We recommend that you use coding (automatic or manual) for open-ended question types or variables, i.e. for text, where this makes sense especially for one word or for a small number of words that are repeated. An example might be the question "What is your favourite fruit?", where the answers "apple", "apples", "aples", etc. are then coded into the same value.
And with recoding you can change the numeric or categorical values of a variable, which is very useful e.g. for graphs. An example of a numeric variable could be the grouping of age categories from year of birth into categories "under 30", "30 - 50" and "over 50". An example of a categorical variable is recoding the ratings 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 into the categories "High", where we include ratings 4 and 5, and "Low", where we place ratings 1, 2 and 3.