Logos 8 can do a lot in the background to make your work easier when it is set up properly for your work style. You can have Logos 8 do the heavy work of setting up your workspace for a new project with a couple of clicks. Have the resources you need at your fingertips without rethinking your workflow. Then you have a layout you are familiar with and everything is exactly where it was last the last time you used Logos 8. It is easy by using Layouts and the shortcuts bar.
After playing with Logos 8 a bit just to get a feel for it a person should choose a preferred Bible. This is done by prioritizing one Bible above the other Bibles. While you are at it prioritize your favorite commentaries and lexicon so they will be listed first in searches and guides.
This is a hands on tutorial. Actions are yellow highlights. Search terms are bold and underlined. Menues and things are bold.
Considerations for choose your preferred Bible.
This is one of the first things Logos recommends doing. It is done by prioritizing a Bible as your top Bible. Your favorite Bible for reading may not be the Bible you want to use for Bible study in Logos. For instance, if your favorite Bible is “The New Testament In Modern Speech,” you would be disappointed to discover there is no reverse-interlinear Greek to go along with it as there is for the NASB, NET, NIV and others. Another thing to consider is, if you use commentaries in Logos, it would be nice if your preferred Bible match closely to your most used commentaries. A formal equivalent (literal) translation usually works best for Bible study when also looking at the original languages. The same is also true if your commentaries discuss the original languages, again a literal translation probably words best. I recommend the New American Standard Bible (NASB95) It is included in Logos’s base packages. If you are not sure which Bible to set as your preferred Bible, I suggest you just set one as a preferred and keep it opened on your screen with along with a second choice. Link them together by choose the same link set for both. Then they scroll together staying in sync with each other on the same verse. Then you can decide which one of them works best for you. Using the “link set” feature works great with commentaries also. Read about the Link set feature. I will cover that later in this tutorial.
[Search the help file for “Resource Priority”] and prioritize your prefered Bible
Next one should think about how they like to work and the kind of LAYOUT they want on their screen.
- Do you use more than one computer monitor?
- Do You do a lot of highlighting?
- Do you take clippings from your resources for a clippings file of your study? Or notes?
- What resources do you use the most, Bibles, dictionary, Lexicons, Commentaries, other resources.
A person works differently to some degree depending on the type of study they are working on.
- The many of the resources used depend on which text you are working on.
- They workflow is different for different work.
- Sermon preparation,
- Word, character, and subject studies
- Cultural and historical study
- OT studies may need Hebrew language tools or Ancient Near East historical and cultural information as well as commentaries.
- NT Studies may need a Greek language tools or NT cultural information as well as commentaries or a Bible Word Study or a Passage Guide.
- A subject study may need a dictionary, encyclopedias, journals and Biblical cross references.
Getting the desired resources opened and ready for use quickly is important to efficiency in ones work. A person can save months of time over their lifetime use of Logos 8 by doing ten minutes work a day with a couple of clicks every day. This is what Layouts can do for you. The layouts feature saves a snapshot of your screen(s) in a particular moment of time when you tell it to “save as a named layout” OR “update active” on the Layout menu. A snapshot that has been named becomes a “Layout”. Choosing a layout will fill the screen(s) with Logos in the exact same configuration as when the layout was created. It simply reloads the saved snapshot. Be sure to read the vocabulary section under the heading “layouts” in the help file. A couple of other sections to read are “Resource Panel” and “Resource Panel Menu.” Reading these can save you time and in the long run and reduce headache from misunderstanding directions in the help file.
I have three layouts I can use when starting a study of OT, NT, or a subject study. I also have layouts from I have saved a project using “save as a named layout” so I could easily return to the study. You can also delete a previously saved layout at any time by right-clicking the layout name and selecting Delete. To start my day or a new project I simply open the Layout I need for the task at hand and a dozen things happens very quickly. Starting a study with a layout saves a lot of time. For one, it keeps me from constantly reinventing my workspace.
What Layouts can do for you.
I will explain how I have one of my layouts set up to give an idea of what it does for a person to use layouts. Once you open a panel, you can drag it around and place it anywhere on the screen. If you place it on top of another panel you will have multiple tabs to by which to activate the desired panel. I use two monitors. Beginning with he left side of my right monitor I placed Highlighting, two inches wide by the full height of the monitor. In the same tile area as highlighting, I placed the Pronunciation panel which now shows a tab for each panel. Then I put “Copy Bible Verses” in the lower half of the tile of the highlighting/pronunciation panels. I then dragged the height of the “Copy Bible Verse” Panel” down to make it 2.5 inches tall to leave more area for the top panels. Now I have three panels packed nicely in the middle of my two monitors.
In the empty space imediatly to the right is where I place my Bibles. The width of this tile is about 30-40 % of my screen. I usually have four tabs in this tile. The first is the NASB95 showing the reverse interlinear. I also have set NA28 and AFAT as Multiple resource display which show up in the bottom half of the panel and scrolls in sync with the NASB95. AFAT shows Hebrew when I am In the Old Testament and NA28 shows Greek when I am in the New Testament. My 2nd tab is the NASB with the reverse interlinear showing in the entire panel. This way I have more room to see it than I do in tab-1. Tab-3 is just the NASB95 in English for reading the passage. It is only one click away and therefore easier to access than turning the reverse interlinear on and off in the other panels. The 4th tab is the “Faithlife Study Bible” with four other Study Bibles showing in the panel by using the “Multiple resources” feature. Everything in this area is "link set" on “A” so they are always on the same verse no matter which one I scroll. Copy Bible Verses is also set on “A” so it is ready to copy the current verse to MS-Word with the press of a button.
I still have empty space on the right side of my screen. This is where I have the necessary lexicon for the passage (Hebrew or Greek) opened with the layout. I have "link set" the lexicon on “A” also. This way I can click a word in my Bible and assuming it is in the proper testament, the lexicon will jump to the word. I can click a Greek word and the Greek Lexicon looks it up. If the English Bible has an interlinear, clicking an English word will send the lexicon to the corresponding Greek word. This also works with “Bible Word Study” Guide. If the lexicon panel is not active, a double click on the word causes it to activate and lookup the word. I also use this area for reading commentaries, encyclopedias, or journals etc.
My other monitor the screen is split in half. One side is for searching and the other side for everything else such as various guides, clippings, and Notes. Note for multiple monitors. To get Logos to use both monitors, just right click a tab and choose “Open in a floating window.” [ Cnt-F11 (Mac Opt+Cmd+F)] Then you can drag it to the other monitor and maximize it. Then you can drag any tab into it and around in it just like the other monitor.
It took long enough to read through all that and quite a bit longer to set it up. The Layout consistently places panels in the same place. It links certain panels together, so they scroll together and pass information from one panel to another. The lexicon can look up a word faster than you could type it in your native language.
What if you set up something that complicated? You don’t want to lose it. From the Layout button menu save it as a layout (Layout|Save as a named layout) so next time you can get the exact same settings within a second or two.
Another important time saver to setup that is independent of Layouts is the “Shortcut Bar”. This is the empty space just below the logos window’s title bar and to the right of the main menu. This is for shortcuts to anything (resource or panel) that you can open that has a tab. To create the shortcut for it, just open the panel and drag its tab onto the shortcut bar and release it. It will stay there until removed. The Shortcut bar is useful for things you use frequently but do not necessarily want it to open with the layout. You can change the icon of the shorcut in the right-click menu.