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sendpraat - doing phonetics by computer


sendpraat [timeOut] program {message ...}


This manual page documents the sendpraat command. It was written for the Debian distribution because the original program does not have a manual page.

sendpraat is a program for sendings messages to a running program that uses the Praat shell, like praat(1).


the number of seconds that sendpraat will wait for an answer before writing an error message. A timeOut of 0 means that the message will be sent asynchronously, i.e., that sendpraat will return immediately without issuing any error message.
the name of a running program that uses the Praat shell.
message ...
a sequence of Praat shell lines (commands and directives). Each line is a separate argument. Lines that contain spaces should be put inside double quotes.


sendpraat 0 praat Quit


Causes the program praat to quit (gracefully). This works because “Quit” is a fixed command in Praat’s Control menu. Sendpraat will return immediately.

sendpraat 1000 praat "Play reverse"


Causes the program praat, which can play sounds, to play the selected Sound objects backwards. This works because “Play reverse” is an action command that becomes available in Praat’s dynamic menu when Sounds are selected. Sendpraat will allow “praat” at most 1000 seconds to perform this.

sendpraat praat "execute ~/MyResearch/MyProject/MyScript.praat"


Causes the program “praat” to execute a script. Sendpraat will allow praat at most 10 seconds (the default time out).

sendpraat als "for i from 1 to 5" "Draw circle... 0.5 0.5 0.1*i" "endfor"


Causes the program als to draw five concentric circles into its Picture window.


praat has an on-line documentation; just launch praat and look at the Help menu entry.

For further information, see the Praat website ( A good Beginner’s Guide, written by Sidney Wood, is available at


This manual page was written by Rafael Laboissière <> for the Debian system (but may be used by others). It was based on the information provided by the help message of the sendpraat program itself. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Version 3 any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

On Debian systems, the complete text of the GNU General Public License can be found in /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-3.

April 22, 2013