An Accordance Two-Column Workspace

The previous three column layouts I have written about rely heavily on Live-Click and provide a remarkable array of functionality with a single click. But take a look at this two-column setup I am using this weekend:

Two-Column Workspace
Two-Column Workspace

This two column layout has a few significant advantages:

  • With only two columns it is more focused and less cluttered.
  • Amplifying with triple-click — instead of Live-Click — allows you to highlight and jump to your verse reference in lexicon entries.
  • Searching with one-click and a keyboard shortcut (⌘4) — instead of Live-Click — allows you to see your search in a fully-fledged search tab and gives you the flexibility to search for multiple words.

More focused

The two-column workspace has basically all the functionality of the three-column workspace, but your text tab on the left can be almost double the size. It also means that the parallel resources below the text have more room. I have room for three different ones: an info pane for quick access to a ton of reference resources (commentaries, apparatuses, manuscript images, grammars, etc.), a link to verse-by-verse audio recordings of the Hebrew text, and a translation.

Whatever you are doing in the secondary window on the right is easier to look at as well. There are three tabs that I keep open on the right: a primary lexicon (DCH right now), a search tab for concordance like queries, and a Live-Click text-browser to quickly look at other versions.

I do still use Live-Click for single-clicking a verse reference to see all the ancient versions. You can adjust Live-Click so that it only works with verse references in Accordance preferences.

In this two-column setup, dictionaries are easier to read, more search results are visible, and when I take a look at other versions I can usually see them all without scrolling.

space for other viewing other versions
space for other viewing other versions

More Lexicon Functionality

While Live-Clicking to look up a word is nice in that it opens all your lexicons in a research tab with a single click, using triple click is better in a couple ways. When you triple-click a word, Accordance can highlight the verse reference you are in.

triple-click means highlighted verse references
triple-click means highlighted verse references

Triple-Clicking a word automatically shifts the focus to the lexicon tab (unlike Live-Click), and this means that you can now do two helpful things with keyboard shortcuts.

  1. Even if your verse isn’t mentioned for several scroll screens, you can jump straight to your reference with Option-Command-Down Arrow (⌥⌘↓).
  2. You can magnify the lexicon tap to read a long entry in full screen with Option–Command–M, (⌥⌘M). When you are finished, you can use the same shortcut to put the tab back at its previous size and resume your workflow.
⌥⌘M for toggling full-screen lexicon reading
⌥⌘M for toggling full-screen lexicon reading

More Search Functionality

One drawback of using Live-Click to search for all the occurrences of a word is that your search results are displayed in a less fullly featured way — it’s not a normal search tab. With this two-column setup you can have a fully-fledged search tab there ready to go. When you want to see all the occurrences of a word in the Hebrew Bible, you click the word once and then hit Command-4 (⌘4).

⌘4 to search for a word
⌘4 to search for a word

Using this method also means you aren’t limited to searching single words. You can highlight a phrase, click Command-4, and instantly see what no print concordance would provide you.

⌘4 to search for a phrase
⌘4 to search for a phrase

You don’t get to see your word in all the inscriptions, the DSS, and the Mishnah, but you probably don’t care to most of the time anyway. Using triple-click gives you the ability to hover over words in your search results to get instant detail glosses, and you can add a translation to the results as well.

Other Benefits

Two other significant benefits of this setup: space for audio links and room for opening a commentary from the info pane. Since the text tab is taking up half the screen on the left, I have room to add the Hebrew Audio resource, which you can see on the bottom left. Now, as I read I can click to listen to each verse read aloud. This is very beneficial for helping Hebrew become an actual language and not just a code to turn into English.

Finally, using the info pane to quickly look at a commentary is easier. Instead of clicking and long-holding to view the commentary in a pop-up, I have room to view the commentary beside the text by performing a normal click (not a long-hold) in the info pane.

Room for opening a commentary from the info pane
Room for opening a commentary from the info pane

Conclusion

I love this workspace as a reading companion because it allows me to get answers to whatever question crosses my mind while reading and then get back to reading. I usually read with a print text, and only turn to this setup as a lexicon, concordance, etc.

I do, however, find that there are times when I want to lie on the bed and just read straight from Accordance. There are times when I have only a couple minutes between classes and I want to read, even if only a verse or two. In these moments, I think it is comfortable to read straight from this workspace, as well. It is flexible enough to function as a secondary reading companion in combination with a print text or a standalone digital text with all the tools built in.

I hope this post and the previous ones give you a better idea of how you can use Accordance to support your reading. I write these posts simply because I really enjoy using Accordance, and the purpose of this blog is to share things I enjoy.

You can find the previous posts here:

Oh, and one last note. Their dark mode is gorgeous:

Accordance Bible Hebrew