Voyant Tools

Example of a Voyant Tools project.

About

Voyant Tools is a “web-based text reading and analysis environment” designed to help students who are interested in interpreting text on a digital platform for a general audience. This resource allows you to analyze your own text or collection of text to educate others and present results in a way that is more easily observable to an online audience.

Terms to Know:

  • Corpus: collection of written text (entire work of an author)
  • Default skins: default selection of tools that are displayed after pasting the corpus

Getting Started:

Choosing a Corpus

You will need the text or collection of texts to paste or upload into the main page of the website. This text can come in a variety of formats, including plain text, HTML, XML, PDF, RTF, and MS Word. Project Gutenberg is a good place to look for public domain texts.

This is the home page of Voyant Tools where you can choose a corpus to analyze.

Viewing the Default Skins

The main page for analyzation includes the 5 main default skins including the cirrus, reader, trends, summary, and contexts. These tools can interact with each other to provide more information about the corpus you chose.

Examples from The Voyant Staff: “If you click on a word in Cirrus, you’ll see the Trends tool update with information about the selected work. Similarly, if you click on a node (point) in the Trends tool the Contexts tool should update as well.”

Types of Skins

The following tools are the main default skins that appear on the Voyant Tools’ page. For additional knowledge on skins, visit the Voyant Tool Help Page that goes into more depth about the wide range of analytical tools available.

Cirrus

A tool that displays a word cloud which positions the words that occur the most frequently in the center and as the largest. The more prevalent a word is the larger it will be.

Reader

This tool is made up of two parts. The text reader allows users to read through text in detail while the prospect viewer displays an overview of the corpus.

Trends

A tool that represents the frequencies of terms across documents in a corpus or across segments in a document, depending on the mode.

Summary

A tool that gives a summary of the number of words, number of unique words, longest and shortest documents, highest and lowest vocabulary density, average number of words per sentence, most frequent words, notable peaks in frequency, and distinctive words in the corpus chosen.

Contexts

This tool shows each occurrence of a keyword with a bit of surrounding text for context.

Tutorial

The following video offers an introduction into Voyant Tools with insightful tips on how this resource can be used for schoolwork.

Interactive Step-by-step guide from Voyant Tools: tutorial from their website on how to enter text and navigate the tools available.

Embedding Voyant in other Websites

There are two options for adding Voyant to another website:

  • An interactive visualization
  • A static image
To export a Voyant visualization, hover over the ? and select the Export a URL option.
Export View allows you to export an interactive version of the tool, Export Visualization allows you to export a static image.

To add an interactive version of the visualization, use the Export View function in Voyant, and select the HTML snipped for embedding this view in another web page option to copy the embed code. This can then be pasted into a Custom HTML block in WordPress, or the Embed block in ArcGIS Story Maps.

To add a static version of the visualization, use the Export Visualization function in Voyant, and select the export a PNG image of this visualization option. This gives you an image file that you can then upload to the WordPress Media Library or ArcGIS Story Map and use in an Image block. This seems to work best in Firefox.

Embedding into WordPress

The following video will show you how to add the interactive visualization into WordPress, as well as how to create a static image. The static image can also be used with a tool such as ThingLink.

Video: Embedding Voyant into WordPress

Embedding into ArcGIS Story Maps

The following video will show you how to add the interactive visualization into an Embed block in ArcGIS Story Maps.

Documentation

  • Using Voyant to Analyze Class Documents: video tutorial from a college professor on how to use Voyant Tools to interpret documents. This video can be especially helpful to students hoping to analyze historical documents or literature. He also has several additional videos with other tips on how to use this resource.
  • About Page on Voyant’s website where you can learn more about the common vocabulary and guidance when uploading text.
  • Villanova University Library’s Voyant Tutorial: A PDF of common Voyant Tools and how they are used.

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