ELAN (EUDICO Linguistic Annotator) is an annotation tool that allows you to create, edit, visualize and search annotations for video and audio data. It was developed at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, with the aim to provide a sound technological basis for the annotation and exploitation of multi-media recordings. ELAN is specifically designed for the analysis of language, sign language, and gesture, but it can be used by everybody who works with media corpora, i.e., with video and/or audio data, for purposes of annotation, analysis and documentation.

The annotation process involves three steps:

  1. Defining tier types and tiers

  2. Selecting time intervals

  3. Entering annotations

This short guide is organized around these three steps and it will help you to understand and use the main features and functionalities of ELAN.

1. ELAN installation, manual and website.

To install ELAN on your computer, go to the ELAN website and follow the instructions. On this web page, you will also find information about software and hardware requirements. Be sure to download the manual too, it includes many details about the program which are not covered in this getting-start guide. The full manual is available at :

Alongside the manual, the website contains a Release History and Forum. You can reach both via Help > Visit the ELAN website. This menu also lets you go to the Download Page to download a new version or Subscribe to the mailing list. The Release History shows an overview of the differences between the succeeding versions of ELAN and can be found online via: