Switching from MAXQDA 2018 to MAXQDA 2020

To see all the new features of MAXQDA 2020, visit the "New Features" website.

How to convert your MAXQDA 2018 projects to MAXQDA 2020

Start MAXQDA 2020 and select Open Project in the start window.

Navigate to the location on your computer where the project file that you want to open is saved. Select the project and click Open.

Should the MAXQDA project file be greyed out, change the file type in your Mac or Windows dialog window to "MAXQDA 2018 Projects (*.mx18).

MAXQDA 2020 will read the data from the old project file and save it into a new MAXQDA 2020 project file (.mx20). A message box is displayed as soon as the conversion is successfully finished.

The new MAXQDA 2020 project file (.mx20) is saved in the same folder as the old project. Your old project file remains untouched.

Differences in MAXQDA 2020 and MAXQDA 2018 projects files

MAXQDA 2020 has features that are unvailable in MAXQDA 2018 and several improvements were made to the data structure of the project files. Here are changes between MAXQDA 2020 and MAXQDA 2018 that are important to note - especially if you are planning to work in a team where not everyone is using the same MAXQDA version.

Code Number Calculation: Separated Focus Group Speakers and Paraphrased Segments codes

In MAXQDA 2020 the Focus Group Speaker codes and the Paraphrased Segments codes are moved to the bottom of the Code System. Both code types are now counted separately and their frequencies are no longer included in the total number of regulare codes. Therefore, the total number of codes displayed at the top of the Code System may be smaller than before. Scroll down the Code System to see Focus Group Speakers and Paraphrased Segments codes

Teamwork: Teamwork Exchange Only available between MAXQDA 2020 projects

Due to the improved text handling in MAXQDA 2020, it is not possible to send project elements to MAXQDA 2018 (or an even older version) via teamwork exchange. If you want to use this feature in your team, everybody needs to work with the same version of MAXQDA.

Teamwork: Different Project Conversion on Windows and Mac

For research teams of mixed Mac and Windows users, who are planning on using teamwork functionality relying on text character counts (intercoder agreement, merging projects, moving codes etc. from one project file to another) we kindly recommend converting their project files from MAXQDA 2018 to MAXQDA 2020 on one computer and then distributing the new MAXQDA 2020 project files to all team members. Due to the improved text handling in MAXQDA 2020 the converted projects might differ slightly in their character count when they are converted on a Windows or on a Mac computer.

However, once the projets were converted on either a Mac or a Windows machine, thus ensuring each team member uses exactly the same data, MAXQDA 2020 projects are accessible from either Mac or Windows, without any further need of compatibility optimizations.

How to save a MAXQDA 2020 project for MAXQDA 2018

MAXQDA 2018 cannot open the .mx20 format of a MAXQDA 2020 project, but you can save a MAXQDA 2020 project to the .mx18 file format of MAXQDA 2018.

Open the .mx20 project file in MAXQDA 2020 and select Save Project As from the Home menu.

In the following dialog windows set the file type to “MAXQDA 2018 Projects”, enter a file name, select a location to save the project file to, and then click Save.

A few elements of MAXQDA 2020 will be changed, because MAXQDA 2018 does not have the functionality to handle these new features:

  • Codeset memos are converted into free memos.
  • The memo type “RQ” is converted into a normal memo type.
  • Document links that refer to a memo or are saved within a memo as well as coded segments that are assigned to a memo are not saved in the project file.
  • Maps from MAXMaps are not saved in the project file.
  • Documents that are organized in subgroups are placed in the parent document group and all subgroups are deleted.

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