Stop Word Lists

Stop word lists are collections of commonly used words, such as definite and indefinite articles, conjunctions, or numerals. Such words are usually redundant elements when analyzing a text, since they do not carry much meaning. For that reason, it is advisable to exclude them from the analysis. MAXDictio allows you to create as many stoplists as you’d like, as well as to edit and manage them.

The stop word list window

To manage the stop word list open MAXDictio > Stop Word List.

The following window will appear:

The Stop word list contains an overview of the excluded words

The window is divided into three sections:

1. Stop word lists for projects

This section lists all stop word lists that are stored in the project file. If you open the project file on another computer in MAXQDA or send it to another person on a team by email, the lists displayed in this section will be available.

2. Global stop word lists

This section contains all stop word lists that are not stored in the project file, but in the MAXQDA installation itself. These stop word lists are available for each project opened with this MAXQDA installation.

If you open a MAXQDA project on another computer, the global lists may not be available.

3. Excluded words

This list displays all search terms that are included in the stop word list. The list is always sorted in alphabetical order for user convenience.

Activate stop word lists

The active stop word list is indicated by a blue or grey background. To activate another list, click on the name of a stop word list. The stop words of the selected list will be displayed in the “Excluded words” section and will be used by MAXDictio.

Hint: If you have selected a global stop word list and open the project on a computer where this global stop word list is not available, or has been deleted, MAXDictio will automatically use the next stop word list in the list.

Create a new stop word list

By default, each MAXQDA project has at least two stop word lists. The “Stop word list for word cloud” and at least one additional stop word list.

To add a new stop word list to the project, click the  icon.

Icon for adding a new stop word list to a project

A new list will be added to the project and opened. By default, this list is given the name “New list”, and may include a sequential number to exclude duplicate names. The name of the list can be edited directly.

Add new words to a stop word list

New words can be added to the stop word list in two ways:

Firstly, you can enter new words by hand, by clicking the New   button above the Excluded words pane and typing the word. Multiple words can be added by hitting the Enter key after each entry. 

Secondly, you can add words directly from a word frequency list by double-clicking the green symbol   in the first column, thus sparing the effort of typing in the word. Multiple words from a word frequency list can be transferred at once by highlighting them first, then clicking the Add to stop word list   icon on the toolbar.

When using stop word lists, the following must be observed:

  • The words of a stop word list are automatically sorted in alphabetical order. This order is predetermined and cannot be modified. If a word already exists in the stop word list, it will not be inserted.
  • Stop word lists can include word combinations separated by spaces, such as “George W. Bush” or “Walt Disney”.
  • Stop word lists are case-sensitive. This distinction is only applied if the corresponding option is selected in the options dialog for a function.

Duplicate, rename and delete stop word lists

Stop word lists can be duplicated, for example if you wish to modify the list while retaining the original version. Right click on the stop word list and select Duplicate. Thereupon the list will be duplicated and inserted. The duplicate list will have the same name as the original list supplemented with a sequential number.

To rename a stop word list, click on the list to highlight it, then click again to change the name. Alternatively, right-click the name of the list and select Rename.

The option for deleting a list can also be found in the context menu.

Stop word list functions in the context menu

Applying stop word lists to other projects

To save a project-internal stop word list as a global list for use in other projects, right-click the stop word list and select Save as Global List. The list will be duplicated and inserted with the same name in the lower window pane. If the list name already exists, a sequential number will be added.

The Global stop word lists can be transferred to any project:

  1. Right-click the list in the “Global stop word list” window pane.
  2. Select Copy into project from the context menu.

Tip: Stop word lists can also be dragged and dropped from the “Stop word Lists of Project” to the “Global lists” pane.

Hint: When you open a project that has already been opened in version 12.3 in an earlier version of MAXQDA, only an empty stop word list will be displayed.

Merge Stop Word Lists

Many stop word lists can be effectively used across projects. Modularization is recommended, meaning that specific types of stop word lists (for example, definite and indefinite articles) are created, which can be universally applied. These stop word lists can be combined into common stop word lists as required.

  1. Right-click on a stop word list.
  2. Select Copy to other stop word list from the context menu.
  3. Select the target stop word list from the context menu.
Copy words from one stop word list to another

After selecting the target list, a confirmation message appears to confirm whether you want to continue. If you confirm the request, the two stop word lists are merged, that is, all excluded words from the source list are inserted into the target list, skipping already existing entries.

Export and Print Stop Word Lists

Stop word lists can be exported as files to be edited, printed, or for documentation and archiving in other programs:

  1. Right-click on a stop word list and select Export, or click the Export icon in the top toolbar, to export the currently displayed stop word list.
  2. Provide a file name and location in the dialog window.

The list will be exported in TXT Format (UTF-8) and can be edited and printed using a text editing or word processing program, or Excel.

Importing and augmenting stop word lists

MAXDictio allows you to load stop word lists from TXT files, save them as new lists, or integrate the words into an existing list.

Click the Import list icon to create a new list from a TXT file.

Click the Add to current list icon to combine the words from the imported stop word list and the words of the currently displayed stop word list.

Download pre-configured stop-lists

As a free service we provide pre-configured stoplist files including the following subcategories: auxiliaries, prepositions, interjections, numerals, pronouns, determiners, conjunctions, particles (only available in German), 100 most common words in the respective language.

You can either download a complete stoplist containing all subcategories (excluding the 100 most common words) here:

Download stop-list (English) Download stop-list (German)

Download stop-list (Spanish) Download stop-list (Italian)

Download stop-list (Portuguese)

Or download a zip file including single files for each category here:

Download zip file (English) Download zip file (German)

Download zip file (Spanish) Download zip file (Italian)

Download zip file (Portuguese)

Create and Edit Stop Word Lists in Office Programs

Stop word lists are stored as normal text files in UTF-8 format; they can be opened and edited in any Office program. Excel is the best option for editing stop word lists. Open the stop word list by selecting Open File in Excel. The file type must be changed to “All files”.

A stop word list that has been opened in Excel

You can now add to or modify the list of stop words in Excel, then save them again. It is not necessary to sort the list as this will be done automatically when the list is opened in MAXQDA.

Location of global stop word lists

The global stop word lists are stored by MAXDictio as files in TXT format (UTF-8) in the following file folder. They can also be edited here using external programs:

Windows: local installation

Documents / MAXQDA2022 / Dictio / Stoplist

Mac: local installation

Documents / MAXQDA / MAXQDA2022 / Dictio / Stoplist

Windows and Mac: portable installation on USB pen drive

USB pen drive MAXQDA 2022 Files Dictio Stoplist

 All TXT files in these folders are displayed as stop word lists in MAXDictio.

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