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Atlas.ti logoCoding with Atlas.ti v.5

Authors of this page: Graham R. Gibbs and Celia Taylor

Affiliation: University of Huddersfield

Date written: 30th June 2005

 

 

 

 

Symbols and Conventions

Coding

In Atlas.ti, the Quotation and the Code lists and pop-up menus support coding. Codes can also be arranged into families or groups. In Atlas.ti, codes (as well as documents, quotations and memos) can be linked to each other in networks. In a network view, codes can be arranged hierarchically or in any other way. The linkages are named, for example, 'is part of' or 'contradicts' in the case of codes or 'criticises' or 'justifies' in the case of quotations. Codes, quotations, documents etc. can be displayed in a Windows Explorer fashion in the Object Explorer

In each program you can create, delete, merge and move codes and change the text to which they refer. At any time you can browse or display the coded text and change the coding or view it in context. Codes can also be searched and in this way, along with an inspection of linked data, like memos, the researcher can ask questions of the data and build and test theories.

Create a new code

Use this approach where you want to create codes without referring to the text, perhaps because you are guided by some existing theory as to what you expect to find. As you create codes (by whatever approach) don't forget to keep a record, either as a comment or in a memo, of what the code represents and what your thinking about it is.

To create a new code

  1. click Codes:Create Free code
  2. A Free Code(s) dialog opens. Type a name, click OK

Or,

  1. click the Code Manager button (Atlas.ti  Codes Manager button)
  2. In the Code Manager click Create New Item button (Atlas.ti Create New Item button)
  3. A Free Code(s) dialog opens. Type a name, click OK

 

Create new codes from the transcripts, including in vivo codes

This is the common, inductive approach. You read the text, get an idea for a code and create a new code and code the text immediately

 

To create a new code from transcript

  1. In Atlas.ti this is called open coding. Select the text you want to code in the primary text area.
  2. click Open Coding button (Atlas.ti Create New Code button)
  3. An open coding dialog opens. See Figure 1. Type in the name of the code. click OK

Or,

  1. If you select just a word or short phrase in the primary text you can code it in vivo. click In-Vivo button (Atlas.ti In Vivo button).

 

Atlas.ti open coding dialog

Figure 1. The Open Coding dialog

To examine existing codes

Once you have created some codes and/or done some coding, use this approach to explore what codes you have created.

To examine existing codes

  1. If a primary text is displayed then codes can be seen in the Margin area (if not displayed click Views:Margin Area).
  2. To list codes click Codes Manager button (Atlas.ti  Codes Manager button) or click Codes:Codes Manager
  3. The Code Manager opens (see Figure 2). The area at the bottom is for a brief comment or description of the code selected.

Alternatively,

  1. click Object Explorer button (Atlas.ti Object Explorer button) to open the Object Explorer Window. (See Figure 3). click on the plus signs next to Codes, opens the codes hierarchy.

 

Atlas.ti Code Manager window

Figure 2. Code manager window

Atlas.ti Oject Explorer

Figure 3. Object Explorer window

 

Using existing codes for coding

This is the most common situation, where you have developed most codes and are simply working through the documents coding their contents.

Using existing codes for coding

  1. Select the text you want to code in the primary text area.
  2. click Code by list button ( right click in the selected text, click Coding:Code by List.
  3. The Select:Code window opens click the code you want to use. click OK.

Alternatively,

  1. Select the text you want to code
  2. click Codes Manager button (Atlas.ti  Codes Manager button)
  3. click the code you want to use from the Codes list window and drag it to the selected text.