Dedoose User Guide


Dedoose is an easy-to-use, collaborative, web based application that facilitates all types of research data management and analysis.
Here's what you need to know about how to use it.

Signing Up

It’s easy to sign up for an account at Dedoose. Just follow these steps:

  1. Click on the red Sign Up button at the top of any page of Dedoose
  2. Fill in the 2 required fields on the form (email address and your desired username
  3. There are optional fields for promo codes, referrals and comments
  4. When you have completed the form, click Submit.

After completing the form, you will immediately receive your temporary password. You can then log in. Go to the Account Workspace to create a permanent password. You will also receive a confirmation email with additional helpful information.

Your first month on Dedoose is FREE. After that, individual users pay $12.95/month; groups of 2 to 5 pay $10.95 per person/per month; and groups of 6 or more pay $8.95 per person/per month. At the end of your free 30 days, you will be prompted for a payment. You can change your pricing plan at any time via help from us at and note that all are eligible for a 10% discount if paying in 6-month increments and 15% if paying annually.

Finally, for individual and small group accounts, charges apply only for monthly cycles when you are actively using your account.

Logging into Dedoose Projects

To log into Dedoose Projects:

  1. Click the Log In tab in the upper right corner of the Dedoose home page
  2. Enter your username and password
  3. If you want to avoid having to re-enter that information, check the Remember Me box in the lower right corner
  4. Click the arrow or hit the hard return key.

When you log in for the first time, you will see your copy of the Demo Project. For more information on the Demo Project, please see the next item.

Returning users will see the Home Dashboard for the project you most recently visited. To access a different project, or to create a new project, click the Projects tab in the Main Menu bar.

Exploring the Demo Project

As a first-time user, you see the Home Dashboard for your Demo Project when you first log in. Once there, you will see mixed methods data from a study of literacy development. Playing with these data will help you learn your way around Dedoose Workspaces.

Exploring the Demo Project - The Dedoose Dashboard

Here is an introduction to the project features:

• The Main Menu Bar is at the top right. It allows you to navigate different Workspaces within the same project. IMPORTANT: Do NOT click the Back button on your web browser to navigate. Doing so will cause you to exit Dedoose. If you want to move back within Dedoose, use the Back button on the Main Menu Bar.

• The upper left panel contains a summary of your project’s attributes and buttons to import and export data. You can also import data to and export data from individual Workspaces by clicking on the Import or Export button at the top of the panel for that Workspace.

• The top of some Workspace panels also features an Edit icon. When you click on Edit some panels will turn orange to remind you to switch out of Edit mode when you are finished editing.

• You can expand individual Workspaces (charts, tables, plots) to full screen by clicking the Expand icon. When you are done, simply close that window by clicking the X to close.

• When you move your cursor over different icons or objects in the Project, Smart Tool Tips will pop up to answer questions you may have.

Creating a New Project

To create a new Project:

  1. Click the Projects button on the far right of the Main Menu Bar
  2. You will go to the Projects Workspace where you can click the Create Project button in the lower right hand corner.

*Name your project, add a description and decide if you need an additional level of security. If you decide to apply the added layer of encryption, be certain to note to your password, because Dedoose cannot help you recover it if forgotten. NOTE: Most users do not need this exceptional added level of encryption. *Once you have created your new Project, the next time you log in Dedoose will load that project instead of the Demo project. If you create additional Projects, you will go to whichever Project you accessed most recently.

NOTE: Periodic system maintenance can wipe the memory the system has about the most recent project you were working on and this will cause you to be taken to your first project (often your demo project) rather than the last one you were working with. If that happens, click on the Projects button after logging in and locate the project you wish to access. Click on the Load button next to the Project’s name to get to that Project’s Home Dashboard.

Buttons at the bottom of the Project menu also allow you to rename, copy, or delete Projects as needed.

Importing Data

Dedoose makes it easy for you to import existing media files for your qualitative data, regardless of whether they are stored as spreadsheets, text, images, audio, or video.

These data may be field notes, observations, interview or focus-group transcripts, manuscripts, pasted images, audio streams, photographs, video streams, hyperlinks, survey data—anything that you can store as a text, spreadsheet, audio, or video file (.doc, .docx, .rtf, .txt, .pdf, .xls, .xlsx, .csv, .tif, .jpg, .png, .gif, .mp3, .mp4, .wma, and .m4a).

To import your files, start from the Project Workspace dashboard and click the Import Data icon in the upper left panel. You will then see a pop-up menu where you will indicate the type of data you are importing. Locate the files and submit. Note that you can also import data in many of the other Workspaces.

To learn about our recommendations on how best to prepare your data for import, please see Working with Media section of this user guide.

Creating Codes

You can create or modify codes from a number of places. In the Codes Workspace, any place in Dedoose you see the Codes panel, or when viewing and excerpting media.

To add a new code, click the Edit Codes icon in the Codes panel header, click the plus sign in the panel header, define the code and click Submit. Exit Editing by clicking the slashed circle icon.

To change the structure of the code tree, click the Edit Codes icon in the Codes panel header, then drag and drop one code on another to render it a child code. You can also edit a code by floating over it and clicking the 'edit code' icon that will appear. Change the code level using the available controls and click Submit. Exit Editing by clicking the slashed circle icon.

You can also create codes using the Quick Code widget. When the widget is activated (see the section below, Creating and Tagging Excerpts), type the name of a new code in the search field, hit Enter, and the code is created, added to the tree, and applied to the excerpt you defined.

Saving Your Work

For much of the work you will do in Dedoose, saving is automatic, including uploading media, creating and tagging excerpts, linking media to descriptors... None of these actions require any active 'save' action on your part.

However, there are some places where you will want to be sure to click 'Save' or 'Submit' before moving away from the activity. This includes:

  • Importing media files and descriptor data
  • Creating or editing codes or the code tree structure (except when creating a code in the Quick Code Widget)
  • Adding security groups in the Security Center
  • Assigning or changing assignments in the Security Center
  • Creating a test in the Training Center
  • Creating or editing memos
  • Setting start and end markers when synchronizing transcript text to audio or video excerpts.

Note that most of these activities are related to project set-up, so will not be required on a frequent basis.

Creating and Tagging Excerpts

When viewing a media file, it is simple to create and tag excerpts.

With a document you have two ways to excerpt:

  • Highlight a section of text, click the Create Excerpt button at the bottom of the panel to enter editing mode (you’ll see the Selection Info panel turn orange), then double click codes or drag and drop them from the tree into the Selection Info panel to apply them.
  • Or you can use the Quick Code widget after you’ve defined the text by clicking the space bar to activate the widget, then double click on a code or highlight it and hit the Enter key to apply the code.

With video or audio, you use the blue brackets on the timeline to mark the excerpt start and end points, click the Create Excerpt button to enter excerpt editing mode, and then double click or drag and drop the codes into the Selection Info panel to apply the code.

Analyzing Your Data

The Analysis Workspace menu provides access to Dedoose’s existing interactive charts, tables, and plots. The different reports and various controls within each provide a variety of ways to visualize, explore, organize, discover, and present your findings.

You can access the Analysis Workspace by clicking the Analyze button on the Main Menu.

Many of these data visualizations populate automatically once your media have been linked to Descriptors and excerpting activity has taken place. Descriptors are sets of information you use to identify and describe the source of your media.

You access the Descriptors Workspace by clicking the Descriptors button on the Main Menu. That is where you can define and create or import your Descriptors. Descriptors are typically the characteristics of your research participants (e.g., ID, gender, experimental group, test score, race, responses to surveys), but can also be characteristics of settings in which observations are made or where participants interact (e.g., stores, schools, neighborhoods, cultures).

For more on using Descriptors, see Working with Descriptors.

Exporting Your Work

Almost everything you store or create in Dedoose—visuals, sets of excerpts, descriptor data, or your entire project—can be exported to a document, spreadsheet, or other appropriate format.

The Export icon is the same on every panel or workspace where an export is possible.

The easiest way to export is from your project’s Home Dashboard. Click the Export Data button in the upper left summary panel and a menu of export options will be presented. From there, you determine whether you want to export all or part of your project and in which format.

For more on exporting from specific Workspaces, see the Exporting Section in this user guide.