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In this paper, a new concise algorithm about time-frequency representation (TFR) based on an adaptive short-time Fourier transform (ASTFT) is presented. In this algorithm, the analysis window width is equal to the local stationary length which is measured by the instantaneous frequency gradient (IFG) of the signal. And the instantaneous frequency (IF) of the signal is obtained by detecting the ridge of wavelet transform (WT). The ASTFT provides much better performance than conventional TFR algorithms. Furthermore, the algorithm is simpler and more computational efficient than some of other adaptive TFR algorithms proposed previously. Several examples are presented to illustrate its behavior on different kinds of signals and demonstrate its validity.