Documents and PDFs

When gathering your files, you may want to import:

  • Word documents (or text files)—these might be interview transcripts, field notes or group discussions
  • PDF files—these might be published reports, articles, or a collection of scanned documents

You can also create new, empty documents in NVivo and type up your content—for example, you could type up your field notes.

Documents can be moved into the Memos folder—for example, if you import a document that contains your ideas, observations or notes about the progress of the project, you may want to store it as a memo under the Memos system folder. You cannot move PDF files into the memos folder.

If you import content from OneNote, Evernote, or EndNote, then document or PDF files may be created in the process.

You can use NCapture to gather files from the web and then bring the web content into NVivo as PDFs. The captured web content is stored in an NCapture file (.nvcx) on your computer, and is converted to a PDF when you import it into NVivo.

Import documents and PDFs

  1. In Navigation View, click the name of the files folder that you want to import the document into.
  2. On the Import tab, in the Data group, click Files.
  3. Browse for and select the file you want to import.
  4. Click the Open button.
  5. Click OK. The Document or PDF Properties dialog box opens.
  6. (Optional) Change the name or description of the new file.
  7. Click OK.


  • If the entire document or PDF relates to a particular case, you may want to code the entire file at a new case node—click the More button, and then select the Code files at case nodes located under check box.
  • You cannot import password-protected Word documents.
  • If your Word documents are structured (for example, question and answer interviews), you may want to apply paragraph styles so you can make use of auto coding. Automatic coding in documents
  • If you have a brief description at the top of the document, when you import the document into NVivo you can choose to use the first paragraph as the document description.

Work with documents and PDFs

Selecting and coding content