Praat for Beginners:
Downloading, installing and starting Praat
Praat is ready to run, so it does not need elaborate installation. All you need to do is copy it from the Praat website to somewhere on your computer. For faster downloading, Praat is compressed and zipped, so you will need to decompress and unpack it once you’ve got it.
- Finding and unzipping the downloaded Praat file on your computer
- Launching Praat
- Quitting Praat
Go to the Praat website: http://www.praat.org (this link should open in a new browser tab or window that you can download in and then close when you’re finished). When the Praat website appears, you will see something like this in the top left corner of the home page:
In the list of operating systems, click yours. This example takes the Windows edition of Praat:
In the top left corner you will see two files, praatXXXX_win32.zip and praatXXXX_win64.zip (XXXX being the program version number like 5303 here). The one you want depends on your computer, you can only run the 64-bit file if you are using a 64-bit computer. The zip file is an archive and you’ll need a special program like the Windows extraction wizard, Winzip or 7-zip etc. to decompress and unpack it for you. This example uses the 32-bit file, clicking the link brings up a download dialog that might look a little different depending on your Windows and browser versions:
For this example I used Windows XP and Firefox. The important thing at this stage is to make sure you SAVE the file, do NOT chose to open it yet. Click OK (or whatever similar option you see on your own screen) and downloading starts. You might see something like this while the file downloads:
2. Finding and unzipping the downloaded Praat file on your computer
The Praat website recommends downloading to the desktop. Just where you download to is a Windows setting (that you can change if you wish), and the default is a Downloads folder under My documents. So that’s where I found my Praat file in Windows explorer:
Double-click the Praat zip file, and the Praat program appears in a new Windows explorer window. The simplest thing now is to use the mouse and drag the file out onto the desktop, (or to anywhere else where you want to store it).
Alternatively, click the Extract all files link and take the long route through the file system to the place where you want to put the program:
This brings up the Windows extraction wizard (or whatever similar program you may have installed):
where the Wizard asks where you want to save Praat. Click browse
and make your way through the file system. For this example I choose the Desktop anyway. When you are done here click OK to go back to the Wizard and finish.
The program appears on the desktop and is now ready to run. Yours will be where you chose to put it. To make life easier, you can create a short cut on the desktop or in the Start Programs list. The procedure varies somewhat between versions of Windows, so check your Windows manuals.
3. Launching Praat
Praat can be launched using any of the usual Windows methods. There are similar methods on other computer systems, but the details of the actual procedures will differ. This is for Windows.
If you saved Praat to the desktop (as described above), you can start by double-clicking the program or shortcut ikon.
Praat starts with two windows, Praat objects to the left (where sound data is listed and analyses and other actions are initiated) and Praat pictures to the right (an image editor for preparing diagrams for printing or saving). This is dealt with elsewhere in this manual.
4. Quitting Praat
Praat is closed like any other Windows program.
- Click the x in the top right corner of the Objects window
- Or open the Praat menu and select Quit.
- Or simply use the hot keys [Ctrl]+[Q] (test this a few times to make sure it doesn’t do anything to other programs):