Friday, November 2, 2007

New BibleWorks Classroom Tip 1.8 > Taking Notes in BW7 and Logos

An exceedingly helpful new Classroom Tip entry on the use of the User Notes, Editor, and Report Generator has been posted by the BibleWorks folks.
I have not yet really done much with the note taking features of either BW7 or Logos. From the little I know:
BW7 is helpful in allowing for notes connected either to a chapter or to a verse in addition to a general editor for working on thematic entries. I do like that it has plenty of editing options allowing for customization of formatting and linking to texts and other resources and that all the notes are saved as standard RTF files. (RTF=Rich Text Format is a standard document format that virtually any word processor can handle.) What I don't like is that the polytonic Greek keyboard I use (the Logos one - for more on keyboards, cf. this entry) does not work well. (It doesn't like accent and breathing mark entries. Logos and BW7 not getting along? No, it's a matter of how precomposed and combined characters are handled.) I can work around that issue with cut/paste, but what most bothers me is that there is hardly any visual reminder that I ever made notes on a chapter or verse. Since the editing windows are tabs in the right column, and since I usually am using the Word Analysis or Resource Summary tab, I never notice whether I have taken notes or not. The little "c" or "v" (for chapter or verse) that appears on the tab just is not sufficient for me.
I have used the notetaking feature in Logos even less. It appears to be rather versatile, but maybe with that complexity comes confusion that has generated many requests for improvement on the Logos newsgroup. Without having spent enough time to figure it out and due to my don't-read-the-manual-unless-I-have-to approach, I'm a bit confused about the difference between a "general note" and a "notefile" note, though it appears to be similar to the distinction between the Editor and User Notes in BW7. It is nice to attach the note to all biblical texts or only to one specific one. (I.e., one can choose to have a note show up attached to every version of a biblical text or only to a single one. You select the General or the Notefile attachment and then choose to add to an "Article.") Though opening the note window seems to take a while to be ready for actually typing in notes, I do like that the note is clearly visible as an attachment icon to the text. (But when I changed the name of the default NoteFile1 to something more intelligible to me, then all the attachments disappeared. UPDATE: exiting and restarting the program fixed it.) I like the way that one can organize notes within a note file (sort of like creating an outline structure for the notes), and I also find highlighting of text to be much easier in Logos than BW7. For me, however, a significant problem is that the Logos notes contain enough (XML?) coding so that they cannot be easily edited in standard word processing programs.
BW7 has a built-in way to search all of one's notes to find anything. I cannot find anything like it in Logos, but one could search the Annotations subdirectory or install the user-created Dominotez program which works well.
I have an upcoming project due of providing study and commentary notes to the Gospel of Mark. At this point, I plan to write my notes in BW7 primarily because I can use the RTF files more easily in MSWord.
Anyone have more experience in taking notes in either program, please leave a comment!

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