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Atlas.ti logo Atlas.ti

Special strengths

Author of this page: Graham R. Gibbs

Affiliation: University of Huddersfield

Date written: 30th June 2005




Coding images, audio recordings and video

Atlas.ti also allows you to code the following in digital format:

  • Parts of images
  • Audio recordings
  • Video

The forms of digital data are imported into your hermeneutic unit just like text documents. You can select parts of a digital image, or a sequence from an audio or video recording and code it. These parts of an image of sequence of digital recording can be overlapping.

An advantage of coding a digital audio or video recording directly is there is no need to transcribe the interviews.(If an interview is recorded in an non-digital format such as audio cassette it will need to be digitised before it can be coded in Atlas.ti, this can be a lengthy process).

It remains to be seen how easy users find it to select sequences of audio or video recording (for coding) compared with the ease of selecting passages of typed text. However, if you need to deal with video images and sound then there is little alternative to a program like Atlas.ti that can code video.

Networks and network diagrams

A key part of the way that Atlas.ti supports theory building and analysis is the network feature. Any of the objects in the HU can be incorporated into a network;

  • primary documents
  • quotations,
  • code,s and
  • memos as nodes in a network diagram

These nodes can be linked by a variety of relations showing the connections between the objects

  • 'is part of'
  • 'is a cause of '
  • 'contradicts'
  • 'is a property of'

Quotations can be linked by relations such as:

  • 'criticizes'
  • 'explains'
  • 'justifies'

The analyst can create new types of link as their analysis requires. This enables a hierarchy of codes to be constructed.

Network diagrams are also another way of representing your thinking about the data and how themes relate to each other as strategies, contexts, causal conditions etc.


Super-Codes allow you to store a search which is useful to remember what searches you have done. A super codes appear in you list of codes, but it only stores 'how you did' the search not the results it got. In order to see the results of the search you need to do a retrieval which re-runs the search. This is useful because if you modify your coding when you rerun the search those updates will be included in the results.