Files

Files

In NVivo, 'files' is the collective term for your research materials—anything from primary materials such as documents, videos or survey results, to memos that record your ideas and insights.

File types

Source Description Examples File Format

Documents

Documents can be created in NVivo or imported from Microsoft Word documents or text files.

Documents can be edited in NVivo—for example, you can apply paragraph styles, format text and insert images.

  • Interview transcripts
  • Field notes
  • Microsoft Word Document (docx)
  • Microsoft Word 97 - 2003 Document (doc)
  • Rich text (rtf)
  • Plain text (txt)

PDFs

PDF files are created by importing PDF files. You cannot edit PDFs in NVivo.

  • PDF (pdf)
  • Microsoft Outlook message (msg)

Datasets

 

Datasets contain structured data arranged in records (rows) and fields (columns). They are created by importing tabular data from Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or structured text files.

Datasets cannot be edited in NVivo.

  • Online survey results
  • Social media data captured with NCapture—for example, Facebook wall posts
  • Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (xlsx)
  • Microsoft Excel 97 - 2003 spreadsheet (xls)
  • Comma or tab-delimited text files (txt)

Audio and video files

 

An audio or video file consists of the media and (optionally) a transcript.

Audio and video transcripts can be created in NVivo or imported from Microsoft Word or structured text files.

You can also have your media files automatically transcribed using the integrated transcription service NVivo Transcription.

Transcripts can be edited in NVivo but the media file cannot be modified.

  • Recorded interviews or focus group discussions
  • Observational videos
  • YouTube videos
  • MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 format (mp3)
  • MPEG-4 audio format (m4a)
  • Microsoft Windows Media formats (wma, wav)
  • MPEG formats (mpg, mpeg, mpe, mp4)
  • Windows Media formats ( avi, wmv)
  • QuickTime formats (mov, qt)
  • 3G Mobile Phone format (3gp)
  • AVCHD High Definition Video formats (mts, m2ts)

Pictures

 

A picture file consists of an image file and (optionally) a log which describes the picture.

Picture logs can be created in NVivo or imported from Microsoft Word or structured text files.

Picture logs can be edited in NVivo but the image file cannot be modified.

Photos and drawings

  • Windows bitmap (bmp)
  • Graphic Interchange Format (gif)
  • Joint Photographics Expert Group formats (jpg, jpeg)
  • Portable Network Graphics (.png)
  • Tagged Image File Format (tif, tiff)

Externals

Externals are used to represent files that you cannot import into your project. You can summarize or describe the files within the external.

Externals are similar to documents, except they are stored in their own folder.

  • Physical book
  • 8mm film
  • Journal references

 

Memos

Memos are used to record your insights, observations and interpretations, and can be linked (via a memo link) to a file or node.

Memos are similar to documents, except they are stored in their own folder.

  • Project journal
  • Notes that record why you created particular nodes.
  • Microsoft Word Document (docx)
  • Microsoft Word 97 - 2003 Document (doc)
  • Rich text (rtf)
  • Plain text (txt)

Framework matrices

 

Framework matrices provide a way to summarize your files in a grid that has rows for case nodes (for example, people you interviewed) and columns for theme nodes.

Summarize what different respondents said in response to questions about their family and educational background.

 

NOTE

Some content cannot be directly imported into NVivo—for example, PowerPoint presentations. You can either:

  • Represent this material in NVivo as an external and create a link to the file, so you can easily open it.
  • Print, save or export the content to a PDF file, and then import the PDF into NVivo.

What can I do in a file?

When you import or create a file, you can analyze content in the following ways:

  • Code to gather content by theme or topic
  • Annotate to make notes about content
  • Create 'see also' links to draw comparisons or connections between files
  • Link to memos to store insights, interpretations or observations about the content