Work with projects on Windows or Mac

NVivo for Windows and NVivo for Mac are separate software applications. The projects have a different file format.

  • NVivo 12 for Windows (.nvp)
  • NVivo for Mac (Version 12) (.nvpx)

You can convert a project from one file format to the other using the project converter available in NVivo 12 for Windows.

Understand project file formats

Projects created on the Mac platform have a larger maximum file size than Windows projects. If the size of your Mac project exceeds 10GB you may not be able to open it in NVivo for Windows.

You cannot open a project created in the Windows format (.nvp) in the Mac platform—you will need to convert it to the NVivo for Mac format first. You can do this using the 'copy project' feature. You can also export selected items from an NVivo 12 for Windows project to a new NVivo for Mac (Version 12) project.

You can open an NVivo project created on the Mac platform (.nvpx) in Windows and it will be converted into the Windows format (.nvp) for you. Alternatively, you can import the content from an NVivo for Mac project into an NVivo for Windows project.

If you want to convert an NVivo for Mac (Version 11) project to the NVivo 12 for Windows format, you must first open (and upgrade) the project using NVivo for Mac (Version 12), then convert the project using NVivo 12 for Windows.

NOTE  NVivo for Mac has a subset of the features available in NVivo 12 for Windows. If you convert your Windows project and access it on the Mac platform, you may not be able to work with all your project items.

Can I work with a project on Windows and Mac?

It is possible to work with a project on both Windows and Mac (cross-platform), however, we recommend that you work with your project on a single platform due to some known limitations and issues.

Can we work as a team with some users on Windows and others on Mac?

We recommend that all team members use the same version of the software (and do not work cross-platform) due to some known limitations and issues.

Why does my converted Windows project look different on Mac?

When you open a converted project in NVivo for Mac, items that are not supported on the Mac version of the software are hidden.

If your project contains Search Folders or queries that are not yet available in the Mac version of the software (for example, compound queries), you will notice that:

  • You cannot see the Search Folders in Navigation View
  • You cannot see these queries in List View
  • Queries will only search items that are visible in your project. If the scope of a query is defined by a Search Folder it will not return any results

Annotations are only supported for documents, PDFs, externals and memos. If your project contains annotations in audios, videos, pictures or datasets, then you will notice that:

  • You cannot see these annotations in these files
  • You cannot see these annotations in the Annotations folder in Navigation View.

Other project items (for example, maps and reports) that are not available are also hidden.

If you open the project in NVivo for Windows you will be able to see everything again.

IMPORTANT   Do not delete folders that appear to be empty when you are working with a converted project, because the folder may contain hidden project items. For example, framework matrices are not supported in NVivo for Mac, so a folder that only contains framework matrices will appear to be empty when viewed in NVivo for Mac.

Update file links in converted projects

The Windows and Mac operating systems use different formats for file links. This means that if you convert your Windows project and open it in NVivo for Mac (or vice versa), you will not be able to access linked files unless you update the file links.

Within NVivo you can create links to files outside your project in the following ways:

  • External files that link to a file
  • Audio and video files with media files stored outside the project (not embedded)
  • Hyperlinks within documents and memos to files

When you convert a project from Windows to Mac format, you will need to update the file links (in the item's properties) if you want to access the files.

Copy a project to the NVivo for Mac format

  1. With the project opened, click the File tab, and then click Copy Project.
  2. Under Copy to, choose NVivo for Mac (Version 12) project.
  3. Click Browse to select where you want save the converted project, enter a name for the copied project in the File name box, and then click Save.
  4. Click OK. A copy of your open project is saved at the selected location.

NOTE  NVivo for Mac has a subset of the features available in NVivo 12 for Windows. If you convert your Windows project and access it on the Mac platform, you may not be able to work with all your project items. For a detailed comparison of the features available on both platforms, refer to the QSR website.

Convert a Mac project to the Windows format

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Open. Keyboard shortcut To display the Open Project dialog box, press CTRL+O
  2. Locate and select the Mac project (.nvpx) you want to open.
  3. Click Open.
  4. Click Browse to select where you want save the converted project, enter a name for the copied project in the File name box, and then click Save.
  5. Click Convert.

NOTE  Projects created on the Mac platform have a larger maximum file size than Windows projects. If your Mac project has large embedded media files (that make the project exceed the size allowed in Windows)—the media files will be automatically stored outside the project.

Can I connect to NVivo Server from a Mac?

No, you cannot connect to NVivo Server from NVivo for Mac.

If you have an NVivo Server project that you want to work with on the Mac as a standalone project, you need to convert it to Mac project format (.nvpx) using NVivo for Windows.

If you have an Mac project that you want to store on the server, you need to first convert the project to Windows format (.nvp) using NVivo for Windows.