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Good afternoon,

I am aware others have asked this question before, but I have tried those suggestions and it has not worked so far. I'm still pretty new to NVivo so I might have done things incorrectly. Therefore I will try to explain my exact situation below.

My project set up:

Files: I have three files, they all contain the same participants (with ID) but every file focusses on a different survey question (file 1 about feelings, file 2 about relations, file 3 about school). So file 1 has one column of ID's and one column with answers to question 1 about feelings, file 2 has the same ID's but the answers to question 2 about relations in the second column, and file 3 has the same ID's but answers to questions 3 about school in the second column. 

Nodes: I have a created three node folders, one for each of my survey questions. And then within those folders I have a node structure for each question with about 30-40 parent and child nodes and 600-700 references. 

Case classifications: I have imported a case classification sheet that has one column with the ID's of participants and the second column has the county where they are from. When I click case classifications it shows one classification 'ID', with one attribute 'county'. 

After coding all of my content I wanted to see the coding by county, to compare whether children in certain counties give very different answers to children from other counties. I thought using a crosstab was the best way to do this. I added the nodes for one of my questions for example question 1 about feelings, and then classification: ID, and Attribute 1: county. However, the returns no results. 

I am really not sure what's going wrong here and I was hoping I could get some help with it.

Thanks very much!

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Hello @FKS,

First of all I would not recommend a theme based data structuring model while working in Nvivo. 

Since you completed your coding, I can suggest a work-around.

 If all three files has exact same participants, then all you need to do is to create cases for each participant.

So to visualize your data structure should be like this:




In such a setting, you need to select both Participant 1 paragraphs from file 1 and and file 2 and assign them to Case Participant 1. Next, you can assign imported classification to your cases and set values.

Once you completed above steps the cross-tab query tool will provide you results.

To better understand the rationale behind cases please refer to video here.

I hope this helps,


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Hi FKS, can you please check that everything has been coded to your cases correctly? I suspect that not everything is coded to your cases which would explain why your query isn’t returning results. If everything looks correct to you, please submit a support request and we would be happy to take a look at what is going on. You can submit a support request through our support website https://support.qsrinternational.com/nvivo/s/contactsupport


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Heather, I think you are right but I'm not sure how to solve it. My data is confidential so I can't submit a support request. I hope I can get some help if I explain in detail what I have done so far to code my participants as cases (ID's). 

1. I imported a classification sheet with ID and county (attribute). 

2. I right-clicked on each of my three files (one file for each question) and said 'create as cases', the 'cases' were highlighted (not the individual cases but just the overarching group), and I said assign to classification: ID. 

3. I clicked on 'cases' where I could see all ID's and selected them all and right clicked and said 'clase classification' = ID.

But now when I click on case classification and then select 'ID' all ID's have 0 files and 0 references attached to them.

One thing that is necessary for my dataset is to be able to assign the participants to cases / code them all at once, since I have about 700 participants. 
Also, in response to Canarik: all three files contain different answers. So it does not look like your data structure. Even though each file has exactly the same participants, they all have different answers in each file because the file included answers to a different question. Does that make sense? 

I hope you have a sense of what's going on here and have a solution for me, I am really eager to get this right soon.

Thanks very much,



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Hello gain @FKS,

I totally understood your data structure.

My sample data structure visuals show same answers just because I duplicated same answers for demonstration.

Please not that the purpose of these visuals to show the data structure not to reflect context of answers (i.e. answers to questions are irrelevant here).

Please follow the steps that I shared above.


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Hi Canarik,

I ran into trouble with your steps because of my large number of participants. It's impossible to select every single participant and attach them to the right case. Is there a way to do this all at once? I've tried a lot of different things (for example what I described in my response yesterday) but it's all not working out.

Best wishes,


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Hello again @FKS,

Please note the official help documentation states :

"You cannot add additional rows or columns to a dataset after import, so it is important to gather your data before you start the import operation.
For each dataset that you want to create, your data must be gathered into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (.xlsx or .xls).
You cannot select multiple worksheets (within a spreadsheet), so the data you want to import must be gathered into a single worksheet."

What you explained regarding your data structure is quite different than the recommended style.

You could have created something similar to below to combine all information into a single dataset:


During the import process you would have had the chance of creating your cases and assigning attributes to them automatically.

However, at this stage, like Heather suggested above, I would strongly recommend to get in touch with the support team.

I do understand your privacy concern, but please note that support team provides their service under the terms of a privacy disclaimer. You may discuss the details with the team.


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  • 1 month later...

Good day

I need help on my data analysis and coding.May I get someone to be in touch with me so we arrange a zoom meeting.

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Hello @BKC,

If you would like to get curated assistance, please refer here to reach certified Nvivo trainers.


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