ELAN 4.7.3

A professional tool that allows creating, editing, visualizing and searching for linguistic annotations attached to video and audio files
ELAN stands for EUDICO Linguistic Annotator and it is a tool that helps include text annotations in video and audio files.

Its main purpose is for analyzing languages, sign included, and gestures but it can be expanded to other areas, such as video and audio annotation, analysis and documentation.

Intimidating looks

The interface may appear a bit complicated at first but once you go through the documentation and learn the ropes it can turn out quite easy to work with.

However, getting familiar with all its functionality does take some time because of the huge amount of data that needs to be processed. Luckily, the developer provides extensive documentation that is easy to go through.

Functions and features

The application includes support for showing audio and video signals accompanied by embedded annotations and it can also display the time corresponding to the added text.

Users can define a limitless number of annotation tiers, which can be assigned to specific time intervals in the media file.

Additional features include support for user definable Controlled Vocabularies as well as for template documents to save some time and for multi-tier regular expression searches, either in a single document or in multiple annotations.

Working with the application

The resources of the application are numerous, especially as far as annotations and tiers are concerned. When a project is loaded or created from a local media file the program displays a timeline in the lower part of the screen, which enables adding text data to a specific location and viewing the result.

Editing of the text can be done at any time and current annotations can be merged with the previous or the next one.


The basic functions are easy to grasp but tapping the more complex part of the application most users definitely need to turn to the documentation.

Reviewed by on March 12th, 2014

last updated on:
September 15th, 2014, 3:48 GMT
file size:
73.9 MB
developed by:
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguis...
license type:
operating system(s):
Windows All
C: \ Multimedia \ Video \ Other VIDEO Tools


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16 Screenshots
ELAN - After loading a media file the application provides a set of controls for navigating to specific pointsELAN - The context menu of the loaded file includes zooming choices as well as options regarding stereo channelsELAN - The program includes an audio recognizer that can detect the segments of silence in the audio signalELANELANELANELANELANELANELANELANELANELANELANELANELAN
What's New in This Release:
  • the colors of controlled vocabulary entries disappeared after closing and reopening a file
  • in the multiple file chooser window some buttons would remain disabled when only folders were in the list of selected files and folders
  • the default keyboard shortcut for opening the edit box for the active annotation, SHIFT+E, had the side effect of removing previously entered text when entering a capital E. The default now changed to CTRL+SHIFT+E (CMD+SHIFT+E on Mac).
  • minor change in activating the annotation above or below the current active annotation
read full changelog

Application description

With ELAN a user can add an unlimited number of annotations to audio and/or video streams. An annotation can be a sent...

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