Other information


Data structures

The qda data folder contains folders for imported documents, images and audio and video. It also contains the sqlite database, named data.qda, to store coding data.

QualCoder creates QualCoder.log and QualCoder_settings.txt files inside a .qualcoder folder in your home directory. The settings file contains the name of the current coder, a default working directory, font, languages and other options. The log file records program errors and some user actions. There maybe several rolling log files.

QualCoder is written in python 3 using Qt6 for the graphical interface. A minimum python version of 3.7 should be used. A minimum screen resolution of 1024×600 pixels is recommended.

Operating systems used

QualCoder has been used on Ubuntu 22.04, Linux Mint, Lubuntu, Arch Linux, Manjaro Linix, Raspberry Pi, Windows 10, Windows 11 and MacOS. Testing has been performed on Ubuntu and Windows 10.

Future plans

Some potential plans for the future are to add the following functionality:


  • Possibly look at text mining functionality, word clouds, word visualisations
  • Possibly word counts -some have been enacted 
  • Alternative ways to visualise codes – some have been enacted
  • Improve graph display

About the author

Hello, my name is Colin Curtain and I am a lecturer from Australia. I have many interests including clinical pharmacy, computer programming, research, statistics and clinical decision support. I completed a PhD evaluating computerised clinical decision support in 2014. When doing my PhD I used R as the statistics program of choice. This is where my interest in qualitative data analysis and the use of RQDA came from, which ultimately led to this project.


Originally when doing my PhD I analysed qualitative survey data via a thematic approach using RQDA. After some installation difficulties with RQDA, I thought this could be reproduced in Python. I thought I would share QualCoder in the hope that it may help others. I generally work with Linux, and sometimes Windows. I work on the programming for this in my spare time, as a hobby.

If you use QualCoder and publish your results, I would really appreciate it if you can let me know.


15 responses to “Other information

  1. Tested using Xubuntu. Is working ok with the ZIP file.

  2. Gran de proyecto y sumamente necesario.
    Muchas gracias. Estoy probando en linux esential pero no se me instala bien el pdfminer y no arranca en pantalla.

    • ccbogel

      “Great project and extremely necessary. Thank you. I am testing in essential linux but the pdfminer does not install correctly and it does not start on the screen.”
      Hello Antonio, can you make an account on GitHub and post the issue there for QualCoder. I will need more details: which Linux, Which Python. What you typed to install pdfminer and what the error message was.

      • Omar Bautista González

        Antonio. Hazte el usuario por GitHub para que revisemos bien si se trata de un error o bug, como señala Colin Curtain. Así te ayudamos. Saludos.

  3. Dear Colin, great work. In a past project I used RQDA and found it fine. I like the layout of QualCoder. I have two questions/suggestions:
    (1) If I delete a code as I decided to make it into a category, QualCoder tells me that the category is already in use (despite having deleted it). To resolve I had to shut it down and restart. Perhaps a sync button or something.
    (2) I cannot have a instance of the same code under two categories. For example if I was comparing two education schemes and I had codes for each scheme. Under each scheme Maths is a subject that I want as a code. In effect they are two different codes as they are each under different categories. QualCoder cannot do this as it won’t allow for the creation of the second code.
    PS You Australian, why all the American English, dialog(ue) and all the zzzzz?

    • ccbogel

      I’m glad you like QualCoder.
      For issue (1) this is fixed in the latest dev branch. I will soon merge that into the main branch. And then later into a release.
      For issue (2) no you cannot have the same code name under 2 or more different categories. You will have to create two names to get what you want. e.g. Maths, Maths1. The Codes and Categories are in a tree data structure, not an acyclic graph data structure. It would be far too complex for me to enact a solution for you on this.
      Yes English, the spelling of dialog is the standard programming spelling for the Qt coding behind the scenes. It is a computing term referring to a graphical window display.
      I’m not sure what you mean by all the zzzz.

  4. Nipun Dasanayake

    hi thanks for the effort . using it for my study

  5. Ernesto

    I couldn’t install QualCoder on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. Is there a new package for it?

    • ccbogel

      HI. the executable made with pyinstaller was made on Ubuntu 20.04, and will not work on Ubuntu 22.04. I do not have Ubuntu 22.04.
      Can you follow the installation instructions in the ReadMe file to install from the command line?

  6. Hidde J. Leplaa

    Hello! This looks like a great alternative for NVivo. We are looking into it as a (open) replacement at our university. During the install process, I noticed it did not work with Python 3.11; but I managed to install it perfectly fine when I switched to Python 3.7 (the version apparantly used when writing the manual): just so you know!

    • ccbogel

      Thanks for the feedback. A reinstall might work. I have had others comment on the 3.11 issue also. Alternatively, download the exe for Windows 10/11 from the release folder, and double click to run. The exe is made with pyinstaller using python 3.10.

  7. danielwestrellyahoocom

    I´m currently using qualcoder for my psychologist specialist degree thesis interviewing adolescent substance abuse users about factors for quitting. I have a question not knowing if I can post it here but I just got desperate :/
    I created a project, added 6 transcribed textfiles and coded these without problem but now when I try to add 7:th transcribed interview to the same project I only get a long row of error messages.
    Is there some general rules to adding new files like where they have to be stored before adding? or is it not possible to add more files after started coding?
    downloaded the textfile first from my microsoft onedrive so the fileformat is that from online Word.

    I really hope you have some pointers to help me get out of this tricky situation but I understand if you don´t have the time.
    Best regards
    Daniel Westrell
    Stockholm Sweden

    • ccbogel

      Hi. Thanks for the question. I would have the file on your computer first, before importing it to qualcoder. I dont think importing from a cloud location would be as reliable.
      Alternatively, create a new file within qualcoder and copy all the Word text and paste into a new file in qualcoder.
      Perhaps open an issue on github, or contact me directly. Im curious about the errors

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