Searching in Logos Bible software (concluding part of my Logos 4 review)
I own a concordance, but it’s packed away in a box somewhere. Useful as a print concordance is, with sites like the NET Bible and Bible Gateway, not to mention various software programs available, I can do any word or phrase searching quickly at a computer.
This post will mark the completion of my multiple-part reviews of three major Bible software programs: BibleWorks 9, Accordance 10, and Logos 4. In this final part of my Logos review, I look at the searching features available in Logos. No print concordance necessary.
Here is the search function in action:
The above highlights four search categories: Basic, Bible, Morph, Syntax. A “Basic” search searches your library; “Bible” is just what it says it is. “Morph” can search according to a word’s inflection. “Syntax” can perform more complex grammatical searches.
There are multiple ways to search for and look up things in Logos. There’s a useful instructional video here with more information about how to do a “Basic Search” in Logos, i.e., search every resource in your library. And you can look here to watch a video that explains how to utilize the command bar on the home screen for searches.
You can also right click on a word in an open resource and search from where you are, looking it up in that resource, in all open resources, in your whole library, etc.
I was pleasantly surprised by the versatile ways one can search in Logos. The control+F search function is easy to use and remember–it’s how I search .pdfs and open Web pages already.
What was unpleasantly surprising, though, was how long some of the searches took. (Click below to enlarge.)
Nearly five seconds to return search results for a word. Granted, the above is the most frequently occurring word in the Hebrew Bible, but using different software I’ve been able to perform such a search significantly faster.
Lack of speed is perhaps the chief weakness in Logos. Part of this, I think, is because of one of its strengths, which is its massive library. Logos says, “The central metaphor Logos Bible Software is the universal digital library.” While this is a commendable project, and while the resources available in Logos are quite impressive (as I wrote here), it does seem to be at the expense of quickness of searches. Or perhaps it’s not just a library issue; it could be in the coding or some other.
Either way I hope future editions of Logos will improve upon search speed. This seems to be a vital need. I’ve had searches that turned up results faster than 5 seconds (a couple in under a second), but I also did a Bible search today that took more than 20 seconds to return results.
Once you have your search results, there are some fun ways to be able to manipulate and view the data. With a Septuagint search for ὅτι, I can view the results as a “Grid”:
or as “Analysis”:
I have found the “Analysis” sorting the most helpful, since you can click on any of the column headers above and it re-sorts in the same way an Excel spreadsheet would.
A few concluding thoughts on Logos 4:
- Their community forums are active and helpful
- Your library, notes, highlighting, etc. all travel with you and update automatically wherever you use Logos, whether that’s on a Mac, a PC, an iPhone, or online
- Great library–lots of resources (including some unique ones) available
- The slowness at times of searches or just general moving around in the program is not great and can hinder productivity
- It’s highly customizable with its tabs and resources; makes working on multiple things at once easy
One other thing to note is that Logos offers a good discount program.
Thanks to Logos for the review copy of Logos 4 with the Original Languages Library included. For the review copy I have been giving my honest impressions of the program in a multi-part review (here, here, here, here, and here), which this installment concludes. Look in coming weeks to this blog for a comparison of Logos, BibleWorks, and Accordance.