ConnectedText tutorials

[For Windows PC. Mac and iPad users, see this, Linux users, see this.]

Series 1 – CT for Qualitative Analysis

The following series of tutorials is specifically for learning how to use ConnectedText for qualitative data analysis (as a CAQDAS). To get the general idea and see the end result, you may want to read posts 10, 9 and 8 first. Then if you are interested in trying this system out, I recommend going back to the beginning.

  1. Why use ConnectedText for qualitative data analysis?
    1. CT as an alternative to CAQDAS such as Atlas.ti and NVivo.
  2. Getting ConnectedText
    1. The difficulty of understanding CT by first-time users.
  3. Getting started with ConnectedText
    1. Installing CT the first time.
    2. Sources of information and help.
    3. Tips for desktop layout configurations.
  4. Setting up ConnectedText
    1. The issue of having to use markup in CT.
    2. How to avoid having to type markups.
    3. Customising markup colours to aid reading and writing.
  5. Designing your QDA project for ConnectedText
    1. Developing a research project design prior to importing data.
  6. Importing your data into ConnectedText
    1. Organising the import process.
    2. Importing particular file types.
    3. Linking to files, websites and programmes.
  7. Preparing for coding in ConnectedText
    1. a bit of theory and final preparations before launching into coding.
  8. Coding process flow in ConnectedText
    1. visual representation of coding process flow and project structure.
    2. description of coding process with relevant markups.
  9. Summary and example of coding in ConnectedText
    1. step-by-step description of coding process.
    2. uses example and screenshots.
  10. CAQDAS model for ConnectedText
    1. a generalised description of the qualitative data analysis process.
    2. illustrated by chart with step-by-step instructions.


  • This model was developed with ConnectedText v. 5.
  • If your model (see p. 10 above) ends up containing a long daisy chain with hundreds of “included” topics, then the processing time of rendering or saving the topics sitting at the top end of the chain may increase considerably. It takes between 1 to 1.5 minutes to render my “findings” topic on my PC (Intel Core i7 CPU 860 @ 2.80 GHz, with 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit). I have 560 topics, though not all of them are “included” or have “includes” from other topics. You just need to be patient, as CT is checking and updating every single topic in the daisy chain.

Series 2 – CT for Reading Notes & Literature Review

This series of tutorials will describe how CT can be used for note-taking and writing a literature review.

  1. ConnectedText template for reading notes
    1. Initial tips on how to get started. A template for recording reading notes in CT.
  2. Updated ConnectedText template for reading notes
  3. Analytical process flow for reading notes in ConnectedText
  4. Academic writing workflow with ConnectedText, Freeplane, and Outline 4D
  5. Taking reading notes with ConnectedText
    1. an alternative approach to note-taking based on the Zettelkasten method (this is what I’m currently using).

8 thoughts on “ConnectedText tutorials

  1. (1) To apply multiple codes to a single passage of text, what procedure do you recommend? (2) Do you recommend a text expander application for placing the heading codes? On the Mac, I use TextExpander. Do you recommend a Windows equivalent? Thank you.

    • “(1) To apply multiple codes to a single passage of text, what procedure do you recommend?”

      If the codes are unrelated, I simply just add them to the same level into their own headings one above the other, right above the passage they refer to. E.g.

      ===code 1===
      ===code 2===
      “And here is the passage to which both codes refer to.”

      If the codes are related in a hierarchical sense (one being sub-set of another), then you can do the same as above but apply the appropriate hierarchy. E.g.

      ===code 1===
      ====code 2====
      “And here is the passage to which both codes refer to.”

      “Do you recommend a text expander application for placing the heading codes? On the Mac, I use TextExpander. Do you recommend a Windows equivalent?”

      I’ve never used a text expander but it sounds like a good idea and I probably should use one. Please do let me know if you find a good one for Windows. Cheers!

    • Following your suggestion I’ve explored some text expanders for Windows and settled on WordExpander ( because a) it’s free and b) it displays a little popup menu of related phrases next to the cursor as you type, which makes it very quick to select the appropriate code in CT. E.g. currently I’m using CT to annotate my readings for my literature review, and so I can prepare a phrase for different TOC levels and choose the correct one from the popup menu for each hierarchical level (e.g. =quote=, ==quote==, ===quote=== etc.). When I type “=”, all of them show up, and it’s just a question of using the arrow key and hitting “Shift” (or whatever key you assign). Thanks for the suggestion once more.

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  3. Pingback: From WordExpander to PhraseExpander | Dr Andus's toolbox

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