What's new

NVivo 12.6



REFI-QDA Standard project exchange Improvements to REFI-QDA Standard project exchange. You can now import and export memo links and annotations, and export sets. See REFI-QDA Standard for project exchange.

Screen readers (including Microsoft Narrator and JAWS) can now be used to read PDF content. See Accessibility

General enhancement and fixes
  • General security improvements.
  • General localization improvements.

NVivo 12.5

Feature Description

REFI-QDA Standard project exchange

Improvements to REFI-QDA Standard project exchange, including data files and memos in sets now imported. See REFI-QDA Standard for project exchange.

General enhancements

General security improvements.

NVivo 12.4

Feature Description
REFI-QDA Standard project exchange NVivo now supports the new REFI-QDA Standard allowing you to export and import your project in a format supported by other qualitative data analysis software. REFI-QDA Standard for project exchange
General enhancements
  • General security improvements.

NVivo 12.3

Feature Description

Users who rely on screen readers (including Microsoft Narrator and JAWS) can now navigate NVivo.

Screen readers can detect the different parts of the workspace including the List View, ribbon, context menus and the File menu (Backstage view) in NVivo.

Keyboard shortcut

You can now insert the current date and time in the Description field for project item properties - use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+T).

General enhancements
  • Added: Users on 64 bit machines who run 32 bit versions of NVivo will be reminded to upgrade to the 64 bit version.
  • Improved: Classification terminology has been revised for French user interface.

For the full list of changes in this release, see the Release Notes.

NVivo 12.2

Feature Description
NVivo Transcription

This automated transcription service allows you to transcribe audio and video files from NVivo. You create a myNVivo account, purchase credits, and upload your selected media files for transcription. Once they're transcribed, you can edit them and import them into your NVivo project.


NVivo Transcription will transcribe your files in approximately half the duration of the media file. Once transcribed, the transcripts will appear synchronized with your audio and video files, with time stamps. NVivo Transcription

General enhancement and fixes
  • Discontinued: The interface to the transcription service TranscribeMe. This has been replaced with NVivo Transcription.

NVivo 12.1

Feature Description

Matrix Coding query

The Matrix Coding query has been simplified to make it easier to use.

You can set up the query in Detail View and display the results directly below. Then, easily adjust the criteria and rerun the query as you dig deeper into your data.

For example, run a Matrix Coding query to explore the positive and negative responses for a range of themes. Add a new theme or change the scope of the query and run it again.

Simplified Matrix Coding query with criteria at the top of Detail View.


A codebook is the backbone of your project. It lists the codes (themes/concepts) you are using to categorize your data—and includes the code descriptions. These descriptions make it easier for you or your team to take a consistent approach to coding.

The Codebook Exchange Format (.qdc) is a new standard for sharing codebooks between Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) tools.

You can import a codebook into NVivo as long as it is the .qdc format.

Codebook option on the Import ribbon.

Once the codes are in NVivo, you can apply them to your own research materials.

Similarly, you can export your codebook from NVivo and import it into other QDA tools that support the new format.

This makes it easier to share your work with colleagues who don't use NVivo. Export nodes

NOTE: There may be differences in how each QDA program handles the organization of codes and code colors.


New accessibility improvements mean that you can now use the keyboard to navigate through:
  • Node references
  • Datasets
  • Project items in the Select Project Items dialog box
  • NCapture import
  • Hierarchy charts

Pattern based auto coding

(NVivo 12 Plus only)

Pattern based auto coding is a way of automatically coding content based on previous coding activity. To improve accuracy, auto coding now takes the following into account when making comparisons:

  • Uncoded content
  • Word pairs such as water quality or environmental change

Automatic coding using existing coding patterns

Suggest a feature

What would make your NVivo life easier? Is there a way to enrich your analysis? Click the feedback icon at the top right of Detail View to post your suggestion on Canny (a feedback collection website).

Click the feedback icon on the top right of Detail View.

Choose a simple sign-up option (like Facebook, Twitter or email) and search to see if someone else has already posed a similar suggestion. Vote for their idea or create your own—and keep track of progress via email.

The development team uses your valuable feedback to inform future improvements, so don't be shy about sharing.

Share your suggestion on Canny.

Language support

NVivo speaks your language!

Along with English, the interface (ribbon, menus and dialogs) is now available in

  • Chinese (Simplified Chinese)
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

You can set this language when you install NVivo or at anytime via the Application Options.

If you select a user interface language other than English, you should ensure that the language is installed on your computer—refer to Microsoft Windows online help for more information.

General enhancement and fixes

  • Improved: Automated download and installation of updates without leaving the application.
  • Resolved: Reports and extracts using the Case Classification view were not returning results.

NVivo 12

Feature Description
Crosstab query The new Crosstab query gives you a fast way to check how coding is distributed across the cases, or different types of cases, in your project.

For example, with just a few clicks you could check:

  • How often interview respondents refer to a particular topic or issue

Crosstab query results showing cases and the frequency of responses to different themes.

  • How many interview respondents (with particular attributes) refer to a topic or theme

Crosstab query results showing frequency of responses broken down by age and gender.

You can double-click the cells in the Crosstab to read the underlying qualitative responses.

You can also export the numerical data for further statistical analysis in specialized tools like SPSS.

While you can get similar results using a Matrix coding query, the Crosstab query

  • Is easier to setup and faster to run, even with large amounts of data
  • Lets you make comparisons using two attributes
  • Provides frequency totals for columns and rows

Crosstab query

Export to SPSS format You can now export numerical data from NVivo into an SPSS data file (.sav).

For example, you could export a classification sheet or the results of a Crosstab query to an SPSS data file.

There is no need to edit the file before importing it into SPSS. You can open the file in SPSS and begin your statistical analysis right away.

Export query results

Simplified terminology NVivo terminology has been simplified to better reflect the research process:

Navigation view showing new terminology for data and codes.

You will notice the following changes in Navigation View:

  • Data is the new term to describe the source materials that you work with in NVivo.
  • Files is the new term for the documents, PDFs, datasets, pictures, videos or audios that you import into NVivo.
  • File Classifications describe your files, including bibliographical data for articles and books.
  • Codes is an umbrella term for different types of nodes.
Enhanced Navigation View Navigation View reflects the new terminology and provides faster access to your data.

To keep your most frequently used items within easy reach, you can now pin them to Quick Access at the top of Navigation View:

Quick Access area of the NVivo workspace.

Cases, classifications and attributes are more accessible and easier to work with:

Cases more accessible in Navigation View.

Memos, Framework Matrices, Annotations and See Also links are centralized under Notes:

Memos organized under Notes in Navigation View.

Queries, sets and search folders are organized under Search

Queries and Search Folders organized under Search in Navigation View.

Streamlined ribbon The ribbon has been re-designed to make commonly used features easier to find.

Commands on the main tabs have been reorganized and many ribbon tabs are hidden until you need to work with them.

For example, the Document ribbon tab is displayed only when you are working in a document:

Document tab on the NVivo ribbon.

It includes options for coding, annotating, visualizing or querying the document you are working with. Everything you need is in one place.

This reduction in clutter makes it easier to find the tools you need, when you need them.

If you are familiar with NVivo 11 menus, you can download and use the NVivo 12 ribbon mapping spreadsheet to locate a menu command on the ribbon.

Easier way to find project items

The Find Bar at the top of Detail View has been simplified to help you find items more easily. Results are displayed as you type.
Auto code transcripts by speaker You can now use auto coding to create cases for multiple speakers in an interview transcript.

Wizard for auto coding by speaker

You can enter the name of each speaker in a transcript and NVivo:

  • Searches for the name at the start of each line
  • Creates a case for each speaker
  • Automatically codes the response at the case

This is especially useful when you are working with focus groups and want to create a case for each participant.

Automatic coding in documents

More control over pattern based coding

This feature is available in Plus edition.

Pattern based auto coding is a way of automatically coding content based on previous coding activity. NVivo uses terms from existing nodes to check for similarities in the data being coded.

The process has been updated to provide greater transparency and give you more control over the results.

You can now see which terms are being used to assess coding similarity and you can include or exclude them as needed:

Wizard for pattern-based auto coding showing list of terms

Automatic coding using existing coding patterns