NVivo 10 Guide

What is NVivo

NVivo is software used for analyzing qualitative data. It is developed and owned by QSR international.  It allows the user to analyze text based documents such as questionnaires, transcripts, interviews and literature works. NVivo also has the capacity to analyze audio, video and photographic images.

NVivo Resources

The following guide is specified for NVivo9. It highlights the basic steps to start a project and a few additional tips. For further instruction on NVivo capabilities and troubleshooting refer to the following online resources provided by NVivo. In addition, below are some links to other resources.
Youtube guides
NVivo10 Guide pdf
Penn Library workshop for NVivo
Bond University Library
Columbia University NVivo User Guide
Exercises and Turorials

How to Create a New Project

After opening NVivo, select File and click on New or click on New Project.

Enter the name of your project and a description in the New Project Window, then click OK.

There are a few ways to get information into NVivo and they are described below.

Bring Sources into NVivo

Sources or materials for analysis in NVivo include documents, PDFs, pictures, audio, video, spreadsheets or databases. NVivo has ready-made folders for these sources for which you can create sub folders to organize your Internals, Externals, Memos or Framework Matrices. To create a new folder you can right click on the top level folder (Internals, Externals, and Memos) and then select new folder. You can name this file as required. Or select the Create tab, in the Collections group and click Folder.
This section explains how to import a single source of each type. You can choose to import multiple sources at the same time (except for datasets) but the options you get are slightly different—refer to the NVivo Help for more information. You should prepare your data prior to importing since NVivo does not have spell check and note that you will lose embedded items in the text such as illustrations, tables and images.
For tips on preparing your data and especially, if you plan to autocode your data, look at section “3 Transcription”, in the following document:
Tips from  the following  web link, Learning Qualitative Data Analysis on the Web:
First select Sources and you can see three folders, Internals, Externals and Memos.
If you are importing interviews or primary sources then you can create a folder to organize them in Internals. If it is an external document that cannot be imported such as a book or newspaper articles, you can keep these documents in the Externals folder where you can summarize and code or annotate this external content.
In the following example, we will demonstrate how to import text from an interview that you would like to code in NVivo.

Right click on the Internals and create a folder named “Interviews” in the New Folder dialogue window.

Cut and paste your documents. Transfer or create your documents by clicking on Internals and then from the top Menu bar, select and open Create. You will see the right pane splits into two.

In Create you select Documents. Select the folder in which you are organizing your documents.

You will notice the pane splits with the lower pane displaying a tab with the name of the folder you just created.  Open your document and cut and paste it into the lower space provided.

To import directly into the folder.
In Sources, select the Internals folder and then Create.

Then double click to open the Interview folder and in the Menu select External Data. Select Document.

Browse to the location and select the text document you want to import. Make sure the document is not open in another location.
Click OK.  Add a description if needed. Click OK.
Double click on the document name and you will see it show up in the pane below.

Continue for additional documents.

To edit your document select Click to Edit (in blue on the second panes center top).

Import data spread sheets and databases with Import Dataset Wizard

IMPORTANT: Data that is already in spreadsheets needs to be simplified.
You can create a new dataset (data arranged in records (rows) and fields (columns), such as survey questions and answers) source in NVivo, by importing data from:
• An Excel spreadsheet (.xls or .xlsx)
• A text file containing comma or tab-separated values (.txt)
• A database— e.g., a Microsoft Access, SQL Server or ODBC-compliant database
Dataset contents cannot be edited after being imported. Before import, you should prepare your data and consider how you want to use it in NVivo—refer to the NVivo Help for detailed instructions.
Launch the Import Dataset Wizard.
1. In Navigation View, click the Internals folder (or a subfolder under it).
2. On the External Data tab, in the Import group, click Dataset.

The Import Dataset Wizard opens.
3. Click the Browse button and select a worksheet or text file—if you want to import a database, you will need to establish a connection.
4. Follow the instructions in the Import Dataset Wizard—refer to the NVivo Help. The dataset is opened in Detail View:

5. There will be 5 steps to complete in the Import Dataset Wizard. Pay attention to defining your data carefully.  At step 4 note each column of data (Field) can be prepared for type of anticipated analysis.

Preparing to import the data

If your data is in a tab-separated text file, you can import the data into a new classification, or you can map the data to an existing classification. The text file must contain tab-separated values in the following format (make sure your headers only take one row):
Attribute 1
Attribute 2
Attribute 3
Item name 1
Item name 2
Item name 3
If your classifying data is in a spreadsheet, the name of the classification must be in the first cell of the worksheet. A spreadsheet can contain multiple classification sheets—each classification sheet must be on a separate worksheet.
Classification name
Attribute 1
Attribute 2
Attribute 3
Item name 1
Item name 2
Item name 3
In both, text and spreadsheet files, the item names (node or source names) in the first column must be formatted the same way in all rows. All names must be:
The node or source name only (you supply the location on the Import Classification Sheet Wizard)
The full hierarchical name—refer to Hierarchical source and node names for more information
The node nickname (for nodes only).

Import classification sheet data

You can import files containing NVivo classification sheet data that was created outside NVivo—for example, data that was gathered in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.You can also import classification sheets that were exported from another NVivo 9 or 10 project, or 'casebook' files that were exported from an NVivo 7 or 8 project. However, if the classifying data is coming from another NVivo 10 project, it may be better to import it directly from the other project—refer to Understand when to import classification sheets in NVivo help for more information.
A classification sheet is basically further information about elements in your study that you have, from what you may have designated as case nodes or to various sources. For example, your sources of data, such as the interviewees, may have been created as case nodes for which you have  attached demographic data. This data is kept in a classification sheet and can be imported. Or you have audio data for which you have classification information referring to the location, date, and interviewee. Again the information regarding these sources can be imported as classification sheets. On the External Data tab, in the Import group, select Classification Sheets.
The Import Classification Sheets Wizard opens. There are four steps to follow.
Note that in step 2 you are asked to specify which classification type is to be designated to the dataset. Be careful in classifying your data and to optimize the connection to the classification sheets.
Follow the instructions in the wizard to import the classification sheet. Refer to Using the Import Classification Sheet Wizard for more information.
When you are done with the wizard, click Finish.
If you are importing data for a source classification, NVivo tries to find each source in the location you have specified. If NVivo cannot find a source, an external is created to represent the source and the classification data is applied to the newly created external.
If you are importing bibliographical data and want to be able to export it later to a bibliographical tool such as EndNote or Zotero, you must ensure the data is stored using NVivo's predefined bibliographical classifications. Make sure the appropriate bibliographical classifications have been added to your project before you import the data. You can identify bibliographical classifications by the bibliographical ID displayed on the classification's properties.
Hint: Make sure your data is organized by its most basic information.
1. Do not include multiple pieces of information in one cell, or
2. Do not add headings in the first row or first column.
3. Do not merge cells
4. Consider your objectives when collecting and entering data into the spreadsheet so you don’t have to re-enter it later.
Visit following links for more tips on how to arrange your data:

Transferring Between Mac and PC

NVivo for Mac and NVivo for Windows are two separate programs which are not compatible. While NVivo for Mac is limited in its functionality, it is still capable of performing a number of tasks, such as import and analyzing documents, images, PDFs, audio, video, spreadsheets, web pages, and Twitter and Facebook data. However, if you or a member of your research team is using different versions of NVivo, you will encounter problems.
To convert .nvp files (Windows) to .nvpx (Mac) and vice versa, you will need to use the NVivo program which created the files – Mac for Mac and Windows for Windows.  
Under File, click Manage and then Copy Project. Rather than converting the file from one format to another, you are making a duplicate, which is something to keep in mind to ensure that you are working on the most updated version of the file.
In the Copy Project window, browse to the project file you wish to convert (1). Then, select what you are converting into (2), so if it is a Mac file, then select NVivo 10 for Windows project. Finally, pick the output destination (3).

This process may take a few minutes to run depending on the size of the file. A word of warning: you cannot open the new file in the NVivo program you have open to verify that the conversion worked properly. Please note that the resulting file will look somewhat different than when it was in the other file format.
How to Add Audio Files
NVivo is designed to allow you to import and transcribe audio and video files that you have collected for your research. For example if you have an audio interview to add, Select Sources and then right click on Internals and Select New Folder.  Create a folder for your audio interviews that you can save audio videos. Then Select External Data on the Menu Tab and further select the Audio tab.

Add Files from the Internet Using NCapture

Capture Data from the Internet (Netnography, etc)
Make sure the NVivo add-on NCapture is enabled in Google Chrome. In the menu tab choose Tools then Extensions.

Find NCapture and enable it. If it is not available then go to QSR’s NVivo’s add-ons site at: http://www.qsrinternational.com/products_nvivo_add-ons.aspx. Download the NCapture add on version suitable for your computer.

Navigate to the website where you want to take Create a folder in NVivo that you will want to file the data from your web search.

NCapture to Import Youtube videos

Once you have navigated to the page where you want the video then click on the NVivo Capture icon in the top left corner (of Chrome, beneath the minimize, maximize, and exit buttons) to get the Capture for NVivo window. You can select Video only, or if you want comments, make sure you select the Video and Comments button.

To import the file in NVivo, once you have opened the folder that you have created to store the data from the web, select the External Data tab, click on From Other Sources and choose the From NCapture option. You will get an "Import From NCapture" window. Select Browse to navigate to your download folder or where your default downloads have been sent. Select the files you want and click Import.
You can play the video, and if you click to edit, then you can transcribe the video or add information to contents in the right side of the pane as you play the video.
Note: The NCapture file you import creates an NVivo video source that is linked to the video on YouTube. You need an internet connection, Internet Explorer 8 (or later) and Flash Player to play YouTube videos in NVivo. Although you can play and analyze a YouTube video within your NVivo project, the video itself is located on YouTube. If the video is removed from YouTube, you will not be able to play it in your project. If you choose to capture the comments for a video, a dataset source is also created that you can sort, filter or auto code.

NCapture to Import .pdf Files

In NVivo, open the folder that you have created to file the data from the web and select the External Data tab and click on From Other Sources and choose the From NCapture option.
Now you can run analysis as required.

How to add Videos

NVivo is designed to allow you to import video files that you have collected for your research. For example if you have a video interview to add, Select Sources and then right click on Internals and Select New Folder. Create a folder for your videos (interviews or supplementary information) that you would like to save. Then select External Data on the Menu Tab and further select Videos.

How to Run a Word Frequency Query

Note: Ensure your data is organized in files as the query will be run on every word in the selected text file. Therefore the entire document should contain only what you need queried. You should make sure that the words in your text are available in the word list.
From the Menu bar Select Analyze and then Select Word Frequency. A window will open and you can choose the matches you want. Choose Exact for matching to the word. If you want to look for similar sounding words then slide the ruler to Similar (See the table  below to  understand match options).


Understand the text match options

When you run a Text Search query or Word Frequency query, you can set the Finding matches slider to search for exact matches, or search for similar words or concepts.
By default the slider is positioned at the left, and returns exact matches only. As you move the slider to the right, you include more types of similar words.  There are five levels:
Example (sport)
Exact matches only
Exact matches
Words with the same stem
sport, sporting
Exact matches
Words with same stem
Synonyms (words with a very close meaning)
sport, sporting, play, fun
Exact matches
Words with same stem
Synonyms (words with a  very close meaning)
Specializations (words with a more specialized meaning)
sport, sporting, play, fun, running, basketball
Exact matches
Words with same stem
Synonyms (words with a  very close meaning)
Specializations (words with a more specialized meaning—a 'type of')
Generalizations (words with a more general meaning)
sport, sporting, play, fun, running, basketball, recreation, business
NOTE  If the text search language for your project is Chinese or Japanese, then 'Including stemmed words' on the Finding matches slider will generate the same results as 'Exact match only'.  You can still find synonyms, specializations, and generalizations for words in Chinese or Japanese.

How to Create Nodes

Select Nodes. Then Select Create from the Menu bar. Click on Nodes. It is useful to organize your nodes for coding.
You will have three choices when you open the Nodes folder. Nodes, Relationships and  Node Matrices Right click to create a folder under Nodes under which you will then store your coded material, or for creating child Nodes.
Create Folders that describe the types of Nodes that will be coded. Child Nodes can be created by right clicking, when the window New Node appears type a new name for the child-node. An option will be given to describe the node.

How to Code Text (e.g. Interviews)

To code data in NVivo, you can create a list of Nodes that is pre-determined or code as you analyze your data while reading. Being able to code as you are reading your text is convenient and allows you to adapt your nodes list as you discover them.
This is a good visualization of how to create nodes and child nodes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYlOaxCs1FA
This video demonstrates how to code text to nodes.

Coding Your Text

Open your source in Detail View by Selecting Sources and then opening the file you require to code. Ensure you click on Click to Edit on the bar above the text. You will see the file in the Detail View. As you read you will see the text that you want to assign to a node you have already created. Highlight the text. There are four ways to code; using the Analyze tab, drag and drop, keyboard shortcuts and Quick Bar coding. Choose the one that suits your speed and feels efficient for the way you ideally work.
Analyze Tab:
On the Analyze tab, in the Coding  panel under the  Code Selection At choices select Existing Nodes.
In the window Select Project Items choose the node or child node you want and click OK.
Drag and Drop:
Use ‘drag and drop’ to code at an existing node—select the content you want to code and drag it to the node in List View. Ensure that you have clicked on Nodes in the navigation pane and your codes are visible in the List View. To do this highlight the text you want to code. Then right click, hold and drag to the listed node or child node.
Note: to ensure you dropped it in the correct node, check the count before and after under references.
Keyboard Shortcut:
Use keyboard shortcuts to code content— when coding by keyboard choose the appropriate keys for various functions, these are provided when you use mouse selections.
Code Selection at Existing Nodes      Ctrl + F2
Code Selection at New Node             Ctrl + F3
Code Selection at Current Nodes       Ctrl + F9
Refer to the NVivo Help for more information about NVivo keyboard shortcuts
Quick Coding Bar:
Use the Quick Coding bar (at the bottom of Detail View) to code content at existing nodes:

...and click code

Create Nodes as You Code

While you are in your document you can create and ‘code at’ new nodes:
1. Open a source in Detail View.
2. Select the content that you want to code.
3. The content you can select depends on the type of source you are working with. Refer to the NVivo Help for information about coding in different source types.
4. In the Analyze tab, in the Coding group, under Code Selection At, click New Node. The New Node dialog box opens.
5. If you want to change the folder location for the node, click the Select button.
6. Enter a name and description.
7. Click OK.
When a node is created it is added to the selected location in the node hierarchy—you can reorganize and work with the node in List View.

How to View Your Coded Text in the Source

Viewing your coding in the source document can be done by highlighting coding for all nodes. This can help you keep track of your coding process. Select the document in Sources that you want to view from the navigation pane. Then select View from the menu. Select Highlight and click on Coding for All Nodes.
You will then see all coded text highlighted.

How to Code Audio File

Since it is difficult to write about coding a non-visual file, please see this helpful Youtube video. 

How to Set Passwords

Many times qualitative data sources can be sensitive or confidential. If the Ethics Review Board has deemed that your work should be kept protected then it is a good idea to set a password on your project and ensure that you choose a Read/Write password. A 'Read/Write' password allows full access to the project to only those who know the password. A 'Read Only' password that allows users to view, but not change, the project. You can also set both passwords, you can give your team members different levels of access to your project—you can give the Read Only password to some team members and Read/Write password to others.
1. Click the File tab, point to Info, and then click Project Properties.
2. The Project Properties dialog box opens.
3. Click the Passwords tab.
Under Read/Write Password:
1. In the Password box, enter a password. You can enter up to 15 alpha-numeric characters. The password is case-insensitive and is displayed as a series of asterisks.
2. In the Confirm password box, enter the password again to ensure it is correct.
3. In the Password hint box, enter a description to remind you of your password. For example, my pet.
(Optional) Under Read Only Password:
1. In the Password box, enter a password. You can enter up to 15 alpha-numeric characters. The password is case-insensitive and is displayed as a series of asterisks.
2. In the Confirm password box, enter the password again to ensure it is correct.
3. In the Password hint box, enter a description to remind you of your password. For example, my pet.
4. Click OK.

Create Externals for the Sources you Cannot Import

Externals are ‘proxies’ for the material that cannot be imported as whole or manipulated, such as, books or newspaper articles. You can create an external source (that looks like a document) and summarize the content of the item—for example, you might enter interesting quotes from an article or summarize the chapters in a book. You can then code or annotate this content. If the external represents a web page or a file on your computer, you can create a link to the web page or file and easily open it from within NVivo.
1. In Navigation View, under Sources, click the Externals folder.
2. On the Create tab, in the Sources group, click External. A New External dialog box opens.
3. Set the options—refer to the NVivo Help for detailed information.
4. Click OK.
Note: If you have digital content that you cannot directly import into NVivo (for example , a PowerPoint presentation), you may be able to save or export the content to a PDF file, which you can import into NVivo as a PDF source.

Use Queries to Explore your Coding

Useful videos:
You can query your codes to test ideas, explore patterns and see the connections between the themes, topics, people and places in your project. For example, a query can
• Gather material coded at combinations of nodes—for example, gather content coded at water quality and recreational fishing and explore the associations.
• Gather material from classified nodes with specific attribute values—for example, what do
fishermen think about the rise of tourism?
• Search for content coded at multiple nodes and use operators to further refine the query—
for example, gather content coded at community change where it overlaps with content coded at real estate development.
• Search for content that is not coded at a specific node—find content coded at environmental impacts but not coded at negative attitude.

Explore Trends and Test Theories

To run a simple coding query:
1. On the Explore tab, in the Queries group, click New Query, and then click Coding. The Coding query dialog box opens with the Simple tab in focus.
2. Under Search for content coded at select:
  • Node to search for content coded at a specific node—click the Select button to select the node,
  • Any node where to search for content coded at nodes with specific attribute values—click the Select button to choose the attribute values. For example, you could search for content coded at towns where the population is greater than 300.
3. To find content coded by a specific user, select By Any Selected Users—click the Select button to select the user.
4. To change the scope of the query:
  • In the In box, select which project items you want to include in the search—click the Select button to choose specific project items.
  • In the Where box, limit the scope of the query by the users who created or modified the items—click the Select button to select the users.
5. To save the simple coding query, click the Add to Project check box and enter the name and description (optional) in the General tab.
6. Click Run.
The coded content that matches the query criteria is displayed as a node in Detail View.
You can also review and explore your coding using:
  • Matrix Coding Query: creates a matrix of nodes based on search criteria. For example, show me attitudes about water quality by community.
  • Compound Query: combines text and coding queries—search for specified text in or near coded content.
  • Coding Comparison Query: compares the coding of two researchers or two groups of researchers. This is useful for teams who are interested in coding consistency and the questions posed by researcher disagreement.

Using Help

Use NVivo’s Help to get assistance or to troubleshoot issues you may have. Once you click on the blue circle with the question mark located at the top right hand corner you will be connected to NVivo help. You can search either by browsing the Contents, use the Glossary or type a search term in the search window.

Basic Terms to Know in NVivo

The items available in Navigation View include:
  • Classifications—descriptive information about your sources, nodes and relationships.
  • Collections—views (or groupings) of project items that are stored elsewhere in your project—for example a set made up of sources you need to review or Search Folders for frequently used searches.
  • Models—shapes and connectors that provide a way of visually exploring or presenting the data in your project.
  • Nodes—containers that let you gather related material in one place so that you can look for emerging patterns and ideas. You can create and organize nodes for themes, people, organizations or other cases. You can also create nodes to gather evidence about the relationships between items in your project.
  • Queries—search criteria that can help you to find and explore patterns in source text or coding. You can save queries and rerun them as your project progresses.
  • Reports—reports and extracts that you can use to track your progress or make your data available for use in other applications.
  • Sources—the collective term for your research materials including documents, PDFs, datasets (for example, spreadsheets), audio, video and pictures.
Interesting Links for NVivo: