ATLAS.ti is a computer program that can be very useful for research. It is mostly used to analyze qualitative research data, for example to analyze written interviews or for literature research 

Current news: license renewal and switch to version 22. See also this document and this video about the new functions.

Download the ATLAS.ti FAQ with the invite key for staff / for students.

Explanation of installation of ATLAS.ti on private computers. 

General information

What is ATLAS.ti and what can you do with it?

ATLAS.ti is a computer program that can be very useful for students and staff conducting research. It is mostly used to assist the analysis of qualitative research data, for example an analysis of interviews or literature. SPSS is a widely used program to assist quantitative research while ATLAS.ti supports qualitative research.

ATLAS.ti is software supporting the analysis of qualitative data e.g.:

  • Literature research
  • Document analysis
  • Analysis of (transcripts of) interviews
Research steps Functions within ATLAS.ti
structuring documents (research data) group manager
reading, analysing, tagging coding; code manager
writing comments and research notes comments; memos
creating various overviews outputs
Who uses ATLAS.ti and for what purpose?

The number of users is increasing every year. ATLAS.ti is being used:

  • by researchers and graduate students in the research group teams
  • by lecturers teaching on subjects involving qualitative research, research methodology, interview analysis, or during graduation preparation
  • by students in various courses and during research for their theses
What licences does the University of Applied Sciences have?

The Hague University of Applied Sciences has a campus licence for ATLAS.ti. The licence allows all students and staff to use the complete version of ATLAS.ti on fixed THUAS computers, laptops, in PC rooms as well as on computers at home. Personal licences do not need to be purchased.

Which versions are available?

The desktop versions of ATLAS.ti for Windows and Mac have equal functionality. There is also a simplified Web version and there are tablet versions for the iPad and Android. See this comparison between the desktop and Web versions. The THUAS campus license allows for unlimited use of all available versions. Updates are available frequently.

All THUAS desktop and laptop computers currently have ATLAS.ti version 9 installed. From 1 April 2022 version 22 will be installed. Version 9 will be removed from 1 June.

Starting the program: Windows start menu -> ATLAS.ti

 ATLAS.ti is 64-bit software and requires a minimum of 4 GB internal memory, which means that it cannot be installed on older 32-bit computers. (Windows see: Settings -> System -> About: Device specifications). See also this document and this video about the improvements of version 22.

Attention: projects can be transferred from an older version of ATLAS.ti to a newer version, but the other way around is not possible! There is only backward compatibility. So projects created in version 22 cannot be used in version 9.

How do staff or students install ATLAS.ti?

All users of ATLAS.ti are required to create a personal account at where the valid licence code (invite key) must be entered. This applies to THUAS computers as well as private computers.

University computers (desktops and laptops)
ATLAS.ti is standard software and installed on all desktop computers at THUAS. The licence is renewed annually at the beginning of April. Staff members do not need to do anything and can continue to use the program, even if a warning appears towards the end of the licence period that the licence will expire. Note: with these IT managed computers, the automatic update function is disabled, unlike software that you install yourself. If ATLAS.ti is not yet on your THUAS laptop, you can request it from Frontoffice FZ/IT.

Private computers
Staff members and students can download ATLAS.ti for Windows or Mac. See this explanation. The required invite key is on page 2 of the ATLAS.ti FAQ (see at the top of this webpage).

Using ATLAS.ti on laptops and computers that are not managed by the THUAS is at the risk of the user. The university offers no technical support. For the technical requirements, see:

Storage, backup and exchange of projects

Securing safe storage of ATLAS.ti projects
THUAS desktop and laptop computers have been configured to store projects on the H: disk. However, this can cause problems with laptops if the Internet connection at home to the network environment is less stable. We recommend changing the storage location setting to the default setting: local storage (C: disk). Please refer to this instruction.

Backup and exchange of projects
It is wise not only to make a backup of the project data in a secure location (e.g. secure USB stick or OneDrive) before an update, but also to make a backup of the project data on a regular basis. For example, after each work session. You can do this via the menu: File à Export à Project bundle. In this way you can also exchange projects between computers.


Working with ATLAS.ti

How do you create a new project?

Open: Windows Start menu - ATLAS.ti

1. Create a new project
Starting screen or File - New: Create New Project
Give a project name e.g. the title and date of the research conducted

2. Import the documents
Tab Home – Add documents
Small triangle: Add files or Add folder contents
Select the files and click open

3. Create Document groups
Tab Home – Documents – Small triangle: Document Groups
New Group; give a name and click on Create

For example:
- Scientific articles
- Newspaper articles
- Interviews

Select the files at the right hand side and click on the left arrow in the Document Group Manager

4. Saving the project without research data
File – Save (hidden file)

5. Saving the entire project including research data
File - Export - Project Bundle (file extentension:  .atlproj)

We recommend saving a Project bundle regularly as backup!
See the online product tutorial for projects exchange and mixed Windows / Mac teams

How do you code research data

1. Coding document fragments
Select a fragment of the document (= quotation). You can add one or more codes using the icons or the right mouse button:

Open coding: add a new code
Coding in vivo: the text selected becomes a code
List coding: pick the codes from a list made beforehand
Quick coding: use the previously applied code
Auto coding: automatically code the documents based on a query

2. For list coding, create new codes in advance
Tab Home – Codes – Free code(s)

For example:
"human impact"

At the right margin of a document you can see the quotations and codes applied. You can add a Comment (displayed as a small yellow marking) to them using the right mouse button. Comments can be added to documents or the entire project as well.

4. The codes appear in the Code Manager (Tab Home – Codes)

How do you analyse research data?

1. You can access the fragments by code in the Code Manager
Go to the Code Manager (Tab Home – Codes) and doubleclick on a code

2. How often do codes occur?
Go to the Code Manager: check the number at “groundedness” next to the code name

3. Compiling reports, output
Create a report of all the marked quotations
Tab Home – Quotations – Report – All items – Grouping: none

Create a report of all quotations sorted by document order
Tab Home – Quotations – Report – All items – Grouping: documents

Create a report of all quotation by code
Tab Home – Quotations – Report – All items – Grouping: codes

4. How often do themes occur?
Tab Analyze – Code Document Table
Select Codes or Code groups and Documents or Document groups
You can export to Excel

5. WordCloud
Open a document and click on WordCloud in the Document tab
To omit non-relevant words: click on a stop word list next to Exclude.
Add stop word list: click on the icon "Edit Stop and Go Lists" next to Exclude.
Click on Import Lists, select the Excel file with the desired language and click Open: Dutch English French German Spanish



Where can I find the user manual and other support materials?

Introduction ATLAS.ti - THUAS library presentation with audio

ATLAS.ti example projects a.o. Children and Happiness
Example documents Sea Turtles: newspaperWWFarticle1article2article3video
Example transcripts from Dutch master thesisAnnabelleLisaMaaikePetraRoos
Example Dutch project Pedagogy: zipfile

Where can I go for questions and problems?

Users can contact the THUAS Library, functional administrators Niloufar Soekhai and Francesco Izzo with questions about the content and problems in using ATLAS.ti. Helpdesk ground floor library / / tel: (070) 445 7888. In case of technical problems, please contact the FrontOffice FZ&IT, Counter Oval 1. iFrontOffice on intranet / tel: (070) 445 7777.

Presentations and workshops

The library also offers support by giving presentations and workshops about ATLAS.ti. Target groups are students who come into contact with qualitative research in the run-up to and during their graduation research; teachers/researchers; assessors and PhD students. The ATLAS.ti introduction presentation with audio comments can be downloaded.