BibleReader 5 Annotations: Part One — Highlights

This is the first of a three-part series of arti­cles dis­cussing anno­ta­tions in Olive Tree’s BibleReader soft­ware, as of ver­sion 5.0. If you are unfa­mil­iar with BibleReader, a very nice Bible study/reading app that runs on Apple iOS devices, you may want to take a look at an intro­duc­tory video first. In BibleReader, anno­ta­tions are used to add empha­sis to text selec­tions in one of three ways — high­light­ing, attach­ing notes, or sav­ing a loca­tion for easy retrieval.

In BibleReader, anno­ta­tions add empha­sis to text selec­tions in one of three ways:

  • High­lights
  • Notes
  • Book­marks

To kick this series off, we’ll exam­ine how high­lights can be cre­ated, edited, and orga­nized in BibleReader. The image below is part of an iPad screen cap­ture. Its cap­tion sets the stage for the tuto­r­ial infor­ma­tion that follows.

Shown are mul­ti­ple high­lights from an iPad screen grab* These styles demon­strate the fol­low­ing: (1) mil­lions of col­ors selec­tions are pos­si­ble, (2) twelve dif­fer­ent strokes exist — rang­ing from thin under­lines to full upper-case heights, (3) over­all high­light opac­ity con­trol, (4) emu­lat­ing real­is­tic high­lighter flow char­ac­ter­is­tics — the amount of “ink-flow” varies over the “stroke”, (5) whole-verse or verse-portions, and (6) mul­ti­ple high­lights may be applied to the same text selec­tions — i.e. high­lights may overlap.

*This screen cap­ture was cropped, and reduced 95% in order to fit the page. Please note, some browsers can cause the col­ors to “pop” much more than view­ing the iPad screen directly.

Method One: Cre­at­ing Whole Verse Highlights

High­light­ing an entire verse couldn’t be eas­ier. Advance through each of images below to see a vir­tual walk-through — how to high­light verse twenty-five.

[album: |width=640|height=640|photo_count=1|title_prefix=“Adding Cus­tom High­light Styles“|thumbnail_padding=0|thumbnail_size=40| ]

Method Two: Cre­at­ing Spe­cific Text Selec­tion Highlights

As of ver­sion 5.0, BibleReader is no longer restricted to whole-verse-only high­light­ing. High­light­ing spe­cific text selec­tions are now pos­si­ble, whether they are verse por­tions, or even non-scripture related selections.

Spe­cific text high­light­ing is also pos­si­ble, includ­ing non-scripture related text selec­tions. Once the selec­tion is made, the steps are iden­ti­cal to whole-verse highlighting.

View­ing Dif­fer­ences in Whole-Verse High­lights and Spe­cific Text High­lights

If you use method one to cre­ate a whole-verse high­light, the high­light will be vis­i­ble for any Bible trans­la­tion opened to that loca­tion. There­fore, these high­lights can be thought of as any-translation-highlights, or global high­lights. High­lights cre­ated using method two for more defined por­tions of text can only be seen in the Bible trans­la­tion from which it was cre­ated. Obvi­ously, it would be impos­si­ble for a soft­ware algo­rithm to match a por­tion of text from one trans­la­tion to another. There­fore, a spe­cific high­light will only be shown for the trans­la­tion from which it was cre­ated. In the above exam­ple, the green high­light will only be seen in the ESV trans­la­tion. Fur­ther­more, the default title given to the high­light will append the source trans­la­tion to the ref­er­ence. For our exam­ple above, the default title of the saved high­light is P s 23:1 ESV

Remov­ing Highlights

Remov­ing a high­light is just as easy as pro­ce­dure use to cre­ate it. The only thing you really need to remem­ber is to use the same selec­tion method used to cre­ate the high­light you wish to delete. I.e. if you taped the verse label to cre­ate a whole-verse high­light, then that’s the way you start off remov­ing it. If you selected spe­cific text directly, then that will be the way you start off remov­ing that same high­light. We’ll demon­strate these details more specif­i­cally in the fol­low­ing tutorial.

[album: |width=640|height=640|photo_count=1|title_prefix=“Adding Cus­tom High­light Styles“|thumbnail_padding=0|thumbnail_size=40 ]

Tip: A Good Use for Par­tial High­light­ing

An Excellent Use for a Partial Highlight

Most users tend to stick to whole-verse only high­lights 99% of the time. But, par­tial verse high­lights can be very handy for sev­eral sit­u­a­tions. Here, a user has cre­ated a note for a par­tic­u­lar phrase. The com­ple­men­tary high­light pro­vides a visual cue for the note’s object. (We’ll cover notes in part two. )

Adding Cus­tom Styles

The soft­ware comes with six pre­de­fined high­lighter styles; more can be added. The fol­low­ing images walk through the process adding a cus­tom high­light style — a under­line style we’ll save with the name, Blue Pen. The last image shows a verse that has two high­lighter styles applied to it — the default yel­low stroke and our newly cre­ated Blue Pen under­line. If you don’t want to walk through this tuto­r­ial, you may want to just take a look at the final results. The soft­ware is incred­i­bly intuitive.

[album: |width=640|height=640|photo_count=1|title_prefix=“Adding Cus­tom High­light Styles“|thumbnail_padding=0|thumbnail_size=40 ]

My Stuff and Annotation

It dif­fi­cult to call an arti­cle about any anno­ta­tion “com­plete” with­out at least a brief dis­cus­sion of My Stuff capa­bil­i­ties. My Stuff is a term affec­tion­ately given to that lit­tle suit case, , icon in the top GUI row. As the name implies, it con­tains all your, “my stuff”. It allows you to see all your anno­ta­tions in one place.

When a high­light is cre­ated, like any anno­ta­tion type, it imme­di­ately pop­u­lates a line item in the My Stuff->All Anno­ta­tions list­ing. Anno­ta­tions in this list­ing are dis­tin­guished by type accord­ing the icon at the left of the given line entry. High­lights have a pen icon, . At this level, there are three ways to inter­act with a high­light line item:

    Anno­ta­tion line items, as viewed from My Stuff. The three anno­ta­tion types are rep­re­sented by their icon; shown are a note, a high­light, and a bookmark.

  • tap on the line entry
    Tap­ping the line item itself will close the My Stuff GUI and open to dis­play the high­lighted text.
  • tap the blue con­fig­u­ra­tion arrow
    Tap­ping the right­most blue con­fig­u­ra­tion arrow allows the fol­low­ing edits to be made to the annoa­t­ion:
    1. Change Title
      The default title, the loca­tion, can be changed to any cus­tom title.
    2. View Exist­ing Tags
      When an anno­ta­tion is tagged, the Related Tags: sec­tion will show tags as but­tons. Tap­ing a tag will dis­play a list of anno­ta­tions that shares that tag.
    3. Edit Tags
      There are two types of tags: those that are user-created, and those from exist­ing top­ics of the Resource Guide.
      If you wish to use your cus­tom tags, just tap the tag and a check mark will appear. If it does not exist yet, sim­ply tap the Cre­ate New Tag but­ton at the bot­tom of the page, once it’s cre­ated, be sure to tap to check it, so that it’s applied.
      If you wish to tag accord­ing to the thou­sands of exist­ing top­ics in the Resource Guide, you will need to type the first few let­ters of the desired tag. As you type, the list will be refined to match the typed pat­tern. Once you see the desired tag, tap-to-check it.
    4. Change Cat­e­gory
      A Cat­e­gory is noth­ing more than a folder. Cat­e­gories can con­tain other cat­e­gories, called sub-categories. The GUI behind Change Cat­e­gory also allows the cre­ation and place­ment of cat­e­gories. As the name implies, an anno­ta­tion can me moved into a cat­e­gory for bet­ter organization.
    5. Change High­lighter
      This is the style that a high­light anno­ta­tion was cre­ated with. It can be changed to use any high­light style that exist with a sim­ple selection.
    6. Delete High­lighter
      No col­lec­tion of edit­ing tools would be com­plete with­out the abil­ity to delete. There is a but­ton for delet­ing anno­ta­tions to com­plete the edit­ing actions available.
  • Swipe to Delete
    Again, at the line entry level, anno­ta­tions may be deleted with the stan­dard Apple-swipe gesture.

My Stuff Exer­cise 1: Going to a High­light Loca­tion from My Stuff
[Album: |width=640|height=640|photo_count=1|title_prefix=“Adding Cus­tom High­light Styles“|thumbnail_padding=0|thumbnail_size=40 ]

My Stuff Exer­cise 2: Orga­niz­ing High­lights by Fold­ers
[Album: |width=640|height=640|photo_count=1|title_prefix=“Adding Cus­tom High­light Styles“|thumbnail_padding=0|thumbnail_size=25 ]

Mul­ti­ple Orga­ni­za­tion Options — Cat­e­gories and Tags

In exer­cise two, we used fold­ers to per­form some basic orga­ni­za­tion of high­light anno­ta­tions. We grouped sev­eral appro­pri­ate verses from First John into a folder called Assur­ance Test. Using fold­ers is great. How­ever, this orga­ni­za­tion method is lim­ited — an anno­ta­tion may only reside in one folder. Sup­pose we were doing a study on lying. Some of our Assur­ance Test anno­ta­tions could also belong in a folder called Lying. For exam­ple, look at these high­lighted verses in First John chap­ter one:

verse 6. If we say we have fel­low­ship with him while we walk in dark­ness, we lie and do not prac­tice the truth.

verse 8. If we say we have no sin, we deceive our­selves and the truth is not in us.

We would like to con­nect these verses with the mul­ti­ple top­ics — the topic of Assur­ance Test for sal­va­tion, and the topic of Lying. This is where we would use a sec­ond orga­ni­za­tional method in BibleReader — tags. Exer­cise 3 below demon­strates the use of tags.

Note: For the above two exer­cises above, we viewed our high­lights from the My Stuff->All Anno­ta­tions sec­tion. My Stuff also con­tains seg­re­gated list­ing to iso­late anno­ta­tions by type; there­fore, we may view high­lights only by vis­it­ing My Stuff->Highlights. Addi­tion­ally high­lights are fur­ther divided by their styles. I.e., if you had a high­light style named Red Pen, you could view all those high­lights by select­ing that style. Exer­cise 3 will use this optional loca­tion, while demon­strat­ing tags.

My Stuff Exer­cise 3: Orga­niz­ing High­lights by Tag­ging
[Album: |width=640|height=640|photo_count=1|title_prefix=“Adding Cus­tom High­light Styles“|thumbnail_padding=0|thumbnail_size=20 ]

Sync­ing Highlights

Finally, a short word on sync­ing anno­ta­tions to your Olive Tree account. When open­ing the My Stuff GUI you may have already noticed the large Sync but­ton at the bot­tom. Tap­ping this but­ton will sync all anno­ta­tions between your iOS device and your Olive Tree account. If you do not yet have a login, you will be prompted to cre­ate one. Once your anno­ta­tions are up to date, they may be eas­ily trans­ferred to another device by sync­ing it as well.

This web-based util­ity allows view­ing and basic creation/editing of anno­ta­tions — Notes, Book­marks, and High­lights. It also has a Shar­ing sec­tion that can back up anno­ta­tions in an XML file to your desk­top, or trans­fer anno­ta­tion files to an Ever­Note account.

Along with sync­ing, Olive Tree is con­tin­u­ing devel­op­ment of a web util­ity. This util­ity cur­rently allows view­ing and some base edit­ing fea­tures of the anno­ta­tions in your Olive Tree account. If you have an Ever­Note account, it can cre­ate a note­book called, “Olive Tree” and trans­fer your anno­ta­tions there. If you like XML files, your anno­ta­tions can be backed up to your desk­top. The web inter­face can be seen here. I plan to cover sync­ing and this util­ity in more detail at a later time.

Review­ing High­light­ing Basics

Clos­ing Thoughts

Obvi­ously, those with the soft­ware prob­a­bly didn’t learn any­thing from this arti­cle — the tar­get audi­ence are those new to the soft­ware. Long-time users may want to pass the link to friends as a con­ve­nient way to check-it-out. If you’ve found this arti­cle inter­est­ing, please con­sider dig­ging a bit deeper by down­load­ing the soft­ware and giv­ing it a test spin. And, before any­one ask, No, I’m not an employee of Olive Tree, I sim­ply enjoy tout­ing and using this software.

Finally, drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.

  1. Pat Rusch
    June 27th, 2011 at 10:17
    Reply | Quote | #1

    I am a brand new user to Bible Reader. I have watched and read most of the tuto­ri­als and am VERY impressed with the flex­i­bil­ity of the pro­gram on my ipad. I want to begin orga­niz­ing but whant to do it right the first time. I’m a lit­tle fuzzy as to what I should make a high­light, note, book­mark or tag. Which is best for what purpose??