In this paper a general methodology for automatic coding is suggested, which is supposed to be (fairly) general. Characteristic for the approach described in this paper is that each code (say for a business activity) is characterized by one or more combination of code words, or Cwords. These combinations of C-words can be seen as definitions of the various codes used. It is assumed that the order of the C-words is irrelevant to describe a code. Because it is unlikely that people will use exactly those Cwords when describing a business activity, synonyms, hyponyms and hyperonyms for the C-words are needed as well. They form the bridge between the definition of the codes in the classification used and the descriptions provided by respondent, and are called D-words. A semantic network is used to provide a bridge between the descriptions and the codes.Some inherent difficulties with automatic coding are presented, as well aspossible solutions to overcome them, either by solving or by sidesteppingthem.