This research programme is a global comprehensive study of the graphic and typographic interface of Frantext, an online lexicographic tool developed by the ATILF (Analyse et Traitement Informatique de la Langue Française, Nancy). Frantext is a database of 5390 references sampled from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, coupled with a highly efficient text mining tool. It allows simple and complex searches and displays the results in the form of lists of extracts of texts of up to 700 characters. It is designed to understand the contexts of use and the evolutions of the searched grammatical form.

The advent of informatics marked a turning point in the way of understanding textual content, and redefined the relation to knowledge and the practice of social sciences. Here the search result is a sum of a set of data, put in relation by the intervention of the researcher instead of a simple extract among the list proposed. Therefore, this process involves a specific relation to the text, an active and exploratory reading, followed by graphic and typographic constraints. After an initial analytical phase, the objective of this programme is to elaborate a system that takes into account these graphic and typographic issues within a more global question of the influence of digital tools on research methodologies.