What's new in NVivo 12?


Lyn Lavery Mixed methods researchers will have something to be excited about with the latest version of NVivo. A new crosstab feature and support for SPSS data files will really enhance the way qualitative and quantitative data can be integrated within the software.

Other improvements include simplification of the ribbon and the navigation view, both designed to make the NVivo experience more user-friendly. A slight change in the terminology and organisation of tools within the interface should also make it much easier for new users to learn their way around. There are also a range of minor improvements such as new auto coding functionality, and Mac users will be delighted to know they can now easily export their codebook.

If you’re new to the software, the changes are good news. You should find it much easier to find your away around, and there are some excellent quick-start video tutorials to help you learn basic functionality.

For those of us that have been using the software for a while, I suspect some of the changes may take a little getting used to. It’s all pretty intuitive though e.g. Sources are now called Data; Nodes are located under a new Codes area; and Memos have been moved into a new Notes area. As you can now see all folders at the same time in the navigation view (see left), it doesn’t take long to figure out where your favourite feature has moved to. Other than that, the techniques of working with the software are almost identical to version 11, which will likely come as a relief for most researchers.

Should you upgrade? If you’re engaged in mixed methods research or are about to embark on your first NVivo project, then that would be a definite yes. If you’re happy with NVivo 11, then you might want to just stick with it for a little longer, but keep in mind that you will need to upgrade at some stage (most institutions will support the current and previous version of the software only). If you’re nearing completion of a project you’re probably best to finish it off before upgrading. For those of you still on NVivo 10 – it’s definitely time to move on!

As always with new releases, any NVivo 10 or 11 projects can be opened in the latest version of the software. There’s no backwards compatibility though, so you’ll need to stick with NVivo 12 once you’ve upgraded. If you’re working in a team, all team members will need to upgrade.

In terms of accessing NVivo 12, if you have purchased your own license you’ll need to contact QSR International about upgrading. If your organisation has a site license then you can expect they will have access to NVivo 12, but may not choose to make it available to staff and students immediately.

If you’d like to see NVivo 12 in action, we have free webinars coming up on April 6th and 18th. Look forward to seeing you there!