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Instructions for using Antconc

Page history last edited by Alan Liu 7 years, 4 months ago

The following are rudimentary instructions for working with Antconc. (For a fuller tutorial, see Heather Froehlich, "Getting Started with AntConc")


Step 1 - Download and open Antconc

  1. Download the latest version of Antconc for your operating system from http://www.laurenceanthony.net/software.html.  Save the downloaded executable file (Windows) or zip folder (Mac) on your hard drive. The program runs directly from these downloaded files (no further installation process is required).
  2. Open Antconc.


Step 2 - Configure Antconc to apply a stopwords file (to ignore frequent words like "the," "of," etc.)

  1. As shown in the screenshot below, click on the tab for "Tool Preferences" (labeled #1 in the screenshot)
  2. In the dialogue that opens, click in the left Category sidebar on "Word List" (#2).
  3. Check the button for "Use a stoplist below" (#3)
  4. Click on "Open"(#4) and navigate to the location of an existing stopwords file on your computer. (Two commonly used stopwords files are Buckley_Salton_1971.txt and Fox_1992.txt ; Download one of these for your use.) Selecting that file will populate the "Add Words From File" window in the dialogue.
  5. Then click on "Apply."  This will apply the stopword list to text files operated on by Antconc in this session. (Antconc does not save this information between sessions unless you export settings [under the "File" tab] and then import settings when opening a new session.)


Antconc - Set Stopwords list








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Step 3 - Load the text files you want to analyze into Antconc

  1. As show in the screenshot below, load either a directory (folder) of plain text files into Antconc by clicking on the "File" tab and then on "Open Dir" (#1). Navigate to a directory on your computer where you have stored the files you want to analyze. (They must be plain text files with the extension: ".txt").
  2. Click on the tab for "Word List" (#2)
  3. Then click on "Start" (#3). Warning: If the number of files you are working on is very large, there will be a long wait as Antconc processes them (discovering words and counting their frequency). The processing of 2,000 files takes about 5 minutes (depending on the speed of your computer).



Antconc - Load files









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Step 4 - Analyze using Word List

  1. As shown in the screenshot below, once Antconc has finished processing your corpus while in Word List view, it will show the words in your corpus (#3) ranked by ordinal number (#1) and frequency count (#2).
  2. If you have not applied a stopwords list, then the most common words at the top of the list will be articles, prepositions, and other functional words.)
  3. A useful tool in Antconc that complements analysis by word frequency is the "Concordance" view. If you are not sure of the sense or context of a word you see in the word list as it is commonly used in our corpus, enter it in the Concordance view to get a keyword-in-text view of occurrences in context (see example). 



Antconc - Word List









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Step 5 - Analyzing phrases using "Clusters/N-grams"

  1. As shown in the screenshot below, you can analyze the phrases in which important words occur by using Antconc's "Clusters/"N-grams" view. Click on the tab for the view to open it (#1)
  2. Enter a word that you are interested in (#2)
  3. Set the size of the clusters (phrases) containing the word that you want Antconc to find (#3)
  4. Set whether the word you are interested in is at the beginning or end of the phrases you want Antconc to find (#4).
  5. Examine the most frequent phrases (not bothering with lower frequency phrases). Look for any problem phrases that need to be scrubbed.  



Antconc - Clusters/N-grams view









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