Module tf.about.install


Quick, fresh start

Python and JupyterLab

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, look here or watch this video.

Install both Jupyter and Python in one go, as a desktop application running under. Macos, Linux or Windows.

The Jupyter Desktop App 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:

on macos: right-click the .pkg file, answer the dialogbox with OK.

on all platforms: install for the current user, not for all users, otherwise you run into problems later on.

macos: click "Change install location" and set it to "Install for me only"

linux: 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

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

Install Text-Fabric

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

Text-Fabric is then downloaded and installed, together with the modules it depends on.

Now restart 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 data of some corpus, e.g. annotation/banks.

A = use("annotation/banks")

The first time you do this you will see that the data is being downloaded and prepared for its first use. If you do this a second time, the data is already on your computer in preprocessed form, and Text-Fabric will see that data and load it quickly.

From here you can use a tutorial.

More extensive tutorials are available for other corpora, see tf.about.corpora.

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 annotation/banks

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.

The long story …


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 Python on your system (minimum version is 3.6.3). Make sure to install the 64-bit version.

The leanest install is the standard Python distribution by

You can also install it from

On Windows?

Here Anaconda is more convenient than standard Python.

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 data

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

tf.about.corpora tells you how to get the corpus data.

Jupyter notebook/lab

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
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.. include:: ../docs/about/