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Atlas.ti logoSaving, Save As and Backing Up in ATLAS.ti V.5

Author of this page: Ann Lewins

Affiliation: University of Surrey

Date written: May 2005



The project file in ATLAS.ti is called Hermeneutic Unit or HU

It is important to remember that the HU consists of the workings, list of documents, codes and code references, memos and memo references. It does not include actual data files. You may find that if you have moved the HU (e.g. by Saving as )to a location where the data files are not up to date, the HU will not recognize the files, and they will be listed in your Primary Document list, but grayed out, and therefore inaccessible.

With this in mind, some problems can be minimized if you try to avoid editing the individual data files after they have been assigned to the HU. See suggestions below:-

Editing text in Atlas.ti


If you are working on one computer and just wishing to save your work :

  File menu /Save

  keep the .hpr5 file extension and name your file appropriately - bearing in mind that later you may want to create dated backup versions of your project - use good brief names - that give you plenty of scope for suffix or prefixes


To create a backup or a duplicated version of HU (HU only1)

  First, File/Save then.

  File/Save As - create new name (use careful naming policy for duplicates or backups)

Copy Bundle

Saves HU and all data files- important if you are changing/editing data files inside ATLAS.ti

If you Copy Bundle rather than save as ATLAS.ti will create one compressed file containing all files associated with the HU (primary document data sources, etc.).. This file can then be moved to another computer and unpacked to any location.

Create a Bundle:

Tools Main Menu / Copy Bundle / Create Bundle

Creating a bundle in Atlas.ti




Copy bundle selection in Atlas.ti

The following conflicts may occur when Copying a bundle:

  Source Missing Conflict . The document does not exist.

  Source Unusable Conflict. The document cannot be loaded. Possible cause: It was manually copied from another location without its associated LOG file using Windows copy method.

  PD Source Conflict. Mismatch between PD and its source. This implies that the data source is not the one that is expected by the PD. Possible causes: mapping changed, data source was replaced by another file, LOG file was edited manually.

  Ambiguous Reference Conflict . A data source is used by more than one PD but was assigned using different paths.


Install Bundle

To unpack the copy bundle file on a target computer, it needs to be 'installed'. The installation of a bundle on the same or a different computer can be done using two slightly different strategies: Migrate or Restore.


The "Migrate" strategy assumes that the bundle is to be installed on another computer or another disk in order to resume work at this different location. The target path for the HU can be freely chosen. When checking for conflicts, this strategy accepts that older versions of data source files are replaced by newer versions. If a document in the bundle is older than an existing one at the new location, it will not be unbundled. This prevents a document from replacing a newer version of it.


The "Restore" strategy is used to restore a bundle created as a backup of a project, i.e., an HU and all the data source files referenced by its PDs. This strategy restores the HU in exactly the same folder as at the original location. It does not reject an attempt to replace a current file with an older version - which is indeed the very nature of "restore."


To Install a bundle on another computer:

  Open up ATLAS.ti

  Tools Main Menu / Copy Bundle / Install Bundle

  Find the .acb file / choose it and the following window appears

Atlas.ti install bundle window


1HU is the workings, list of documents, codes and code references, memo's and memo references. Does not include actual data files: use Copy Bundle overleaf to save HU together with data files (particularly for changed/edited data files)