Tag Archives: workflow

Quickly Paste Bible References Using Accordance or Logos Bible Software

Often times when you are working on a project that includes bible references you will want to actually quote the bible verse. Generally the workflow would include opening up your bible software of choice, searching for the reference, and then copying and pasting that reference into the document. There is actually a quicker way to do this through the use of services on the Mac. Services allow apps to communicate in the background and do some basic functionality from that particular app. In the two videos below I show you how to use both Accordance and Logos Bible Software’s services to quickly retreive the text of a bible reference all with a simple keyboard shortcut without leaving your word processor.

Accordance has more robust services to offer:

  1. Insert verses – this service pastes the text from your default resource
  2. Insert verses from any text – this service allows you to choose the resource that you want to paste from
  3. Search for words – allows you to highlight a word (in any app) and search for it in Accordance
  4. Search with options – same as above but you get to choose what resource(s) you search from
  5. View verses – opens up Accordance to the verse you highlighted

In order to download Accordance’s service go here.

Logos Bible Software offers two services:

  1. Copy Bible Verses – opens up Logos to the copy bible verses module. At the time of writing I think this has a bug as I can not get it to work correctly
  2. Replace with passage – pastes the bible verse of the highlighted reference

For each of these services you can add keyboard shortcuts from the System Preferences. Note: If you have trouble getting this to work in some apps such as Pages then try changing the keyboard shortcut. If there are duplicate keyboard shortcuts for two different commands then both of them will not work.

Cleaning Up Your Research PDF Workflow

One of the many conveniences of the digital world is to be able to have loads of research all on one device, such as a computer, tablet, and even your phone. Personally, I love the fact that I can scan copies of journal articles, book chapters, and other content into PDFs. This allows me to have all my research in one place and I am not scrambling around with hundreds of pieces of paper around my desk when writing a paper. But one of the problems of this (and it is not just limited to digital documents) is how to collate all your highlights and notes in one place. In the past I’ve done this by hand by typing out quotes and notes into Evernote.

Welcome to Highlights for Mac!

*If you just want to checkout my PDF workflow video without reading the post click here


First, one caveat. For the Highlights to work to its full potential the PDF needs to be searchable/OCR’d. Most journal articles that you download from a database are probably already searchable[1]. Articles/book portions you scan to PDF from your library are probably not searchable[2]. There are several gimmicky and “cheap” solutions out there but in my experience there are really only one excellent option: ABBYY FineReader Pro for Mac[3]. At the time of writing this piece you can purchase the app for $83.99 with a student discount. This app also comes packaged with the excellent DevonThink Pro Office for slightly more money. You should really check out this program as it will transform your research[4]. The reason you need a searchable PDF will be explained below.


Ok, now we can actually look at Highlights. At the foundational level Highlights takes your highlights, notes, and images and creates a text file that is connected to the PDF and actually links to it. When you highlight a PDF then Highlights will take the text that is highlighted and copy into into the linked text file in a blockquote. Making a comment on a PDF will result in italics text. And underlining results in a reference.

You can also add notes to the PDF either from the Highlights app or any other PDF reader such as Preview. The text of the note will be added to the text document associated with the PDF.

One other helpful feature is to sort annotations by category. This allows you to set colors as a specific category and the linked noted will sort it accordingly.

There have been other workarounds for this type of functionality but most of them involved using a specific app for highlights and notes. But this will read the highlights and notes from other aps and create the linked text file. After you are all finished you have one PDF with text of your highlights and notes in one PDF without retyping. So as you are reading your PDF you are creating this document without any extra work.

I’ve put together a video below showing a soup to nuts PDF workflow using DevonThink and ABBYY FineReader to OCR, read and highlight on the iPad using PDF Expert 5, opening the PDF to create the linked text file using Highlights, and then finally exporting to Evernote to my notebook for a paper. Perfection.

Apps mentioned:

  1. Highlights for Mac
  2. ABBYY FineReader
  3. PDF Expert 5 (iPad/iPhone)
  4. DevonThink Pro Office

  1. In order to check to see if the PDF is searchable just open up your document and try to highlight the text. If you can then it is searchable if you can’t then it is not searchable.  ↩

  2. Some of you may be one of the lucky ones that the scanner OCRs the document but I would venture to guess that most out there do not.  ↩

  3. There are other OK options. If you are wanting a full-fledged PDF application that rivals Adobe Acrobat Pro I would definitely check out PDFpen Pro 7 from Smile Software. The issue I have found with this program in regards to OCRing PDFs is correctly rendering a scanned PDF that is of facing pages. For example, if you are scanning from a book it does not correctly read the text on both sides of the page. Therefore, you will have issues highlighting and searching. ABBYY FineReader is far superior in this regard. Personally, this constitutes about half my scans so it is a deal breaker for me.  ↩

  4. At some point I will write a blog series on using DevonThink similar to my Evernote for Academics series.  ↩

iOS Workflow: Quickly Search BDAG Entries in Logos using Drafts

Description:

Quickly type the lexical value in Drafts to search BDAG in the Logos Bible Software iOS app (video demo)

Apps Needed:

Drafts – $9.99 (Universal)
Logos Bible Software – Free (must have BDAG)

Workflow

  1. Open Drafts
  2. Switch to Greek keyboard on iOS
  3. Type lexical value (no need for accents)
  4. Click the BDAG action button
  5. Will automatically open the Logos app to the lexical entry in BDAG. Note: I find it works best if you download the BDAG resource to your iPad/iPhone

Download the workflow here

Evernote for Academics: Day 01 – Series Introduction

Evernote’s slogan is “remember everything”. They mean it. You can literally store (basically) anything you want into Evernote. In fact you can store almost anything and access it on almost any device (Apple, Windows, Android, Amazon, web browser, etc). The fact that you can do this makes it either a powerful tool or just an application that sits there unused. Imagine the library when you first began your academic career. It was (or is!) overwelming. You know there are thousands of resources at your fingertips ready to assist your research. But there is so much there and you don’t know where to begin. That feeling is similar to getting started with a tool like Evernote. As a student you either asked for guidance and received help in navigating the library and making it work for you or you pushed through and tried to figure it out yourself, which probably involved much more trial and error than seeking assistance. In the same way I hope this Evernote series provides you with the assitance to make Evernote work for you. It is a powerful tool that can transform you academic life as a student or a teacher.[1] This series will provide the basics to using Evernote that are especially pertinent in the academic realm. Once you know the basics you can begins to piece together workflows that will improve your productivity in your career.

To stretch the library metaphor a bit longer, the library probably offered many tools and services that no one ever told you about. Sure, you know the library has books and journals. But did you know there were more powerful ways of researching rather than picking all the books off the shelf that had your topic in the title? Maybe you learned that the library can obtain books that they don’t have. Or you realized that there is more to searching for journal articles online than just typing in a couple keywords. Or maybe there are vast resources that you didn’t even know existed! Well, Evernote works in the same way. You know that it can “remember everything” but what all can you do with it? That is the second part that I hope to accomplish with this series. Along the way I will give practical uses that either I use or know of others that use Evernote in different ways. It is my hope that this will inspire you to either adopt some of these practices and/or create your own unique uses. I want Evernote to work for you in whatever situation you are in.

What will this series cover?

Here is the tentative outline for the series. If you have any topics that you would like me to cover please leave a comment, tweet me (@renshaw330), or email me (brenshaw833@gmail.com). Each section will include both a written post and video tutorial(s).

  1. Introduction
  2. Your Evernote philosophy (tagging vs. notebooks)
  3. Getting your stuff into Evernote
  4. Searching within Evernote
  5. Use as a student
  6. Academic research workflows

Following my posts I will have some guest posts of current users of Evernote explaining how they make Evernote work for them. If you are interested in writing a guest post on how you use Evernote please either comment or send me an email.

I am excited for this series. I know many people who like the “idea” of Evernote but don’t know where to get started. There are others who “use” it but not to its full capabilities. Then there are others of you that are advanced users who could probably teach me a few things! Whatever level you are at I hope that this series will be beneficial for you.

Watch this short overview from Evernote below:


  1. Intergrating it in your whole life is great too but this series will primarily focus on the academic side.  ↩

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Links to the Evernote for Academics Series

If you would like to subscribe to the blog via RSS click here. If you would rather receive updates via email click here to sign up

Follow me on Twitter – @renshaw330