Software developed at The University of Queensland is helping some of the world’s biggest organisations discover the true meaning of complex texts in minutes.

The Leximancer program is the world’s first truly automatic text analytics solution that takes context into account. It can be set up easily to quickly identify key themes, concepts and ideas from texts and display these using compelling interactive maps.

The software has a growing customer base in more than 10 countries and across almost all industries, as well as government agencies, research institutions and universities. It is also used by both the United States Army and the Australian Department of Defence.

Leximancer offers companies the lowest total cost of ownership of any text analytics program.

Driven by constant innovation, Leximancer is regularly updated to better meet the needs of users. Now developers are partnering with organisations such as the US Air Force to develop new applications for the software.


Around the world, there is a growing need for large companies and government departments, particularly defence forces, to be able to quickly, accurately and easily extract meaningful content from large, technical texts. But many text analysis techniques take a simplistic approach, searching for words and their frequency. They do not take into account the fact that the same word can have different meanings or that very different words can mean the same. Without taking into account this context, it is difficult to deduce the true significance of text.

Leximancer, a software program developed by Dr Andrew Smith from the Institute for Social Science Research, takes a multidisciplinary approach to text analysis. Dr Smith has combined a background in physics and cognitive science as well as experience in IT applications to design the world’s only truly automatic text analytics solution.

Leximancer works by first generating a thesaurus from the text and then using this to identify concepts and themes within its content. The resulting information is then displayed in an interactive map that presents the text’s main concepts and the relationships between them. Leximancer is easy to set up, gets results quickly and mitigates problems caused by human bias.

With the ability to extract meaning from scientific, technical and business content as well as patent documents, Leximancer is being used in market research, defence, government, management consulting, insurance, legal, intelligence, pharmaceuticals and health care. The Australian Department of Defence is a major customer, as is the Russian Makarov Naval Academy and US Army which has described Leximancer as “the driving force within our text analytics platform." Leximancer is used by researchers at more than 300 universities.

Leximancer’s customer base is expanding fast with customers in many countries, including Australia, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Norway, Taiwan, Germany and Italy.

In 2008, Australia’s Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research used Leximancer to analyse more than 600 submissions to the National Innovation System Review. The system was also used by the Australian Law Reform Commission to analyse over 2300 submissions to the National Classification Scheme Review in 2011.

Leximancer is driven by continuous innovation. Dr Smith is currently engaged on a three-year project funded by the US Air Force to explore how to achieve reliable situation tracking using large streams of data such as social media applications like Facebook and Twitter.