Digital Humanities Workbench

Home page > Tools

WordSmith Tools

Brief description

WordSmith Tools is a collection of programs that can be used to analyse text files. The most important are:
  • Concord: allows users to create concordances of the instances of certain words or phrases. This component can also be used to produce various reports that provide insight into the lexical patterns that appear in the text (such as collocations and word clusters), as well as overviews of where certain words appear in the text ('word plots'). When defining search patterns, so-called wildcards can also be used. Concord is the main component of WordSmith.
  • Wordlist: allows the user to produce word lists and frequency lists based on the contents of one or more text files. This component can also be used to obtain the so-called 'mutual information score' of certain words, which indicates which words are found in the same context as statistically significant levels.
  • Keywords: allows the user to identify 'keywords' in a text file; these are words that occur relatively often compared to a general standard. In order to use this component of WordSmith, a reference file with general frequency data is required.


WordSmith is no longer available on VU PCs. WordSmith 4.0 is available for download without cost.

Manual and practical introduction

Wordsmith 4 manual
Online manual for Wordsmith Tools 4.0.

Practical introduction to Wordsmith 4: Concord   
Practical introduction (in Dutch) of approx. 2 hours, during which you learn how to work with Concord.

More information

Wordsmith website
The Wordsmith website has a lot of information about the program and related matters. You can also download manuals for different versions of WordSmith.

Further remarks

WordSmith can only be used to browse texts saved in so-called plain ASCII format. Most text corpora available on the faculty network are in this format. HTML and XML files are also saved in this format. Word and pdf files must first be converted to this format before they can be searched with WordSmith (Word: File save > Save as > Save as: Plain text (*.txt))

AntConc is an alternative for the commercial programme WordSmith for users wishing to analyse texts at home. However, this program has fewer features than Wordsmith.

WordSmith logo