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Coding and Codes


  • The act of transforming raw data into workable order.

  • In coding, you look for patterns. You are creating manageable and relevant categories for yourself.

Codes in MAXQDA:

  • Can consist of one or more letters, and can go up until 63 characters. 
  • Can be assigned a color. This can be useful in visualizing your code system easily. For example, if all your codes that have to do with gender are yellow, you can look at a document and see this easily.
  • Can also have subcodes/child codes.

Some suggestions for coding in MAXQDA:

  • You want to code more than one word or phrase.
  • You want to code enough that you have some context to understand what is going on in a segment, so when you retrieve it/run reports that include it, you can understand what is going on without having to return to the original document. This will make your use of MAXQDA more efficient.

Coding with a New Code

To code with a new code:

  • You want to highlight the text you want to code and then click on the code with a new code tab

  • The new code box will appear, where you will write in the new code name. You can also choose a color for your code, here purple, and also write an attached code memo if you want to.

  • Click Ok. 
  • You now have coded with a new code. Economics is a new code in the document open in the Document Browser.

  • This code also appears in the Code System at the top.
  • The number one next to the code Economics lets you know that there is one instance of that code. 


Coding with an Existing Code

To code with an existing code:

  • You first want to highlight the text you want to code.
  • Because this code already exists in your Code System, all you need to do is to to drag the highlighted text into the Code System window and into the code you want. (You can also drag the individual code into the text you have highlighted.)
  • Once the code is dragged into the Code System, it will show up in the Document Browser.

Adding Codes to through the Code System

You can add new codes through the Code System through using the New Code tab .

The new code box will appear and you enter the information. 

Coding Images

  • You can draw a box around images to code them.  
  • Then drag and drop into an existing code or create a new code.

Organizing Codes

To organize your codes, go to the Code System window on the lower left hand-side of the screen, and right click on the Code System. The below box will appear and then you can sort by frequency or name. 

Generating Subcodes/Child Codes

To create a subcode, you want to hover your cursor over a code and click the + button.


The new code box will appear. Write in the name of the subcode and Click OK:

Sexism is now a subcode of Gender Discrimination and is listed under it in the Code System:

Deleting Codes

To delete one code from a document in the Document Browser, you need to:

  • Go to the one instance of the code.
  • Right click on its name and a box will pop up. One of the options in this box is Delete.

  • Once you click on Delete, a confirmation box will appear that will ask you whether you want to delete coding.
  • Once you click OK, the one instance of that code will be deleted

If you want to delete a code from the Code System (deleting all instances of the code in all your documents): You hover your mouse over the code and an x will appear. Click that X. Once you click that, a confirmation box will pop up. To delete the code, you click OK and it will be deleted from the Code System and all instances of it will be deleted from documents in the Document System.

Coding and Analysis of Videos, Twitter Data, YouTube Data, and Web Pages