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Importing Documents

In order to get started with MAXQDA, you first need to import your files.

To do this:

  • Click on the Import tab.
  • Click on the kind of data you want to import. Clicking on the relevant tab takes you to your computer's files and allows you to make selections on what you want to import. 

After you import your files, they will be present in the Document System.

You can import: 

  • Text (Word, RTF)***
  • PDFs
  • Excel tables
  • Images
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Twitter data
  • Youtube comments
  • Bibliographic data
  • Websites
  • Surveys

*** Paragraph numbers are automatically added to text documents (but not to PDFs.) You can also change these to sentence numbering. 

Editing Documents

 To edit the text in an uploaded word document, you need to have it open in the Document Browser:

  • Click on the edit tab, , on the top row, far right.
  • You can now add text, delete text, and copy and paste text. 
  • Here is what it looks like when the edit button is off:

Here is what it looks like when the edit button is on:

Lexical Searching

Lexical Searching allows you to search across documents, if they have been coded or not. So, for example, you may remember that you have a document with a particular street name in it but you don't remember which document this name is in. A Lexical Search will search across all your documents and pull all the instances of that street name for you. You can then make decisions about how and what to code.

To  get to Lexical Searching:

  • Click on Analysis on the top menu.
  • Then select Lexical Search

Then choose Lexical Search from the pop-down menu:

  • The below box will pop up.
  •  You want to enter your search term(s). 
  • On the right hand side of the search box, you can choose to search in documents or to search in memos.
  • You can search in activated documents or all documents.
  • In this example, we are searching the term soccer in all documents.

  • Click Run search.
  • The results show what documents the search term soccer is found in, what lines the search term begins and ends on, as well as providing a preview of the part of the sentence the search term is in. Each time you click on a box, it'll open to that document in the Document Browser. 




You can autocode from your Lexical Search results. Autocoding allows you to code multiple documents at the same time in a uniform way. However, a word of caution about autocoding: it is imperfect and can complicate your data analysis later.

  • We are going to autocode Wambach (a person's name).
  • To begin, you want to perform a Lexical Search. 
  • Here are the search results:

  • You want to you click on on the tab to code with a new code. The new code box pops up where you can enter in your new code and you can also choose a color if you want to:

  • Here you can see that the word Autocoded has been added automatically, as has a code memo with the search details. 
  • Once you click OK, another box pops up where you need to choose how much text you want autocoded:

  • In this autocoding example, the user has chosen to autocode both PDF's and text documents. You need to choose how many lines of text you want to code.
  • You click Autocode, and Wambach will be automatically coded across multiple documents and to the Code System at the top:

  • Here it is coded in one document: