὰ ἐπὶ τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἐν αὐτῷ. (Eph 1:10, NA27)

as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Eph 1:10, ESV)

Note that the same structure is used in "things on earth" in the same verse.

Anyway, the best way to find stuff like this — where you’re really searching for a relationship between words and/or phrases even though it looks like proximity will get you close enough — is a syntax search. In this example, the relationship is between the article and the prepositional phrase. It is more than proximity (occurring close to each other or in sequence); it is functionally that the prepositional phrase in some way further modifies/qualifies/distinguishes the article (which, in cases like these, tends to function like a relative pronoun).

The OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament makes this relatively easy to find. Let’s look at this portion of Eph 1.10 first to see how it is analyzed:

Here the word group contains a head term; the head term contains a word (τα) and the structure that modifies it. Here the structure is a relator. A relator is basically a prepositional phrase that functions adjectivally, modifying a substantive (instead of functioning adverbially, modifying the primary verb of the clause). So all we need to do is find where a relator modifies a word that that is an article.

There are two basic cases to consider. The first is like Eph 1.10, where the word is the root word of the head term, and the relator modifies it. The second case is where the word is a modifier itself, like in Mt 5.16:

Here note that τον is a definer, and the relator (adjectival prepositional phrase) modifies the definer.

These are the two cases to consider. A syntax search that looks like the following should account for both of them:

You’ll notice I’ve used an unordered group to contain the word+modifier portion of the query. Why did I do this? Because I really want to find where a word and a modifier are siblings (occur at the same ‘level’ in the annotation) because this implies they are in relationship with each other. The containing structure(s) (here the head term or modifier at the root of the query) constrain the elements to already being in the same unit. The unordered group allows for this, letting you specify the elements you care about (here a word and a modifier), and it will run the permutations, including optional elements occurring between them, while it searches. It makes query specification a whole lot easier.

When the search is run, 298 occurrences are located. Here’s a snapshot of the results dialog:

The different colors in the results come in because of the "OR" in the query. In this way you can tell that some results come from one half of the "OR". Here the greenish color represents the top half of the "OR" (word is a direct child of head term); the brown represents the bottom half (word is a direct child of modifier).

So, to answer the question posed on the Greek newsgroup; I’d respond that according to the OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament, there are 298 instances of the definite article occurring without a noun introducing a prepositional phrase.