In the Margins

The Cutter Tool

The Lexos Cutter tool allows you to divide your texts into multiple segments. Each segment is treated by Lexos exactly like any other document. You can perform individual scrubbing actions, create word clouds of segments, and cluster the segments of documents just as you would any other text.

Cutting Options

Lexos gives you numerous options for designating where document should be cut into segments. The options are detailed below.


This option allows you to designate the number of characters you wish to be included in each segment. When the Characters/Segment radio button is clicked, the Segment Size, Overlap, and Last Segment Size Threshold options become visible. Segment Size refers to the number of characters you wish to include in each segment. Lexos will begin a new segment when it reaches the number of characters you designate before starting over at the next segment. Overlap allows you to specify an area of overlap between each segment. For instance, if you choose a segment size of 1000 characters and an overlap of 10 characters. Segment 1 will end at 1000 and Segment 2 will begin at 990. The Last Segment Size Threshold option provides a method of handling circumstances where the final segment does not reach the number of characters in the designated segment size. The default setting is to treat this final segment as a separate segment if it is 50% or more of the length of the designated segment size. If the final (potential) segment is too small, the entire final segment will be attached to the previous one. Changing the Last Segment Size Threshold percentage allows you to customize this behavior.


If your documents contain line breaks, you may use them to indicate where Lexos performs cutting actions. The Segment Size option allows you to choose the number of lines after which Lexos will perform a cut. All the other options work exactly the same as for the Characters/Segment option, except that they work by counting lines instead of characters.


Lexos can perform cutting actions based on the number of tokens per segment. Here, token specifically means a 1-gram "word" token (for example, cutting by 1000 tokens per segment means each segment will contain 1000 words each), that is, the cutter tool treats space-separated strings of characters as tokens. Apart from using tokens as the unit for measuring segment size, all other options work exactly the same as for the Characters/Segment option.


This option divides documents into a designated number of evenly-sized segments, regardless of the length of the document. If the number of terms cannot be perfectly segmented, the initial segments will contain an additional term, starting with the first segment.

Cut by Milestone

This option allows you to assign a text string occurring in the document to use as a delimiter between segments. These “milestone” strings must be placed at appropriate locations in text files before they are uploaded to Lexos. For instance, you might add the string “CHAPTER” at the beginning of every chapter in a novel and then supply “CHAPTER” as the milestone term. Lexos will then perform a cut every time it encounters this term, allowing you to divide your novel into individual documents for each chapter. Note that you must be careful to select a milestone term that does not occur anywhere as part of the text of your documents. Milestones are not counted as terms in the Document-Term Matrix (DTM).

Cutting your Documents

Once you have selected the cutting options you desire, click the Preview Cuts button to see the results in the preview window. If you are happy with the cuts performed by Lexos, click the Apply Cuts button. This will create new documents with the same name as the original followed by a number for each segment. Each segment will appear as a new document in the Manage tool. Once cutting is applied, the original document is de-activated and the new segments are made active documents.

If the active documents need to be cut in various ways (e.g., cut the Old English poem Daniel into 450 word segments, but the poem Azarias is to remain intact by cutting into one segment), each document has an Individual Options button in the Preview window. Clicking this button opens a version of the cutting options form in the main Cutter tool which allows you to apply cuts to each segment individually.

You can download the new document segments by clicking the Download Cut Files button. This is handy when you want to work with your segmented documents again but you want to begin by uploading your previous segmented documents, thus allowing you to skip the cutting step.

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