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Creating your own commentary in Accordance 10 (or just taking notes)

December 29, 2012

I’ve just this week gotten into a particular feature of Accordance Bible Software: the User Notes. As I’m doing some research and writing in the book of Romans right now, recording and storing my notes in Accordance itself is very easy–and fun.

I didn’t write about User Notes when I reviewed Accordance 10. It’s a standout feature, though, and very elegantly and smoothly produced by the developers.

In short, you can use User Notes to essentially create your own running commentary on the Bible–whether this is notes about various translations, insights into the original language, or thoughts about how a given text applies to you and the people with whom you are in community.

You can have the User Notes set up as a parallel text (i.e., in the image below, I can replace “GNT-T Notes” with my own notes) or as a tool in a different zone altogether. You can tie the tool to a text so that everything scrolls together verse-by-verse. This latter setup is how I prefer to work, as here (open image in new tab to see at full size):

User Notes Mark 1.2

Edit mode allows you to take notes on any verse. You simply go to a verse in the text, press the shortcut (command key + U), add your note, then click on update, and you’ve got a note. To edit an existing note, go to your notes that are in display mode, click and start typing. The edit window then opens.

You can automatically hyperlink any verse reference you list in a note. So in the “AKJV notes” that are in “display mode” above for Mark 1:2, I simply have to highlight Exodus 23:20, then click on “Make Link” for it to become hyperlinked. And as with other tools, it is easy to search notes by reference or content.

At present it is not possible to hyperlink to anything else in a note besides a verse. (So you can’t hyperlink to a Website, for example, though this would take you outside of the Accordance program anyway.) And live editing does not currently exist in User Notes (see here for more). But the ease with which I’ve been able to begin using and continue to make extensive use of the User Notes is commendable. I really like what Accordance has done here.

More details about User Notes can be found here in the Accordance online help files. And you can watch this video tutorial about the User Notes, too.

My full Accordance review is here.

What do you think?

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