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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 12 Mac?

The following issues are known limitations in the NVivo 12 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 with an unsaved document is already open.
  • Open or Closing projects can take a long time, especially for larger projects.
Tip: Wait for the project to close to make sure all data is saved to the project before closing NVivo or saving a copy of the project file.
Teamwork Support
  • Remove User: User criteria in saved queries are not replaced when a user has been removed from a project.  Running a query where the user has been removed will result in the message “Unsupported Query Criteria The query was created in NVivo for Windows and contains criteria that are not currently supported…”. 
Undo is only available for certain operations. You cannot undo the following actions:
  • Move or copy project items such as files, nodes, folders, sets, classifications and mind maps
  • Merge nodes
  • Add or remove set members
  • Remove user from project
  • Any actions involving classifications (for example, import classification data)
  • Prior actions after performing an action that cannot be undone.
  • Prior actions once you move to a different part of the application after editing a file.
  • Coding files at new node, when the newly created node is moved to a child node or folder. 
  • Import transcript into media from NVivo transcription 
  • In an imported document, bullets, numbered lists, table borders and line spacing may differ from the original document. 
  • Performance:  Import can take a long time 
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 within a text file.
  • The Ribbon and File menu options to ‘Select Paragraph’ do not work. 
Tip: use ⌘+ A to ‘Select All’, or triple click mouse to ‘Select Paragraph’.  


  • PDF scrolling suffers from flickering and poor performance.
  • Text in PDF Files 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
  • A limited range of audio and video formats are supported. These include:
    • MOV recorded on mobile iOS devices (such as an iPad or iPhone)
    • MP4 recorded on Android or Windows Mobile 8 phones
    • MOV or M4A exported from QuickTime on a Mac (OS X 10.7.5 and later)
    • MP3
    • WAV
  • Cannot code transcripts while in Edit mode.
  • Cannot customize transcript Columns.
  • Transcript import supports text files in specified formats only. 
Tip: Refer to the help topic ‘Import audio or video transcripts’ 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 file 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 use the mouse or touchpad to scroll.
  • Sorting or filtering is not retained when user closes and reopens the dataset in the same project session. 
  • When filtering with more than one criteria, the second criteria is not saved and displayed when user reopens the Filter criteria dialog. Note that the Filter criteria is still successfully applied to the Dataset. 
  • Coding Stripe area length is not updated after filter is applied showing stripes past the end of the visible Dataset. 
  • Not able to apply a filter comparing values in two columns. 
  • 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 from the Date and Time import options selected in the Dataset Import Wizard 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. Time 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
  • Time column in an imported Twitter or Facebook Dataset shown in GMT instead of local time. 
  • Links in Facebook datasets do not navigate to the linked record if the destination record is on a different page. 
  • 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 that are captured using NCapture for Internet Explorer and then imported into NVivo are formatted differently from the original web page. Tip: For best results we recommend using NCapture for Chrome to capture web data when using NVivo for Mac.
Reference Management
  • The EndNote X7 Reference Types; Podcast, Interview and Press Release are not created when using the “Different Classification based on record type” option. 
Tip:  Choose the “Single classification (Reference)” if you use these References Types.
  • If you export your references from EndNote on Windows, file attachments will not contain a valid file path for a Mac.
Tip: Exporting your references in EndNote for Mac will ensure file paths are correct for a Mac and ensure file attachments are imported in NVivo for Mac. For further work arounds refer to this Importing EndNote files with references into NVivo FAQ.
Note taking
  • OneNote tags, handwritten content, drawings (including boxes, lines and highlighting) are not bought across to NVivo.  
  • Images created by the OneNote ‘Insert File Printout’ function that are imported as a Document will import into NVivo in the wrong order.  
TIP:   Import as PDF if the order of the pages is important.
  • The ‘Full Page’ and ‘Region’ options in the WebClipper tool for OneNote only save browser content as images. Text functionality such as Text Search Query, Word Frequency Query and coding text references will not be available when importing these images to NVivo.
TIP:  Use the ‘Article’ option when using WebClipper, which saves the text content as text, not as an image.
  • OneNote pages with wide content may have content on the right side of the page cut-off. 
  • Pages in password protected OneNote sections are not shown and cannot be accessed for import into NVivo. 
  • Mathematical formulas may not be represented correctly in NVivo. 
Printing and Export
  • Datasets, pictures and transcripts cannot be printed from NVivo
  • Export the item from NVivo for Mac, then open and print using the Preview app, Pages or Word.
  • Images inserted into text files using NVivo do not show when the file is printed or exported.
  • Emoji characters that are coded do not show when printing or exporting content from the Node Reference View.
  • Changes made to font size, type or style are not reflected in printouts for non-English content. 
  • Order of references in printout or export may be different to the order of references in the Node Reference View.
  • Code highlighting for coded images is not printed. 
  • When printing a Node List the arrow that denotes the Node has children may not be printed. 
TIP: If it is important to see which Nodes have children, prior to printing expand all parent Nodes.
  • Coding context options set on Node Reference View are not included in print or export. 
  • Exporting Documents, Externals, Memos, Nodes and PDFs does not export the code highlighting.
  • Exporting Nodes does not export according to the current view settings.
  • Exporting Nodes with picture coding shows the region coordinates but not the region. 
  • In an exported file, the order of transcript or picture log references does not match the order of the Node or Case.  
  • Exporting as a doc or docx (and opening in Office 2016) can result in missing content, such as bold formatting or last line of content.
  • Localization: Export list view in Doc or Docx format will have the last column truncated.
  • The Node List view is not always refreshed correctly, such as when merging nodes, coding contents in a document, transcript or picture log are edited or deleted, or when copy and pasting coded text from a document.
Tip:  Close and open the Project.
  • Performance: Coding and uncoding PDF files can take longer than for other files. 
  • Auto coding a Dataset by row with Date values will always create node names in the format “YYYY-MM-DD”. 
  • Auto coding social media datasets can take a long time. 
  • 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. 
TIP:  Double-click on the coding stripe instead to open the Node and coding reference will scroll into view.  

  • 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, spread coding in child nodes, merging social media datasets, 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.   
  • The Memo system folder does not correctly refresh when moving a node to a case or case to a node folder with a linked memo, the link is removed but the updated link is not displayed to reflect the change. 
  • Close and re-open the Project.
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 file 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. 
  • When auto coding a Twitter or Facebook dataset and choosing to classify cases from classifying columns and only selecting columns “Mentions" and "Hashtag" for a Twitter dataset or "Tagged" for a Facebook dataset to use as attributes the cases and classification are not created. 
  • Importing Classifications with a large number of attributes and rows of data can take a long time. 
  • Globalization: (Import/Export classification): Time, Date, Date and Time values may be imported as Text. 
  • Globalization: If you change your Language & Region settings in Mac OS X without closing NVivo, you may experience problems with Decimals, Times and Dates. 
Tip: Close NVivo before changing Language & Region settings. 
  • Coding Comparison Queries support text files (documents, PDFs, memos, and externals) and datasets. Other file types—for example, pictures or datasets—are not supported for comparison.
  • When showing coding comparison content for node, clicking on the color stripes on the right does take you to the right highlighted spot. 
  • Switching between views of Text Search Query after deleting files 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 word boundaries. 
  • 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 based on OS user and computer. If the same project is opened on another computer, the matrix will display the default settings.
  • 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. 
Word Tree
  • Export option 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’ 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 files and hyperlinks will be broken after conversion, since Windows and Mac OS X use different file systems.
Tip: Refer to Audio and Videos Help topic for information about linking to media files and Links Help topic for information about working with 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”.  
  • When converting projects from the Windows to Mac format, documents with many embedded images or complex tables can fail to convert. 
  • 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.


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