Working with PDF documents in MAXQDA
Analyze PDF documents with MAXQDA
MAXQDA offers the possibility to work with PDF files in your qualitative research. In MAXQDA, PDF documents are displayed exactly how they look in any other PDF reader. No layout or formatting will be lost, unlike in other software that converts PDF documents to text files such as RTF or DOC/DOCX. Don’t worry about the layout, just import your PDF files into MAXQDA and get started. Code text segments or pictures or both and watch how fast MAXQDA reacts even when you work with very large documents of a thousand pages or more.
New Possibilities for your Analysis
- Research reports
- Published research papers
- Webpages, saved as PDF
- PowerPoint presentations
For all of these areas, MAXQDA offers unique and easy-to-use QDA features for your analysis.
You don’t need to convert your documents into another format before importing them into MAXQDA.
Quick and comfortable navigation
MAXQDA’s document navigation toolbar allows you to navigate quickly and comfortably through long PDF documents. You can adjust the display using the zoom features, flip through pages with the arrow buttons, or go straight to a certain page or chapter by using the bookmark feature. Just like with any other MAXQDA toolbar, you can freely move the document navigation toolbar around and place it where it is most convenient.
PDF files and QDA software
PDF documents hold tremendous advantages when it comes to displaying documents with a complicated layout, unusual font, or a lot of pictures and illustrations. Nothing about the layout will be lost or look any different from the original. The special technical language PDF files are written in makes all of this possible, but it is also responsible for the few limitations of PDFs when it comes to your analysis.
What you should be aware of:
- Text-oriented features, like the search for a certain word, will of course only be possible in PDF files that contain textual content (and not in scans of text in which the words are scanned to an image file). You might need to use an optical character recognition tool (OCR) to recognize the text first. You can test this by trying to select some text in your PDF document.
- PDF documents do not contain meta information about the text like “sentence” or “paragraph”. Single words in a PDF document only contain the information where exactly on a page this word should be placed. Therefore, a few features, like automatic coding of sentences, cannot be used when working with PDFs. Only single words can be coded automatically.
- If you are working with many very large PDF files, MAXQDA will eventually start to react a bit slower. You can prevent this by using large files in MAXQDA as external files.