What’s New In ATLAS.ti 8.4

What’s New In ATLAS.ti 8.4

ATLAS.ti 8.4 is a FREE UPGRADE for all ATLAS.ti 8 license holders. — Be sure to update as soon as possible by running the Live Update.

QDPX - Universal Data Exchange

ATLAS.ti 8.4 implements the new QDPX data format for full project exchange. This is a major step toward a new degree of freedom in research and opens new dimensions for all practioners of qualitative data analysis.

Please see https://atlasti.com/product/qdpx/ for detailed information on this exciting new standard.

New and Added Functionality

Added functionality for the Project Explorer

The Project Explorer now has its own search and comment field. If you are looking for something in particular in your project, you can enter a search term into the search field. If you open the branches of the various entities, they will only show you items that contain the search term:

Figure 1: Project Explorer with search field

If you select an entity that has a comment, it will be displayed at the bottom of the Project Explorer:

Figure 2: Display of comments in the Project Explorer

In the Windows version, you can now also set a global filter in the Project Explorer:

Figure 3: Set global filers in the Project Explorer

Import/export document groups from Excel

You can now export and import document groups in excel format. Exporting the data gives you an overview of all your document groups and their members; use the import option if you already have a table with document attributes that you want to assign to your documents.

See below an Excel-tabel that could be a result of exporting already existing document groups from a project. Or a table that you prepared for import.

First column: document name. If you want to prepare a table for import, the easiest way is to export a table first. If you have not created document groups yet, the table will only show the first column with the document names.

Second and subsequent columns: document attribues

Prefix #: attributes with two or more values

  • document groups are created based on the header name plus the cell value as in eductation::highschool, or gender::male.

  • if there is no entry in a cell, the document is not assigned to the group.

  • If there are multiple entries, separated by a comma, the document is assigned to two groups of the same attribute.

No prefix: a document group is created for all documents with a cell value of 1. See 'survey question: bring fulfillment & purpose' as an example.

Figure 4: Excel table of exported document groups / Excel table ready to import document groups

After importing this table, the groups and assignments to document groups are as follows:

Figure 5: Imported document groups

You may also notice that it is now easier to see which document groups a document is assigned to.

Split Code Tool - NEW in Mac

If you have been "lumping', meaning you have coded lots of data segments with one code, the need arises to split this code in multiple sub categories. Version 8.4 now also introduces the Split Code Tool of the Mac. This is how it works:

Select the code that you want to split in the Explorer or the Code Manager, right-click and select Split Code from the context menu. Before you start splitting a code, think about which prefix you want to use. This will also become your category name.

Figure 6: Split Code Tool - ATLAS.ti Mac

Click on Add Codes and enter names for the subcategories. The name of the code that you are splitting is automatically added as prefix if you move to the next line.

Figure 7: Add subcategory labels

Once all codes are entered, click Add

. You can now begin to assign the quotations to the various subcategories. If you click on a quotation, you can read its content in the pane below the list of quotations. Select the fitting code or codes. The code that you are splitting is automatically de-selected as it usually is not necessary to code the quotation with the main and the subcode.

Figure 8: Assigning quotations to subcategories

You can add a quotation to two or more codes if you think the quotation has more than one aspect. It is quite common to mention several aspects in a sentence or an analysis unit. In order not to lose the context and for further analytical purposes, such as code co-occurrence analysis, it may be useful to apply multiple codes. There are exceptions, though. If you want to analyze inter-coder agreement applying multiple subcategories of the same category will violate the rule of mutually exclusive coding. If the latter, you can activate the option 'Mutually exclusive' at the bottom of the screen. ATLAS.ti will then not allow you to select multiple subcategories.

Once all quotations have been added to subcodes, click on Split Code. If the main code that you are splitting contains no further quotations, you will be asked whether you want to keep it. You may if you want to keep it for instance as a title code for the category. Below it has been renamed with capital letters.

Figure 9: Code after splitting

Different from ATLAS.ti Windows, you can use the tool for multiple rounds of splitting as you can split into already existing codes. When you click on the Add Codes button, it is possible to enter already existing codes.

Reference Manager Data Import - NEW in Mac!

Mac users can now also import and analyse data from reference managers like Endnote, Mendeley, Zotero and the like. You can import your articles directly from your favorite Reference Manager. The prerequisite is that you are either using Endnote, or a reference manager that allows you to create an export for Endnote in XML format. This is for instance the case in following programs:

  • Reference Manager

  • Mendeley

  • Zotero

In Mendeley, for instance, you highlight the documents that you want to export, right-click and select Export. When saving the file, you can select the file format:

Figure 10: Exporting an EndNote XML file in Mendeley

Select EndNote XML as file type, and save the file.

To import the file, select Document/ Import Reference Manager Data:

Figure 11: ATLAS.ti Mac - dialog for importing Reference Manager data

Select based on which criteria the documents from your reference manager should be grouped in ATLAS.ti, whether the name of the first author and the publishing year should be added to the journal title that is used as document name in ATLAS.ti, and whether the abstract should be imported as document if the full document is not available. Then choose the XML file to be imported. The following shows the document manager after importing a collectino of articles from Mendeley:

Figure 12: ATLAS.ti Mac - Document Manager after importing Reference Manager data

Reference Manager import - Improved workflow (ATLAS.ti Windows)

The dialog and the default options for importing data from reference managers has been changed in the Windows version. As user you can now select which groups should be created. ATLAS.ti does no longer create groups by default.

Figure 13: New dialog for importing reference manager data

Word Lists / Word Cloud Improvements

Run Word Cruncher on Groups, Quotations and Codes - NEW in Mac!

Up until now you could only get word lists of documents in ATLAS.ti Mac. You can now select codes, quotations or groups and run a word count:

Figure 14: Count words of selected quotations, codes or groups

Search for words in context - NEW in Mac!

Like in the Windows version, you can now also search for words in context from a word list:

Figure 15: Search for words in context from a word list

Add a word to a stop list - NEW in Mac!

What you can also see in Figure 10 is that you can add one or more selected words to the selected stop list:

Select a stop list at the bottom of the window ( Exclude Words from Stop List)

Select one or more words in the word list, right-click and select the option Add to Stop List from the context menu.

Word Cruncher thresholds - NEW in Mac!

You can further focus your view by selecting a treshold. For instance in Figure 10 only words that occur at least 29 times are shown in the list.

Show scope (ATLAS.ti Mac and Windows)

The word cruncher now shows on the lef-hand side of the window the scope - i.e. the entities on which the word lists or the word cloud are based. It is interactive, you can activate more or less ior deactivate others and change the entity type.

Figure 16: Scope panel for word lists

Figure 17: Scope panel for word clouds (ATLAS.ti Windows)

Type-Token Ratio (ATLAS.ti Windows)

The number of words in a text is often referred to as the number of tokens. However, several of these tokens are repeated. As we can for instance see in Figure 10, the word kids occurs 126 times. The type-token ration (TTR) is the relationship between the number of words that occur in a text and their frequencies. It is calculated as follows:

Type-Token Ratio = (number of types/number of tokens) * 100

The more types there are in comparison to the number of tokens, then the more varied is the vocabulary, i.e. it there is greater lexical variety.

You find the type-token ratio in the blue status bar of either the word cloud or word lists in ATLAS.ti Windows:

Figure 18: Type-Token ratio for word clouds and word lists

Insert date and time in comments and memos

You can insert the date & time with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+D into comments and memos. If you use the editor to write your comment or memo in ATLAS.ti Windows, you find the option 'Insert timestamp' in the ribbon. In the Mac version, you find the option in the Edit menu.


Query Tool - NEW in Mac!

Mac users often did not find the query tool in the Mac version (which actually is included in the Quotation Manager). Therefore the Query Tool has now been been added as an option under the Analysis menu. When you select the option, a modified version of the Quotation Manager opens:

Figure 19: Mac query tool

You can immediately begin to build a query. By default the query tool opens with the option "is coded with".

Select an operator and codes as appropriate.

Figure 20: Co-occurrence query in the Mac query tool

If you compare the list of available operators with those in the Quotation Manager. You will notice that there are fewer. The available operators match those available in the Windows version. Therefore it is possible to save a query build in the new Mac Query Tool as smart code (see Figure 20). This option is not avaiable for results of a query in the Quotation Manager, as the Windows version would not be able to understand it.

Another option is to a create document group based on the results of a query.

Compress tables

When there are lots of empty rows in the code-document table or the code co-occurrence table, meaning the selecte code / document or code / code combintation does not yield any results, it is difficult to see patterns. Instead of removing all those entities manually from your table, you can simple click on the Compress button and all those rows are removed from the table.

Figure 21: Compress tables to help you see patterns

More information in the Code Co-occurrence Table

You may also notice some other new features in the table. We have cleaned up the layout, added code colors and icons, and the number of quotations each code is coding. Knowing the total number of quotations coded by each code helps you to better evaluate the number of code co-occurences in each cell. The latter is optional and can be activated/deactivated by clicking Details in the ribbon. If activated, the number of quotations for each code are also printed in the Excel export.

More information in the Code-Document Table

Obtain more detailed information about number of coded quotatons and group size:

When evaluating the frequencies in the cell of the table, it is often important to know the total number of quotations that have been coded with a code, the total number of quotations in a document or document group, or the size of either the document or code group.

document 4: NYTM. Thus the higher number of quotations in the cells for document 3 are likely related to the higher number of quoations overall. Knowing the data set, there are almost twice as many respondent comments in document 3 as compared to document 4. This means if we want to compare numbers, we need to normalize the data. We get similar information about docuemnt groups. There are 13 respondents / 26 quotations in the document group „gender::female" and 11 respondents / 22 quotations in the document group „gender::male".

Regarding the code groups, there are 9 codes in the code group 'effects of parenting: negative' and the 9 codes code 44 quotations. There are 7 codes in the code group 'effects of parentng: positive' and they code a total of 26 quotations. So, a higher number of quotations about negative effects of parenting have been coded elsewhere in other documents.

You can activate the quotation frequency for codes, documents and groups plus information about the group size by selecting the View option Show Details.

Figure 22: Code-Document Table showing detailled information

Binarize the results of the Code-Document Table

At times, you might only be interested to see whether a code occurs in a document or not. If so, you can activate the option „Binarize". The table will show black dots if a code or codes from a code group have been applied to a document or document group. If it has not been applied, the cell is empty. If you export the table to Excel, the Excel tabel shows 1s and 0s. The row and column totals count the number of yes / no occurences. Such a table can for instance be used for discriminant analysis in a statistical program.

Figure 23: Binarized Code-Document Table

Figure 24: Excel report of a binarized table

Networks: Show Code-Documents Connections

There are no direct links between documents and codes as you do not directly apply codes to a document. You apply codes to quotations that are part of a document. Nonetheless, at times it may be interesting to see which codes have been applied in a document or a document group. In order to see those connections, activate this option. Code-Documents Connection are shown as blue lines.

Figure 25: Comparing the coding of case 5 and case 10

Create groups anywhere

Network Editor: Create Group from selected items of one entity type

When selecting entities of the same type in a network, you can create a group from them. In the figure below some codes of a network have been selected. If you click on the button New Group, you are prompted to enter a name and then a new code group is created. If you were to select a number of memos, a memo group will be created, and so on.

Figure 26: Creating groups from selected entities in networks

Query Tool: Create Document Group from selected results

Sometimes you need to code data first to find common characteristics across documents. You can now create document groups based on the results of a query in the query tool.

The figure below shows all quotations that have been coded with codes of the code group „effects parenting: negative". Based on the results, you can create a document group that contains all documents where something has been written about negative effects of parenting. Likewise you can create a document group that contains all documents where people wrote something on positive effects of parenting. These groups can then be used for follow up queries where you can compare the responses of those who report positive or negative effects or both with regard to other themes in your data.

Figure 27: Create document groups based on the results of a query



See https://atlasti.com/product/qdpx/ for detailed information on the new project exchange data standard.

To export a project in QDPX format for import into another CAQDAS package, select File / Export and select the QDPX export option:

Figure 28: Export your project in the new QDA-XML exchange format for import into another CAQDAS package

Export data for further statistical analysis (SPSS, R, STATA, SAS, etc.)

In addition to the SPSS export that we have been offering for many years, we have added a generic export option in form of an Excel table that can be read by other statistical packages like R, STAT, SAS or SPSS. The previous SPSS export is still available. It produces an SPSS syntax file that can be run in SPSS. The new format needs to be imported using the Excel import option of the software you are using. In the Windows version, you can access the option under the Import & Export tab.

Figure 29: Import & Export tab in ATLAS.ti Windows

The exported file contains the following data:


quotation is a case



Document name:

of the document

Media type:

of document


postion of a text quotation


postion of a text quotation


postion of


postion of an audio- or video quotation

SY / SX / EY / EX:

coordinates of an image quotation


occuring in a document of the document group


/ not assigned to the code


/ not assigned to a code of the code group

Quotation preview and export everywhere

The list of quotations can be viewed in Preview mode and exported to Excel:

Figure 30: Quotation list in preview mode


Reports from Quotation Lists in Analysis Tables and Code Manager

All quotations in quotation lists can now be exported to Excel. The figure below shows the quotation list in the Code-Document Table.

Figure 31: Export quotations to Exc el

In the Mac version, you can select whether you want to export the quotations to Excel or whether you want to create a report. Further, you can also create a group based on the documents in which the quotations occurr. This allows you to create document groups based on the content that you have been coding - as compared to a-priori knowledge that you have about documents. In the Windows version, this can be done in the Query Tool (see "Query Tool: Create Document Group from selected results").

Figure 32: Code-Doc table with quotations

Figure 33: Quotation Preview and further option in ATLAS.ti Mac

Info sheets for Excel reports

We have added an Info sheet to all Excel reports. The Info sheet contains the report title, the project name, the name of the user who created the report, the time when it was created and a number of project specific details like count and coefficient if you exported a code co-occurence table, whether the report is normalized or binarized, whether it includes relative frequencies, or the semantic domains for an ICA report.

Figure 34: Info sheet for a report of a Code-Document Table

Include codes in document reports

You can now export a list of documents with their codes as Excel table.

Figure 35: Include codes in document reports for Excel


Simplify remove items from selected groups in Managers

There is now an option in the code context menu to remove the code from a selected group:

Figure 36: Simplified way to remove items from groups in managers

Create smart codes in the Code Manager (ATLAS.ti Mac and Windows)

Up until now, creating a quick smart code based on an ORed connection was only possible in the Quotation Manager by selecting the codes in the side panel. You can now also create such a smart code in the Code Manager. To do so, select two or more codes in the Code Manager, right-click and select Create Smart Code from the context menu.

Figure 37: Create ORed smart codes in Code Maanger

Create smart codes or groups via context menus in Document and Quotation Manager (ATLAS.ti Mac)

You can now directly create a simple smart code or group in the side panel of a manager based on the two operators 'any' and 'all'. In Figure 38 below you see how the two groups 'gender::female' and 'marital status::married' are combined using the ' all' operator to form a new smart group 'married women'.

Figure 38: Creating smart codes or groups in managers

This option is available in all managers and also the group managers.

Open Memo on double-click

We changed the double-click behavior for memos. If you now double-click on a memo, the memo editor opens. If you want to see the linked quotations, hold down the Ctrl or Command key and double-click.

Copy Entities Into Pasteboard/Clipboard

You can now copy any entity name and paste it somewhere else.

Improved workflow

Double-clicking a code in the margin now opens a compact text editor that lets you write and review your code comment. You can also access all quotations coded with the selected code from the editor.

Figure 39: Integrated workflow in the margin area