Is There A Way To Improve Searches?

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Posts 15
Kevin Ball | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Mar 4 2012 7:57 PM

Hello - I am a newbie at this - having recently purchased the scholar's package and I am finding the search functionality leaves a little to be desired. I try searching for items like - apostle's creed, sinner's prayer, a line in a verse and I get overwhelmed with the results - so much so I just go to the internet / google - type in the same string I typed into Logos 4 and I get my response back almost immediately with what I am looking for on the 1st page of results. Is there a better way on Logos to achieve the same results?

To be honest I am evaluating the software for the 30 days and after paying $600 I have not been overly impressed as I find myself going to the internet more often that going to Logos 4.

Posts 3578
steve clark | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 4 2012 8:05 PM

Hi Kevin,

Welcome to the Forum!

You will probably want to watch these excellent videos: http://www.logos4training.com/

EDIT: you might also want to view the wiki pages: Table of Contents

QLinks, Bibl2, LLR, Macros
Dell Insp 17-5748, i5, 1.7 GHz, 8G RAM, win 8.1

Posts 1649
Room4more | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 4 2012 8:30 PM

Well there is, but you must invest some time to get it to where it, L4, works for you – the Individual!

First, you will need to make some  Collections . This helps in your basic searchs and get you started. Once you have these you can speed the searches up some and even go back and tweek the collections to suit your desired taste for books that you own.

Next, understand the basic elements of how a basic search is done, this again will help by way of the collections you have setup.

Here is a brief example: You see the word Ephrathah, that is what I am searching for, next in the drop down you see some brief collections that I have made, and you will note that the marker is under Basic.[once you go through the two links: Collections, search ;  then you will be moving in the right direction](ppsssttt, do not be afraid to ask for help, within the confines of this forum there are multitudes of wells with valuable information; and unlike some others, the Logos people do post here as well.......Big Smile Wink:

DISCLAIMER: What you do on YOUR computer is your doing.

Posts 19123
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 4 2012 8:52 PM

Hi Kevin,

Welcome to the Logos forums!

I can hear your newbie frustration. It takes a while to get used to the way you can narrow down searches in Logos to be more relevant to what you want.

1) First, I hope you're entering those phrases inside quotation marks to make sure you are getting only search hits where they occur as a phrase, as opposed to just both words sinner and prayer appearing together on the same page (which would give you way more hits).

2) Check out the wiki pages on Search to learn about Boolean searches (AND and OR) and parentheses and other kinds of search limitations. Note the links in the "See Also" section in the right sidebar for more Search help.

3) Actually probably most useful, watch Mark Barnes's excellent "Unofficial Logos Tutorial" video on Searching. His are better than the official ones!

4) Notice the "Topics" section at the top of your search results and click to expand it if it isn't expanded yet. Often the most relevant hits (for common concepts that would be defined in Bible Dictionaries and the like) will be there, and you won't need to look any further. E.g.,

5) Check the setting of your "Match all word forms" option on the Search tab's panel menu (click the magnifying class icon to drop down the menu). Sometimes you need this on to catch more hits if you're not getting enough (e.g. for "sinner's prayer" you might find that you miss out on different spellings of the possessive, whether it's singular or plural -- sinner's vs. sinners' -- unless you have this option checked). But sometimes having it turned on results in overwhelming number of irrelevant search results, so you need to turn it off.

6) Collections are the best answer to targeting your searches. One of the first things you'll need to do to make your Logos library work better for you, is familiarize it and categorize it into collections, much as you might an actual library of physical books. That way you can search only through your History resources for "baptism," for example, if you're looking for info about the historical development of Christian attitudes towards baptism. It will ignore all references to baptism in Bible, commentaries, Christian living books, etc.

This is probably the hardest part of learning the ropes in Logos for newbies, but once you get over this hurdle, your use of the software will skyrocket. Check out the wiki pages on Collections, watch the official Logos video Dynamic, Rule-based Collections, and watch Mark Barnes's videos Creating Collections in Logos 4 and Creating Collections in Logos 4 (Advanced). I know it's a bit learning curve, but it's worth the time.

Google is great for finding certain quick things, but usually the depth of content you can find that way is limited, and could be skewed by theological positions you're not interested in. Learning how to target your searches well in your Logos library will reward you with better material to read.

EDIT: Finally, don't hesitate to ask if you're struggling to learn how better to formulate your search strings to be most effective. There are a bunch of us here, in all times zones around the world, and chances are you'll get an answer pretty quickly.

Posts 2867
Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 4 2012 9:11 PM

Lots of good advice in this thread about making collections to limit and target searches, and the importance of learning the various "code words" for searches.

But it is a shame that searches in Logos 4 are so complicated so un-intuitive that one needs training to do it right.  This is a weakness in the program.  And it is something that should be as intuitive as possible.  Searching should be basic to the program, not something you must study to do right.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 5 2012 12:36 AM

Kevin Ball:

Hello - I am a newbie at this - having recently purchased the scholar's package and I am finding the search functionality leaves a little to be desired. I try searching for items like - apostle's creed, sinner's prayer, a line in a verse and I get overwhelmed with the results - so much so I just go to the internet / google - type in the same string I typed into Logos 4 and I get my response back almost immediately with what I am looking for on the 1st page of results. Is there a better way on Logos to achieve the same results?

To be honest I am evaluating the software for the 30 days and after paying $600 I have not been overly impressed as I find myself going to the internet more often that going to Logos 4.

Welcome Big Smile

Wiki has Getting Started with Logos => Search with Tips and links.

One place where Logos searching is better than the internet is visual filter highlighting.  Wiki has Getting Started with Logos => Highlighting + Visual Filters that includes link to =>  Extended Tips for Highlighting and Visual Filters that has => Examples of visual filters with a screen shot showing five Logos Greek Morphology visual filters, which are usable in Greek and English Bibles with Logos Greek morphological tagging.  Greek has more verbal expressiveness than English.  Thankful Logos can highlight verbal range of expression.

For me, when a search of my entire library returns lots of results, like to group results by count.  Also, like to change search from All Text to "Heading Text, Large Text" to look for topical articles:

By the way, with match all word forms checked, "apostle's NEAR creed" and "apostle NEAR creed" find the same set of results.

Searching for sinner NEAR prayer using "Heading Text; Large Text" finds 9 articles in my library (so Ranked them to show couple lines) while searching All Text finds 2,536 results in 867 articles:

For Bible searching, personally have a collection of Bibles for Grid result viewing.  If do a Bible search for a word list, Logos shows all verses that have all the words:

In Grid results, can click on a Bible to quickly change verse display to that Bible (e.g. AV 1873 in screen shot).  Also can hover mouse over a box for verse pop-up.

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 19123
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 5 2012 2:13 AM

Michael Childs:
But it is a shame that searches in Logos 4 are so complicated so un-intuitive that one needs training to do it right.  This is a weakness in the program.  And it is something that should be as intuitive as possible.  Searching should be basic to the program, not something you must study to do right.

Agreed. Google somehow seems to intuit things that the user has to spend long hours learning how to make Logos do. I do wish Logos could be better about its relevancy algorithms so that the "right out of the box" experience with searching would be more engaging. It does turn people off. It's unfortunate.

Posts 1649
Room4more | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 5 2012 6:18 AM

Michael Childs:

But it is a shame that searches in Logos 4 are so complicated so un-intuitive that one needs training to do it right.  This is a weakness in the program.  And it is something that should be as intuitive as possible.  Searching should be basic to the program, not something you must study to do right.

Well that would be true to a point. But we must remember that this is a dedicated software. In the event that you do a search that is directly related to a passage in the Bible it is not searching “world wide web” for results that you would have to sift through for a few hours but rather a dedicated set of books solely for the purpose of education and study of a dedicated subject. Wherein lies the greatest difference.

Albiet, that with any software that has a dedicated purpose, there must be a learning curve to be able to use it and have it function as designed. This, in some instances would require help from others as well as giving of one’s time to learn some of the quirks as well as some of the inherent potential.

He stated that he has the Scholars Library, good choice. Yet there are books contained within that he may find that he doesn’t read or use – thus the collections. Or possibly know how to use, this is why we have the forums.

We do not all study the same, nor will we do the same functions to get the desired results. This is a proven over trial and error. Should he not have had any previous version of Libronix/Logos then time will be a major factor in using this new software.

Yes, one can do a basic search, but at some point he/us/they will want to go beyond this……………….Hopefully.

 

DISCLAIMER: What you do on YOUR computer is your doing.

Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 5 2012 9:19 AM

IMHO, while I know Bob is focused on more powerful searching in the future, which will be part of what appeals to the "1%" interested in more academic high end use of Logos, in order for Logos to truly be a more consumer oriented product a vision of searching has to be SIMPLE.  What overwhelms and confuses many new users, based on questions, is that you can't just install and start using the product to make searches.  You REALLY have to:

install

learn about the types of resources, how they are indexed, so you can:

determine versified resources and prioritize them

determine non-versified resources and prioritize them

create collections

That's just a start - and this is not LEARNING how to use Logos, it's SETTING UP Logos, in part because there are too many results returned (and that issue will get worse as everyone has more resources). I hope there is a vision that one day we don't have to prioritize, make collections, and all the other stuff we have to do to get started with Logos - either it's set up for us or not needed.  Leave that tweaking and tuning for advanced users.  This is a vision of how Logos gets a lot easier to use.

Posts 1649
Room4more | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 5 2012 10:22 AM

Dominick Sela:

IMHO, while I know Bob is focused on more powerful searching in the future, which will be part of what appeals to the "1%" interested in more academic high end use of Logos, in order for Logos to truly be a more consumer oriented product a vision of searching has to be SIMPLE.  What overwhelms and confuses many new users, based on questions, is that you can't just install and start using the product to make searches.  You REALLY have to:...[...]

I would have to agree with you.

But let’s take all things into consideration: There are some low-end bible programs out there and yes you do get what you pay for when you buy their base packages – but the reality is that they do not compare with Logos.

Agreed that there is more than just an install when it comes to a top-of-the-line software, the same cannot be said of the tier 3 or 4 software. There are also ‘freebie’ ones that require none to minimal setup as well, and since they are free-what you get is what you get.

I would even agree more that some are not ready for L4, sad but yes the statement carries much weight; But at the same time I do believe that anyone, and I do mean anyone can learn to use it.

I made my first purchase many many many moons ago(Libronix - i think it cost about 30$). The toughest and most disenheartening thing to learn was how to set it up, but then when I got past that every upgrade was easier to establish my particular study pattern. Now they have created a very functional integration within L4 that when there is an upgrade by the purchaser then their settings are carried over – the same can not be said with the lower tier programs or the freebies.

I have never considered the ‘versified –vs- non-versified when it came to prioritizing. In fact, I have never taken the time to prioritize, I know which books I prefer and have used the collections based on the priority that L4 sets and gone with that, being thorough in research and study.

As towards the indexing, I find that attractive, if one can remember the keylink system of doing things, or the execute keylink, I believe that they will agree. Yes it does take some time based on resources – but then isn’t that part of the design?

Some of the algorithms could use some tweaking in regards to the search patterns, but then not everyone searches the same. Do they? Which brings us back to the setup – I would say that our two setups are slightly similar, but not the same. Why – because we are two different people, you have a certain and particular way of doing things that I may see but then I may not agree that I would do it that way----This is a partial incorporation within the Program, it becomes part of you; your walk, your talk and most importantly your Spiritual Development – all in addition to what you seek to accomplish with the program….

 

DISCLAIMER: What you do on YOUR computer is your doing.

Posts 1281
toughski | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 5 2012 10:32 AM

Michael Childs:
Searching should be basic to the program, not something you must study to do right.

Actually, asking the right questions, even in life is an art, and you need to study how to do it well. Especially, if one wants to find more than the occurrences of a single word in his/her library.

Posts 1024
Armin | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 6 2012 10:28 AM

I am glad I am not the only one with this problem. Logos search is extremely powerful if  you know the fairly complex syntax. I don't search often enough to remember the syntax so I have to keep searching on the wiki.

Google just seems to know what I want to search and 99% of the time I get the answer within the first few hits. I really believe that Logos needs to follow two directions: 

1) Powerful searches for people who know original languages and can invest time to learn the search syntax.

2) More intuitive "Google-like" searches that do not require any particular syntax.

Armin 

Posts 8899
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 6 2012 11:06 AM

Armin:
Google just seems to know what I want to search and 99% of the time I get the answer within the first few hits.

That comes with a price. What you find at the top isn't there because Google is so much better at programming than Logos is, it's there

  • either because someone has payed Google a huge amount of money to have their link placed high (so you're essentially being bought, taken by the hand and led to the big store, although the small one on page 12 may have a much better price), 
  • or because that's what the majority wants to see if they search for that word (sometimes helpful, sometimes extremely annoying (try searching for someone who happens to have the same name as an athlete...)), 
  • or because Google has collected more data on you than Stasi or the KGB ever could have, and knows pretty precisely what you're likely to want.
Plus all this can be done because the processing takes place on huge servers, not on your tiny computer.

I don't want Evangelical books to turn up on the top just because the rest of you like them, and I definitely don't want Logos to collect more information on me than they already have. There are ways to avoid being tracked by Google, but since my copy of Logos is tied to my account, and the account is tied to my credit card, there is no way I can avoid being tracked by Logos, unless they avoid tracking me.

I'm sure there are still ways to improve the searching, but I don't want it done at the expense I have to pay at Google.

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

Mac Pro OS 10.9.

Posts 1649
Room4more | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 6 2012 11:28 AM

Interesting/?/!

So when the church you attend assigns you a number and is able to track you better by that number as opposed to really knowing you by your given name - are we any closer to hearing that Trumpet?

DISCLAIMER: What you do on YOUR computer is your doing.

Posts 19123
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 10 2012 4:14 AM

fgh:

Armin:
Google just seems to know what I want to search and 99% of the time I get the answer within the first few hits.

That comes with a price. What you find at the top isn't there because Google is so much better at programming than Logos is, it's there

  • either because someone has payed Google a huge amount of money to have their link placed high (so you're essentially being bought, taken by the hand and led to the big store, although the small one on page 12 may have a much better price), 
  • or because that's what the majority wants to see if they search for that word (sometimes helpful, sometimes extremely annoying (try searching for someone who happens to have the same name as an athlete...)), 
  • or because Google has collected more data on you than Stasi or the KGB ever could have, and knows pretty precisely what you're likely to want.

Plus all this can be done because the processing takes place on huge servers, not on your tiny computer.

I don't want Evangelical books to turn up on the top just because the rest of you like them, and I definitely don't want Logos to collect more information on me than they already have. There are ways to avoid being tracked by Google, but since my copy of Logos is tied to my account, and the account is tied to my credit card, there is no way I can avoid being tracked by Logos, unless they avoid tracking me.

I'm sure there are still ways to improve the searching, but I don't want it done at the expense I have to pay at Google.

You're missing one of the main reasons that Google searches can be so uncannily relevant to what you're searching for. It's because of their PageRank algorithm. The more links in to a page, the higher it rises up in PageRank. So highly accurate and useful and content-rich pages are more likely to show up higher in the search results than some high school student's personal home page with pictures of her cat Fluffy and some of her favorite quotes, even if those quotes happen to mention some biblical concept you're looking up.

Here's an experiment.

I do a Google search for Abraham: First hit is the Wikipedia page about the Abraham of the Bible. Not Abraham Lincoln or any other Abraham. And it being Wikipedia, it's pretty relevant and helpful.

Other top 10 hits include a biography of Abraham on the Jewish Virtual Library site, "Daily Bible Study - Abraham, Man Of Faith," the Catholic Encyclopedia entry for Abraham, and "BBC - Religions - Judaism: Abraham." All top-notch sites. Of course the "filter bubble" probably means Google is able to shape the results I get to be more relevant for me, so I'm not getting Abraham Lincoln hits, but if I were a U.S. history buff instead of a person interested in Christian theology (which I'm sure Google knows about me), then I'd more likely get Abraham Lincoln hits -- and top quality ones -- near the top of the list.

(Interestingly, the #7 hit was for the website of one "Jay Abraham - Marketing Genius" and yup, he's a marketing genius if he can secure the web domain name abraham.com for himself and get his PageRank so high that it appears on the first page of Google search results. An even bigger marketing genius is Abraham Hicks, whose site appears as hit #2: "Home of Abraham-Hicks Law of Attraction -- It All Started Here!" -- I have no idea what he's talking about and am not going to click on his link to find out.)

Now for comparison, I do a Logos search for Abraham (unrestricted by Collection or Search Field):

Open up the TOPIC area because this is where the most relevant results will be (thanks to Logos Controlled Vocabulary -- LCV). However the Ranked search results after that seem pretty random:

I know there's some internal algorithm for it, something to do with how frequently in the article the word being searched for is found. But that is nowhere near as powerful a search ranking algorithm as what Google has. And it isn't something Logos could do very easily, unless they start ranking resources in search hits based on how frequently people tend to open them, or how many stars people assign to them, etc. But given the nature of Logos resources, different people will value different ones more highly over others, according to their theological positions. So I think it's a can't win proposition. Logos can't really do with crowd-sourcing what Google can do.

I wonder what would happen if Logos started letting book publishers become their own "marketing geniuses" and push their books up higher in the search results. Uggh! I hate to think.

I'm glad it works the way it does, but I'm still somewhat mystified by the Ranking algorithm and it usually doesn't do much for me. I prefer to use the TOPICS area for topical searches, or narrow down my search results to just a page of very relevant results by using AND, OR, NEAR, WITHIN and limiting the search to Collections and Search Fields.

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Levi Durfey | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 10 2012 4:44 AM

Rosie Perera:
And it isn't something Logos could do very easily, unless they start ranking resources in search hits based on how frequently people tend to open them, or how many stars people assign to them, etc

This wouldn't be a bad idea, if it was just kept to your personal account. That is, Logos would learn what resources you like personally and give them more weight in the search. If I like a certain Bible dictionary, John MacArthur, and John Piper, Logos could keep track of how often I open those books, or click on those search hits and factor that into the mix. That's an automatic way of doing it.

Another thought: Logos already has a way for users to prioritize resources, does it factor that into the searches? If it doesn't, maybe that would be another way doing the same thing.

 

 

Posts 19123
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 10 2012 5:10 AM

Integ:

Rosie Perera:
And it isn't something Logos could do very easily, unless they start ranking resources in search hits based on how frequently people tend to open them, or how many stars people assign to them, etc

This wouldn't be a bad idea, if it was just kept to your personal account. That is, Logos would learn what resources you like personally and give them more weight in the search. If I like a certain Bible dictionary, John MacArthur, and John Piper, Logos could keep track of how often I open those books, or click on those search hits and factor that into the mix. That's an automatic way of doing it.

Another thought: Logos already has a way for users to prioritize resources, does it factor that into the searches? If it doesn't, maybe that would be another way doing the same thing.

I don't think it does currently factor in prioritizations or user ratings, but it should. That would be the most important improvement they could make to this feature. Then after that if they want to make it really super intelligent, they could also keep track of how often I open resources.

Posts 1024
Armin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 12 2012 10:04 PM

Rosie Perera:

Integ:

Rosie Perera:
And it isn't something Logos could do very easily, unless they start ranking resources in search hits based on how frequently people tend to open them, or how many stars people assign to them, etc

This wouldn't be a bad idea, if it was just kept to your personal account. That is, Logos would learn what resources you like personally and give them more weight in the search. If I like a certain Bible dictionary, John MacArthur, and John Piper, Logos could keep track of how often I open those books, or click on those search hits and factor that into the mix. That's an automatic way of doing it.

Another thought: Logos already has a way for users to prioritize resources, does it factor that into the searches? If it doesn't, maybe that would be another way doing the same thing.

I don't think it does currently factor in prioritizations or user ratings, but it should. That would be the most important improvement they could make to this feature. Then after that if they want to make it really super intelligent, they could also keep track of how often I open resources.

This would be amazing!

Armin

Posts 15
Kevin Ball | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2012 9:03 PM

I would like to thank everyone for their suggestions / recommendations. While it appears Logos is not entirely user friendly, it does appear to have capabilities beyond what a normal user would expect. I liken it to someone receiving a Ferrari car when they have been driving a Yugo all their life. Anyway - I have been watching the training videos and taking your suggestions to heart and I feel I am on my way to opening this wonderful resource. Perhaps some day Logos will incorporate the recommendations everyone has listed here - but until then I will keep opening God's Word (and Logos) and finding the hidden gems.

Posts 1649
Room4more | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 14 2012 9:12 PM

Kevin Ball:

I would like to thank everyone for their suggestions / recommendations. While it appears Logos is not entirely user friendly, it does appear to have capabilities beyond what a normal user would expect. I liken it to someone receiving a Ferrari car when they have been driving a Yugo all their life. Anyway - I have been watching the training videos and taking your suggestions to heart and I feel I am on my way to opening this wonderful resource. Perhaps some day Logos will incorporate the recommendations everyone has listed here - but until then I will keep opening God's Word (and Logos) and finding the hidden gems.

Glad to hear it!! I have been using Logos for years and am still learning new things and different ways of doing things. It is definitely the tier 1 of Bible software programs.

Others are out there that may be more user friendly - but not comparable to the quality of L4.....there are great things coming..........

DISCLAIMER: What you do on YOUR computer is your doing.

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