Variables by set as well as document

16.07.2014, 15:26

I am currently undertaking a project with individuals as the level of analysis - each case in my analysis is an individual.

Each individual has multiple documents associated with them: the interview transcript, their CV, media coverage, and notes.

I'd like to be able to analyse each individual (case) by demographic categories - sex, age, etc. I know that I can do this by adding document variables. But at present, it seems I would have to add the variables to each document - transcript, CV, media coverage, notes. There seems no way to add variables at individual (case) level and then associate each document with the case.

One way to do this would be to add the ability to add variables to a document set. I would then create a set for each individual (case) and add the variables there. When I do an analysis by variable MAXQDA would apply the variables to each document in the set.

Is there another better way to do this? If not, could this be added as a feature request? Set variables would add a lot of power and flexibility.
Posts: 3
Joined: 25.02.2014, 22:34

Re: Variables by set as well as document

17.07.2014, 15:49


MAXQDA can set document variables only for documents, but we have forwarded your thought on document set variables to our developers.
When you are working e.g. with the Code-Matrix-Browser, you can set it to display code frequencies by document groups.

I am not sure if this approach will be useful, but you could create a code for each of your cases and then code each document for each case from top to bottom with the code named like this person/case.

- person 1
- person 2

Now when you want to compare coding patterns across cases, you can use the code-relations-browser, using the "cases" code as columns and the codes you are interested in as lines in the matrix. You can even add code variables to those "cases" codes, so that you are able to activate all cases of a specific age or sex at once.

Here is a link with more information: ... maxqda.htm

Best regards,
Julia Gerson
Julia Gerson
Posts: 11
Joined: 15.07.2011, 14:15

Re: Variables by set as well as document

17.09.2014, 09:06

Hi Julia,

This is a reasonable workaround, although the problem is that I will then have to manually code each document added to the set.

Is there a way to code an entire document? Do I have to select all the text in the document first? This will be prohibitively time consuming for some documents.

Posts: 3
Joined: 25.02.2014, 22:34

Re: Variables by set as well as document

29.09.2014, 20:24

Hello John,

it is not possible to code whole documents except for clicking into the document, highlighting all text (e.g. by Ctrl+a) and then applying the code (e.g. by Ctrl+q if you have selected the code beforehand).

There is another idea, though: It is possible to export the data editor of the document variable to Excel, edit and save it there and reimport it back into MAXQDA. This should make it quite easy to copy and apply a number of variables to several documents of your choice, especially if those documents have another shared property (e.g. document group):

1) Create document groups in the way that all documents of one case form one document group.
2) Export the document variables data editor to Excel ("Variables > Export data (document variables").
3) Open the Excel file. Add variables by creating new columns with the name of the variable in the first row.
4) Filter or sort your data by the column "Textgroup". Insert and copy&paste the values of the cases in the corresponding cells of the variables of interest.
5) After adding all variable values, save the Excel file and close it.
6) Re-enter your MAXQDA project. Import the Excel file you have just saved ("Variables > Import data (document variables").
Best regards on behalf of the MAXQDA team,

Katrin Kleemann
Katrin Kleemann
Posts: 3
Joined: 29.09.2014, 13:50

Re: Variables by set as well as document

16.03.2019, 08:55

I would like to know if this issue has been solved in the 5 years that passed since this post?
I am in the same situation as the original poster, meaning that I have about 20 document sets (each represents an individual), but in each document set I have several document (the interview plus some supporting documents, notes...)
Is there the possibility to add variables to a document set now? IT would really be useful. It makes no sense to me to add variables to every single document!

Posts: 5
Joined: 18.12.2018, 07:33

Re: Variables by set as well as document

27.03.2019, 11:33

Hello Simona,

Thanks for the question! I believe the solution provided above can still be seen as a quick and viable workaround; no "document-set-variables" have been integrated. Another quick workaround would be to create a new document in MAXQDA (Import > Create document) for each individual/case (their content wouldn't matter), and to put them in a document group called "Quantitative information about each individual". Then you could open the data editor, right-click on the column "document group", set "Contain: Quantitative information about each individual" – then you get a list of each individual and you can enter their respective values.

Best regards on behalf of the MAXQDA support team,

MAXQDA Support Team
Andreas V.
Posts: 272
Joined: 13.04.2017, 16:23

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