Voyant Tutorial

Voyant is a web-based text analysis environment. The tool allows you to read and explore a corpus of texts using a multi-panel interface. The interactive visualizations that result from these explorations can be embedded in web pages.

Upload a corpus:

  1. Navigate to http://voyant-tools.org/
  2. Copy and paste link: http://archive.lib.msu.edu/dinfo/sundayschoolbooks/ssb_txt.zip


  3. Click Reveal.


Once opened, in what they call the “default skin”- you will see five panels. Each of these is a tool, Cirrus, Reader, Trends, Summary, and Contexts. These tools interact with one another – if you modify one pane, you’ll see another update.

  • The appearance of each of these windows can be modified. Place the cursor on the ? symbol and a menu of options will appear. (Note: hover over the titles of these navigation buttons for descriptions.)
    • Export – opens a window in a tab of its own with export options.
    • Choose another tool – opens a dropdown menu with options.
    • Options – to further refine your results (available for some tools)



  • Cirrus
    • A word cloud that visualizes the top frequency words of a corpus or document.
      • Central location and large size indicate greater frequency.
  • Reader
    • Text Reader- displays text for reading.
    • Prospect Viewer- displays an overview of the entire corpus.
  • Summary
    • Provides information about the corpus.
  • Contexts
    • shows each occurrence of a keyword with surrounding text.
  • Trends
    • A line graph that depicts the distribution of a word or words (occurrence across a corpus or document).
  • Additional tools can be added using the Choose Another Tool button described above.


  • Bookmark a corpus to return to it later:
    • Click Export at the top of the page, select URL for this view. (Note, the team at Voyant indicates that the corpus will “accessible as long as it accessed at least once a month.”
  • Embed a corpus:
    • Click Export at the top of the page, select “an HTML snippet” and click export for the snippet to appear. Copy and paste the snippet in your page.