Getting More from Library Builder, Part 3

Arecord number of customers took advantage of the insanely great “Library Builder” Christmas special this year and added 330+ books to their library in one fell swoop, so we’re taking a look at how to maximize the value of those new books. Even if you don’t own the Library Builderproduct, this series will help you get the most from the books in your electronic library.

Part 1 introduced some tools and techniques for exploring your new books, while Part 2 focused on commentaries.

This post will review some of the other categories ofbooks that are part of Library Builder, introduce some individual titles, and show where to look for them in your digital library.


Pastors and teachers love illustrations…readers and listeners love them, too. They’re the raisins in the toast, the strawberries in the fruit salad.

Library Builder adds a new bookof illustrations: Illustrations for Biblical Preaching , with fresh material to help you enliven your teaching or your own study.

Your digital library knows that this is a book of illustrations so it will automatically show up in the Illustrations section of Passage Guide. When you run Passage Guide, the system figures out all the topics related to your passage, then scours your books of illustrations to find illustrations on those topics. Like magic.


Library Builder adds five new books on music:

  • 101 Hymn Stories
  • 101 More Hymn Stories
  • Hymns and Scripture Selection Guide
  • Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others
  • The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts

You’re probably familiar with the 101 Hymn Stories books that give the history of various hymns and their composers, but some of the others may be new to you.

Hymn and Scripture Selection Guide is great because, while it does not contain hymn texts,each hymn is tagged with numerous Bible references. That increases the odds you’ll find a song relating tothe Bible passage you’re studying or preaching!

Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others and The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts open a window on the poetical voice of those who contributed greatly to the hymnody of the Christian church in bygone days. Sometimes one of these classic hymns, read as a poem, is just the thing to illustrate a biblical truth.

Again, Logos Bible Software knows that these are books dealing with music, so they show up in the Music section of Passage Guide. When you run Passage Guide on a passage of Scripture, the guide finds any hymns or songs that relate to the passage you’re studying.

What you see above are the Music results I get for a Passage Guide on Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (ESV)

Books on Prayer

Library Builder adds quite a number of books on prayer. It’s easy to locate them all in your library: just click My Library, arrange by subject, then type prayer.

You’ll notice a bunch of books by E.M. Bounds, one by Tom Elliff, one by P.T. Forsyth, and one by Oswald Chambers…all new with Library Builder.

Because prayer is such a vital discipline in the Christian’s life, Logos Bible Software also includes a feature right on the homepage that introduces you to books on prayer within your library. Your new books on prayer show up here automatically.

Just click any of the links in the list to open that book to its table of contents and begin exploring.

(Note: the Prayer section of the Logos Bible Software homepage can be turned off or on via the “Customize View” link at the top of the homepage. The Prayer section is only available if you have the Personal Bible Study Addin, included with Logos Bible Software base libraries or available as a separate purchase but not included with Library Builder.)


Devotionals, structured around daily readings and meditations, are a great way to get into the Word every day. The Devotions section on the Logos Bible Software homepage makes it easy to start every day with the devotional of your choice.

Here I’ve selected two of the devotionals that are new in Library Builder.

Take Heart is a very cool concept—it offers daily snippets from sermons by great preachers of the past such as C.H. Spurgeon, G.Campbell Morgan, and John Ker. As the editor writes in the preface, “These preached words are a part of our Christian heritage, and you will find the power of God in them still. I want to preserve them not because they are old but because they are true. It is our loss if we allow this part of our heritage to crumble to dust, forgotten, on out-of-the-way shelves.”

Drawing Near by John MacArthur reflects that teacher’s emphasis on in-depth Bible exposition study. As MacArthur states in the introduction: “As you use this book daily, you will learn how to approach Scripture on your own, developing the study skills you need to open up the Bible and discover its rich and marvelous truths for yourself. Such repeated exposure to God’s Word trains you to think Biblically, and that’s what ultimately makes a difference in your spiritual life.”

ChoosingDevotionals for Your Homepage

To choose the devotional that gets displayed on your homepage every day, click the Customize View link at the top right corner of the Logos homepage.

Then scroll down to the Devotions section and choose as many of the devotionals as you’d like to see on the homepage every day. Put a check in the boxes for those you choose, make sure there’s a check next to “Devotions,” then scroll back up to the top of the page and click Save Changes.

Note: the version of Take Heart that shipped on the Library Builder disc will not show up in the list of devotions; in order to make this devotional show up as an option, download an updated version of the book. Here’s how: close Libronix DLS, then click this link and choose to save the file to your resources folder (for most users, C:\Program Files\Libronix DLS\Resources). When prompted, overwrite the file that’s already there.

Looking Ahead…

In the next installment of this series, we’ll take a look at some of the books that don’t fall into any of the categories we’ve covered thus far. You’ll definitely want totake some steps to ensure you’reincorporating these “ordinary” books into your Bible study workflow.

Seeing Double? Eliminate Duplicate Books in Your Library

A recent commenter here on the blog expressed frustration at having duplicate books that clutter up My Library and hog space on his hard drive. Jonathan Pratt wrote,

One problem is that every series that I install comes with its own set of reference materials – typically a few versions of the Bible and a single volume commentary or two, perhaps some other stuff. Well I have lots of copies of (say) the authorized version of the Bible. Because each has a slightly different name [e.g “Authorized version”, or “Bible – AV”] they are all installed (copied to my hard drive) and show up all over the place in My Library.

Last time I checked the Libronix repository was nearly 6GB in size – I know because I tried to back it up but I can’t fit it all on a single (single layer) DVD. I don’t know for sure, but maybe I could if I could somehow choose to delete/expunge books that I know are duplicates. Libronix itself doesn’t seem to be able to do that…

Let’s address these in order. First, you can rest easy knowing that it’s extremely unlikely that you have multiple copies of the same book.

Say you buy two products that both contain the KJV Bible. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean two copies of the KJV book file will end up on your drive. During installation, Libronix DLS compares the files on your hard drive with what’s on the disc you’re installing. If a file on disc is newer, it will overwrite what’s on your hard drive. If not, Libronix skips it and moves on.

Acouple of caveats are worthy of mention, however, and one of them is to blame for making Jonathan think there are duplicate files all over his hard drive.

Eliminate Duplicate Titles in My Library

When you open My Library, you may notice that many books are listed multiple times.

Titles 2, 3, 4 and 6 in this screenshot are all the same book. Why this duplication? Many books include multiple titles to allow for different ways of finding the book (e.g., AV, authorized, king james, kjv, etc).

Admittedly, with all these duplicate and sometimes triplicate titles it can be hard to find what you are looking for…and confusing to know when items with similar titles really are different books.The Cambridge Paragraph Bible of the Authorized English Version really is a different version of the KJV…not the same file at all!

To help reduce this confusion, we give you the option to display only the primary title of each book in My Library. Here’s how to set your preference:

  1. Go to Tools | Options | General
  2. On the left side of the Options window, click the Interface tab.
  3. Check the option “Use Only Primary Resource Titles in My Library” and click OK.

Now go back to My Library and you will only see one title for each book.

Ahhh…much better. Truth is, this is one of the first preferences I set when I install Logos on a new machine. And there’s really no downside…I can still type KJV in the find box and the King James Version will appear in the list.

Eliminate Duplicate Files from Your Hard Drive(s)

Most users copy all their Libronix book files to the default location on their hard drive and so never accumulate duplicate files. But the intrepid user among us may have set up multiple book caches, perhaps on more than one hard drive, and maybe even a network drive. As a result, this user—let’s call him a “Power User”—may have built up some duplicate book files on his hard drives.

If you fall into this category and feel the need to identify and eliminate those pesky dupes, you’ll want to install the free Power Tools Addin and use the Remove Duplicate Resources report therein.

After installing the addin, read through the help filejust to make sure you understand how the tool works and what it’s doing.The process is mostly automated anddeleted book files end up in your Recycle Bin, so the damage can be undone at any rate.

Wrapping It Up

To wrap things up in a neat little bundle…Libronix is probably not junking up your hard drive with duplicate book files. But you can always run the Remove Duplicate Resources report just to be sure. And by telling My Library to show only primary book titles, you can eliminate any remaining feelings of clutter that may still disturb your tranquility.

If you shared some of Jonathan’s questions and concerns at the beginning of this post, you should now sleep a little better tonight.

Active Bible Reference Visual Filter

In a post awhile back, I mentioned something called the Active Bible Reference visual filter.
This is one of those things best seen. So I made a video to show how it works. Check it out.

Same Note in Different Books

As you may already know, the Morris Proctor Tips & Tricks Blogoffers two new tips every week for getting the most out of Logos Bible Software (learn more).

User David Bergquist posed the following question on a recent post at the Tips blog:

Is there a way to have one note show up in two places, for instance at a Bible verse and also in another book? I know one could make two copies of the same note, but is there a way to avoid making duplicate notes to have it show up in different books?

Here’s my response, with the addition of a couple of illustrative screenshots:

David, you can create a system-wide note that’s attached to a Bible verse. Then your note will show up in any book organized by Bible verse (e.g., Bibles and commentaries)!

To do this, right-click in a Bible or commentary and choose Add a Note | [desired note file] | Add a Note to [verse].

Voila! Now when you’re reading any Bible version, commentary, or other book organized by verse (e.g., The New Manners and Customs of the Bible)you can just click the yellow note icon to open and edit the note. Or hover the mouse over the note icon to preview your note right where you are.

Getting You from Point A to Point B

Guest bloggers Johnny Cisneros and Steve Runge pull back the curtain on a new addin coming soon from the Logos “skunk works.”

Many of us know that we have the resources within Logos to do good exegesis. However, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the process. You may not know where to start or where to end a study. How can you make sure that you’ve made the most of the resources available to you within your digital library? A new feature will assist users, veteran and new alike, with just that.

The Study Tools addin will guide you through the process of Bible study from exegesis to application. This helpful addin ties together many of the powerful tools in Logos into one convenient template. Such a template provides an organized structure to guide you through each step of exegesis. It saves you time by creating links to a variety of Bible tools pertaining to each one of the steps. It conveniently provides you with the ability to make your own notes as you go. The template is especially useful for sermon preparation. Outlines can be prepared under the ‘Application’ section of the template.

Screenshot of a study document (beta version, subject to change)

The Study Tools addin offers something for everyone. Existing users will find a new way to utilize the powerful resources within Logos in their study and sermon preparation. New users will find a way to become familiar with the many resources available in Logos.

Update 2/13 – If you can’t wait to try out the addin, you can download a beta version that unlocks the Study Tools addin for a limited time. Once you have it installed, create a new study document via the File | New menu. Please route your feedback on the addin to the beta newsgroup.

Interview with Bob Pritchett: Looking Forward

This isthesixth installmentin a series of video blog posts (introduced here) sharing the story and culture of Logos Bible Software. Other posts in the series are archived in the Video category.

The video interview was shotduring the final days of 2006. Scott asked Bob to summarize the highlights of the year and take a look forwardto some of the exciting things coming during 2007. Enjoy!

Note: All videos are in Windows Media format. Mac users may need to download the free Flip4Mac plugin for playback within QuickTime.

Labor and Delivery with … Logos?

Yep, that post title is correct.

Lord willing, my wife Amy is due to deliver our first child in mid-May.** (Insert applause here, Amy really is fantastic!) As many first-time parents-to-be, we’re reading a lot and researching the whole process.

We’ve got books on all sorts of stuff, which is par for the course for this bibliophile Daddy-to-be.

One very helpful book has been The Christian Woman’s Guide to Childbirth by Debra Evans and Ingrid Trobisch. It was published by Crossway Books (which is where the link goes) but it is unfortunately out of print, so you’ll have to find a used copy somewhere. We found ours on Amazon for five bucks.

One of the things that Amy and I love about The Christian Woman’s Guide to Childbirth is that it has a great Scripture reference index, and each chapter also lists a number of references having to do, in one way or another, with the basic content or thoughts in the chapter. Good stuff for focusing our minds on our Lord and Saviour and his gracious provision and comfort through the traumatic and uncertain (yet joyous!) time before us.

So to take those references into the hospital with us, we’re starting to use the Verse List feature in Logos Bible Software. We’re making a verse list for each topic, then we’ll just print them out so we’ll have ready-reference during labor and delivery.

How do you make a verse list, you ask?

  • File | New
  • Select Verse List from the New Document dialog
  • Click Add button. Use the dialog or point to proper source.
  • Voila! Use the Preferences button to give the file a name, but the system will prompt for that if you close the document without providing a name.

Printing is pretty easy too. Just open the verse list (either through File | Open or through the Open Document button on the toolbar), then export or print.

** We’ve decided to be surprised, so we don’t know the sex of the baby and don’t plan on finding out before the big day! At the time of this post, Mom thinks it’s a boy and Dad thinks it’s a girl. Either way, we’re greatly blessed!

Interview with Bob Pritchett: Innovation at Logos

This isthe fifth installmentin a series of video blog posts (introduced here) sharing the story and culture of Logos Bible Software. Other posts in the series are archived in the Video category.

Bob is asked to choose the top innovations Logos has offered the world, describes his role in the development of Logos Bible Software, and discusses some of the ways ideas become product features. You’ll also hear how Logos appropriates the best research and technology from other fields such asgene sequencing visualizations and applies it to the task of digital Bible study.

Note: All videos are in Windows Media format. Mac users may need to download the free Flip4Mac plugin for playback within QuickTime.

Getting More from Library Builder, Part 2

Arecord number of customers took advantage of the insanely great “Library Builder” Christmas special this year and added 330+ books to their library in one fell swoop, so we’re taking a look at how to maximize the value of those new books. Even if you don’t own the Library Builderproduct, this series will help you get the most from the books in your electronic library.

In Part 1, I encouraged you to begin exploring the new books added to your library and pointed you to a few tools that assist in said exploration. We also paused to think about some of the helpful things you didn’t have to do…because the digital library did them for you!

Now I want tofocus on a few different categories of book that arrived in your library via Library Builder, and consider how you will encounter individual books within those categories in the course of your study.

VIP Books

Some categories of book enjoy a “privileged” status within the Libronix DLS. They are privileged because we have built specialfeatures or tools that help you get the most value from them. A few examples are commentaries, sermonillustrations, music, maps, and devotionals.

Today I’ll focus on commentaries. The Logos Bible Software homepage has a feature that enables you to open a favorite commentary and Bible directly to your desired passage. And Passage Guide is programmed to find all the commentaries that address your passage. We’ll look at how these features work, a few tweaks to optimize things for your owen preferences, and pause to discuss a few individual books along the way…

Commentaries on the Homepage

Remember the list of Library Builder contents on the wikimentioned inPart 1? A quick glance at the list shows that Library Builder included three single-volume commentaries:

  • Evangelical Commentary on the Bible
  • Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible
  • The 365 Day Devotional Commentary

I like to specify a single-volume commentary as my preferred commentary on the homepage. To change your preferred commentary to one of the new commentaries in Library Builder, just click “Customize View” on the homepage, then select from the list. Walter Elwell’sEvangelical Commentary on the Bible would be a fine option.

If you also check the box next to “Show Study Options” you will now have a “Bible and Commentary”option on the homepage, in the Study Passage section.

Now when you select Bible and Commentary, enter a passage, and click “Go!”, your favorite Bible versionand Evangelical Commentary on the Bible will open straight to your passage. Simple. Quick. Smooth.

Commentaries in Passage Guide

Commentaries also show up at the top of the Passage Guide report. Library Builder included one OT commentary series (Wiersbe) and four NT series: College Press NIV Commentary Series, IVP New Testament Commentary Series, Crossway Classic Commentary Series, and Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament.

You would expect these commentaries to automatically appear when you run Passage Guide, and they do. But you may notice some pleasant surprises as well…

The pastor of the church I attend is currently preaching through Revelation, a book that could be described in terms borrowed from Winston Churchill: “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

When I run a Passage Guide report on Revelation 2:13,in addition to all the expected commentaries that appear, two in-depth studies on the book of Revelation show up: Back to the Future – A Study of the Book of Revelation by Ralph Bass and Revelation Explained by Lerry W. Fogle. I’m grateful that my digital library summoned these books in response to my passage search, because I might never have thought to look for them.

Passage Guide was smart enough to find two other books that are not traditional commentaries but rather brief surveys, organized by passage, and intended to provide “helps” to the ordinary reader or the pastor who needs information fast.

The People’sNew Testament , written in 1891,provides a sentence or two for each verse…like a margin note to provide background on people and places, or help interpret easily misunderstood phrases.

The Bible Guide , published in 2001 by Augsburg, is a fantastic resource for concise comments on a given passage of Scripture. Its commentary on the letter to church in Pergamum in Revelation 2 begins with a description of the city that makes it seem like an actual, living place:

Pergamum is an important city — not for trade or beauty, but as a seat of government (2:12–17). It has been the capital of Asia for nearly 400 years — ever since the break-up of Alexander the Great’s empire, when it became the centre of the Seleucid kingdom.

Pergamum has a famous library of parchment scrolls, and parchment gets its name from the ‘Pergamene sheet’. The culture and religion is strongly Greek, with an emphasis on the worship of Asklepios, a god of healing. His temples are something like hospitals. For many people Asklepios is the saviour. Also at Pergamum is a huge temple dedicated to Zeus. It is built on three sides of a square, to make a giant chair or throne.

Andrew Knowles, The Bible Guide, Includes index., 1st Augsburg books ed., 697 (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 2001).

You can be sure that I’ll be returning toThe Bible Guide as my small group works through Revelation.

Bonus Tip #1: Show More Commentaries

In Logos 3, Passage Guidelists only 15 commentaries when the report is first run. To see more commentaries, click the “More >>” link.

Bonus Tip #2:Cream the Commentary Crop

Sometimes you want to see fewer commentaries in the Passage Guide report ratherthan more. Or more precisely…you want to see more of the commentaries you use most and fewer of the ones you use least.

Logos 3 has a nifty feature that keeps track of how many times you use each commentary and promotes the most used commentaries to the top of the list. Notice in the screenshot below the space between A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory… and The Apocalypse of St. John. The Passage Guide report has grown smarter over time and now reserves the top 5 slots for my most-used commentaries.
Honestly, how cool is that?

If you prefer your own smarts over the built-in smarts, you can always create a defined collection of your favorite commentaries (learn how!)and then limit Passage Guide to searching those commentaries. Once the collection is created, simply click the Properties button in the Passage Guide report, and select your collection from the list.

Looking Ahead

Today we focused on your new commentaries to see where they show up in the library,get some pointers on how to promote the ones you like best, and introduce a few of the new titles on a first-name basis.The nextpost in the series will look at books in other categories such as illustrations, music and devotionals. In the meantime…happy exploring!

Using Reference Search With Lexicons

One feature I use frequently is right-click reference searching within a lexicon (specifically, within BDAG). I typically keylink into BDAG and note the sense under discussion, usually by a reference citation (which in my setup is highlighted by the Active Bible Reference visual filter, which maybe I’ll blog about in the future). From there, I right-click on the reference and search the active resource for more instances of that reference.

In lexicons, this generates a list of all articles that contain a direct citation of that reference, which can come in handy when working through a reference. Since this is hard to convey in writing, I made a video.

Oh, yeah. This works for all reference citations, not just Bible references. So you can right-click on an Apostolic Fathers reference, do the same exact right-click functions, and find all the places that the Apostolic Fathers reference is cited as well.

Or a Josephus reference. Or a Philo reference. In any resource. At any time.

How cool is that?!