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Supports robust qualitative and mixed methods research for virtually any data source and any research method.

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by QSR

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Are there any known issues in NVivo 10 for Mac?

The following issues are known limitations in the NVivo 10 for Mac software.

Application and Projects

  • Projects cannot be created or opened from a network drive.  

Tip:  Create or copy projects to your local machine or use a USB drive. 

  • Opening a second project fails if a project is already open with a document that is open with unsaved changes.  
  • Application crash on changing properties dialog to floating in OS X 10.11 (El Capitan).  
  • Open or Closing projects can take a long time, especially for larger projects.

Tip:  Wait for NVivo to close to make sure all data is saved to the project before closing NVivo or saving a copy of the project file.


  • Undo is available for only certain operations. Operations such as importing or editing sources, coding, uncoding, saving Query results and deleting items are Undoable, but operations such as move or copy project items and working with classifications cannot be Undone. 

Tip: Refer to help topic ‘Undo recent actions’ <http://help-nv10mac. qsrinternational.com/desktop/procedures/undo_recent_actions.htm?rhsearch=undo> for more information.

  • Cannot Undo any prior actions after performing an action that cannot be undone.
  • Cannot Undo any prior actions once you move to a different part of the application after editing a Source.
  • Unable to undo Coding sources at new node, when the newly created node is moved to a child node or folder.   


  • In an imported document, bullets, numbered lists, table borders and line spacing may differ from the original document.  

Editing Documents, Memos and Externals

  • Lists can be edited, but not created or the bullet style changed.
  • Text in Tables can be edited, but Tables cannot be created or restructured.
  • Text is pasted as plain text (without formatting).
  • Performance: Inserting large images in documents may result in a performance decrease when working with the document.  
  • Cannot 'Cut' or 'Copy' and Paste an image.
  • The Ribbon and File menu options to ‘Select All’ and ‘Select Paragraph’ do not work.  

Tip: use + A to ‘Select All’, or triple click mouse to ‘Select Paragraph’. 


  • PDF content not displayed in OS X 10.11 (El Capitan).  

Tip:  This issue has been resolved in an NVivo 10.2 for Mac Update.  Please download the latest version of NVivo 10 for Mac from the QSR downloads < http://www.qsrinternational.com/support_downloads.aspx> page.

  • PDF scrolling suffers from flickering and poor performance.  
  • In PDF Sources, only text can be selected and coded – not images or regions.
  • Text in PDF Sources cannot be selected using the keyboard. 

Tip: Use the mouse to click and drag to select text, or use mouse double click or triple click to select either a word or a whole line respectively.  You may also use + A to select all text.

  • Performance:  Import can take a long time.  

Audio and Video

  • Only limited Audio and Video formats are supported. 

Tip: Refer to the Help topic ‘Import audio or video’ <http://help-nv10mac. qsrinternational.com/desktop/procedures/import_audio_or_video.htm> for a list of supported media files Or refer to FAQ.

  • Cannot code Transcripts while in Edit mode.  
  • Cannot select multiple transcript rows.  
  • Cannot customize Transcript Columns.  
  • Transcript import supports text files in specified formats only.  

Tip: Refer to the help topic ‘Import audio or video transcripts’ <http://help-nv10mac.qsrinternational.com/desktop/procedures/import_audio_or_video_transcripts.htm> for how to prepare a text file for import.

  • The ability to merge Transcripts during import is not currently supported.  

Tip: If you want to update Transcripts, make a copy of your Audio or Video source and import the Transcript into the newly copied item.  

  • Transcript text selection does not auto scroll to bring selection into view.  

Tip:  Ensure the text for selection is visible by resizing the Transcript cell or us the mouse or touchpad to scroll.


  • Sorting or Filtering Datasets is not supported. 
  • Importing large spreadsheets can take a long time.  
  • The display of dates in the Import Wizard do not respect the Date format used in Excel for cells of type 'Date' and will always display as YYYY/MM/DD.  
  • Date and Time data in surveys can cause the import to fail if the format of the data differs to the Date and Time import options selected in the Dataset Import Wizard and even though shown as valid options for selection.  

Tip: Ensure you match the format of Date and Time import options with the format of your data or for best results we recommend matching the format of date data being imported to the default import settings of Four digit years, Date Format ‘DMY’ and Date Delimiter ‘/’ I.e. 21/06/1980. me delimiter to a semi-colon ‘:'.

  • When importing Spreadsheets with Boolean values and the Excel cell type is ‘Text’ the values are not recognized or cannot be selected as Booleans values.  

Tip:  For Boolean data, in Excel change the cells type from ‘Text’ to ‘General’. 

Importing from NCapture

  • When changing the ‘import from’ Folder when importing from NCapture, the chosen folder location is not changed if the Finder ‘Cover Flow’ view option is set.  

Tip:  In Finder use the Icon, List, Column views when changing the ‘import from’ folder location.

  • Web pages captured using NCapture for Internet Explorer and imported are formatted differently to the original web page.  

Tip:  For best results we recommend using NCapture for Chrome to capture web data when using NVivo for Mac.

Printing and Export

  • Documents, Externals, Memos, PDFs, Datasets, Nodes and Query results (Word Trees or Word Clouds) cannot be printed from NVivo.

Tip:  Export the item from NVivo for Mac and open and print using the Preview app, Pages or Word.

  • Exporting Documents, Externals, Memos, Nodes and PDFs does not export the code highlighting.
  • Exporting Nodes does not export according to the current view settings.


  • Application crash when selecting to code at existing node and using search to find node in OS X 10.11 (El Capitan).  

Tip:  This issue has been resolved in NVivo for Mac (Version 11) which we recommend using for OS X 10.11.    

  • The Node List view is not always refreshed correctly, such as when merging nodes, coded contents from document or Transcript are edited or deleted, when copy and pasting coded text from a document.      

Tip:  Close and open the Project.

  • When all the content is coded in a PDF, code coverage reported in node summary and reference view shows as 50%.  This is because NVivo for MAC does not currently support region coding.  
  • Performance: Coding and Uncoding PDF sources can take longer than for other sources.  
  • Auto coding a Dataset by column with Boolean values will create incorrect Node names 0 or 1 instead of True or False.   
  • Auto coding a Dataset by row with Date values will always create node names in the format “YYYY-MM-DD”.  
  • Drag and drop coding does not work from a Dataset.  
  • Datasets coding coverage not 100% if it contains empty cells.  

Coding Stripes & Highlighting

  • Nodes Recently Coding can display Coding Stripes out of order due to using creation time rather than modification time. 
  • When turning Coding Highlight off the display is not refreshed until user clicks out of the current transcript row.  
  • When scrolling the Media timeline only the coding stripes are scrolled, causing the stripes to be out of sync with the timeline.  


  • The Reference pane of a Parent Node does not refresh correctly to display updated coded content and numbers of references in some scenarios, such as when changing coding context or spread coding in child nodes, undoing coding of a Dataset, turning on Node aggregation or when editing Transcripts while the Node is open. 

Tip: Refresh the Node Reference pane by closing and re-opening the Node.

  • Shutting down NVivo while the Node Reference View is loading a very large Dataset will result in a crash.  

Classifications, Attributes and Attribute Values

  • When importing a classification sheet, existing items in the project are not shown as assigned to the imported classification until a refresh.  

Tip:  Close and Open the project to see updates to classification information after importing a classification sheet.

  • Cannot import a classification sheet that was created in Excel Workbook format (xls, xlsx).

Tip:  In Excel, Save As ‘Comma separated’ or ‘Tab delimited’ file formats.

  • Order of attributes in the exported classification sheet differs to what is displayed in the detail view.   
  • Cannot open a Source or Node directly from a classification sheet.  
  • Importing Attribute Values can exhibit incorrect behavior, such as empty rows and incorrect dates, depending on the file encoding or formatting of content in the file.  
  • Cannot change the default value of a Boolean attribute created by Classification import.  
  • Entering a two year value for a date or date time Attribute Value converts it to four digits after which both are visible as options for selection.  


  • Switching between views of Text Search Query after deleting sources may cause a crash.  
  • Creating or running Queries in a project in ‘Read-Only’ mode can return an error message.  
  • Word frequency query does not currently provide semantic awareness of Chinese and Japanese word boundaries.  
  • Matches of query results are not highlighted when stream source is open from query results. 
  • If items change in a project such that change the result of a Node Matrix, the Result and Node Matrices list views do not also update, resulting in the list view values being inconsistent with Matrix. 
  • Cannot Sort or Filter Node Matrix grids.
  • Matrix view settings are saved per OS user, per machine. If the project is open in another machine, matrix is open with default settings.  
  • It can take a long time to save a Matrix Coding Query with a large number of references.  


  • Creating, Editing or Deleting an Annotation opened from a Node Matrix Query result will result in the Node Matrix Query closing. 
  • Cannot scroll the Annotation Edit box using the mouse.  

Tip: Use keyboard arrow keys to scroll.

  • Copy\Cut and subsequent Paste of Annotated text content will not past the Annotation.  


  • Zoom and Export options for Word Tree are not available in Ribbon or File Menu. 

Tip:  Use the context menu by right-clicking on the Word Tree and select Zoom or Export options. 

Project Conversion

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

Tip:  Refer to the ‘Work with your projects on Windows or a Mac’ <http://help-nv10mac. qsrinternational.com/desktop/deep_concepts/work_with_your_projects_on_windows_or_mac.htm> help topic.

  • Running a query with criteria based on attribute values in an NVivo for Windows project that was converted from NVivo for Mac may result in incorrect results being displayed. 

Tip:  To ensure results are correct, open the Attribute Properties dialog box for the attribute used in the query and select OK. This will resolve the issue for all queries based on attribute values for this attribute.

  • If you edit the content of a Document that was converted from NVivo for Windows that has See Also Links, the See Also Links will be removed.  
  • Annotations created in NVivo for Windows can be linked to white space, whilst they cannot in NVivo for Mac.  In this scenario on NVivo for Mac any Annotations linked to white space will not be visible.  
  • All file links in converted Externals, Audio and Video sources and Hyperlinks will be broken after conversion, since Windows and Mac OS X use different file systems. 

TIP:  Refer to the help topic ‘Update the file location for a single media file’ <http://help-nv10mac.qsrinternational.com/desktop/procedures/store_audio_and_video_files.htm#Re-link_when_a_media_file_is_moved> for linking media files, ‘’ < http://help-nv10mac. qsrinternational.com/desktop/procedures/create_externals_for_sources_you_cannot_import.htm?rhsearch=externals> for Externals and the ‘Edit a hyperlink’ <http://help-nv10mac. qsrinternational.com/desktop/procedures/add_delete_and_manage_hyperlinks.htm> topic for updating hyperlinks.

  • Some audio and video formats in NVivo for Windows projects are not supported and will not play in NVivo for Mac. This includes YouTube videos, WMV, WMA, MPG, QT, 3GP, MTS, M2TS.
  • Media that are stored externally may be able to be linked in NVivo for Mac, but may not be playable by NVivo for Mac.  
  • Trying to link audio or video files in an NVivo for Mac project converted from NVivo for Windows may get “The media file duration does not match the original linked file duration”.   
  • Some PDFs, although can be imported into NVivo for Windows, cannot be converted for use in an NVivo for Mac project due to being corrupt.
  • When converting projects from the Windows to Mac format, documents with many embedded images or complex tables can fail to convert.  

Tip: If you work with documents with complex tables or lots of embedded images and plan to convert your project to the Mac format, we recommend saving the document as a PDF instead.

  • Some coding references are displayed (grouped) differently between NVivo for Windows and NVivo for Mac. On NVivo for Mac, coding references separated by spaces are not considered (or displayed) as a whole, like they do on NVivo for Windows. 
  • Matrix view settings are retained in converted project from Windows to Mac but are lost when the project is converted back to Windows.
  • Opening a Coding Query that was converted from NVivo for Windows in NVivo for Mac can result in date time attribute values being cleared.  

Queries with unsupported items in scope/criteria in converted projects will not be allowed to run. Queries with settings that do not affect results such as save option other than “Preview only” will be executable but the setting will be lost when the project is converted back to Windows.  

Related links

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