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Pattern Distribution -- XML

This tool creates a graphical distribution list of words in an XML document, either from a web address or uploaded from the user’s files. The subtext can be distributed in percentage blocks of text, over specific XML elements, or chunks of a user-defined number of words. The results may be viewed as an SVG graph, a graph generated with JavaScript, as HTML or as tab-delimited text.

Please click the ? buttons at the bottom right of each set of options for more information on that set.

For further information on this tool, please see the TADA Wiki's Distribution Graph entry here. A glossary of terms is also available here.


To generate a distribution graph for, search only the text found between <para> and </para> for the word 'Microsoft', and display the results as an SVG graph:
  1. Source text
    1. Enter ‘’ into the ‘URL’ field.
  2. Subtext limited to
    1. Click the radio button next to ‘Distribute over element’ and enter ‘para’ in the text field.
  3. What to find
    1. Enter 'Microsoft' in the 'Word/Pattern' field.
  4. Results
    1. Set the ‘Display as’ drop menu to ‘SVG’.
    2. Click the ‘Submit’ button to process the text.
» Source text


This section determines the source of the document you wish the tool to process. XML can be obtained either from a web address or by uploading a file.


Source URL
To use content from a web page, enter a full web address (URL) ending in .html in the field provided. Copy and paste from your browser’s address bar for best results.

Local file
To upload an XML (.xml) file from your computer, choose ‘Local file,’ click ‘Browse,’ and select the file you wish to use from your directory.
» Subtext limited to


This section determines the graph's distribution based on XML elements, percentage of the text, or number of words per chunk.


Distribute over element
This field defines an element to use as a distribution unit for the distribution graph. The chunk of text falling within each instance of that element constitutes one unit of the graph.

Distribute over attribute_____ in element _____
This field defines an attribute and element pairing to use as a distribution unit for the distribution graph. The chunk of text falling within each instance of that element constitutes one unit of the graph.

Distribute over ___% block of text
This field allows the text to be broken down into chunks based on percentage. For example, 10% will split the text into ten chunks and give the distribution of the word or pattern in each, while 1% will split it into 100 units, and 25% will split it into four.

Distribute over chunks of ____ words
This field allows the user to break the text into chunks based on the number of words per chunk.

Show relative distribution
Check this box to enable relative distribution on the graph.
» What to find

This section determines what to search for within the document.


Word/Pattern to find
Users can filter results based on the word, phrase or pattern (regular expression) entered here. To search multiple words without the tool treating them as a phrase, separate words with commas (Ex: red, orange, purple). To search for a phrase, enter it as it appears in the text - quotation marks are not needed (Ex: wine-dark sea, not "wine-dark sea"). Unix-style searching may also be used.

Get Synonyms
If searching a word, this button generates a list of synonyms in a new window. To search the original word plus synonymns, copy the comma-separated list in the text box of the new window and paste it into the Word/Pattern field. Note: Collocation only.
» Results

This section allows users to choose how the results will be formatted, and whether to display it in a new browser window.


Display as
This drop-down lists enables users to choose from several output formats: SVG graph, HTML, tab delimited text or interactive graph. Please note that the interactive graph requires JavaScript.

Open results in new window
Checking this box will display the results in a new window. This option is selected by default. Some pop-up blockers may prevent a new window from being opened; if so, un-check the box to open the results in the same window instead.
`*' indicates a required field



TAPoRware Project, McMaster University,