On 15 March 2010, a new version of MAXqda was released (MAXqda10). The website boasts that the program now offers “Complete support for PDF files“. Unfortunately, this is not true. It only supports text in pdf-files. Images in pdfs cannot be selected and hence not be coded. This means that if you scan your field notes in order to code them, this will not work because the pdf will only contain images and nothing else. MAXqda cannot do anything with it. 😦
For me this means that I have to stick with Atlas.ti, even though I dont’t like it particularly much. But it’s still the only QDA program that supports scanned pdf files (since version 6, which was released in Februar 2009).
It should be mentioned, however, that with the new release, MAXqda pulled quite close to Atlas.ti: like Atlas, it now also allows for transcription and synchronization of audiofiles and coding of image files (though still with some bugs). Besides, it seems to have better functions for the visual representation of data and the whole desktop seems much more convenient than the one from Atlas.ti. But I’ve not worked with MAXqda yet, so maybe there are troubles below the shiny surface. (Feel free to report them here.)