REFI-QDA Standard for project exchange

The REFI-QDA Standard allows project transfer between participating qualitative data analysis (QDA) programs. Projects can be exported from one program and opened in another, where they are converted into the receiving program's format.

Due to differences between programs (and because the standard is still in development) not all project items are transferred. Currently, the following NVivo items are supported:

  • Data (source) files
  • Nodes
  • Cases
  • Coding (with some exceptions, see below)
  • Classifications
  • Memos
  • Memo links
  • Sets (with exceptions, see below)
  • Annotations (with exceptions, see below)

See Limitations, below, for item types not transferred.

Depending on the program you are working in, projects are exported as a single QDPX file (containing the project data files) or as a QDPX file and a folder for the data files. NVivo exports a single QDPX file that contains the data files.

NOTE  NVivo for Windows projects can be opened in NVivo for Mac using the Windows 'copy project' feature, see Work with projects on Windows or Mac.

Export a QDPX file from NVivo

  1. From the File menu, select Export Project.
  2. In the dialog box, optionally change the project name and add tags.
  3. Select a destination to save the QDPX file.
  4. Click OK.

Open and convert a QDPX file in NVivo

  1. From the File menu, select Open Project.
  2. Locate and select the QDPX file for the project you want to open. (A QDE file, if available, opens all elements of a project except the data files).
  3. Select Import node colors to keep node colors that were set in the original project.
  4. Click OK.
  5. In the Save As dialog box type the project name you want to use, optionally add tags, and select a location to save the converted project file.
  6. Click Create. The QDPX file is converted and opens in NVivo.


The following items are not currently transferred in QDPX files.