Search KWIC Concordance
Hermetic Systems

A Program for Generating and Searching
a KWIC Concordance of a Document

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The acronym KWIC stands for "Keywords in Context". A KWIC concordance of a document is a list of the different words occurring in the document, with each instance of each word shown in context, as in:

KWIC example

The Search KWIC Concordance software scans a text file or an MS Word docx file, skipping over so-called stop words (that is, words to ignore, as specified by the user) to generate a KWIC concordance. The context size is user-definable. The words which are found can be listed alphabetically or by frequency. After a concordance is generated it may be searched for specified keywords (which may include word patterns). There is no limit on the size of an input file. You can tell the program to allow or disallow hyphenated words or words with numerals. You can tell it to include only words which occur with more than a specified frequency. Stop words may be read from a file. This software may be used with text in languages other than English, in particular, with French, German, Italian, Spanish and Latin text.

Generating a Concordance for a Document

To create a concordance for a document, first open the file by clicking on the Input file button and navigate to the desired folder and file. Adjust the settings (if needed).

Search KWIC Concordance

Context size is the number of words preceding and following the keyword in context. Possible values are 0 through 9. If 0 then only the word (optionally with its frequency of occurrence) is shown.

Click on the Create concordance button and the result (with Show frequencies checked and Show line breaks unchecked) is something like:

Screenshot #2 for Search KWIC Concordance

100% clean With Show frequencies unchecked and Show line breaks checked we obtain concordance items such as:


where a forward slash indicates the presence of an end-of-line in the text file. (Show line breaks is inoperative for Word .docx files.)

The concordance might or might not exceed the capacity of the textbox (you'll be informed). Whether it does or not, you are given the option of saving it to a file (located in the same folder as the input file), named as follows:


where a|f is a if the concordance is ordered alphabetically and is f if ordered by frequency, and n is the context size, for example, "Chapter3.txt.skc.con_a5.txt".

ANSI is the single-byte text encoding which is the default encoding on your PC. UTF-8 is a variable-byte-length encoding of Unicode characters, often used in HTML and XML files.
Text files may be encoded via ANSI or UTF-8. The program does not act directly on binary files such as pdf and Word doc files, but it does handle docx files. Other kinds of files can be processed if saved as "Plain Text" files.

This program can process text in most European languages, including German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French. For each of these languages a user can select a file of stop words (supplied).

To generate an index file along with a concordance file, check the and index file check box. When the program is restarted it will look for an index file and (optionally) load it, in which case a concordance file need not be re-generated prior to conducting a search. An index file need not be generated for documents that are not large (because generating the concordance is done quickly). For large documents, for which the generation of a concordance might take several minutes or more, it is useful to generate an index so that the concordance need not be recreated.

The index file contains information about each word in the concordance at the time when the concordance was generated, and thus is relative to the settings for allowing and ignoring words in the top frame in the Settings panel. Thus if these have changed since the last time an index file was generated then a new concordance plus index should be generated in order to guarantee correct results of a search.

Searching a Concordance

After a concordance file has been generated, or an index file has been loaded, you may search the concordance for specified words.

Select the Search for one or more keywords option to see the Search for keywords button. This also enables the Search results file and Keywords file buttons. Clicking on the former button allows you to specify a folder and a file to which to write the results of a search. If no file is specified then the results are only displayed in the textbox, not written to a file.

Clicking on the Keywords file button allows you to select a file containing keywords to search for, as many as you wish. Keywords must be single words, not phrases. The keywords should be separated by spaces, not commas. They do not have to be in alphabetical order, and several keywords can occur on a single line in the file.

In addition to the words in the keywords file you can also specify extra keywords by entering them into the Extra keywords textbox. As before, the keywords should be separated by spaces, not commas. For example, mother father:

KWIC concordance -- Search mother father

KWIC concordance -- Search sister+motherIf a search term consists of two words juxtaposed by +, e.g., sister+mother then a search will find all occurrences of the first word where the second word occurs in the same context (as shown at right). In this case we see that the term sister occurs 6 times but only twice with mother in the same context. Results depend on the context size; a larger context size may return more items.

Pattern-matching may be used in search terms (but only for extra keywords, not keywords in the keywords file). The character * matches any string of characters (including the empty string), the character ? matches any single character and the character # matches any numerical digit (0-9). For example:

Patterns (in extra keywords) can also be juxtaposed, for example:

KWIC concordance -- juxtaposed patterns

KWIC concordance -- more juxtaposed patternsIf fa*+mo* is the search term, instead of mo*+fa*, we obtain:

Trial version: A copy of the Search KWIC Concordance installation program can be freely downloaded from this website for the purpose of evaluation. Click on the following link for further information:

Download Search KWIC Concordance ...

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Price and ordering: A single-user license for the fully-functional software is available for a period of 3 months, 1 year or with no time limit (a 'perpetual' license). Prices for each type of license are given at Purchase a User License. (A multiple-user license is available for this program.) An activation key is required in order to make the trial version permanently fully functional, and can be obtained immediately (or soon after) your purchase.

Refund: A refund will be provided promptly up to 30 days after purchase if the software does not perform satisfactorily.

Updates: Purchasers of a user license for this software are entitled to an update to any later version at no additional cost.

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