Logos Bible Software 4.0 Launched!

Posted by on November 2, 2009 in New Release | 11 comments

The new version of Logos Bible Software is being launched today. LBS 4 sports a completely redesigned User Interface, based on Microsoft’s Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). This allows for a more modern, slicker look and much greater flexibility in handling windows, menus, etc.

Overall, LBS 4 is more visually appealing than its predecessor and makes heavy use of charts, photographs, maps and infographics. If we add to this the new text-to-speech feature we are in for a pretty good multimedia experience.

The Home page now looks like an online newspaper, with plenty of links to both local and online resources for further study, but the familiar Go button, where one enters a biblical passage or a topic, is still there as an easy, no-frills launchpad for beginners.

Version 4 comes with some nice library management improvements. These are a welcome addition amidst the increasing number of titles included in most library packages today. Worthy of mention in this area are the ability to add custom tags to resources, an easier, automated way to create collections of books and an enhanced annotation system (including clippings).

The new Reading mode (F11) turns the computer into a book reader (full screen), whereas the Drawing mode (F8) lets presenters draw lines, shapes and so on while projecting to a larger audience.

Apart from the more obvious changes, LBS 4 now indexes all the resources, which results in a dramatic speed boost when performing searches, and allows users to have more control over reports.

Other features worth noting are the fact that map sites include links to Google Maps and Wikipedia, and that  selecting any word or group of words on morphologically tagged Bibles (or Bibles with interlinears) highlights the corresponding term(s) in the other open resources. This feature, called Sympathetic highlighting (a cross-language highlighting of sorts) is shown in the figure below.

However, not all the changes are necessarily for the better. Personally, I don’t like the new implementation of the reverse interlinears (displayed above), but hopefully Logos will offer the possibility to keep the older v. 3 format alongside the new one in a later release. Similarly, as someone used to typing Greek and Hebrew, I am not enthused with the new input system for writing  the biblical languages (introducing the prefix “g:” or “h:”, the program automatically displays a drop-down menu with all the Greek or Hebrew words, respectively), but I take it as a concession to the majority of user who might find pressing the F2 key and typing away something not particularly easy to do.

Here is a brief list of what we may expect in the near future, as well as the features that have been dropped.

What’s coming in future releases of version 4

Printing
Importing notes from version 3
Sermon File Addin
Personal Book Builder
Sentence Diagramming

What’s missing from version 3

Speed Search
Graphical searches (i.e., Graphical Query Editor)
Remote Library Search

At any rate, LBS 4 and Libronix DLS 3 can live happily together. Furthermore, they can be run concurrently on the same computer, which should make the transition easier for everyone, except, perhaps, for Logos :-) .

So, the release of Logos Bible Software 4 is a clear sign that the company wants to focus on improved  Bible study aids (e.g., the new handouts or the Bible Explorer tool) in the context of a more flexible, adaptive and productive user interface. In due course, LBS 4 will be available on three different platforms: PC, Mac and iPhone (in this case as a sort of extension of the desktop version. See here for more details).

Finally, check out the (many) new resources and configurations available, including upgrade discounts for existing customers.

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11 Comments

  1. Hi Reubén.

    On typing in Greek or Hebrew — if you already use a solution for typing in unicode Greek/Hebrew, then there’s no need to use the g: or h: syntax. Just swap your keyboard and type. We have keyboards for Windows posted at: http://www.logos.com/support/downloads/keyboards .

    Hope it helps!

  2. Reuben,

    I thought it was worth noting that while F2 is no longer an option for entering Greek and Hebrew, it is still possible to use Logos’ Greek and Hebrew keyboards to enter the text. They can be found here http://www.logos.com/support/downloads/keyboards.

  3. “Personally, I don’t like the new implementation of the reverse interlinears (displayed above), but hopefully Logos will offer the possibility to keep the older v. 3 format alongside the new one in a later release.”

    I’m with you, but from what I’ve read on the beta forum, you can remove the “hopefully.” They are going to make both options for representation available.

    As for the Greek…yeah…thankfully, I type in Greek enough that I just have the keyboard install in Windows.

  4. The program looks great. Unfortunately I am like most guys in ministry and don’t have the money right now to buy a new computer to run the program. I called Tech support and that was their recommendation. What about real life ministry libronix?
    Bob

  5. you must have a rather old computer…I’ve got it trudging along (albeit slowly) on a 7 year old Toshiba rather nicely (an 8 second syntax search on a 1.5 year old HP takes about a minute on it).

  6. What about the complains made in YouTube? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOOzNTP9hNI

  7. Can’t pay ? Just use Biible.info: the first search engine that only indexes pages with biblical references.
    It’s great & free. You can search by verse and/or by expressions the entire web… for biblical references, comments, quotes etc…
    Example : John’s Prologue http://bit.ly/5yxsDi, search on theme like Wealth & Poor : http://bit.ly/6A7Wij
    A new biblical web. Find christians tweets : http://bit.ly/bVkLAn
    TW : http://twitter.com/Biible

  8. I’ve used the new application extensively…. well as extensive as you can use an application that takes many many minutes of waiting to load a search. The fan on my computer runs as the processor heats up, and that’s with only Logos running. I have one of the common Intel duo core processors with 4 gig of ram. The new application is a major step backwards from its predecessor in regards to speed of use. Features, layout, ehhh! I’m not as impressed with all the online stuff. It mostly comes with a fee attached anyway. If you are running the 3.0xxx version, my advice… stick with it until they speed this thing up. Both the Win and Mac versions are clunky, but I think the Mac version is the worst of the two.

  9. I have a Aspire One netbook with 2 Gig of ram. Logos 3 works great on it, in fact I checked with Logos to make sure it would work when I bought it last year. Logos 4 does not work well at all on it. Even opening the library tab takes forever. I am going to stick with Logos 3, I’m praying that they continue to support it.

  10. I hope you will write a long review on Logos 4, clearly explaining what new features are provided compared to Logos 3 and what features of Logos 3 were not kept (by mistake or not) in Logos 4. And if Logos 4 is really a much better tool than Logos 3?

    Thanks in advance.

    Best Regards
    Michael

  11. Michael,

    That’s not likely to happen anytime soon, given my current workload and various other responsibilities. There is, however, quite a bit of information on Logos 4 available on the net. I would personally recommend Mark Barnes’ excellent series of video tutorials (http://www.vimeo.com/user1930633). He’s even got one entitled “Switching from Logos 3,” in which he talks about some of the differences between Logos 3 and Logos 4.

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