by Aarthy Somasundaram & Han Sloetjes

In this new release of ELAN a completely new “Transcription Mode” and an improved “Segmentation Mode” are introduced. Both have been developed in close cooperation with ELAN users.
The Transcription Mode is built for high-speed transcription. Where the traditional Annotation mode can be seen as accuracy-oriented rather than productivity-oriented, the Transcription mode aims at increasing the speed and efficiency of transcription work. The user interface has been designed with convenient text entry in mind: the main element is a table containing the annotations of selected tier types, displayed in a vertical order. Each cell in the table represents an annotation (or a position where a depending annotation can be created). The segments (annotations) need to be created first, in the segmentation or annotation mode, after which text can be typed into the (empty) segments in this mode. Operation in this mode is very much keyboard oriented. Selecting an annotation plays the corresponding segment automatically and brings it into edit mode: ready for you to start typing. Press the TAB key to replay. After editing, hit ENTER (or use the navigation keys) to jump to the next annotation, to play that segment automatically and to start typing right away and so on… Activation of a cell will silently create child annotations if they don’t exist yet — merely clicking an empty cell (or moving there using the keyboard) creates an annotation and opens it for editing. All this brings down the transcription work to just listening and typing, making it easy for the transcriber.

Figure 1: The Transcription Mode


“On-the-fly Segmentation” has been moved into the main window as the new Segmentation mode (instead of in a separate dialog). It is now easier to switch between tiers while the media is playing. Segments are created by keyboard strokes and can be modified by dragging with the mouse. This mode introduces a preliminary step-and-repeat playback mode.

Apart from that, some new multiple file processing functions have been added, like annotations from overlaps and annotation statistics. An option to add a group of tiers for a new participant has been implemented, as well as for deletion of multiple tiers in one action. Customization of the program has been improved by the introduction of new preference elements.

The new version can be downloaded at the ELAN web site where you will also find the updated manual, detailing how to use the new modes and other new functionalities.