ToBI Annotation Environment on Praat

This manual explains how to set up and use the ToBI Annotation Environment on Praat, both for running the examples and exercises in the “Guidelines for ToBI Labeling”, and for doing ToBI labeling using a graphical user interface.

If you find an error or have suggestions, please send me e-mail to agus [at] cs.columbia.edu.

About Praat: Version 4.3 or higher of Praat required (available at http://www.praat.org). Praat is a very powerful tool, but does not always behave correctly. If something does not work as explained here, try closing and restarting it; most of the times that will fix the problem.


  » 1. Setup
  » 2. Examples and Exercises
  » 3. ToBI Labeling

  « Back

1. Setup

After downloading and uncompressing “ToBI_Praat_Windows_v#.#.zip”, or “ToBI_Praat_Linux_v#.#.tar.gz”, you should have these files:
  examples_wav/
  examples_textgrid/
  exercises_textgrid/
  scripts/
  directory.txt
  README.txt
  ToBI-init.praat

In order to set things up, you will need to:
  1. Edit the “directory.txt” file so that it contains the full path to the directory where you placed these files.
    Important: Make sure that this file contains only one line, with no ENTER or NEW LINE characters at the end.
  2. Run ONLY ONCE the initialization script named “ToBI-init.praat” from Praat, using Praat → Open Praat Script..., and in the new window Run → Run. This will set up the ToBI commands in the menu. These changes are persistent along different Praat sessions, that's why you only need to run it only once.

Other issues



2. Examples and Exercises

The examples and exercises in the “Guidelines for ToBI Labeling” (version 3.0, March 1997) can be opened from the Read menu in the Objects window.

While the examples are intended only for visualization, the exercises can (and are supposed to) be modified.

To save the changes made to an exercise, use the File → Save changes to ToBI practice file command in the TextGrid window.
Important: Never save the changes made to an example file.

If you want to discard the changes made to any file, close its window and remove the corresponding object(s) from the Objects list.



3. ToBI Labeling

TextGrid Files

To create a new TextGrid file for a Wav file, follow these steps:

  1. Load the Wav file into the Objects window, with Read → Read from file... (or Read → Open long sound file... if it is a long file).
  2. Select the Wav file in the Objects list.
  3. Create a new TextGrid using New → Create ToBI TextGrid.
  4. Select the both files in the Objects list, and click the Edit button.

To edit an existing TextGrid file:

  1. Load the Wav file into the Objects window, with Read → Read from file... (or Read → Open long sound file... if it is a long file).
  2. Load the TextGrid file into the Objects window, with Read → Read from file...
  3. Select both files in the Objects list, and click the Edit button.

To save the changes made to a TextGrid file:

  1. In the TextGrid window, use File → Write TextGrid to text file...
    Important: Never use File → Save changes to ToBI practice file for this. That command is intended only for saving practice files.

ToBI Labels

ToBI labels for the Tones, Break Indices and Misc tiers can be inserted either manually using the keyboard, or with a simple graphical user interface prepared for that purpose (see Figure 1).


GUI for ToBI Labeling
Figure 1. Graphical User Interface for ToBI Labeling


The annotation menu shown in Figure 1 is opened from the Objects window, with Help → ToBI Manual. It has three label menus, one for each tier.

Tip: In the annotation menu window, use View → Font size... to increase the font size.

To insert a new label, first create a new Point as usual (click on the exact position in the waveform or spectrogram tiers, then click inside the circle in the desired tier). After that, select the new point and click on the desired label in the label menu (“L+H*”, “3p”, “disfl>”, etc.).

To clear a label, select its point and click on “CLEAR”. This will clear the label, but not delete the point (points can be deleted as usual, by selecting them and choosing Boundary → Remove).

The “Internal Navigation Commands” (<PREVIOUS>, <NEXT>) are used to move along the existing labels in the currently selected tier. Before using them, make sure you have selected the correct tier.



« Back last updated 02.11.2008