A quotation is a segment from a document that you consider to be interesting or important.
Usually, quotations are created manually by the researcher. However, for repetitive words, phrases or structural information like speaker units, the Search & Code tools can be used. With any of the tools you can automatically segments the data and assigns a code to them.
Although the creation of quotations is almost always part of a broader task like coding or writing memos, quotations can also be created without coding. They are called "free" quotations.
If you for instance are using discourse analysis or an interpretive approach to analysis, or if you work with video data, free quotations can be your starting point for analysis, rather than to code the data right away. See Working with Quotations, and the ATLAS.ti Quotation Level.