In the Margins

How to Run Lexos

Lexos is a web-based tool designed for transforming, analyzing, and visualizing texts. Lexos is designed for use primarily with small to medium-sized text collections, and especially for use with ancient languages and languages that do not employ the Latin alphabet. Lexos was created as an entry-level platform for Humanities scholars and students new to computational techniques while providing tools and techniques sophisticated enough for advanced research.

Lexos runs through your web browser and currently, Lexos supports Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox; other browsers may not function properly.

There are two modes of running Lexos:

  1. Recommended. Use our public server hosted by the Lexomics project at This is your best first step. The limitations of the public server are (at least) two-fold:  (i) if you are leading a classroom of 10+ users, your response times may be slow, and (ii) uploading many and/or large text files may result in slow response times.  Note: The public server has a single file size limit set at 250 MB (as of August 2018, v3.2.0). For comparison sake, the novel War and Peace is 3.2M, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha is 2.1M, and Moby Dick is 1.2MB;  250MB is the size of nine Webster's Unabridged Dictionaries.
  2. Power Users. Download and Install Lexos. This method requires you to install the Python programming language on your computer and the open-source software for Lexos on github. Once installed, you can run Lexos locally using your browser.

Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. If you are a beginner, we suggest that you get to know Lexos using the online version. Later, you can download Lexos and run it locally for greater speed.

Using Local Mode

Many functions in Lexos are based on common Javascript libraries like jQuery and Twitter Bootstrap, which are employed all over the internet. So, chances are that your browser has cached these libraries already and doesn't need to load them, which makes loading times much faster. But we can't rely on it. So, even if you are running Lexos on your own computer using localhost, Lexos still requires an active internet connection to download these Javascript libraries. Most of the time, this is not an issue.

But what if you don't have an internet connection? You can still run Lexos locally on your computer. Lexos has all the Javascript libraries built in and will switch to them if you put it in "local mode". All you have to do is find the Lexos folder on your computer and open the file config.cfg in a text editor. Change LOCAL_MODE = False to LOCAL_MODE = True (be careful, it is case sensitive); then save the file. You can ignore the other settings. If you are already running Lexos, quit form it by typing Control+C on the command line and then restart it by typing python (See the Manual Installation instructions on the Lexomics website if you need help with this.) You will now be running in local mode.

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