2.4. How to define a tier and its attributes

ELAN offers the following options:

2.4.1. Adding new tiers

Do the following to add a new tier:

  1. Click on Tier > Add New Tier.... The Add Tier dialog window appears.

  2. Define the tier attributes:

    Tier attributes

    Figure 2.11. Tier attributes

Enter the following information:

  1. Go to Tier name. Enter the tier name.

    The tier name is the name that is displayed in the Timeline, Interlinear and Subtitle Viewer.

  2. Go to Participant. Enter the name of the participant whose utterance or other behavior is being transcribed (optional).

  3. Go to Annotator. Enter the name or code of the creator of the annotations on this tier (optional).

  4. Go to Parent tier. Select a parent tier from the pull-down menu.

    • If the tier has no parent tier, select none.

    • Otherwise select the appropriate parent tier.

  5. Go to Tier type. Select a tier type from the predefined list in the pull-down menu (see Section 2.3).


    The list of possible tier types is dependent on the parent tier that is chosen. E.g., if there is no parent tier ("none" in the pull down menu), the tier types to choose from are of the stereotype "none" (see Section 2.3).

  6. Go to Input Method. Select what language to use as input method from the pull-down menu or select None. If None is selected, it means that the system's default language will always be used as input method for this tier.

    Whenever you enter or change annotations on that tier, the text entry box is automatically preconfigured for the default character set.

  7. Set the Content Language. This refers to the annotated language in the tier. This can be different for each tier, useful if you have multi-lingual content. Also see Section 2.2).

  8. Click the More Options... button if you want to change the color of the tier name and the font of the annotations. In the new dialog window you can change them by clicking Browse..., selecting a color or font and clicking OK. The color chooser has four tabs. The last three contain different ways to choose a color, which is subsequently displayed in the lower part of the window. In the first tab you can add or insert the color displayed below and you can copy, paste and delete the selected color. The list of favourite colors is saved and used the next time you start ELAN. To apply the new color and font click Apply. The following dialog window will then appear:

    Change Tier Attributes Settings for Multiple Tiers

    Figure 2.12. Change Tier Attributes Settings for Multiple Tiers

In the upper part of the window you can select the attribute settings you wish to apply, i.e. Tier, Color, Tier, Highlight and Tier Font. In the bottom part of the window you can decide to change the preferred attribute settings for multiple tiers in one action, i.e. by selecting all tiers of the same type, or all depending tiers, or all tiers with the same participant. Finally click Add to save the tier and its attributes. Otherwise click Cancel to exit the window without saving.