Jump Start Your Research Journey with MAXQDA 2020

MAXQDA 2020 – launching a new decade of research innovation

To kick off the year 2020, we asked ourselves one simple question: What makes researchers all around the world choose MAXQDA as their number one research software – and how can we make these great data analysis tools even better? You’ll find our answer to this question in MAXQDA 2020, the result of over 30 years of innovation. It builds on existing strengths, but also offers revolutionary new features you won’t find anywhere else. Let’s have a look!

Greater intuitive clarity and analytical flexibility
Your research goals at the heart of our software development strategy


Introducing the fresh look 4-window interface and more than 70 new features!

MAXQDA 2020 – Feature Highlights

A New Focus on Memos

Powerful new features enabling you to access, display, create & edit memos more easily & efficiently than ever before

We know how important memos are to keeping track of ideas, thoughts and insights regarding your research. Memos can play a vital role in the analytical process and can often be the starting point for writing up report chapters. MAXQDA 2020 offers multiple new tools to work with memos more easily & efficiently.

  • New memo sidebar. Display and read your memos alongside your data by displaying them directly next to your source material in the sidebar.
  • New memo tab in the main menu. Access existing memos, write new memos or search for memos – all in one place!
  • New Memo Editor. The newly designed Memo Editor expands your writing space – and you can now add tables to your memo texts.
  • Memo links. Link parts of a memo to any section in the data to quickly jump back and forth – or link a memo to any number of codes and/or coded segments.
Memos in MAXQDA 2020

Memo Manager

A new memo workspace to search, filter & create memos

These new Memo Manager features turns your memos into a complete project knowledge base.

  • Filter and search. Filter and sort memos by type, date, author, or symbol. Search within all or only selected memos and quickly find memos attached to any element of your research.
  • Work. Open several memos in tabs, combine a group of memos in a set, and use the new workspace to organize, compare and write up your notes.
Memo Manager in MAXQDA 2020

MAXMaps 3.0

Six new models & increased interactivity for our popular mind mapping tool

With MAXQDA 2020, we have continued to make new breakthroughs on the road to developing the most sophisticated research-oriented visualization tools in the industry. MAXMaps now comes with six new models, new options for existing models, and a user-friendly interactive concept model builder.

  • New interactive model builder. Interactively test any of the existing options for a model before creating a new map and save time creating the perfect map to illustrate your data.
  • Six new models. The new models can visualize your project’s code by document distribution, related & overlapping codes, or put a spotlight on summaries and paraphrases.
  • Map Organizer. The redesigned Map Organizer window now lets you add comments to a map, reorganize maps more efficiently and group maps into folders.
  • New objects & formatting options. More flexibility to work with lines and arrows, better descriptions to illustrate relationships between elements, and a general design update for all formatting options that looks and works in a similar way to widely used office software packages.
Model builder in MAXQDA 2020

Retrieved Segments Window

Redesigned to suit the way you view and work with coded segments. New display options add more information to the data display

  • Sidebar for comments. Display comments for a coded segment in a new sidebar next to your retrieved segments.
  • Include variables. Display your favorite document variables and variable values.
  • Coding stripes. Coding stripes are displayed next to retrieved segments to make it easier to find segments by code color.
  • Subheadings. Coded segments are separated by subheadings: document names (when sorted by documents), code names (when sorted by codes), and weight scores (when sorted by weight).
  • Hide source information. Hide coded segment source information to fully concentrate on the segments themselves.
Retrieved Segemnts Window in MAXQDA 2020

Literature Reviews

You can now import full articles along with your bibliographical data

You can already import bibliographical metadata from Endnote, Mendeley, and Zotero into MAXQDA. In MAXQDA 2020, these import options additionally include the respective texts or PDF articles.

What’s more, MAXQDA also automatically recognizes duplicates, and attachments can be automatically coded during import with the keywords assigned to them.

Bibliographical Imports in MAXQDA 2020

Import Transcripts from New Sources

Your flexibility is our mission: Import transcripts from a large number of popular transcription services and tools

New automatic transcription services for audio and video files are popping up every day – they are so much faster than manual transcription, and their automatic speech recognition is getting better and better. MAXQDA 2020 allows you to work with the automatic transcription service of your choice – and import transcripts and timestamps from commonly used online and offline applications.

Transcript sources include AmberScript, TEMI, Trint, f4, f5transkript, Transana, Rev.com, and more.

Transcript Imports in MAXQDA 2020

New Code System Features

Save time when building and refining your codes with the new drag & drop merge and one-click subcode features. Get fresh insights into the code distribution across your data with the new frequency display settings.

  • One-click subcode. Building up a code system has never been easier. Just hover over a code to see the one-click subcode feature, which you can use to create a new code on the spot.
  • Drag & drop merge. Drag one code onto another code and simply drop it onto the new Merge area to combine two codes into one.
  • Code frequency settings. Use this feature to adjust the frequency numbers displayed in the Code System. Choose to only count codes in selected documents or to count in how many documents, document groups, or document sets a code was applied in.
Code functions in MAXQDA 2020

Line and Paragraph Numbering in Texts

Switch back and forth between line or paragraph numbering and quote your sources the way you want

Quote and review interview transcripts and literature, now with the new line numbering text display. But don’t worry – paragraph numbers haven’t disappeared, and you can switch back to the original paragraph numbering system with one click.

And you can still customize your line numbering: set the maximum number of characters per line the way that works best for you.

Numbering in MAXQDA 2020

New Coding Features

Two ways to make it even easier to create new codes and build your category system – perfect for grounded theory

The new Open Coding Mode is perfect for researchers using the grounded theory approach. When activated, you can simply select a segment in a text, PDF or image and the dialog box for creating new codes will appear automatically.

In addition to adding a Code memo to the segment, the Open Coding Mode code windows also lets you attach a comment to the segment quickly and easily.

Coding features in MAXQDA 2020

Compare Summaries

Have you summarized large numbers of coded segments in your own words? It’s now even easier to view and compare this condensed information across cases

The new interactive Summary Explorer lets you compare all of the summaries associated with a code within a given document, document group, or document set – and quickly jump back to the original source.

The table of results doesn’t list all of the coded segments on a topic for each group, which can sometimes be difficult to keep track of; instead, it lists the condensed information on this topic in the form of summaries – written by you or your team of researchers.

Compare summaries in MAXQDA 2020

Document Map

Get the picture: Visually cluster cases to analyze differences and similarities. The more similar two cases are, the closer they are to each other on the map

Display selected documents as if they were on a map to visualize the differences and similarities between documents: the greater the similarity between two documents – in terms of (selected) code assignments and (optionally) demographic data – the closer they are displayed to each other.

The map can then be exported as an image or saved as a map in MAXMaps. This is an ideal tool for clustering cases and for in-depth explorations of identified groups.

Document map in MAXQDA 2020

New Paraphrase Features

A clearly-arranged workspace to view all of your paraphrases by case or group. And you can now also paraphrase image segments

  • Paraphrase Matrix. Each column contains the paraphrases for a document, document group, or document set.
  • Paraphrase images. Paraphrase different segments of an image.  
  • Printing paraphrases. Print a document (or think about our planet’s future and save it to PDF) with the complete paraphrases visible in the page margin.  
Paraphrases in MAXQDA 2020

Data Archiving

We fully commit to the sustainability of your data with new customized archiving options

In recent years, the topic of research data archiving has attracted increasing attention. The EU Commission on Competition adopted a resolution in 2016, requiring all publicly funded scientific publications in the EU to be freely accessible by 2020. This decision explicitly referred to the research data on which the publications are based.

In MAXQDA 2020, you can easily archive your data with a new single-click function. A clear and simple to understand folder and file structure is then generated that contains all your collected data – optionally also as a compressed ZIP file.

In addition to the original data sources, archives can also include statistical data, media data, memos, and your code system.

Data Archiving in MAXQDA 2020

Further New and Enhanced Features


Interface: Access to local settings in all four main windows. The global settings have been reduced accordingly and are therefore much clearer.

Interface: The “Retrieved Segments” window is deactivated by default when starting a new project to allow more space for initial project tasks like reading, annotating, and coding.

Source Info: New option allowing you to automatically add the source information (document and location) to any text selection copied from the “Document Browser”.

Export: Texts are no longer exported in RTF format, but in the Word format DOCX.

Paraphrases: Paraphrases in the “Categorize Paraphrases” window can be manually sorted to arrange similar paraphrases below one another.

Activation: Randomly activate a user-defined number of documents.

Activation: While using the Activate by Document Variables feature, you can create new sets of documents that meet the conditions currently displayed without activating them at the same time.

Activation: The icon “Activate by…” icon in the Document System toolbar displays a menu with all available options for activating documents (by variables, by color, by random).


Documents: Document tooltips now also include information about the last editing date and the last user who edited a document.

Documents: New setting option allowing you to always open documents in new tabs.

Documents: New setting option allowing you to insert new documents at the bottom instead of the top of the folder structure.

Documents: New setting option allowing you to determine which variables are displayed in the tooltip box that appears when hovering over a document.

Documents: Documents within document groups can be sorted by the date of last edit and the text length.

Documents: New Edit Mode toggle switch to clearly visualize if a displayed document is currently in Edit Mode.

Documents: While working with text in Edit Mode, you can copy and paste texts along with their formatting.


Memos: Add a memo to a code set.

Memos: New memo type “in-media memo” for all memos attached to a video or audio file.

Memos: New option allowing you to link a memo to one or several coded segments.

Memos: Changing the name of a document or memo automatically changes the name of the document memo or code memo (if the memo name was still the same as the document or code name).


MAXMaps: Create an automatic concept map directly from the document or code context menu (e.g. a Single Case Model for an interview).

MAXMaps: Copy elements from one map to another via drag & drop.

MAXMaps: Add a new image to a map with a simple drag & drop of an image file from your computer.

MAXMaps: Connection lines between elements can now be curved.

MAXMaps: New option to hide or display Coded Segment symbols.

MAXMaps: New icon “Add to Library” in the Format tab and new icon “Insert from Library” in the Insert tab.

MAXMaps: When importing subcodes for a code, you can specify up to which level subcodes are to be imported.

MAXMaps: Imported subcodes, coded segments, summaries etc. can be limited to activated documents.

MAXMaps: Right-click on a memo to import linked codes or linked coded segments into the map.

MAXMaps: The Single-Case Model can now contain up to 20 coded segments.

MAXMaps: When creating a map from a model, each group of elements (e.g. documents, codes, memos, coded segments) are automatically added to a different layer


Codes: In the options menu for the displayed coding stripes, you can restrict the color highlighting of coded text passages to currently activated codes.

Codes: Several simultaneously selected codes can be merged via the context menu.

Codes: When merging codes, you can transform otherwise deleted code memos into free memos.

Codes: New option to activate all documents containing this code in a code’s context menu.

Codes: New context menu options to add code to an existing or new code-set.

Codes: New context menu options to add code to code favorites.

Codes: The displayed total of coded segments in the “Code System” and the “Document System” ignores paraphrased segments and focus group speaker codes.

Codes: Duplicate a code with its coded segment via the context menu.

Smart Coding Tool: New search tool allowing you to search within the displayed section of the “Code System”.


Search: When searching for documents in the “Document System” or Codes in the “Code System” window, all found documents or codes can be activated immediately.

Lexical search: Search hits in the results table are highlighted in color.

Lexical search: The preview feature in the search results table displays multiple rows.

Lexical search: Search results can be saved as a variable with the variable value indicating how often the search strings occurs in a document.

Lexical search: When autocoding search results with a new code, a code name with the search words and a memo with the search settings are automatically suggested to you.

Mixed Methods

Variables: Functions for focus group variables are available in the Variables tab

Variables: In the Data Editor, right-click a column header to create a frequency analysis for the clicked variable.

Variables: Two new system variables: “Modified on” and “Modified by”.

Crosstab: Cells are now interactive: right-click on a cell to activate the corresponding documents.

Crosstab for Focus groups: Limit a crosstab for focus groups to activated documents.

Crosstab for Focus groups: Right-click on a cell in the crosstab matrix to activate all focus group contributions in which the counted code assignments were made.

Visual Tools

Code Matrix Browser: Clicking on a cell in the Code Matrix Browser lists the corresponding segments in the “Retrieved Segments” window without changing current activation patterns.

Code Relations Browser: New option to visualize “Occurrence of codes in the same document”.

Code Relations Browser: Right-click on a node in the matrix to activate all documents in which the displayed code relations occur.

Code Relations Browser: Active settings (collapsed codes, counting hits per document only once, binarization, filtering segments by selecting codes in the options dialog) are applied when creating a Code Map directly from this tool.

Code Map: New option to display a grid on the map for easier comparison of distances.

MAXMaps: New Models

Single-Case Model (Summaries) places the case (document) at the center. The case is surrounded by all codes that have at least one summary, linked with lines. The corresponding summary texts are displayed for each code, also linked with lines.

Single-Case Model (Paraphrases) places the case (document) at the center. The case is surrounded by the paraphrase, linked with lines.

Single-Code Model (Summaries) places the code at the center. The code is surrounded by all of its summaries, linked with lines.

Code Co-occurrence Model (Code Proximity) works like the earlier Code Co-occurrence Model, except that the proximity of two codes in each of the selected documents is analyzed (instead of whether they overlap).

Code Co-occurrence Model (Code Occurrence) works like the earlier Code Co-occurrence Model, except that the occurrence of two codes in each of the selected documents is analyzed (instead of whether they overlap).

Code Distribution Model places the code at the center. The code is surrounded by all of the documents in which this code appears, linked with lines.

Already own a MAXQDA license? Upgrade to MAXQDA 2020 with a 50% discount!

See Upgrade Discounts

Want to test MAXQDA 2020 for yourself? Download the no-obligation 30-day free trial!

Download Free Trial

Ready to purchase MAXQDA 2020? Assemble your license in the online shop!

Visit MAXQDA Shop