Tips for speeding up lexical search

16.02.2014, 21:45

I use the lexical search function frequently, and perhaps because of the size of my data set it usually takes at least a couple of minutes for the search to complete. This isn't a huge amount of time, but it can be a real disruption in the writing process when I have to sit and wait. I was just wondering if the developers could offer some advice on what steps we might take to speed up this function. For example, if we save lexical searches, do these include an indexed version of the results from the first search, or does the program just reload the original terms and search all over again from scratch? Also, is it likely that reinstalling MaxQDA to an SSD drive would speed up performance noticeably, or is the speed constrained by other factors?
Posts: 9
Joined: 27.09.2010, 00:19

Re: Tips for speeding up lexical search

25.02.2014, 13:51


the only factor that might be relevant for the speed is the amount of RAM in your computer.
If you are working with external pdf documents, it might be helpful is those are located on a fast hard drive or SSD.

Best regards,
Julia Gerson
Julia Gerson
Posts: 21
Joined: 15.07.2011, 14:15

Re: Tips for speeding up lexical search

26.02.2014, 17:50

I also am primarily using the lexical search to do initial coding on a dataset of 5000+ legal documents (txt format), many of which are quite long. Lexical searches take upwards of 3 hours each! That's on a macbook pro with plenty of ram and an SSD.

I understand that MAXQDA mac is still in its initial release stage, and it's a bit early to begin petitioning for new features, but I think there are two ways to speed up this process. First, MAXQDA could index documents, as varlokkur suggested. OSX already indexed every word of each of these 5,000 documents, so I get immediate results as I type words into the search field of finder windows. Is there any reason why MAXQDA couldn't do the same?

Second, expand the ability to use auto-tagging with complex search strings. For example, it would dramatically decrease the amount of time I spend searching and tagging if I could search for a number of keywords together in one search string, and then assign different tags to different sets of those keywords in the search string. That way I wouldn't have to do a unique search operation for every tag that I want to create (many of which only produce around 500 hits in 200 documents out of a database of 5,000 documents).

Once again, I don't expect either of these features to be implemented in time for me to make use of them on my current project, but I think MAXQDA would benefit greatly from them.
Posts: 1
Joined: 24.02.2014, 03:25

Re: Tips for speeding up lexical search

09.05.2014, 19:44

Hi Adigine,

thanks for your comments and suggestions. We have already thought of expanding the autocode possibilities and will add your requests to our list.

Have you thought of using MAXDictio? You can use it to conduct quantitative content analysis based on a dictionary with search terms and you get fast results differentiated for documents. We will release MAXDictio for Mac in May. Please find here a manual for an older Windows version of MAXDictio: ... io_eng.pdf

And at last: would it be possible that you send us your project with 5000+ legal documents? Maybe we can speed up the process of searching. You can contact me via our online support form:
Best regards
Dr Stefan Rädiker
Training, Coaching, Analysis for Research & Evaluation
Stefan Rädiker
Posts: 254
Joined: 12.02.2007, 10:18

Re: Tips for speeding up lexical search

19.12.2014, 06:51

You folks gave really nice Tips for speeding up lexical search. Useful for me ....
Posts: 4
Joined: 18.12.2014, 11:29
Location: USA

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