Working with Codes

Video Tutorial: Coding Data

Modifying the Length of a Coded Segment

Select the quotation by clicking on the quotation bar or code in the margin area and move the handle in form of a blue line and dot to the right, to the left, or up or down, depending on whether you want to shorten or lengthen the quotation.

Modifying the length of a quotation

Removing a Coding

This option is the reverse function of coding. It removes the links between codes and quotations. Unlike the delete function, neither codes nor quotations are removed; only the association between the code and the quotation is removed.

Removing a Coding in the Margin Area

Right-click on the code in the margin area and select the option Unlink from the context menu.

Modifying the length of a quotatoin

Removing a Coding in the Coding Dialogue

Double-click on quotation in the margin area. This opens the Coding Dialogue. Click on Applied Codes to quickly see which codes have been applied to the quotation. Click on the button with the minus (-) to remove a code.

Modifying the length of a quotation

Replacing a Code via Drag & Drop

If you want to replace a code that is linked to a data segment, you can drag and drop another code from either the Project Explorer, Code Browser, or the Code Manager on top of it. When you drop it on top of another code, select the second option from the context menu: Replace ... with ...

Replacing a coding via drag & Drop

Adding, Changing and Removing Code Color

In the Project Explorer, Code Browser, Code Manager, or in a Network right click and select the option Change Color from the context menu.

In the Code Manager or Inspector, select a code and click on the circle.

Adding code color

In the image above on the left-hand side you see the default colors. This is a selection of colors from a color palette, which is suitable also for color blind people. In the code list on the right-hand side, you see additional colors. Additional colors can be added if you import a list of codes from Excel. See Importing code lists.

Renaming a Code

You can left-click on a code anywhere to rename a code in in-place edit mode. Another option is to rename the code in the inspector.

Deleting One or Multiple Code(s)

In the Project Explorer, the Code Browser, or Code Manager, right-click on a code and select Delete. To select multiple codes, hold down the command key.

Deleting multiple codes

Writing Code Comments

Code comments can be used for various types of purposes. The most common usage is to use them for a code definition. If you work in teams, you may also want to add a coding rule, or an example quote. If you work inductively, you can use code comments to write down first ideas of how you want to apply this code. You can also use it to write up summaries of all segments coded with this code and your interpretation about it. There are several ways to write a code comment.

  • If you select a code anywhere, you can write a code comment in the inspector.

  • In the margin area, you can double-click on a code to open the comment editor. Another option is to right-click on a code and select the Edit Comment option from the context menu.

Adding Code Comments

All codes that have a comment shows a little yellow flag.

Creating a Code Book

The recommended option to create a code book is to use the Excel export option in the Code Manager:

Open the Code Manager, select all codes (e.g. Cmd+A), click on the Export button and select Export as Spreadsheet.


ATLAS.ti exports are columns that are visible in the Code Manager. If you click on a column header, you can deselect columns that you do not want to export.