Verbum Search through Tip of the Day #3

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Sep 2 2020 5:29 PM

Tip 3: Understanding the Results of a Basic Search on a single term

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These are the results from Tip 2: the result of a basic search on the NRSV for the text term “Hannah.”

  1. The section title states that there are 13 results in 3 articles and the Search took 0.48 seconds.
    • When there is a single term, the results are equal to the number of matches. As search arguments grow in complexity, the meaning of “results” becomes more difficult to interpret.
    • “Articles” is the unit of text that the Search uses to limit the length of text search. Think of it as the unit in which two terms must occur for an argument such as “Hannah AND Peninnah” or “Hannah OR Samuel”. The default for a Bible with pericopes is a pericope; if the Bible has no pericopes marked, the default becomes a chapter.
  2. One can present the results in three sequences: Ranked, By Resource, or By Content. As they all present these results in the same sequence, explaining this will be deferred to a later tip.
  3. The resource title also states that there are 13 results in 3 articles. As only one resource was searched, this is obvious. However, when multiple resources are searched, the figures for the resources must sum to the total given on the section title.
  4. The article title is, in this case, the pericope name followed by the reference for the initial verse of the pericope. Clicking on the article title will open (or position) the resource to the start of the article.
  5. A sample of the pericope is shown with the results of the Search highlighted. If there are multiple terms, each term has its own highlight color. Clicking on a highlighted result will open (or position) the resource to that word in the article.Note: the results are also shown in the resource panel if it is open. Often when a user reports odd highlights that they cannot delete and swear no visual filter can account for them, the cause is an open Search panel. To remove the search results from the resource you must close the search.
  6. Returning to the article (pericope) title line, on the right side is the number of times the result occurs in the article. Here, the majority of references to Hannah appear in a single pericope.

Use of “Match all forms”

So why did the Find return one more result than the Search? The answer lies in the title of the second pericope.

  1. The Basic Search for the text “Hannah” is still open which accounts for the orange highlighting in the NRSV.
  2. The NRSV is the open (active) tab as indicated by the orange line at the top of the tab.
  3. As shown in Tip 1, the Find bar is opened with the string “Hannah”. It accounts for the blue highlight.
  4. The heading for the pericope “Hannah’s Prayer” has no orange highlight but it does have a blue highlight which ignores the “’s” portion of “Hannah’s”. In technical terms, the string search has found a match even if it is only a portion of the word/token. The term search only considers whole tokens. This makes the “’s” cause it to not be a match.
  5. The first word of the text is matched by the Search and will be the next result in the Find.

From Verbum Help:

Match all word forms: Includes results for alternative forms of the (modern) word.[1]

This option allows both Hannah and Hannah’s to be recognized as the same word; or create, creates, created, creating . . . to be recognized as the same word. Note that “same word” is determined by a computer algorithm. It is prone to error especially on irregular forms.

Now use the Panel menu to turn on the “Match all word forms” and rerun the Search:

Step 1: Click on the kebab (1) to open the Panel Menu.

Step 2: Verify that Match all word forms (2) is on i.e. it has a check mark in front of it. Remember that this option toggles on/off when you click on it.

With the “Match all word forms” option set, “Hannah’s Prayer” is selected. These results match the results from the Find option. It is not always so easy to cross-check the Find against the Basic Search with a text argument.

Note: I usually leave the “Match all word forms” option set at all times. It is only occasionally that I run a Search where I want it off.



[1] Verbum Help (Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2018).

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 3 2020 8:58 AM

MJ. Smith:
Note: I usually leave the “Match all word forms” option set at all times. It is only occasionally that I run a Search where I want it off.

Personally leave "Match all word forms" option set (checked) since can use [match ...] search directives to ignore "Match all word forms" for a search: e.g. "Hannah's Prayer" is not found when [match exact] OR [match all] is specified:

Keep Smiling Smile

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