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NVivo logo Writing draft chapters with links in NVivo

Author of this page: Graham R. Gibbs

Affiliation: University of Huddersfield

Date written: 14th Nov. 2005





If you follow the procedure of starting to write your draft analysis in NVivo, you will probably want to start cutting and pasting text from various metadata documents and memos into your “drop files” and will want to include examples of text from the primary documents in your project database. The former is very easy. You can cut and paste from any document or memo in the NVivo project database to any other and as you do so all the text formatting, coding, DocLinks, NodeLinks and DataBites are preserved and moved with the text. Consolidating memos from various nodes into a drop file is therefore easily done. If cut and paste are not available from the menu (or the Edit menu is not available) you will find that the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl-X, Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V for cut, copy and paste, respectively, will work. However, if you cut and paste between internal project files and external files such as DataBites and word processing documents only the plain text will be transferred. A similar logic applies to any coded text cut and pasted from your primary documents. As long as you paste into documents in the NVivo project database all the coding of the text will be preserved. Most of the time this is acceptable. It means, for instance, that if your drop file has samples of speech from the primary documents, you can always check how those extracts are coded either by showing the coding stripes and/or by using the Coder. However, bear in mind that if you undertake any text or node searches you will have to be careful to exclude your drop file documents from the scope of the search. If you do not you will find spurious duplicates. The easiest way to limit the scope is by maintaining sets of documents.

The exception to the general availability of cut and paste is that they are not available from the Node Browser (though you can copy plain text). If you have some text in a Node Browser that you want to copy then select it and open the Document Browser (e.g. using a right click and the contextual menu). When the Browser opens, the window scrolls directly to the text you want with it already selected. Then you can copy and paste whilst preserving links and coding.

To examine a DataBite linked to a specific place in a document

  • Open the document or memo in the Document Browser.
  • Click somewhere in the appropriate underlined text (or select some or all of the text). Either,
    • Click on the DataBite icon in the toolbar, or
    • Right click and Select Inspect DataBite from the contextual menu.
  • Your computer will now open the linked file in the appropriate program (provided the program is installed on your machine – check this before linking to the DataBite.

To remove a link to a DataBite

  • Open the document or memo in the Document Browser.
  • Click somewhere in the appropriate underlined text (or select some or all of the text)
    • Either, right click and select Remove Link… from the  contextual menu, or
    • Select Tools:Remove Link… from the menu bar.
  • Confirm that you wish to remove the link.
  • The link is removed from the text and to indicate this, the text is no longer underlined. N.B. You cannot remove the link from part of the text. Removing the link removes it from all the text linked to that DataBite.
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