Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Logos for Mac

I have used Apple computers since an IBM salesman talked me into buying a Macintosh SE in 1988. Both he and his boss were using Macs. I have never regretted that decision even though it put me in the tiny minority of computer users and subjected me to paternalistic expressions of pity displayed by owners of "real" computers. In fact, I couldn't even talk computers with my PC buddies because I didn't know their language (backslash, colon, reboot, blue screen of death, etc). All I knew was English. Fortunately, my Mac understood me just fine.

The only major downside to living in the Mac world was the hesitancy of software developers to write programs for the Macintosh platform. Only a few programs were written exclusively for Macs and those typically were related to the field of desktop publishing. It as simply part of the Mac experience to do without certain software that was readily available in the PC world.

Over the last 10 years the one software package that I most wanted for my Mac was Logos Bible Software. Whenever the opportunity arose I would make my appeal to the good folks at Logos. In March 2005, when they announced a Mac version was in the works, I got excited. After several delays the product was released last December. Two upgrades later, version 1.2 is currently available and is well worth the consideration of anyone looking for a Bible software program for a Mac.

As with any good program, Logos performs quick and easy searches of the resources that come with the program (although "quick" is relative, based on the number of resources that are being searched). What makes Logos stand out is the number of resources that are available. Over 700 titles (including dozens of Greek, Hebrew and English biblical texts) come with the Scholar's Library: Gold edition and over 10,000 titles are available.

Having access to so many books electronically is the single greatest feature of Logos. Their commitment to increasing their offerings is evident in the new titles that regularly appear on pop up windows when the program is launched. The ability to search for words or topics across any or all of those resources is a valuable time-saver.

The second most impressive feature is the way that Logos facilitates footnoting. Nine styles of citation are available, including, Chicago Manual of Style, APA, MLA and Turabian. All you have to do is copy and paste to your document any material you wish to include from a Logos title. The citation is automatically formatted and placed on the page.

I have used Accordance software for several years and have been very satisfied with it. It continues to be my default Bible study program, but I have found it easy to get up to speed on Logos. If I were not already heavily invested in Accordance I would certainly consider making Logos my primary Bible software program. It is expensive (from $259.95 for the basic Bible Study Library to $1379.95 for Scholar's Library: Gold edition) as far as programs go, but the resources that come with it and are available to add on are a fraction of their hard copy counterparts.

One final word of commendation. The staff that supports Logos have been very professional and helpful. I have needed technical support twice and each time talked to a technician who was patient and responsive to my questions. The company website is also easy to navigate and filled with helpful information.

I recommend both the company and the product.

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