Module tf.about.install


As it is now …

Python and JupyterLab

Text-Fabric is a Python package, so you absolutely need Python.

JupyterLab is a convenient interface to run Python programs, and Text-Fabric has been developed with this environment in mind. If you have not seen Jupyter notebooks before, you can see what it is here.


Watch the introductory video over there.

If you are new to Python, you can now install both in one go, as a desktop application. There are apps for Macos, Linux and Windows.


The apps can be downloaded from jupyterlab-desktop, choose the one that fits your system.


After downloading, go to your downloads folder and install the application in the way you are used to, but notice the following:

Macos security warning

On the mac, if you just double click the .pkg file, you get a security warning (unidentified developer) and you are stuck. Remedy: right-click the .pkg file, answer the dialogbox with OK, and your installation will begin.

Installation should be for the current user

Normally you install apps for all users on your computer. But this app works better if you install it for the current user only. Because you'll need to install extra Python modules, and when you do that the app needs permission to save those modules. When the app is installed for the current user, the app has permission to write those files.

How to install for the current user? It depends on the platform. See here if you like. It boils down to the following:


During installation, click "Change install location" and set it to "Install for me only"


After installation, run the following command from a terminal where username should be changed to your username on the system

sudo chown -R username:username /opt/JupyterLab


No extra instructions. Two installers will be launched, let them work with the same default location for installation.

Install Text-Fabric

Wow, now you have both Python and JupyterLab, you are all set to do Text-Fabric work, including installing it.

Open the JupyterLab desktop application that you just have installed. You have a fresh, empty notebook in front of you.

In the first cell, type

%pip install text-fabric

You will see that Text-Fabric is downloaded and installed, together with the modules it depends on.

Now restart the kernel of this notebook by clicking the circular arrow in the toolbar:


This finishes the installation. You can wipe out this cell, or start a new notebook.

Work with Text-Fabric

In a notebook, put this incantation in a cell and run it:

from import use

And in a next cell, load the corpus data (here you see the bhsa = Hebrew Bible, see tf.about.corpora for other options)

A = use("etcbc/bhsa", hoist=globals())

If you have worked with the bhsa before on the same computer, the data is already there, and this step will be quick. Otherwise you will see that the data is being downloaded and prepared for its first use. That takes a bit of work and produces a long list of all features of the bhsa on your screen.

From here you can use the start tutorial to get going, just after Incantation.

Text-Fabric browser

You can also work with Text-Fabric outside any programming context, just in the browser. A bit like SHEBANQ, the difference is that now your own computer is the one that serves the website, not something on the internet.

Open a new notebook, and in its first cell type

text-fabric etcbc/bhsa

Wait a few seconds and you see a new window in your browser with an interface to submit queries to the corpus.

When you are done, go back to the notebook, and close it.

As it was before …

Text Fabric is a Python package on the Python Package Index, so you can install it directly with pip3 or pip from the command line.


Your computer should be a 64-bit machine and it needs at least 3 GB RAM memory. It should run Linux, Macos, or Windows.

close other programs

When you run the Text-Fabric browser for the first time, make sure that most of that minimum of 3GB RAM is actually available, and not in use by other programs.


Install or upgrade Python on your system to at least version 3.6.3.

Go for the 64-bit version. Otherwise Python may not be able to address all the memory it needs.

The leanest install is provided by

You can also install it from

On Windows?

Choose Anaconda over standard Python. The reason is that when you want to add Jupyter to the mix, you need to have additional developers' tools installed. The Anaconda distribution has Jupyter out of the box.

When installing Python, make sure that the installer adds the path to Python to your environment variables.

Install Chrome or Firefox and set it as your default browser. The Text-Fabric browser does not display well in Microsoft Edge, for Edge does not support the details element.

On Linux?

On Ubuntu 18.04 Python 3.6 is already installed. But you have to install pip3 in order to add the Python package text-fabric.

sudo apt install python3-pip



(macos or linux (non-anaconda))

pip3 install text-fabric

(windows or linux (anaconda))

pip install text-fabric

To 3 or not to 3?

From now on we always use python3 and pip3 in instructions.

On Windows you have to say python and pip. There are more differences, when you go further with programming.

Also, if you use Anaconda, whether on Windows or Mac or Linux, it is pip.

Advice: if you are serious on programming, consider switching to a Unix-like platform, such as Linux or the Mac (macos).

On Linux?

  • On Ubuntu the text-fabric script ends up in your ~/.local/bin directory, but this is not on your PATH.
  • You need to execute your .profile file first by:
source ~/.profile

You need to do this every time when you open a new terminal and want to run Text-Fabric. If you get tired of this, you can add this to your .bashrc file:

export PATH

Upgrade Text-Fabric

pip3 install --upgrade text-fabric

TF apps and data

In order to work with a corpus you need its data.

For some corpora there is a TF app, which takes care of downloading and updating that data.

tf.about.corpora tells you how to install and update a TF app and get the corpus data.

Jupyter notebook

Optionally install Jupyter as well:

pip3 install jupyter

Jupyter lab is a nice context to work with Jupyter notebooks. Recommended for working with the the tutorials of Text-Fabric. Also when you want to copy and paste cells from one notebook to another.

pip3 install jupyterlab
jupyter labextension install jupyterlab-toc

The toc-extension is handy to get an overview when working with the lengthy tutorial. It will create an extra tab in the Jupyter Lab interface with a table of contents of the current notebook.

Jupyter lab is an interesting off-spring from the marriage between the Python world and the Javascript world.

In order to install lab extensions you need to have Node installed.

Expand source code Browse git
.. include:: ../docs/about/