I would like to create some annotations on some texts using BRAT (brat rapid annotation tool). Can BRAT be installed on Microsoft Windows? If so, how?

The installation instructions do not rule out Microsoft Windows:

The brat server is a Python (version 2.5+) program that runs by default as a CGI application, and the installation script assumes a UNIX-like environment. If you are setting up brat server in a compatible environment with an existing web server that supports CGI, the quick start instructions for using CGI should work. If you don't have a web server installed and want to try brat out locally, you may want try out the quick start instructions for the standalone server. (For security reasons, we strongly recommend serving brat via a full web server such as Apache in production environments.)

However they don't seem to give any instructions for Microsoft Windows.

I don't want to use some in emulation of Unix such as virtual machines or Cygwin.

If interested, to use BRAT with Cygwin: https://github.com/Franck-Dernoncourt/NeuroNER/blob/master/install_windows.md

After installing Cygwin, run Cygwin.bat (by default located on C:\cygwin64\ if you used the 64-bit installation for Cygwin). Then, in the terminal that just opened, run:

mkdir brat
cd brat
wget http://weaver.nlplab.org/~brat/releases/brat-v1.3_Crunchy_Frog.tar.gz
tar xzf brat-v1.3_Crunchy_Frog.tar.gz
cd brat-v1.3_Crunchy_Frog
./install.sh -u
python standalone.py

BRAT should now be accessible through the web browser at


The installation documentation shows that the easiest way to run a brat server on Windows is in a virtual machine running a UNIX-like operating system such as Ubuntu. Also, there's an issue (still opening) about running brat server on windows. I think you're on your own right now.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the links! I'll wait a bit before accepting in case someone managed to run BRAT on Microsoft Windows. $\endgroup$ – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 6 '17 at 5:51

The best way to use brat on windows (10) is by using windows linux subsystem. S1. Enable Developer mode S2. Enable Windows Linux Subsystem by turning the windows feature on (control panel) S3. Install Ubuntu from windows store. S4. From bash, install python (sudo apt install python-minimal) S5. Get brat downloaded on your favorite drive and folder, unpack it (7Zip). S6. Go to the folder from bash (cd /mnt//...) S7. ./install.sh, followed by python standalone.py, then copy and paste the localhost on your favorite browser!

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for this. However, I found when I installed brat in the standard windows file system "/mnt/c/<somewhere on c:\>" it complained it didn't have read/write access to a required path. However installing it in my Ubuntu user directory "~/brat" worked fine. For information I'm using miniconda with python 2.7 which could have an impact. $\endgroup$ – Christopher Marshall Aug 5 '19 at 12:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.