NVivo for Mac beta is available!

Exciting news for Mac users working with NVivo: the beta of NVivo for Mac has been released! You can download the beta version from the QSR company’s website. Because it is a beta, you do not need to enter a licence key; the beta is free for everyone and will operate until June, when the full release version is released. You will need to download a licence key from BU to operate the full release version; we will make that available when the version comes out.

Please bear in mind two important cautions about this current Mac version. First, it is a beta test version; that means you can expect some bugs. Make sure to back up all sensitive data regularly; if reliable operation is crucial to work, you should probably wait until the full version is available, and use the Windows version in the meantime. Second, because it is being built from scratch, even the release version will not have the full functionality of the Windows version to start with, though the intent is to add this in. (Word clouds and tree maps, for example, are not yet available.) The NVivo website has a summary of which features are available in the Mac version and which are not.

NVivo Mac project files are in a different format (.nvpx) from the Windows format (.nvp). NVivo for Windows can convert the two formats in the new version, Service Pack 5, with a plugin installed. When you open NVivo for Windows while connected to the internet, it should notify you that Service Pack 5 is available and ask you to download it. In Service Pack 5 you can create a Mac version of your project by opening the project, clicking File/Manage/Copy Project, and selecting the option for “Copy to NVivo 10 for Mac project”. Go to “Browse” to select a filename for the Mac version. The first time you do this, it will ask you to download a plugin and give you instructions on how to get the plugin.

The plugin should produce an .nvpx file that you can read with NVivo for Mac. Some users have experienced errors with it, both downloading the plugin and making the system work once the plugin is installed. If you get an error downloading the plugin, you can download it manually. Download the ExtractConverter application (executable) file and the ProjectConverter zip file into the same directory, and double-click on the ExtractConverter file within Windows to run it. You will notice a black command window appear. The command window should disappear after the project converter has been installed successfully. You can then start NVivo and should be able to follow the instructions above to copy projects.

There has also been an issue with the project converter failing and causing NVivo to crash. We have not yet determined the cause of this problem. If you have been experiencing this problem, pelase send us a note at ithelp@bu.edu and we will work with you next week to help resolve it.