Classification sheets

A classification sheet contains descriptive information about the files or cases in your project.

For example, you may have a file classification sheet for journal articles (including attributes like author and publication date):

Classification sheet showing articles and bibiolgraphical information.

Or a case classification sheet for your interview participants (with attributes like Age Group or Gender):

Participant classification sheet with cases and demographic information.

NVivo automatically builds a classification sheet when you assign cases or files to a classification.

A classification sheet allows you to see all the items assigned to a particular classification and set the attribute values set for each item.

Importing case classifications

You may have gathered information about your cases in a file outside of NVivo. You can import this data as a 'classification sheet' if it is saved in one of the following formats:

  • Structured text file (.txt)
  • Excel spreadsheet (.xls)
  • IBM SPSS Statistics data file (.sav)

For example, if you have cases representing people, and you have recorded demographic information in a spreadsheet, then you can import this classification data.

Likewise, if you have gathered information about your files outside of NVivo—and the information is in a structured text file or a spreadsheet—you can import it into NVivo as a classification sheet. For example, if you conducted a series of video interviews and have recorded the location and date in a spreadsheet, you can import the videos into NVivo, and then import the classification data.


Set attribute values for a file or case

  1. On the Home tab, in the Classification, click File Classification or Case Classification and then under Open Classification Sheet, click the classification sheet you want to open.
  2. Click in the cell for the value that you want to set.
  3. Click the arrow and select a new value from the list.

    Create a new attribute value by double-clicking in the cell and typing the new value.

Export a classification sheet

You can export a classification sheet to share the data with others or to work with it in a statistical package like IBM SPSS Statistics.

  1. Select the classification you want to export.
  2. On the Share tab, in the Export group, click Export.
  3. Select your export options.


  • If you select multiple classifications, you must export the data to a spreadsheet—each classification is stored in a separate worksheet within the spreadsheet.
  • Only visible rows and columns are exported—values in hidden rows and columns are not included in the exported data.
  • Exporting a classification sheet as an SPSS Data File (.sav) means you can open it as a native file in IBM SPSS Statistics - there is no need to edit the content first.