For the true beginners among us, start with the Logos for Beginners video above before moving on to the rest of the article.
Welcome to Logos. This article will introduce you to Logos and show you how to navigate the major features of the software. Please note that this article is an introduction. For more detailed instructions about using a specific feature, click the Learn More link at the end of each section.
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By default, Logos opens to the Home Page. The Home page is designed to be your launchpad for study, where you can keep track of reading plans, courses, workflows, prayer lists, and more.
Access the Home Page at any time by clicking Home. Visiting the Home Page does not close your open panels, you can return to them at any time by clicking the Home icon again.
You can change the layout of your home page by clicking the settings icon at the top right of the home page.
The Home Page is divided into two sections. The Dashboard section is designed to help you track your progress through study and devotional tasks. Cards are automatically added when you, for example, start a new reading plan. To remove a card, click the menu icon on the card and select Remove card.
You can add new cards to your dashboard by clicking the plus icon and selecting the type of card you’d like to create.
The Explore section of the home page functions as a newsfeed, providing you with Bible verse art, study tips, videos, blog articles, and more. Depending on the type, some cards will link you to features within Logos or open a web browser to, for example, a post on the Logos Academic Blog. You can select what kind of content you want to see in the Explore section by clicking the Settings icon at the top right of the Explore section and checking/unchecking boxes beside the kinds of content you’re interested in.
The Library provides access to all of the books in your Logos library, as well as certain interactive resources. The Library can be opened as a menu (by clicking Library), or docked as a panel (by clicking and dragging the Library icon into the application).
You can use the Library to find and open your resources, or to perform more advanced tasks like prioritizing resources and creating resource collections.
Search your library by entering a title, author, etc. into the Library search box. You can also specify certain search parameters. For example, enter type:Bible into the search box to find every Bible in your library. You can also find resources by using the sidebar to filter them by a range of criteria. Click the sidebar button to toggle it on and off, then select one or more filters. Books matching the filters you’ve selected will appear in the main Library window.
Layouts and Linking Panels
A great way to get started in Logos is by opening a Quickstart Layout. Quickstart Layouts open your Bible along with Logos tools oriented around a specific task, such as “Passage Study.” You can access Quickstart Layouts by clicking Layouts and selecting a layout in the left column.
You can arrange your open Bibles and resources in many different ways. To do so, click the tab of an open panel and drag to the location you want. You can do this as many times as you’d like.
In Logos, you can link panels so that they stay in sync. For example, linking a commentary to your open Bible means that your commentary will track with your location in the Bible. As you read through a passage, your commentary will scroll along with your Bible.
When you have an arrangement you’re satisfied with, it’s a good idea to save it so that you can return to it at a later date. To do so, click Layouts and select Save as named layout beside the top snapshot in the right column of the Layouts menu. In the future, the layout you named will appear under the Saved Layouts section of the Layouts menu.
When you open a Bible or other book, Logos provides a number of tools to help you engage with the text. Here are a few you’ll probably use the most.
1. Selection menu
The Selection menu provides ready access to the key functions you’re likely to use as you’re reading the Bible or another book. The Selection menu appears whenever you highlight a word or phrase (you can turn this off in your Logos Program Settings). Pick a highlighting style to apply it to a word, or select one of the other options. Click to open the Context menu (see below).
2. Context menu
The Context menu is the quickest way to bring the power of Logos to bear on what you’re reading. Open the context menu by right-clicking a word, or highlighting and right-clicking a phrase.
The Context menu is divided into two panes. On the left, you can pick what aspect of the text you want to study, whether the lemma (dictionary form of a word), a person, a theme, or more. On the right, select the action you want to perform. You can launch a search, open a guide, take notes, and more.
The resource panel also contains a range of tools and view options designed to help you get the most out of the text. Learn more.
With Logos, you can easily accrue hundreds or thousands of books in your library. Thankfully, you don’t have to comb through them one by one to find information on a given topic. Guides scour your resources to find every reference to a Biblical passage, verse, topic, and more. Logos comes with several guides configured out of the box (you can also create custom guides).
An important concept to understand is that different guides are keyed to different kinds of input. For example, the Bible Word Study guide requires that you input a word to study. Similarly, in order to use the Passage Guide, you must enter a biblical reference. A few guides, like the Sermon Starter Guide, work with more than one key— you can enter a biblical passage or topic and the Sermon Starter Guide will return results based on either.
You can customize guides by adding, rearranging, and removing sections. Learn more about using Guides.
You can use Logos to search for anything in your Library. Open the Search Tool by clicking Search, or from the Context menu. There are seven different types of search: All, Bible, Books, Media, Clause, Morph, and Syntax. (The search types available to you depend on what level of Logos you have.)
You can set the parameters for each type of search, including what field(s), range(s) of text, and resource(s) you want to search.
If you’re not sure how to search, try using the All search. Select All search, type a search, and press Enter.
In most cases, when you type a search into the search box, an autocomplete dialog will appear with a range of search options to choose from. Clicking one of these will provide you with the best search results.
For example, open search, select the Bible search type, then type Philip in the search box. In the autocomplete menu, select the appropriate entry with the person icon (this also helps disambiguate different people with the same name). Doing so will run a search through your entire Bible for every instance where Philip appears, whether or not he’s mentioned by name.
Whereas guides search your library to find everything your resources have to say about a given topic, the Factbook generates a curated encyclopedia entry on your topic from your Logos library. Use the Factbook when you want to find usable information on a person, place, or topic without the granularity provided by a Guide.
In Logos, “documents” refers to anything that users create. These include reading plans, bibliographies, sermons, visual filters, and more. Most of these are focused tools and outside the scope of an overview like this, but several of the most frequently used document types are described below.
1. Reading Plans
Reading Plans allow you to follow a predefined reading plan, or generate your own at any pace, over any period of time, and for any resource in your Logos library. As you read, Logos tracks your progress. You can access reading plans you’ve started from the Docs menu, or from the Dashboard section of the Home Page.
Use the Sermon Builder to write your sermon, and Logos will automatically format your sermon, import Bible verses, and create customizable slides from your headings. When you’re finished, you can export your sermon directly to Faithlife Proclaim, open the sermon in Preaching Mode, or Publish it to your Faithlife group. Sermon Builder is not a full-featured word processor but is a focused tool optimized for creating sermon manuscripts and slides.
3. Visual Filters
Visual filters allow you to quickly identify features within a text using icons, highlights, and other textual markers. You can create a new visual filter from the Docs menu (or from an open search), but you activate and deactivate visual filters in your resource panel menu.
Visual filters that come predefined in Logos typically serve to show you data that the open resource has been tagged with. For example, activating the Speaker labels visual filter will display icons in the text. Hover over these and you’ll see that each instance of direct speech has been tagged with the identity of the person or group speaking.
Visual filters that you create in Logos are basically saved searches. Everything that matches your search is indicated in the formatting style you designate. For example, you can create a visual filter that highlights singular and plural pronouns in different colors. This is especially helpful as, due to the limitations of the English language, our Bibles often don’t reflect the number of second-person pronouns in the original Greek or Hebrew.
Notes and Highlights
Logos provides you with the ability to highlight and take notes in your Bible or any other resource in your library. Logos also includes the Notes Tool, designed to help you organize and search your notes and highlights.
You can create a highlight or a note in the following ways:
- Using the Selection Menu: highlight some text, then click the notes icon to create a note link to your selection, or pick a highlighting style to apply.
- Using the Context Menu: right-click, ensure your word or phrase is selected in the left column, then select Highlight or Take a Note in the right column.
- Using the Notes tool: Open the Notes tool from the Tools menu. Select a word or phrase in your Bible, then click the arrow beside the New note button and select either New note on selected text or Highlight selected text.
This article has just scratched the surface of the possibilities that Logos provides. In the following pages, we’ll explore how you can perform a range of Bible study tasks with Logos.
Remember: if at any time you’d like to learn more about using a particular feature in Logos, more information is a few clicks away. Enter a search term in the search box above to learn more about any Logos feature.