Monthly Archives: November 2014

Using Voyeur Tools: a quick guide to first use.

A snappy guide to navigating your Voyeur Tools
text results window

By Ben Franks

This is a short guide to the purpose and uses of the main analysis options Voyeur Tools features in its window (you may have to click on a word in the image diagram result to open this window). You can analyse a text through pasting in plain text, uploading a text (or multiple texts (corpus)), or opening a text already on Voyeur Tools.

Please note: this is a very basic introduction guide on first use of Voyeur Tools, written simply by exploring each option personally.

Cirrus: an image diagram that uses pt. size of text to illustrate the frequency of words in a corpus and/or particular document. The higher the use of a word, the bigger and more prominent it is in the cirrus. The cirrus displays between 50 and 70 words, so ultimately works as a place to start your study.

Summary: the summary tells you how many documents there are in the corpus (what you have uploaded or text you have added to the same corpus by copy and paste). It also tells you the number of words used and the number of unique words used. Finally, it details the most frequently used words; the option to see ‘More’ reloads the ‘Words in Entire Corpus’ tab.

Words in Entire Corpus: this searches the entire corpus of documents you have uploaded or pasted into Voyeur Tools and lists the words used by frequency (although you are free to change this setting on the drop down order menu by each table link).

You can remove ‘Stop Words’ by clicking the little cog option and editing the settings of the search. There are variants of English; for example you can use ‘Simple’, ‘Smart’ or ‘Taporware’ English depending on your preference, or edit the stop word list yourself.

Corpus Reader: This shows the unedited text you’ve uploaded with a colour-coded margin illustrating where in the novel a particular keyword appears. The default is your highest frequency key word, but you can change this by clicking a new word in the Cirrus or searching for your own key word.

Corpus: This lists all the documents you’ve uploaded to your corpus.

Corpus, n: [3a.] ‘A body or complete collection of writings or the like; the whole body of literature on any subject.’

Corpus, n: [3b. esp. linguistics] ‘The body of written or spoken material upon which a linguistic analysis is based.’

Ref: Oxford English Dictionary online – link here [Accessed 28.11.14].

Word Trends: this option allows you to visualise as a graph where the frequency of a word appears most in the novel and compare it to other words. You can search by relative frequency or strip things down to a raw frequency search. Additionally, this option allows you to split the graph’s x axis into more or less segments allowing for a closer or more general analysis of word frequency.

Keywords in Context: this is a very helpful tool for more literary analysis, where the table shows how your particular key word features in the context of the words around it. This allows you to quickly conclude which bits of text may be more appropriate to your study and return to them more quickly, thus reducing the time it takes to approach each time the keyword systematically.

Words in Documents: similar to the ‘Word in Entire Corpus’ tool, this shows you the frequency of words in your specific document, and therefore is much more useful if you’re only analysing the one text. It shows you the count, relative frequency, and trend of the word (you can then click on a particular word to see the trend in further detail using the ‘Word Trends’ tab). There is a pagination option to search more systematically or you can search for specific key words or phrases – be careful as Voyeur Tools doesn’t account massively for a fuzzy search (where spellings or phrases may differ slightly), but it will account for plural and tense uses, much like a ctrl+f search function would allow.

Additionally, you can also sort your search results by using Voyeur’s ‘favourite’ tool, which makes it easier to return to the study of particular word(s) later.

Finally, there is an option that allows you to bookmark a url or add a html button to a blog, which links directly to the results of your analyses. You can either do that uniquely for a particular table of analysis (i.e. ‘Word Trends’ graph, ‘Corpus Reader’, etc.) or for the whole corpus result (button to do so is upper right corner in toolbar, next to the Help ‘?’ button). Alternatively, you can view each table in a separate window for more detailed analysis.

To see what I have based this very brief guide on, please click the following link: *.


*This is a Voyeur Tools result of ‘Robinson Crusoe, &c. &c.’ (1719), taken from the Oxford Text Archive under Creative Commons licence. It was pasted into Voyeur Tools using the plain text version.


Austen field trip week 7

[This is an updated post]. A reminder that on Wednesday 12th November we’ll be joining students from PB6008 for a walking trip around Bath tracing locations mentioned in Austen’s novel Persuasion. Please meet at the far end of Camden Crescent (i.e. the end furthest away from Lansdown) at 2pm. The walk will take around 90 minuntes (please bring a digital camera or smartphone).

Via Wikimedia Commons