User interface

This page documents the general aspects of the tOKo user interface. The screendumps were created using Linux, on other operating systems they may look slightly different.

Screen layout

The image on the right shows a typical screen layout of tOKo. From top to bottom the sub-windows contain:

  • Menubar. Menu's providing access to the major functions.
  • Browsers. Five browsers which are dynamically filled depending on the user action. The label above the browser states what it contains.
  • Commands. A dialog box with command buttons, options and a box to enter a selection.
  • Left and right tab windows. The left tab-window has three tabs (corpus index, ontology, resources). The right tab-window can contain an arbitrary number of tabs, it always contains a tab for the current document.
  • Feedback. At the bottom is a single line with feedback about the last action.

An example of the user interface is selecting Corpus / Words from the menubar. The words in the corpus are shown in the second browser. Next click on a word in the second browser, the documents in which the word appears are shown in the first browser and case variations are shown in the third browser. Now click on a document in the first browser, the contents of the document is shown in the right tab-window.


The menubar works in the familiar way.


The five browsers at the top are filled with the ordered results of a user action. In the documentation the browsers are called the first browser (left most) through the fifth browser (right most).
The first browser (called documents) always contains a list of documents containing the term of the last action. Clicking on a document in this browser shows the contents of the document in the right tab window.
The second browser (words) is used to show the results of an action that results in a list of simple words. By default the list is ordered by descending frequency in the corpus.
The third browser (sub-words) shows small variations of words related to the words in the second browser.
The fourth browser (terms) shows compound terms or short phrases from more elaborate actions.
The fifth browser (sub-terms) shows compound terms related to a term selected in the fourth browser.


The label above a browser describes what is being shown. Layout of the items is one of:

Term [ Frequency ]
Term < Score >
Term [ Frequency; Score]

Frequency is the frequency of the term and score a value computed on criteria other than frequency. The popup menu in a browser has options to change the default order in which items are sorted.

User interface

  • Select. Selecting an item (left-click) causes it to be displayed in the text entry field. Depending on what the browser shows, some other browsers may also be updated.
  • Multiple select. Selecting an item while the CONTROL-key is depressed adds the item to the selection. Selecting an item while the SHIFT-key is down adds a range of items to the selection.
  • Searching. Typing starts an incremental search. For example, if you are looking for an item starting with pr type the letter p followed by the letter r. The ESCAPE-key abandons a search and CONTROL-S searches for the next item with the same initial characters.
  • Drag-and-drop. An item (or a set of items when there is a multiple selection) can be dropped somewhere else on the screen with a left-button drag. One of the most common uses is to add terms to the ontology.


The dialog box in the middle of the screen contains a row of tool buttons and a row for entering a selection and setting modes. The second row, perhaps, takes some getting used to.

In general, there are two ways of issuing an action. The first way is to enter a term into the selection box and then select an action from either the tool buttons or the drop-down menu. The second method is to enter a term and then hit the RETURN key. The latter executes the previous action, which is shown in the button (Pattern search in the example).

Setting and editing the selection

The selection is set by one of several methods:

  1. Typing in the selection box. Control-U clears the selection, Control-A goes to the beginning and Control-E to the end. Control-K clears from the caret until the end.
  2. Select from the history in the selection box.
  3. Click in a browser. The item clicked becomes the selection.
  4. Select text in a document (in the document tab). Drag with the left button from the start to the end of the text. When the left button is released the text becomes the selection.
  5. In the ontology, the popup contains both a Make selection and a Paste selection item.

Modes for ontology and language

Currently functions can be executed in one of two modes: ontology (O) and language (L) mode. In O-mode it is assumed the user is developing an ontology and words or terms that are unlikely to be ontology concepts are not shown. In L-mode no results are filtered out, a mode suitable for linguistic analysis.

An example of the difference is Corpus / Words. In L-mode it shows the frequency of all words, including small words like the, in etc. In O-mode these words or not shown and the most frequent terms are then likely related to the subject matter of the corpus.

Restricting searches to part of the corpus

By default all search operations consider the entire corpus (C). Searches can be restricted to a document and all its sub-documents by selecting a document in the corpus hierarchy and setting the mode to documents (D).

Interpretation of the selection

The interpretation of the selection can be one of term (T) and pattern (P). When T-interpretation is active, the selection is taken literally, whereas with P-interpretation the selection is the set of all phrases in the corpus that match the pattern.

With T-interpretation the selection minute applied to KWIC (drop-down menu) shows the context of the literal term minute. With P-interpretation the KWIC function first expands the selection to all matches in the corpus and then shows the context for all expansions. For example, the pattern (minute) takes minute as a lemma and applies KWIC to both minute and the plural minutes. (See Pattern search for a full description of the specification of patterns.)

Left tab-window

The left tab-window contains three tabs for the corpus hierarchy, the ontology hierarchy, and resources associated with the application. Which tab is on top is controlled by the user.

Right tab-window

The right tab-window is dynamically filled with tabs. A tab displaying the current document is always present, other tabs are displayed (and first created when necessary) when a function requiring the tab is executed.

In some cases the results of a function can be shown in a browser and in a tab. In such cases, the user must first put the appropriate tab on top.


The feedback line at the bottom display status information (in black) and error messages (in red).