You should run Transana while you read through this tutorial so that you can do the activities as they are described.

You will import and work with one or more video, audio, text, PDF, or image files to learn to use Transana’s tools. These can be your actual research data, or just something you’ve imported to practice on.

Starting Transana Professional

This ScreenCast describes how to start Transana, how to create a new database, and how to do first-use configuration.


To start Transana, click the Windows Start icon on the Taskbar, scroll to the “Transana Professional” Program Group, then click the Transana program item from the submenu.

Mac OS

To start Transana, open your Applications folder, click the “Transana Professional” folder, and then click the Transana program icon.

The first time you start Transana, you will be prompted to select a language for Transana’s interface. Your data does not need to be in the same language as Transana’s interface.
Transana Professional will prompt you to select a database.

If you already have a Transana database created, select that from the list. If you don’t already have a database, you can make up a database name, type it in, and click OK.

Transana creates the appropriate database files for you automatically.

New Database Configuration

When you create a new database in Transana Professional, you should define the database’s Media Library Directory. A Media Library Directory is the location where Transana should look for the data files for your database. All media files, still image files, and PDF files analyzed in the same Transana database should share a common Media Library Directory or be stored in sub-directories within that directory.

NOTE: Transana Professional does not import your media files, still image files, or PDF files into its database, because these files can be very large and loading them into the database would make Transana run slowly.  Transcripts and plain text Document are comparatively small and are likely to be revised, so Transana stores transcript and text Documents in the project database.


To set the Media Library Directory, go to the Options menu and select Program Settings. From the General tab, select the Media Library Directory setting appropriate for your computer.

Mac OS

To set the Media Library Directory, go to the Transana program menu and select Preferences. From the General tab, set the Media Library Directory setting appropriate for your computer.