Chapter 1. Start a new annotation file

Every ELAN project consists of at least two files: one (or more) media file(s), and one annotation file.

  1. One (or more) media file(s):

    • zero or more video file(s) (*.mpg, etc.)

    • and/or one audio file (*.wav)

    The video file allows you to view the video and listen to the sound. If you want to view the waveform as well, you need to create an additional *.wav file through a conversion program that converts the audio data from one *.mp(e)g file into a *.wav format. In the case of multiple video files, the audio of the first selected video file is played. The kind and number of supported video formats depend upon the media framework you are using. If your media framework supports a format, the same goes for ELAN in general.

  2. One annotation file:

    • an annotation file created by ELAN (*.eaf, “EUDICO Annotation Format”)

    • or an imported annotation file.

All information (e.g., the tier setup, the time alignment, the annotations) is saved to the annotation file only – never to the media file(s). So you don't have to worry that adding an annotation within ELAN will change your media.

To start ELAN, do the following:

  1. Double-click on the ELAN icon (on your desktop, or contained within the Java Web Start icon on your desktop). The start window is displayed in which you can open different kinds of documents.

  2. Click on the File menu.

  3. Click on:

    • Open... in case there is an ELAN file (*.eaf)

    • New... in case there is a media file (e.g. *.mpg, *.wav), but no annotation file (*.eaf)

In this latter case, the New Transcription dialog window will be displayed, e.g.:

Do the following:

  1. Click on the "Look in" pull down box and browse to the directory that contains the media files.

  2. If you want to use media files of another type (e.g. QuickTime *.mov), use the "Files of type" dropdown menu > select QuickTime files. Whether a media type is supported depends on your software configuration.

  3. Double-click on the media file (*.mpg, *.wav, etc.) to select it. It appears now in the rightmost box. Alternatively, you can select the media file name and click afterwards on the >> button.

  4. If you want to use a predefined set of tiers (a template), select the Template radio button and choose the template (i.e. *.etf) to be used:

  5. Click OK to open the new annotation document; otherwise click Cancel to exit the dialog window without creating a new file. An ELAN window containing the new document appears.