Opening files; word list; concordance

This tutorial will teach you the basics of using the Antconc concordancer.

Run the Antconc program.

In order to analyse a corpus we need to 1) open a file or files, 2) make a word list of it, and 3) make concordance lines. Strictly speaking making a word list is not a necessary step in Antconc. But since more than likely we do not know what we are looking for, it is the norm to do so.

Opening a file or files
To open a file, open the “File” menu and click “Open File(s)”.


A dialogue box will appear. Choose a text file (with extension .txt). To choose more than one file select the desired files while holding down the “Ctrl” key, then click “Open”. To open all the files in one folder, open the “File” menu and click “Open Dir”. All files within it, including subfolders will be opened.

Making a word list
Once your files have been selected click on the “Word List” tab. Check the “Treat all data as lowercase” box (this is optional), then click the “Start” button.


Making concordance lines
Click on any word in the “Word” column, or type in a search term (if you know what you are looking for) in the search box, to make concordance lines.

Congratulations! You have just made your first concordance lines in Antconc.

<< back to the Tutorials page

Published by

7 responses to “Opening files; word list; concordance”

  1. Hello again Warren,
    Thank you for all your advice and help – I will follow up with Anthony (and his google group) directly as I am concerned about taking up too much of your time.
    Good luck with your thesis!
    Thank you again,


  2. Hi Pam,
    Sorry for the late reply also. Thesis calls.

    Your main drive is what is usally called a C Drive. Do worry if you can’t find that. The desktop work just as well.

    If you could send a test file with anything on it I will have a look at the problem. Otherwise ask the question to Anthony directly at:

    He works from a Mac and will know better than me.


  3. Hello again Warren,
    I apologise for my delay in contacting you. I have been house/pet sitting in an area with very limited (at best) internet access.
    I will re-check where I loaded the application, but I think I opened it from my applications folder. I apologise that I do not understand your instructions/guidance about the root C/. Could you please advise me where to find this on my Mac?
    and the other issue with the txt. file unfortunately has not been resolved – somehow the text disappears when I try to open any documents that have been saved as txt. files – they were originally saved as word documents.
    thank you again for your help and suggestions,
    kind regards,


  4. Hello Pam,
    Your other applications should not show up. It simply means you have put AntConc in the inappropriate area.

    AntConc is a stand alone program which requires no installation. So it can be placed anywhere.

    It would be best to be placed separately from the “Program Files” folder because you don’t want to mistakenly delete or affect the components of other software.

    In the root C:/ make a “programs other” folder and then an “AntConc” folder then place it in there. This will ensure you will not inadvertently corrupt other things.


    PS. You didn’t say whether the suggestion worked or not. If it didn’t we need to go back to the drawing board to find the problem.


  5. Hello Warren,
    Thank you for your helpful suggestion. I have another quick question – my AntConc file directory pop up box shows many of the applications/software programmes installed on my laptop – is this normal?
    Thank you again for you kind information.
    Best wishes,


  6. Hello Pam,
    It sounds like your files are simply missing the “.txt” extension.

    Try clicking on the name of one file and adding the “.txt” to it (eg. “1” to “1.txt”). Try loading method again and see if shows up on your pop up screen.

    If it does then this the problem.

    If you have a large amount of files to convert the extension then I would use a program called “File Renamer” to do all at once.

    Hope that helps.


  7. Dear Warren,
    I am trying to use AntConc version 3.2.4 for Mac OX 10.4 and I have loaded my text files into a desktop folder. However I do not seem to be able to figure out how to transfer the files onto the programme. When I click on File – Open File and/or Open Directory, and then Desktop Folder I receive a message saying “Directory contains no files of type ‘txt’ that can be processed”.
    Can you help please, and apologies if this is something very simple…
    Thank you,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: