This page details how to set up a project in NVivo, including creating folders and importing different types of project materials from various sources. Some of the examples use materials obtained from the Environmental Change Down East sample project. While you can follow these examples using your own materials, if you would like to import the specified materials then you will first need to export them. You can do this by opening the Environmental Change Down East sample project (as detailed in NVivo sample projects), then:
For the Importing materials saved on your computer section:
For the Importing surveys section:
To create a new project in NVivo go to File > New, then enter a name and description for your project and browse to choose a location to save it in (it will save as a .nvp file). For example:
Click ‘Next’. You now have the option to choose ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for a reminder to save your project. Click ‘Create project’, then click ‘Skip Tour’ and ‘Close’ for the information given under Files (once read).
It is generally easiest to create folders to store your project materials before you import them, as you can then import them straight into the appropriate folder. However, note that you can create new folders, move materials from one folder to another (by simply dragging and dropping), and delete folders or materials (by right clicking on them and selecting ‘Delete’) at any time.
To create a new folder, for example an Interviews folder, do the following:
(Alternatively, you can create a new folder by clicking on the Files folder, or another parent folder of choice, selecting the ‘Create’ tab on the ribbon at the top of the screen, and then selecting ‘Folder’.)
Repeat this process to create folders titled Literature, Surveys, Web Content, Email Content, and Pictures, plus a sub-folder of Literature called EndNote, so that the folders for your project files are as follows:
You can now import files directly into the folders you have created, as explained in the next sections.
The simplest materials to import into your project are Microsoft Word, text, PDF, audio, video and/or picture files saved on your computer. To import files of these types, do the following:
(Alternatively, you can import an item into a folder by clicking on the appropriate folder, selecting the ‘Import’ tab on the ribbon at the top of the screen, and then selecting the ‘Files’ option.)
Once you have done this, repeat the process for the Interviews folder, this time importing the Margaret and Maria and Daniel files together.
You can create data sets in your project by importing Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, text files with comma or tab separated values and/or results from SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics. When you you do this, note that not only is the survey data set created in the relevant folder (in Files in the ‘Data’ group), but ‘codes’ are created for the responses to each open-ended question (in Codes in the ‘Coding’ group), and ‘cases’ and ‘case classifications’ are created for each survey respondent (in Cases and Case Classifications respectively in the ‘Cases’ group). Codes are covered in the Codes & coding page of this module, while cases and case classifications are covered in the Classifications page.
In the meantime, to import an Excel file do the following:
(Alternatively, you can import survey data into a folder by clicking on the appropriate folder, selecting the ‘Import’ tab on the ribbon at the top of the screen, and then selecting the appropriate option in the ‘Survey’ group, e.g. ‘Excel’.)
For more information on preparing a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for importing and on importing other types of data sets, you may like to view the NVivo User Help - Surveys and datasets online help.
You can import web content (e.g. articles, blog posts or social media content) into your project using a free web browser extension called NCapture for Google Chrome, which may well have been included with your NVivo download. To check, open Google Chrome and look for the NCapture icon to the right of the address bar:
If the icon is not visible try clicking on the ‘Extensions’ icon (the puzzle piece). If NCapture is listed as an extension, choose to pin it to the toolbar. If it is not listed, you can search for the extension by clicking on the ‘Customize and control Google Chrome’ icon (the three vertical dots to the right of the address bar), then selecting ‘More tools’ and ‘Extensions’. Search for the ‘NCapture’ extension and if it is listed, move the switch to the right so that the icon is visible, then pin it to the toolbar.
If you find that NCapture is not installed for Google Chrome, you can download it from the Chrome Web Store.
Alternatively, if you would like more information about NCapture you may like to view the NCapture online help.
Once you have NCapture installed for your chosen web browser, open the browser and locate a web page that you would like to import. For example, in keeping with the sample project you may like to import the web article North Carolina’s Fishing Industry Catches Up to a Changing World.
You can import this or another item of web content into NVivo using NCapture by clicking on the NCapture for NVivo icon. The NCapture dialog box will then open as follows:
Note that you can choose to save an article either as a PDF of the web page or as a PDF of just the article, the latter of which should remove any additional, unnecessary content (other types of web content will have different source type options). Once you have made your selection, check that you are happy with the source name (amend if not), add a description if desired and click ‘Capture’ (you can also code to either new or existing codes if wished).
Once you have captured the web content in this way, you can import it in NVivo as follows:
(Alternatively, you can import web content into a folder by clicking on the appropriate folder, selecting the ‘Import’ tab on the ribbon at the top of the screen, and then selecting the ‘NCapture’ option.)
Importing EndNote references into NVivo is a two-step process, which first requires exporting them from EndNote. Instructions for both steps are provided below, and these make use of a sample EndNote library containing references for three journal articles with attached PDFs, three journal articles without attachments, and a book. If you wish to work through the instructions using the sample library you can download it from the following link (alternatively, you can make use of your own EndNote Library):
Once you have identified and opened an EndNote library, you can export references from it as follows:
The second step of the process involves importing the references into an appropriate folder in NVivo, as follows:
Some additional things to note about the import process are as follows:
Furthermore, note that when EndNote references are imported to NVivo the following happens:
If you use the desktop version of Outlook (as opposed to Office 365 on the web) you can import emails into NVivo quickly and easily, either by dragging the email into the appropriate folder in the List View in NVivo or by saving it as a .msg file in Outlook and then importing it. Either way it will be imported as a PDF, and any associated email attachments will also be imported and saved in a folder called Email Attachments (except for Excel files, which need to be saved first and then imported, and any unsupported file types). This new folder will be a sub-folder of the folder where you imported the email, however you can then move the attachment(s) to another folder (and delete unnecessary folders) if preferred.
Importing emails in this way will also create a ‘file classification’ for the email and ‘cases’ and ‘case classifications’ for the sender and the recipients (note that classifications are covered in the Classifications page of this module), as well as ‘relationships’ between the sender and the recipients (in Recipients in the ‘Coding’ group). For more information on how to import emails in this way, the results of the process and how to work with them, you may like to view the NVivo User Help - Email online help.
Alternatively, you can import email attachments without the associated email as follows:
To open project materials once you have imported them, open the appropriate folder in the Navigation View (if required) then double click on the file in the List View. It will then open in the Details View on the right. Note that you can open multiple files at once if you wish, navigating between them by clicking on the tabs at the top of the Details View.
To edit a document (not a PDF) that is open in the Details View, tick the ‘Edit’ box. Once you have done this you can make any changes you wish to the editable document. Additionally, you can run a spell check on the document by selecting the ‘Spelling’ option in ‘Edit’ tab on the ribbon at the top of the screen.
To turn a picture found in one of your PDF files into a file of its own, for example the large Figure 3 on page 821 of the Analyzing Estuarine Shoreline Change PDF, do the following:
To comment on a particular area of a picture, simply select it, right click and choose ‘Insert Row’. The coordinates of the selected region will then automatically be entered in the ‘Region’ column, and you can type any comments in the ‘Content’ column. When the number(s) assigned to a particular row(s) is selected at a later date, that region of the picture will be highlighted.