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Introduction To Voyant

Introduction to Voyant

This workshop is designed to show you how to use the Voyant text analysis environment. It will normally run about 120 minutes and this guide is online

Voyant Tools is part of a larger project with the book Hermeneutica (MIT Press, 2016).


  • Looking at text tool
  • Using an environment of tools
  • Try your own text
  • Getting help

Looking at a text tool

Look at this Word Cloud.

  • What text do you think it is a cloud for?
  • What features are metrical (based on measuring the text in some way)? How are the other features generated?
  • What words are missing?

Play with it yourself. Or try this cloud for Shakespeare.

Using an environment of tools

Now lets look at this Voyant Display. This is the default skin that combines a bunch of tools that work together. To use this more complex display you need to understand views that combine tools:

  • Each tool has a panel that can be minimized/maximized
  • Each panel has options
  • Each panel has ways you can manipulate it or search it
  • Panels will trigger updates in other panels

Try playing with the default environment of Voyant with a single text and then with a Shakespeare Corpus. Note the extra panels when you have a collection of texts.

Try your own text

Now you are ready to load your own text into Voyant. Go to

Voyant gives you a number of ways to index a text for studying it with Voyant:

  • You can paste in text.
  • You can type in a URL for Voyant to get. For example you could run Voyant on my blog
  • You can upload a text.
  • You can open one of the corpora we have preloaded using the Open button.

Things to look at

There are a number of extensions and variants of Voyant that you might want to know about:

Getting help

The Guide for Voyant is at!/guide/start

The main URL for Voyant Tools is, though others sometimes run mirrors that can be used:

Or contact Geoffrey Rockwell (



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