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MAXqda logo MAXqda - Start project and import documents

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

Affiliation: University of Huddersfield

Date written: 30th June 2005





Symbols and Conventions


To start a new project

  1. Start the program. The Open Project dialog appears.
  2. click Create and Open New Project.  In the Save file dialog, name your project,
  3. click Open. The MAXqda desktop opens. See Figure 1. There are four panes, Document System, Text Browser, Code System and Retrieved Segments. The panes can be displayed and hidden independently and can also be expanded to the whole window.


Image of MAXqda desktop showing four panes

Figure 1 The MAXqda Desktop window.

Backing up

As you build your project and develop your analysis, you will create files and structures you will not want to lose. Do regular saves of your data. In addition some programs do regular automatic saves of your data or produce backup files, so that if the program or the computer crashes at any time, you will not lose all your work.

General advice on saving and backing

Saving and backing in MAXqda still to be done


The functions dealing with documents are supported in MAXqda by the Document System pane. This is used to manage the collection of documents and information about them. Passages of text in documents can be coded and the program keeps a track of the codes and associated text. Documents can also be edited, formatted and reported on.

To introduce new, transcribed documents into the programs

When you start a new project there are two things you can do, introduce your transcribed documents (including any memos you've already written) or set up your coding system. Of course if you are following an inductive, exploratory approach to data analysis then you will need to introduce and read the documents before you come up with any coding. However, if you are basing your coding at least on some prior theory and research then you can enter codes into the project without initially any documents to work on. The documents can be added later. In most cases, however, you will probably want to work on documents and generate some, if not all, your codes from them.

To introduce documents:

  1. In the Document System pane right click Text Groups, click New Text Group.
  2. Type a name (e.g. Interviews).
  3. right click this Text Group name,
  4. click Import Text(s). In the file selector dialog find and select the file you want to import (introduce).
  5. click OK.Like the code system, the document system is hierarchical.
  6. click the plus and minus signs to open and close the hierarchy.

Examining documents

Once you have introduced files they stay as part of the project.

You can examine them at any time:

  1. In the Document System pane click  the name of the document you want to display (or drag it to the Text Browser pane.
  2. Its contents appear in the Text browser pane. In the Document System pane the icon changes to a text with a pencil.



Inspect and edit a document

Usually you should make sure your primary documents are as accurate as possible before you introduce them into your project. However, there may be some small changes you want to make:

To edit a document:

  1. click  the name of the document to display it in the Text Browser.
  2. click the Edit Mode button (MAXqda Exit Mode Button). The document can now be edited and the toolbar changes to display new tools for this (1). See Figure 2.
  3. You can change the font, size, colour, bold, italic etc. and change, delete and add text.
  4. When finished change back to Code mode. click the Edit Mode button.


MAXqda Text Browser in edit mode

Figure 2 MAXqda Text Browser in edit mode.

Make a report on a document

If you want to have a backup copy on your hard disk of a document in the project (e.g. if you have edited it in the program) or want to do some coding away from the computer and need a hard copy, then you will need to produce a report of the document which can be printed.

To produce a document report:

  1. Display the document in the Text Browser.
  2. click Project:Export:Text Browser menu.
  3. In the Export dialog type a filename and click Save.
  4. You can also print the document,
  5. click Project:Print:Text Browser.




1. Here the program shows its German origins. In the toolbar, F (fett) stands for bold and K (kursiv) stands for italics.