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Aquad (Windows)
Developer(s) Günter Huber
Stable release / February 2017
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type Analysis of Qualitative Data Qualitative Research
License GPLv3

Aquad is a free computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) that supports content analysis of open data in qualitative research in psychology, education, sociology, philosophy, medicine, ethnography, politics, etc. Open data are usually collected through observation, introspection, narratives, discussion groups, interviews, etc.


Aquad was developed in Germany in 1987 by Günter L. Huber, professor at the Department of Educational Psychology at the Institute of Educational Science at the University of Tübingen, to make up for limited manpower at content analysis in a research project.


Aquad provides classical tools of content analysis as:

  • Text searching: looking for segments in texts.
  • Coding: labeling segments in texts, audios, photos, or videos.
  • Writing memos (annotation): inserting annotations linked to parts or whole texts, audios, photos, or videos.
  • Word analysis: counting words according to criteria.
  • Retrieving by file name, code, keyword, or parts of memo texts: Retrieving segments according to criteria.
  • Table analysis: constructing tables combining criteria and arranging data in rows and columns.
  • Construction of linkage hypotheses: looking for relationships among codes.
  • Comparison of cases/files: contrasting coding among files.


Presentation of data[edit]

Data could be analysed as written text, audio, photo, or video. Initially, Computer assisted qualitative data analysis software analysed only verbal texts. The observation, introspection, narratives, discussion groups, interviews, etc. were transcribed and CAQDAS only analysed the transcription (linguistics).

Situation of data[edit]

Data could be directly analysed on the screen (one-step) or outside (two-steps). One-step allows to code on the screen with digitalised data. Two-steps allows to enter codes on the screen keeping the documents as realia on the desk or in other means as cameras, TV, etc. For instance, two-steps allows to analyse recordings, diaries, incunabula, or objects without transcribing, taking photos, or scanning them.

Comparison of cases/files by Boolean analysis[edit]

Aquad allows comparison of cases/files by "logical minimization". It applies Boolean method of qualitative comparison by Ragin (1989) and detects critical features to identify types of cases.


The current available version is 7, and includes examples of analyses of written text, audio, photo, and video. Aquad is available in German, English, and Spanish.

See also[edit]


  • Huber, G. L. & Gürtler, L. (2013) AQUAD 7. Manual: The Analysis of Qualitative data. Tübingen: Ingeborg Huber Verlag. Download
  • Ragin, C. C. (1989) The Comparative Method: Moving Beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Strategies. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Google Books

External links[edit]