[RNLD] importing/exporting between ELAN and FLEX

Brighde Clare Collins brighdec at STUDENT.UNIMELB.EDU.AU
Wed Sep 11 04:33:27 UTC 2013

Hi all,

I am also relatively new to ELAN and FLEX, and have recently attempted to
export my ELAN files to FLEX to use the automatic parser for my glossing.

Through trial and error I was able to move through the four steps required
to export the file, and created a .flextext file which was easily imported
into FLEX.

I was able to view the exported text in FLEX, but I difficulty with the
morpheme breakdown. Usually with a text (for example, one I directly type
into FLEX in the 'baseline' area), morpheme breakdown is easy as one just
clicks the dropdown box in the morpheme row, and chooses 'Edit Morpheme
Breaks'. However, with my text imported from ELAN, this dropdown box
doesn't exist, which means that although I have a text in FLEX, I can't do
anything further with it. It is though FLEX doesn't recognise the words
that are in the text as units that can be broken down.

I thought that part of my problem was that my tier heirarchy in ELAN is
possibly different from what should convert to FLEX: I have two speakers,
and am translating from one language into both Kriol and English. However,
I have just tried to create a simpler hierarchy with only one tier (with
one language in it), and now find that although I am able to create a
.flextext file, FLEX is unable to import it - well, it says that it has
imported it, but there are no words in the text I've created.

So, sorry Jonathon, but I don't really have any suggestions to make, but
would be interested to hear if anyone has had these problems! And perhaps
more interested to hear if anyone has had any successful communication
between the two programs.

Best regards,


On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 12:03 PM, Jonathon Lum <lum.jonathon at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi all,
> The latest versions of ELAN and FLEX are supposed to support importing and
> exporting between the two. In theory at least this should speed up the
> glossing process if it is possible to export a basic transcription with
> morpheme breakdown from ELAN to FLEX, then gloss it in FLEX using the
> automatic parser (and perhaps also add a free translation tier), before
> exporting back to ELAN for the final product, where one can view/listen to
> the original video/audio file with all the tiers. This would mean you don't
> have to gloss every single morpheme manually in ELAN, since the parser in
> FLEX is doing much of the work instead.
> Does anyone have any experience with this sort of workflow? Unfortunately
> I am quite new to both ELAN and FLEX, and most people seem unfamiliar with
> using the two programs together. There is a brief description in the
> manuals about how to import and export files, but unfortunately the windows
> I get look different to the screenshots in the manual. The problem might
> have something to do with the ELAN tiers template I am using, or maybe
> there's something else I'm missing here in terms of settings. I'm also
> curious as to whether a different program like ANVIL might be better for
> what I have in mind.
> I look forward to hearing any suggestions.
> Thanks and regards,
> Jonathon
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