Importing data into AntConc


Teaching: 10 min
Exercises: 0 min
  • How do I get data into AntConc?

  • Successfully import data into AntConc

Importing data

What kinds of data files can I import?

AntConc works only with plain text files, such as those with the file extension .txt. Other types of plain text file (e.g. .csv, .tsv, .xml,.html) can be imported into AntConc, though - depending on your use case - doing so may not enable you to use the dataset as intended. AntConc will not read common formats like .doc, .xls, or .pdf. You will need to convert these into .txt files to use AntConc. A common approach to catalogue data is to process it so that particular fields can be analysed in AntConc. Brief documentation on how we processed IAMS_Photographs_1850-1950_selection3.txt is available as a readme file.

Create your first AntConc project (using provided data)

To import the data for the exercise below, follow the instructions in Setup to download the data and run AntConc.

  1. Once AntConc is launched, click File from the navbar and select Open Files
  2. Navigate to where you downloaded IAMS_Photographs_1850-1950_selection3.txt and select it.
  3. Click Open. The names of the file will now appear in the left-hand Corpus Files pane.
    • Note that although this module asks you to upload a single file, for large corpora it is recommended that you split your corpus into multiple files. Our alternative episodes (starting with Word lists) use a dataset of twelve .txt files, a single corpus of around 1.2 million words seperated into parts containing roughly 100,000 words each. AntConc peforms better with many smaller files than it does with one large file, so if you expect to be working with a large corpus, or notice AntConc running slowly (or even crashing!), consider dividing up your corpus to achieve performance benefits.
    • As the alternative epsiodes from Word lists show you can upload mutiple files to AntConc to analyse simultaneously. To do this hold ctrl (cmd for Mac) and click on each of the files (note: holding shift and hitting the down arrow also works here). Alternatively, the Open Dir option in the File dropdown can be used to open a whole directory.

Going Further

Key Points

  • Use the Open option to import data

  • You can import individual files or a folder

  • AntConc works only with plain text files, for example those with the file extension .txt

  • AntConc will not read common formats like .doc, .xls, or .pdf. You will need to convert these into .txt files to use AntConc.