14 QDA Miner User’s Manual
is especially useful when the project involves a set of several document types. A document variable may
also be created to store notes or comments that are specific to a case. QDA Miner can later be instructed
to search for and analyze specific document variables or in all documents.
In the Variable Definitions dialog box (see above), you can define various attributes for these new
variables, such as their name, and whether they will contain numeric, alphanumeric values, or dates.
VARIABLE NAME - The first edit box at the top of the dialog box allows you to enter a variable
name. Each variable name must be unique (within that project file). Valid variable names begin
with a letter and may contain letters, numbers or underscore characters. Punctuation marks, blank
spaces, accentuated and other special characters are not permitted. The maximum variable name
length is ten characters.
DESCRIPTION - The Description option is used to enter a variable label that describes the content
of the variable in more detail. You may leave this column blank if you wish since it is always
possible to add or edit a description later using the VARIABLES | PROPERTIES command.
DATA TYPE - Each variable in the data file must have a type. QDA Miner supports the following
Document - This data type is used to store documents that will be manually coded. QDA
Miner stores text in this data type using Rich Text Format (RTF). This format enabled the
use of different fonts and styles and paragraph formatting. Graphics and tables may also be
inserted in the document. Numerous file formats may be directly imported into document
variables, such as plain ASCII files (*.TXT), Rich Text files (*.RTF), MS Word
documents (*.DOC; *.DOCX), HTML (*.HTM or *.HTML), Adobe Acrobat (*.PDF), and
WordPerfect documents (*.WPD) (see Importing a Document or an Image in a Case, on
Image - This data type is used to store graphics that will be manually coded. Numerous file
formats may be directly imported into document variables, such as Windows bitmaps
(*.BMP), Windows Meta Files (*.WMF), or Enhanced Meta Files (*.EMF), CompuServe
Graphic Interface (*.GIF), Portable Network Graphics (*.PNG) or JPEG files (*.JPG or
*.JPEG) (see Importing a Document or an Image in a Case, on page 55).
Numeric - Numeric variables can contain either integer or floating-point numbers. When you
choose floating point numbers, you will be asked to specify the number of decimal places
to display. Floating-point numbers are stored in the data file using double precision values
(at least 15 significant digits). The decimals option is used exclusively to control how
numeric values are displayed in the Variables grid and in other locations and does not
affect the internal precision of the variable.
Nominal/Ordinal - Nominal or ordinal variables are used to hold a limited number of short
strings used to describe specific properties of a case. For example, you may choose to use
this variable type to identify the gender of the interviewee ("male" or "female") or its group
membership ("manager", "employee", "client", etc.). You may also use this data type to