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Tip 2.7: Benefits of Setting Search Limits

One of the useful features in BibleWorks is the ability to set search limits. This Classroom Tip gives examples of useful search limit strategies and the benefits of using these search limits in your study and classroom.

By default a search performed in BibleWorks searches the entire text of the search version. Setting search limits can make your search results even more useful to you. Listed below are suggested strategies for setting search limits and the benefits of using those search limit settings.

Search Limits Set to a Biblical Book

Limiting your search to the one Biblical book that you are studying enables you to find information specific to that particular book. If you wish to see search statistics specific to one particular book, it is necessary to set search limits before performing the search.

To limit your search to only the book of Genesis, type the letter 'l' on the Command Line, followed by a space and then the book name abbreviation. Press Enter on your keyboard to set the search limit.

       l gen

Search Limits Set to an Author's Writings

Conducting searches over an author's writings helps you to see the unique ways in which the author uses a word or phrase. Searches conducted over the text of the entire version do not allow you to see this information easily.

To limit your search to only Luke and Acts, you can type the following on the Command Line:

      l luk;act

To limit your search to only the Pauline letters, type

     l paul

The 'paul' search limit is a preset search limit shortcut that ships with BibleWorks. Some other preset search limits include such items as 'pent' (for the Pentateuch), 'pris' (for the Prison Epistles), and 'john' (for Johannine literature), among others. You can see the rest of the preset search limits by selecting Search | Set Search Limits on the BibleWorks main menu, then viewing the list of presets on the right side of the window. You can also add your own presets in that same window.

Search Limits Set to a Passage of Scripture

When you are studying a passage of Scripture it can be useful to set a search limit to that passage.

For example, if you are studying Romans 7, it might be beneficial to search for all the first-person verbs that appear in this chapter.

Begin by setting you search limit to Romans 7.

      l rom 7

Now search for all the first-person verbs using the BNM as your search version. Because you have set your search limits to Romans 7, you can see in the Search Window the list of verses in Romans 7 that contain a first-person verb. If you display the Browse Window text in browse mode, you can see the highlighted verbs throughout the passage. It is more difficult to see the distribution of the first-person verbs in Romans 7 without limiting your search.

If you display the Stats Tab and set the Stats Tab Options | Graph Options settings to "Show Zeros", "Filter zeros w/SW limits", and set the Options | Detail Level to "Verse", you can see where first-person verbs are concentrated in the chapter and where they are missing.

Search Limits Set to Parallel Passages

Limiting a search to only the study passage and a parallel passage enables you to search on words or phrases in the study passage, and then to see where that word or phrase appears in the parallel passage.

For example, set a search limit to Ephesians and Colossians.

     l eph;col

Display Ephesians 1:1 using the BNT. This is our study passage. Now search on words found in Ephesians 1:1. Right-click on the second word, avpo,stoloj, and select "Search on lemma." Notice that only hits for Ephesians and Colossians appear in the Search Window. The fact that Ephesians contains 4 occurrences of avpo,stoloj and that avpo,stoloj appears only once in Colossians signals that further investigation concerning the importance of apostolic authority in the argument of the letter to the Ephesians may be warranted. Comparing these two parallel books using search limits brings out information that may otherwise be missed.

A future Classroom Tip will discuss another search limit strategy, a strategy for using previous search results as a search limit. This search limit strategy makes use of two new features -- the Search Window checkbox feature and the Command Line Checkbox Search Filter feature.

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