Download and Manual

The GitHub wiki contains the manual for the various functions of QualCoder.

The latest version release has an exe for Windows 10 and 11 and an executable for Ubuntu 22.04. Double-click these to run, they take up to 10 seconds to open. The Wiki also shows how to install from the source code for Linux, Windows and macOS, if you wish or need to build and install from the source code. 

The current  version (January 2023) is QualCoder 3.2 which is available through GitHub:

Optionally, install the VLC video software. This is required to play and code audio and video in QualCoder.

Optionally, install the ffmpeg software. This can make  a waveform display for audio/video and is needed for audio to text transcription services. (You do not need to use QualCoder to transcribe speech to text).

It has taken many, many hours / days / weeks /months of work to create this software that is provided free to use under the MIT license. If you appreciate what  I have developed please: Buy me a coffee

There are also some videos on how to use QualCoder:

YouTube Videos


30 responses to “Download and Manual

  1. Pingback: QualCoderのインストール - 質的データ分析研究会

  2. Fantastic to see your work on QualCoder. For 8 years I’ve been looking for an open-source, cross-platform QDL and contacted the developers of many early attempts. None of them developed as far as QualCoder. I can’t code, but perhaps I can help with testing or instructional materials. Let’s all hope that other code specialists will join in and help build QualCoder into an even more powerful open-source QDA.

    • Thanks for your interest Ray. This have been a gradual work in progress, as it is primarily a hobby and with zero cash resources. I have a Debian installer for Linux distributions, but it take a bit more nous to install on Mac and Windows – this is something that I would like to explore and hopefully resolve some day.
      I think a lot of the basic analysis functionality is in the software now, but it would be good to get your views on what can be done to improve it. I have others who leave ‘issues’ – whether bugs or suggestions for improved functionality – on the github site.
      I am not always able to implement suggestions as my programming skills and the ability to test across platforms limits this.
      with regards Colin

  3. Michael

    This is great, Colin. I found out about QualCoder now that RQDA won’t run for many of us and its future looks uncertain. QualCoder already does most of the ‘code and retrieve’ work I need. There are a few stability issues and room for improvement of course. I appreciate developing QualCoder may not be a priority, but in case this feedback is useful, below are a few issues (Windows 10 x64, QualCoder 1.9, Python 3.8 32 bit). I would think that some of these are easy to address and would improve usability.
    * importing RQDA files sort of works but the codes list in ‘Code Text’ displays as dark fonts on dark background — practically unreadable. I changed the colours but the text on the right looks as uncoded. It is coded though because when I ask QualCoder to produce a codes report it works.
    * The ‘select file’ dialogue when importing files shows the wrong modified date compared to Windows Explorer (off by an hour, GMT rather than BST)
    * ‘show coded text and media’ shows the About info — with the wrong QualCoder version, v1.8 instead of the actual 1.9.
    * on a couple of occasions I got an ‘uncaught exception’ but not sure yet how
    * QualCoder seems to forget settings I change (eg default folder, windows sizes/positions)
    * ‘?’ doesn’t do anything here.

    And some suggestions:
    * currently, overlapping highlights make it impossible to tell when a snippet is coded for more than one code.
    * snippets in code reports should be linked to the source text for context. More generally, double-clicking on things like the snippets, the codes tree, graph visualisations and frequencies should produce relevant info (eg contextualised text or a codes report).
    * autosave would be nice (essential actually)
    * QualCoder could offer defaults for file-types when saving etc.
    * Open recent files would be good for efficiency

    Many thanks

    • ccbogel

      Thanks Michael, as you know I have now worked through most of these issues now. The BST time is trickier to sort out, and window sizes were not stored, but will consider code for this.

      • Michael

        Thank you, Colin. Qualcoder changed a lot in these two weeks. I would highly recommend it to anyone doing code and retrieve.

  4. ccbogel

    Thanks Michael,
    I’m glad Qualcoder works reasonably well for you.
    I have made some comments below about possible changes that I may (or not) be able to do.
    regards Colin

    RE your feedback:
    * The import with dark fonts on dark backgrounds – I will test on Windows – this has not occurred to me on Linux. Also the text coding should be visible. So again will test the RQDA import on Windows my end. One possibility is that the code colors in RQDA are very dark, and might need changing. I have limited the range of code colors available in Qualcoder to highlight black text on the coloured background, but the original RQDA colour codes I have not changed on import.
    * Select file dialog and the date BST vs GMT – currently I am at a loss on this, as python should draw from the computer’s current set date and time.
    * The about info with 1.8 vs 1.9 – yes I forgot to update the text.
    * Uncaught exceptions – there is a log file that might give some details – if you fed it back to me to review. Or at least copy the text or screenshot for me to give me some ideas.
    * Forgetting settings – some are not stored to be forgotten – e.g. screen sizes and positions.
    The default folder – maybe in some dialog windows I have missed this – if you come across these let me know which dialog is opened that misses the default folder – as I might have to review the code to recognise the default folder.
    * ‘?’ does not do anything here – I am not sure what you mean.

    Your suggestions:
    * Overlapping highlights – yes – not sure how to resolve at the moment – so will put it in the too hard basket for now.
    * The code snippets and contextualisation – yes this is a good point, with a double click and showing another dialog window with the surrounding text. Do-able but will take me some time.
    * Autosave. In the settings, it automatically backs up a copy of the qualcoder folder on opening, unless switched off. All changes that are made after opening are automatically updated (or autosaved if you prefer). There is no undo, unless you open a previous backup.
    * defaults for file types when saving. Do you mean for the report format? As other exports are done as text files. Also note I will not be able to export to Microsoft Word or Excel – that would require a lot of coding know-how.
    * open recent files – I am not sure exactly what you mean here. The last Qualcoder project should open again when opening Qualcoder.

  5. Omar Bautista González

    Helping this project in Spanish, a video installing QualCoder using Microsoft Windows 10:

  6. Omar Bautista González

    And opening QualCoder with a link in the desktop of Microsoft Windows 10:

  7. Michele

    Dear Colin,

    This is impressive work! I am a Professor of Urban Studies in the UK, using Ubuntu as my main platform and for years I has to use half-baked solutions to code my interviews. What you did here is very welcome! It works well with my markdown notes and files. Are you going to continue working on this software (ie further developing it for Ubuntu?) Let me know if there is a way to ‘buy you a coffee’.

    All best

    • ccbogel

      Thanks Michele. Yes I am working on QualCoder including for Ubuntu (I use Ubuntu 20.04 as my main machine). When I release another version, 2.3 it will be more polished with a tabbed interface, rather than many pop-up windows. Once it gets to that stage, instead of a coffee – well – how about some YouTube How To Use videos 🙂
      with regards Colin

      • Michele

        Hi Colin
        Greetings, and thanks! It is exciting to hear you’ll continue development. RE YouTube – message received! I can’t do it strait away, but I will.
        Best wishes,

  8. esemas

    Hello, I just got QualCoder and am just getting used to the interface… I do not know how to do it but I would like to help with the spanish translation (my native language), if I get an instruction I can work on some parts that require some tuning… 🙂

    • ccbogel

      Hello, first you need to get a GitHub account.
      When you download the folder QualCoder-master:
      1 There is a translation file inside the inner qualcoder folder: es.po
      This file is opened with a program called poedit – you can edit the Spanish and fix it, then upload it to the GitHub page or email it to me.

      2 There is a second file inside the /GUI folder called app_es.ts
      This can be edited with a program called QtLinguist – which is harder to install.
      However, if you are careful and exit the text file directly the translation is stored between tags like this:

      All coders
      Todos los codificadores

      The translation text is in the tags:

      Best to email it to me.

      with regards Colin

  9. Amandine

    Hi, someone know how to install QualCoder on a MacBook ? Thank you

    • ccbogel

      Hello Amandine. I am sorry I don’t own a modern Mac (I have high Sierra) to give installation instructions. The install instructions were provided by another user a long-time ago. If you open a github account and post yourbissue there on QualCoder I and others can try and assist in installing the python bits needed.

  10. Florian Sichling

    I have a team of three coders working on qualcoder. When they send me their projects, how can I merge their two projects into a master? If it is easier to email me you can reach me at
    Thank you so much!!

  11. Erika

    I am using QualCoder 2.9 and would like to make a few suggestions:
    – Once a code is assigned to a video segment, it would be very useful to be able change that code just by right-clicking on the code stripe.
    – It would also be useful to assign multiple codes to the same video segment, also by right-clicking on it.
    – I would also suggest that, when a code is assigned to a section of video transcription with timestamps, the corresponding segment in the video file is coded accordingly automatically.
    Those features would save a lot of time when coding videos.
    Thanks for such a wonderful work! Enjoyng it!

    • ccbogel

      Hello Erika. Thanks for the feedback.
      I’m glad you are enjoying using it and it installed fine for you. What type of OS are you using? eg Windows? and was it easy for you to set up?

      Assigning another code (or more) by right-click may be possible) for me to do.
      When a code is assigned to a section of video transcription with timestamps, the corresponding segment in the video file is coded accordingly automatically. – A good idea. I will see if I can do this.
      This might be more tricky for me to do: Once a code is assigned to a video segment, it would be very useful to be able change that code just by right-clicking on the code stripe.

  12. Hello, Thank you very much for the program, it works very well. I just have a little problem. When importing the documents from RQDA, it recognizes the files but not the encoding. I also don’t see the codes I used to encode the files in RQDA. I would really appreciate it if you could help me with this, to continue with the coding using the same codes that I used in RQDA and without losing the coding that I did.

    • ccbogel

      Hello, This is because the default coder name in QualCoder is different to the coder name in RQDA.
      Go to Menu > Files > Settings. Change the coder name from the default QualCoder coder name to one in the drop down box. Let me know if this fixed your problem.
      To check for other potential problems:
      ‘it recognizes the files but not the encoding’ – when going to code text does each file display its text ?
      When going to code text – is the list of codes you created in RQDA shown on the left hand side of the window ?

      • JPG

        Hi, thanks for your response. Changing the encoder name did not fix the problem. I tried all the names that appeared in the dropdown box. Each file displays its text, but the text does not have the codes I assigned to it in RQDA. The list of codes is also not displayed in the left side window.

      • ccbogel

        Are you able to able to look at the RQDA sqlite file? Make a copy of it, then open the database to look at the tables and codes. I use Ubuntu and to do this, I open the terminal (command line in Windows) cd to the directory of the .rqda file I then open it:
        sqlite3 yourdatabase.rqda
        Then type:
        select * from freecode;
        This command will list all the codes in your rqda project
        Then type:
        select * from coding;
        This should show all the coded text segments.
        If either of these is blank, then your rqda project has an unfixable problem.
        ctrl+ Z or ctrl=D to exit sqlite.

        If not blank, then I cannot fix easily from a distance without testing it, but if you are OK with me looking at the rqda and seeing if I can fix importation errors, you could zip the file and email me.

  13. Gerhard

    I just triedQualCoder-3.2-Ubuntu22 on Ubuntu 22.04. I imported a media file, but I can’t use it because I always get the failure message:

    Cannot locate media. /home/ger/test.qda/audio/record1.wav. ‘NoneType’ object has no attribute ‘media_new’

    • ccbogel

      Yes I get the same error, when using the Ubuntu executable. But the error does not occur when using the code installed from source. I cannot find the reason why this is occurring, I will put a warning about this issue on the release.

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