Quality & Quantity 34: 299–321, 2000.
© 2000 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Text Analysis Software: Commonalities,
Differences and Limitations: The Results
of a Review
MELINA ALEXA and CORNELIA ZUELL
ZUMA, Zentrum für Umfragen, Methoden und Analysen, Center for Survey Research and
Methodology PO Box 12 21 55, D-68072 Mannheim, Germany, e-mail: alexa,
Abstract. In this paper we discuss the tendencies in functionality and technology of software for text
analysis and reﬂect on those areas where more development is needed. The basis for this discussion
forms a comprehensive review of ﬁfteen currently available software for text analysis (Alexa and
Zuell, 1999). In the review the following software packages were individually presented in a de-
tailed and extensive manner: AQUAD, ATLAS.ti, CoAn, Code-A-Text, DICTION, DIMAP-MCCA,
HyperRESEARCH, KEDS, NUD
IST, QED, TATOE, TEXTPACK, TextSmart, WinMAXpro, and
WordStat. Here we only delineate our methodology and criteria for selecting which programs to
review and concentrate on discussing the types of support the selected programs offer, the common-
alities and differences of their functionality, point to some of their shortcomings and put forward
suggestions for future development.
Key words: computer-assisted text analysis, software evaluation and comparison, computer-assisted
content analysis, quantitative and qualitative software.
Today a variety of software for text analysis is available which support text analysis
tasks within different disciplinary contexts in considerably different ways. These
include qualitative-oriented, quantitative-oriented as well as a variety of stylistic,
literary and more general text analysis software.
In this paper we discuss the tendencies both in functionality and technology of
modern text analysis software and reﬂect on some of the areas for future develop-
ment. By doing so, we not only hope to assist users of such software in choosing
among available programs, but also in thinking about, testing, and enriching their
analysis methodology. The basis of this discussion is a comprehensive review of
ﬁfteen currently available software for text analysis (Alexa and Zuell, 1999). Of
the 15 software packages
we reviewed, the following typically are categorised as
‘qualitative’: AQUAD, ATLAS.ti, HyperRESEARCH, NUD
IST, QED and Win-
MAXpro; CoAn, DICTION,DIMAP-MCCA,KEDS, TEXTPACK, TextSmart and
WordStat are categorised as ‘quantitative’ ones. Code-A-Text and TATOE support