FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
A Questions about the MAXQDA product
MAXQDA can help you with systematic analysis and interpretation of your text. The main focus is qualitative analysis: you can import files, organize them in document groups, develop a system of categories, code segments of your documents, write and organize memos, take advantage of various search functions, and present your research visually with MAXMaps. The MAXQDAplus version of the software also includes the module MAXDictio, which allows you to also do quantitative analysis. More information is available at www.maxqda.com/products/functionstab.
MAXQDA = MAXQDA + MAXMaps
MAXQDAplus = MAXQDA + MAXMaps + MAXDictio
MAXQDAplus is the extended version of our software. It includes the add-on module MAXDictio, which allows you to do dictionary-based quantitative content analysis. This includes word counts, creation of dictionaries, etc. Upgrades from MAXQDA to MAXQDAplus are not permitted.
Language diversity of the MAXQDA user interface
The MAXQDA user interface is available in 15 languages, and you can switch between the languages with a single click. You can choose from the following languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Japanese, Polish, Thai and Chinese (traditional and simplified).
MAXQDA is Unicode-based, which means that no matter what characters appear in your texts (whether standard, Cyrillic, or Chinese), MAXQDA can read them. But you can not only import and analyze documents in any language - you can also create your codes, variables, document names, etc. in these languages. Unicode offers the possibility to work with various languages in the same document, too. One sentence can be in English, the next in Mandarin, and the next in Arabic.
MAXQDA Website in 12 languages
The complete MAXQDA website is available in English and German. Simplified versions of our website are available in twelve languages. You can find more information about MAXQDA in different languages here.
Processor: 1,5 GHz, recommended: 2 GHz or more with 2 cores or more
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
(in Windows XP you need .NET Framework 3.5 to run MAXQDA 11)
RAM: minimum 1 GB, recommended: 2GB or more
Monitor: 1280×800 or more
System requirements: Go here for detailed information.
Processor: 1GHz or better
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
RAM: minimum 512 MB, 2GB or better is recommended
Monitor: Recommend 1024×768 resolution or higher
Processor: Pentium III or higher, minimum 700 MHz
Operating System: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
RAM: minimum 512 MB RAM, 2 GB or better is recommended
Monitor: 1024*768 or higher
So far, MAXQDA is only Windows software and can’t be used directly on a Mac. A native Mac version "MAXQDA for Mac" will be published late 2013.
Even now, it is possible to install Windows on a Mac with the help of a virtual machine. For this you will need a virtual machine software and a windows license. Once you have installed a virtual Windows on your Mac you can install MAXQDA inside this Windows environment. On most computers you will not feel the difference in speed or reliability between using MAXQDA inside a real or inside a virtual Windows environment.
Follow these steps to use MAXQDA on your Mac:
- 1. Install a virtual machine e.g. BootCamp, Virtual Box oder Parallels on your Mac.
- 2. Install Windows on your virtual machine.
- 3. Install MAXQDA on your virtual Windows.
Afterwards you can use MAXQDA on your virtual Windows. MAXQDA is a very slim program with a program file size of only 66 MB (including the comprehensive Manual!). It doesn't need much of your computers memory capacity and you will not suffer a slow execution speed in your virtual machine.
Can't do a right click!? When using MAXQDA in a virtual Windows on your Mac you might find that you are missing the possibility of right clicking with your mouse. Depending on the set up of your Mac or your virtual machine you can do a right click either by pressing the CRTL-button while you click or by clicking on your touchpad with two fingers.
MAXQDA 11 and the previous versions MAXQDA 10 and MAXQDA 2007 can be run on all these Windows versions. MAXQDA 2 and MAXQDA 1 are no longer being developed and therefore can only be run if the “Windows XP Compatibility Mode” is selected. You’ll find more information about your operating system’s general program compatibility under Help in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Open MAXQDA and select “About MAXQDA” in the help drop-down menu (“?”). A window will appear with the information about your current version.
MAXQDA offers free updates on a regular base – some contain small improvements, while others include completely new functions.
Updating is easily done from within the program. Simply click on the help menu (“?”) and select Search for updates. If an update is available, you will be asked if you want it to be downloaded and installed. If you click “Yes”, the program will be closed, the update downloaded and installed, and the program will be opened back up again.
To use the Update function, you have to run MAXQDA 11 as an Administrator (otherwise the button is greyed out). In Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 it may be necessary to close MAXQDA and then start by right-clicking on the MAXQDA Icon (on the desktop or start menu) with the command "Run as administrator".
Because of its clearly-structured user interface and intuitive handling, MAXQDA is very easy to learn to use considering its wide range of functionality. As with all programs, however, it is helpful to get a little instruction when first starting out with the program or trying to learn new, more complex functions.
In the program itself, you can access the MAXQDA manual in the help menu (“?”), which explains every single program function in detail.
On our website? We offer many different ways for you to learn how to get started with MAXQDA:
We offer a MAXQDA user forum in both English and German, where you can ask questions, discuss research methods, or make recommendations for improving MAXQDA. All posts can be read without registration, but you must log-in to take part in the discussions.
Yes. Many research projects are carried out by teams, so MAXQDA provides many functions for this purpose. Work together at the same project or simply exchange documents, including their codes. You can easily merge two projects into one. It can be very helpful to keep track of the various steps in the logbook.
MAXReader is a free read-only version of MAXQDA, which makes it possible for non-license holders to view MAXQDA projects.
What is the purpose of MAXReader?
- Knowledge Management – All knowledge resources (e.g. in organizations) can be made available to specific target groups without manipulation of the data.
- Evaluation – Examiners are able to easily see and understand their student’s project data.
- Research Centers, Museums or Libraries – Data can be made accessible for viewing without giving any control away that might lead to changes in the original data.
- Teaching – Professors can view their student’s project data in order to comment on their work. Real project read-only files allow you to track and discuss distinct stages of the qualitative data analysis process.
- In Teamwork – Teams can track and discuss several stages and steps throughout the analytical process on un-editable files. You can then easily distribute these uneditable material within a research institute.
MAXQDA, software for qualitative data analysis, 1989-2013, VERBI Software - Consult - Sozialforschung GmbH, Berlin, Germany.
B Questions about MAXQDA functions
As with almost all software, compatibility is only possible in one direction. Every new MAXQDA version can read documents of an older MAXQDA version („backward compatibility“). It doesn’t work in the other direction („upward compatibility“). But MAXQDA 11 offers the possibility to save projects also as MAXQDA 10 documents (.mx4), so they can also be opened with MAXQDA 10.
- MAXQDA 11 can open all documents and can save projects as .mx5 or as .mx4 documents
- MAXQDA 10 can open .mx4, .mx3, .mx2 and .m2k documents
- MAXQDA 2007 can open .mx3, .mx2 and .m2k documents
- MAXqda 2 can open .mx2- and .m2k documents
- MAXqda 1 can open .m2k documents.
MAXQDA is a database program, which means that all changes are automatically saved. There is no “save” button, because it is unnecessary. When an action has been performed, it has already been saved. For this reason, MAXQDA always double-checks that you really want to carry out certain functions, such as deleting (Are you sure you want to delete?). For some actions, such as the coding function, there is also an undo button.
We recommend that you regularly make backup copies of your project. The best case scenario would be to do so any time you make significant changes and to save it on a flash drive. That way you can protect yourself if your computer breaks down. To do so, select „Backup project“ from the Project drop-down menu, choose the location where you would like the backup to be saved, and create a name for the backup.
Yes. In fact, you can even code text in individual cells of the table. The table formatting, however, cannot be changed after import; it is not possible, for example, to change the column width. Therefore it makes sense to only use tables in portrait and to test the import of your tables before your analysis. It is also recommended that you only import tables that are maximum 2/3 the width of a standard A4 paper, so that codings and memos also fit onto the page when printed.
Yes. The Intercoder Agreement tool in MAXQDA 11 and MAXQDA 10 allows you to test the correlation of code existence and code frequency for individual documents. With MAXQDA 2007 you can also determine the intercoder reliability by exporting the table overview. Now you can calculate the intercoder reliability in other programs, e.g. SPSS or EXCEL.
The built-in Media Player in MAXQDA 11 can open any audio or video files if your computer has the appropriate software codec. If, for example, you use and update Windows Media Player on a regular basis, you probably already have the necessary codecs in your system.
If the necessary codecs are missing, it can happen that the MAXQDA media file cannot be imported, or that the video is played with a sound but without an image.
Install missing codecs
If there are problems because of missing codecs after the import or the playback of media files, you can install a codec pack. MAXQDA users have had success with the following free codec packs:
Please remember that these software packs are produced by third-party developers, and that we cannot provide specific user support for them.
We are happy to hear any feedback from our users! Please send us your ideas, requests, and recommendations for improving the program. If possible, we will add your ideas for new functions in an update. Just send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
C Questions about the demo version
No. The demo version is exactly the same as MAXQDAplus. You can create, edit, and save projects of any size. The only difference is that it can only be used for a 30-day period.
Yes. That's no problem. Projects are always saved on a chosen location on your hard drive. After the demo expires they can be reopened from there with a full version.
You should receive the e-mail with the download link no later than an hour after the request. Be sure to check your spam folder first. If you still can’t find the e-mail, try to request it from the website one more time. If that doesn’t work, contact us at email@example.com.
No. After installing the demo version and opening MAXQDA, a screen will be displayed, which tells you how many days are left in the trial period.
If you purchase a license, you have the option to activate that license from this screen. If you want to continue using the demo, simply click on that option.
2. You do not have read and write privileges for the „MAXQDA 11“ program folder.
The demo must be installed with full administrator rights. If you do not have these privileges, contact your administrator.
D Questions about the purchase process
All three license types have the same functions, and the prices are exactly the same. The only difference is the installation:
- Single-user licenses are installed on personal computers or laptops.
- Portable licenses are installed on flash drives.
- Network licenses are installed in a server-client environment.
You can find more details about these options at www.maxqda.com/licenses/license-details.
We differentiate between three different categories: education, reduced, and standard. Education prices are only available for universities, technical schools, and other educational institutions and their employees. Reduced prices are available for all public institutions and NGOs and their employees. The standard prices are for everyone else.
A purchased license has no expiration date. Registered license holders also receive a fifty percent discount on upgrades to new versions.
Leasing is only possible if you purchase at least ten licenses. These licenses can then be used for exactly one year after the purchase. The subscription is extended automatically each year unless you cancel at least two months before the extension date. Leasing license holders always receive a free upgrade to the newest version.
Standard delivery of MAXQDA licenses is electronic – you receive a download link and the activation information by email. When ordering, you have the option of purchasing a backup CD, but it is not necessary. The software is always available for download. The advantage of a backup CD is that you can easily install from CD and you do not need to download the software yourself. If you later need to reinstall MAXQDA you always have the necessary data at hand.
No. In special cases, however, exceptions can be made. Contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are special prices („upgrade pricing“) for license holders of the two previous MAXQDA versions. License holders of a MAXQDA 2007 and a MAXQDA 10 license have the possibility to upgrade to MAXQDA 11 at a reduced price. Until 1st April, 2013 license holders of a MAXQDA 2 license are also able to take advantage of an Upgrade to MAXQDA 11. As evidence you need to enter your old serial number.
E Questions about student licenses
No. Unlike student versions of many other programs, there is no expiration date on your student license!
Absolutely! Registered student license holders get free support just like any other license holders.
The student licenses are sold at an extremely-reduced price. Therefore, you are only allowed to install the program on one computer. It must be your personal computer, and the license can only be ordered by students that can prove their student status. Student licenses can not be purchased via an institution and can in no case be sold or given to a non-student. It is also not possible to upgrade student licenses.
During the order process, you will be asked to send us a copy of your student ID and another form of ID that includes a picture (e.g. your driver’s license). You can do so by fax, e-mail, or regular mail. You’ll receive the exact details when you make your order.
After we have received the necessary documents, we will send you a link that will allow you to complete your purchase at the heavily-discounted student price.
Yes. Post-graduate students are also eligible for student licenses.
The terms and conditions for student licenses stipulate that the license can only be installed once on a single computer. Therefore, you do not have the option of an additional installation.
However, a transfer to a new computer / new Windows system will be possible if the old installation is deactivated before. You will find a description of the necessary steps under section G “Questions about installation and activation”.
F Information for universities and other schools
Only universities and colleges in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have the option of ordering, receiving the software, and then paying when the invoice arrives. You can do so in the online shop, by selecting “wire transfer” as your payment option.
You will then receive an order verification with the reference number by e-mail. You can then send an official fax from your university to our E-sales partner Cleverbridge (+49 (0)221 222 45 40), requesting that you would like to pay after receiving the invoice. Please don’t forget to include the reference number in the fax.
Computer labs can be outfitted with up to 30 MAXQDA licenses for the price of less than two regular licenses! You only need to have at least one normal license owned by your institution, and the computer lab must only be used for teaching purposes. Read more at www.maxqda.com/licenses/teaching-offers-pc-lab.
If you are interested in a campus license, please contact us directly by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at +49 (0)30 5900 83360. We’ll be glad to help!
G Questions about installation and activation
That depends on the license that you purchased.
- Single-user licenses can be installed on two machines (e.g. 1 desktop and 1 laptop) as long as you don’t use the program simultaneously on both machines.
- Student licenses can only be installed on one machine.
- Portable licenses can be installed on one flash drive.
- Network licenses can be accessed by up to twice as many computers as licenses purchased, but can only be used simultaneously by one computer per license (installation is only possible in a client-server environment).
- PC pool licenses can be installed on up to 30 computers in a single computer lab. The program can only be used for educational purposes (installation is only possible in a client-server environment).
This message can be caused by several things. Either you accidentally entered one or more of the characters incorrectly, or you chose the wrong product ID. Please double-check both of these possibilities (your serial number and product ID are in the same e-mail). If you still can’t solve the problem, uninstall MAXQDA, delete the program folder “MAXQDA 11” from your computer, and try the installation and activation again. If this does not work, please contact our Online Support.
If you can’t find your product ID in the list, it’s because the network installation wasn’t done correctly. The cause is usually an incorrect setting in the “config.ini” file. Please double-check this with the help of the step-by-step installation guide that was sent with your serial number and product ID.
Registered users have access to our free online support and can also receive technical support by email. You will also receive important information about free updates and product improvements. Please note: Only registered users have the option of upgrading (with the 50 percent discount). You can register at www.maxqda.com/support/register.
MAXQDA 11 and MAXQDA 10
Please note: Once a license has been deactivated on a computer, it is not possible to reactivate it again on the same computer.
To use your license on your new computer you have to deactivate your license on your old computer. To deactivate your license on your old Windows system, please open MAXQDA and choose „?“ > „License“ > „License transfer/return“ > „Transfer license“.
After you have confirmed your license transfer with „Yes“, you can install and activate your MAXQDA license on your new computer. Please use your product ID and your serial number for the new activation. For this, an active internet connection is required.
My “License transfer” button is greyed out.
To transfer a license, you need to use MAXQDA as an Administrator. With Windows XP it is enough to be logged in with admin rights. With Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 it might be necessary to right click on the MAXQDA icon (on your desktop or in the start menu) and choose “Run as Administrator” when starting MAXQDA.
Please contact our Support team as long as you still have access to the MAXQDA installation on the old computer. We will send you a step by step guide for the deactivation process on your old computer: http://www.maxqda.de/support/onlinesupport
MAXQDA 11 and MAXQDA 10
Deactivate MAXQDA on your old Windows system:
Click „?“ > „License“ > „License transfer/return“ > „Transfer license“
This will deactivate the license automatically, so that it can be reactivated with your old product ID and serial number once you’ve reinstalled your system.
Important: You will need Administrator rights in order to process a license transfer.
Please contact our Support team before the deletion of your old Windows system. We will send you a step by step guide for the deactivation process on your old system: http://www.maxqda.com/support/onlinesupport
It is likely that your project is write-protected. Right-click on the file and choose „Properties“. If the box for read-only is checked, you need to uncheck it and click OK. If this doesn’t solve the problem, please contact our online support at http://www.maxqda.com/support/onlinesupport.
MAXQDA files are databank files. When you duplicate such a file, all unnecessary pieces of information are removed. The texts and codings that you have already deleted, for example, will only be completely erased when the project is duplicated. For this reason, it is indeed to be expected that backup copies of a project file be significantly smaller than the original.
Since MAXQDA 2007, MAXQDA uses Unicode text, so that all languages can be displayed, coded, etc. Older versions of SPSS can’t read Unicode. When exporting data from MAXQDA to be imported in these older versions of SPSS, you must select „No“ when asked if you want to export in Unicode.
In order to perform an update, MAXQDA requires admin rights. On Windows XP, you just need to be logged in as administrator. On Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 you need to explicitly run MAXQDA as administrator: To accomplish this, just right-click the MAXQDA icon on your desktop (or within the Windows start menu) and choose “Run as administrator”.
When you start MAXQDA, you have the option to “Create and open new project” or “Open existing project”. If you choose to create a new project, you are asked to create a name for the file. If you then select another project file rather than creating a new name for your new project, you will overwrite the old project with the new empty one. For this reason, there is a dialog box that appears, double-checking whether you really want to carry out the action.
To page through a PDF document, please use the “Next page” button in the Document Navigation toolbar.
By right-clicking on the column where the coding stripes normally appear, you will call up a window, where you can select which codings are to be displayed there. Make sure that all of the boxes are checked if, for example, you want them all to be shown.
If you receive this message your project file was created with a newer release of MAXQDA 11.
Please download the latest update of MAXQDA 11 in order to be able to open the file.
You will find all information under Downloads > Updates.
It sounds like the file containing your user settings might be corrupted. Please reset your user settings through the windows start menu: "Start" > "All Programs" > "MAXQDA 11" > "Tools" > "Reset user settings".
Please be aware that due to this your list of recently opened projects will be emptied. Your MAXQDA project files remain untouched at the location they were saved at and can be opened through "Open existing project" > "other project" > "OK".
I License Management with MAXServer
As soon as MAXServer is quit, all users working with MAXQDA will immediately be notified. After confirming the message, users will have 30 seconds to close the program. After that time, MAXQDA will close automatically.
You can configure MAXServer manually by editing the file MAXServer.xml in the MAXServer folder. Here you can, for example, change the path to the license file or add/delete PCs/user in the PC list.
MAXServer uses port 21989. This setting cannot be changed.
Please make sure that this port is open to the appropriate user PCs and protected from unauthorized access.
If you have entered all the necessary information in the "config.ini" file of MAXQDA and MAXQDA starts as a demo version, you are probably working with a MAXQDA release that is not able to communicate with MAXServer yet.
Please update your MAXQDA installations by downloading the newest update here and install it on top of your old installation.
This error message probably means that the license file „MX11.lic“ has been moved after it was activated or that it was named differently. Please make sure to move your license file back to the place where it was activated and make sure it is named „MX11.lic“.
If your license file was not moved and not renamed, please make sure that MAXServer has the rights to read and write your license file.
Please make sure you can ping your server PC from your user PC and that no firewall or similar protection is avoiding a connection. It might also help to edit the settings file “config.ini” of the user PCs by entering the IP address of the server PC instead of its name. By doing this you can avoid source of errors like missing domain names.