Toolbox is a data management and analysis tool for field linguists. It is especially useful for maintaining lexical data, and for parsing and interlinearizing text, but it can be used to manage virtually any kind of data. Toolbox is built on Shoebox 5, and is upward compatible with Shoebox. It adds Unicode support, automatic keyboard switching with Keyman 5 and 6, and verification of interlinear text.

TLA-team: For 20 years, Shoebox/Toolbox has been perhaps the most used tool for field linguistics. Its integration of text analysis (semi-automatic interlinearization) with a lexical database is very useful for maintaining a text-based lexical database and a collection of texts, and has been a model for other tools such as FLEX. There are some drawbacks, too, however:

– The tool is rather complicated to configure and has a steep learning curve (although the provided templates and default configurations are helpful, but it requires advanced technical knowledge to change the settings to represent each sentence of a text as a separate record, instead of each text)

– There is only passive handling of external multimedia files (no timelinking etc.)

– The file format is very flexible, which can be useful to accomodate arbitrary kinds of data, but which also allows for easily creating inconsistent (in particular lexical database) files