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Book symbol Ann Lewins & Christina Silver (2007) Using Software in Qualitative Research: A Step-by-Step Guide, Sage Publications, London

Contains step-by-step guides for NVivo 7, along with other programs.

Book symbol Bazeley, P. (2007) Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo. London: Sage. Covers version 7.

NVivo logo Starting projects and importing documents in NVivo 8

Authors of this page: Graham R. Gibbs

Affiliation: University of Huddersfield

Date written: 21st November 2009





Symbols and Conventions

Start project and import documents


To open a new project

  1. Double-click the program’s icon to start it or select it from the Start:Programs pop-up menu, then the Welcome screen appears.
  2. Click New Project button. The New Project dialog is displayed.
  3. Give your project a name in the Title field and description if you want.
  4. Click the Browse… button to chose where you want to save your project file then click OK. The main NVivo window opens with the name of your new project in the title bar. See Figure 1


NVivo Project Pad

Figure 1. NVivo 8 Main Window

To open an existing project

  1. On the list showing in the Welcome screen double-click the name of the project you want to open.



To introduce new, transcribed documents into the programs

When you start a new project there are two things you can do introduce your transcribed documents (including any memos you've already written) or set up your coding system. Of course if you are following an inductive, exploratory approach to data analysis then you will need to introduce and read the documents before you come up with any coding. However, if you are basing your coding at least on some prior theory and research then you can enter codes into the project without initially any documents to work on. The documents can be added later. In most cases, however, you will probably want to work on documents and generate some, if not all, your codes from them.

To introduce a document

  1. In the Navigation View pane click Sources.
  2. In the Sources pane click the Documents folder. right-click in the List view pane and click Import Documents… The Import Documents dialog opens.
  3. click Browse button. In the file selector dialog that opens find and select the file(s) you want to import (introduce) into your project. click Open and in the Import Source(s) dialog click OK.



Examining documents

Once you have introduced files they stay as part of the project. You can examine them at any time:

Examine documents

  1. In the Navigation View pane click Sources.
  2. In the Sources pane click Documents folder. The list of documents appears in the List view pane.
  3. Double-click the name of the document you wish to display. It opens in a Detail view pane below the list or to its right


Inspect and edit a document

Usually you should make sure your primary documents are as accurate as possible before you introduce them into your project. However, there may be some small changes you want to make:


To edit a document

  1. Display the document (See Examine documents above).
  2. The Document View Pane is a mini word processor. You can edit and format your document using the toolbar in ways you will be familiar with in your word processor. The toolbar of formatting tools allows you to apply fonts, text size, text colour, to make bold italics or underlined selected text and to apply styles and set the justification of paragraphs. All of this can be done without affecting any coding you have already done.



To print out a document

If you want to do some coding away from the computer and need a hard copy, then you will need to produce a printout of the document.

To report on a document

  1. In the Document View Pane click in the document you want to print.
  2. click File:Print... menu
  3. Click the check boxes for the options you want. For examle if you want paragraph numbers so you can use these to enter coding you do on paper into the project then select that option. click OK.


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