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NVivo Qualitative Data Analysis Software: NVivo Help &

An introduction to NVivo qualitative textual & audiovisual analysis software.

Contact me, Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh, for one-on-one assistance with NVivo, or to arrange NVivo training workshops.

Attended an NVivo workshop? Please complete this brief evaluation - your feedback will help me improve my workshops!

Handouts that Mandy uses for her on-campus NVivo workshops:
NVivo 12 Plus for Windows Handouts

NVivo 11 Pro for Windows Handouts

Help Resources from QSR (company that makes NVivo): NVivo Tutorial:

Working in a Research Team?

There are various strategies for tracking team members’ work in NVivo. More info:

Here are some helpful tips for facilitating teamwork in NVivo:

  • It is recommended that all team members use the same version of the software – i.e., everyone should be using either the Windows version or the Mac version, not a mixture. More info:
  • The simplest way for team members to collaborate on a standalone project is to work with a single project file—however only one user can open and work with the project at any point in time.
  • If more than one user wants to work on a project at the same time, you can establish a 'master' project file, and then give a copy of the master project file to each team member. The team members work in the copied project files separately. Then, at regular intervals, the team leader should import team members' separate copied project files into the master project file. More info:
  • Each team member should have their own user profiles in the project designated by consistent initials used at all times. More info:  and
  • NVivo provides a number of ways to check consistency or coder reliability:
    • Run a Coding Comparison query to compare coding done by two users (or two user groups) to measure the 'inter-rater reliability' or degree of agreement for coding between the users. More info:
      • IMPORTANT: NVivo uses a character-by-character method of calculating inter-rater reliability and percent agreement/disagreement. Because of this, your team should determine a convention for coding upfront to account for this. For example, you might say ‘we will all code at the full sentence level, even if only part of the sentence applies to our coding theme.’
  • Display Coding Stripes for users—you can open a file and see the coding done by each researcher.
  • Filter the content of a Node to see only the references coded by selected researchers.

Upcoming NVivo Workshops @ GSU

*Workshops for the NVivo 12 Plus for Windows version only*

NVivo 1 for Windows: Getting Started - Basics of importing and coding different types of data sources. PREREQUISITE: Basic understanding of qualitative research methods is suggested, but not required. Watching this short tutorial on coding qualitative data before the workshop is recommended.

NVivo 2 for Windows: Exploring your Data - Classifications, queries, visualizations, and reports to explore/analyze coded data sources. PREREQUISITE: NVivo 1 or equivalent experience (e.g., completing this tutorial).


Should I use Windows or Mac Version of NVivo?

Functionality of NVivo in Windows vs. Mac:

The Mac version of NVivo does not have the full functionality that the Windows Pro version has--see this comparison chart to explore the differences in functionality, and be sure to compare NVivo for Mac to NVivo Plus (the Windows version at GSU).

Options for running NVivo for Windows on a Mac computer:

The company that produces NVivo, QSR International, recommends specific Windows parallels/virtual desktops to install on Macs to then run NVivo Pro for Windows--see this site for those resources.

Using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to Make PDFs Text Searchable

If a PDF is image-scanned/non-OCR-ed, you *may* be able to use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to convert it to recognizable text and then be able to select and search the text.

The Library's CURVE computers have Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, and you can also get a free trial for Adobe Acrobat Pro DC here.

NOTE: Success in converting an image-scanned/non-OCR-ed PDF to OCR text depends on the quality of the original scan.

Steps in process using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC:

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
  2. Click Tools menu at top left.
  3. Click Enhance Scans icon.
  4. Click Select a file, find file and click open, then click Start button.
  5. File will open, then click the Recognize Text option in toolbar and click In This File.
  6. Click Recognize Text button, and Converting scanned page to Searchable Image process should begin.
  7. Once that process is completed, click the Recognize Text option in toolbar again and click Correct recognized text to find scan errors and correct them (by filling in correct text and then clicking Accept button).
  8. Once you’ve completed the corrections process, click File > Save As and save the PDF as a new file that should be OCR-ed/text searchable.

This short screencast clip demonstrates the above steps (no sound).

Alternative OCR option: Use ABBYY FineReader Online (gives a 15-day free trial period)