Starting projects and importing documents in NVivo
Authors of this page: Graham R. Gibbs and Celia Taylor
Affiliation: University of Huddersfield
Date written: 30th June 2005
Start project and import documents
To open a new project
- The Open Pad appears. click Create a project.
- The New Project Wizard opens.
- Choose Typical and click Next button.
- Give your project a name and description if you want. click Next button and see if the details are fine, click Finish button.
- The Project Pad for your new project is opened. See Figure 1 . This gives access to the major functions of NVivo and can be used throughout the project to access them.
Figure 1. NVivo Project Pad
To open an existing project
- On the Open Pad click click Open a Project button.
- click your project from the drop down list displayed. click OK.
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
- click on the Project Pad click Documents
- click Create a Document button. The New Document Wizard opens. See Figure 2.
- click Locate and import readable external text file(s). click Next button
- In the file selector dialog find and select the file you want to import (introduce) to you project. click OK.
- Select File to Read dialog opens. Locate the file you want to import. click it. click Open button.
- New Document Wizard dialog now presents a choice of how the name and description for the file should be established. Unless you have formatted your file in one of the ways suggested in the dialog, click None of the above, (NVivo will prompt for them to be typed in). click Next and type in a name and description. click Finish .
Figure 2. NVivo New Document Wizard
Once you have introduced files they stay as part of the project. You can examine them at any time:
- On the Project Pad click Explore a Document button. See Figure 3.
- The Document Explorer acts rather like the Window File Explorer program.
- To the left is list of collection of documents. double click to open up the hierarchy in the left pane.
- The right hand pane can be displayed as icons or as a list.
- Use the View menu. The toolbar at the top of the window gives access to the most common functions of the Document Explorer.
Figure 3. NVivo Document Explorer.
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
- In the Document Explorer click a document. click Browse button (). The Document Browser opens. See Figure 4.
- The Document Browser 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.
Figure 4. NVivo Document Browser.
Make a report on a document
If you want to have a backup copy on your hard disk of a document in the project (e.g. if you have edited it in the program) or want to do some coding away from the computer and need a hard copy, then you will need to produce a report of the document which can be printed.
To report on a document
- In the Document Explorer click the name of the document click Document:Make Text Report menu.
- In the Document Text Report Setup click all three check boxes. click OK.
- The report is generated and opened in a text editor window. It can now be edited, printed and/or saved to disk ( click File:Save As..).
- The report includes paragraph numbers at the start of each paragraph followed by section numbers if the paragraph starts a new section.