Praat windows

Praat for Beginners:
Windows you use while working with Praat

This section introduces the various windows you will see when you start working with Praat, and briefly describes their functions

Choose a topic or read down the page:

  1. Praat Objects and Praat Picture windows
  2. The Praat Sound recorder
  3. The Sound editor
  4. The Praat Picture window

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1. Praat Objects and Praat Picture windows

When you start Praat, you will see the Praat Objects and Praat Picture windows side by side on the desktop:

  • The Objects window (left) is where you list data and results you are working with (sound recordings, sound files, analyses etc) and launch actions you wish to perform on them (view, analyse etc).
  • Praat refers to these listed items as Objects, for example recordings and sound files are known as Sound objects. Once you have objects listed you will see alongside a list of the various actions you can perform on them.
  • The Picture window (right) is a drawing board where you can prepare diagrams for saving, printing or publication.

If you are not using the Picture window for a while, you can close it. It will come back again as soon as you initiate a drawing action. But beware: closing the Objects window shuts down the Praat program completely.

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2. The Praat Sound recorder

You might possibly already have your sound data stored in sound files that can be opened from the Objects window. Otherwise you will need to record some. You can use any sound recording program, possibly one that came with your sound system. For convenience, Praat includes a recorder:

A stereo redcording is in progress in this recording. You can also do mono recording.

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3. The Sound editor

The Praat Sound editor provides basic editing functions like copying, cutting and pasting sound selections. It is also a convenient place for viewing and playing sound data, and making and inspecting various analyses such as spectrograms and pitch:

  • The Sound editor always shows the waveform, with both channels if stereo.
  • It will also show a preselected analysis, like the spectrogram of the example.
  • Sound can be played back, all or selected parts.
  • Drawing can be initiated from here, both waveform and analyses.
  • In practice, you will need a much larger Sound editor window size than you see in these examples, in order to see all the details.

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4. The Picture window

  • This example shows a spectrogram drawn from the Sound editor
  • Other picture functions offer line drawing, scales and text editing
  • You can print your picture from here, or save it as a file, once you’ve finished editing it
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© Sidney Wood and SWPhonetics, 1994-2012
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