Source properties

All sources have general properties such as name and description. Depending on the source type, other properties may be available.

By default, certain source properties are displayed in the List View, you can customize the properties that are displayed—refer to Customize the workspace for information about showing and hiding properties in List View. You can use source properties to sort items in List View—for example, you could sort sources by the date they were created.

You can search for sources based on their properties, refer to Find project items for more information.

In this topic


General properties

Name  Displays the name of the source. You can enter a new name or modify the name.

Description  Displays the description of the source. You can enter a new description. When importing a document or memo source, you can choose to use the first paragraph to create the description.

Location  Displays folder that contains the source.

Size  Displays the file size of the source.

Color  Displays user assigned color for source—you can change the color.

Created On/By  Displays the date the source was created and the initials of the user who created it.

Modified On/By  Displays the date the source was last modified and the initials of the user who modified it.

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Attribute Values

Bibliographical data and other classifying information about the source can be stored on the Attribute Values tab.

Classification Displays the source classification that this source is currently assigned to. For example, if your project includes video clips from movies, you could assign each video source to the predefined source classification Film or Broadcast. `

When a source is classified, its attribute values are displayed on this tab—for example, a video source classified as Film or Broadcast could have the following attribute values:


Attribute Value


 Joe Smith

Year Released



ABC Documentary


You can view or change the source's attribute values on this tab. To view the attribute values of all sources in a classification (for example, all films), refer to Use the Classification Sheet to see the attribute values .

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Dataset properties

For each field (column) in a dataset, the following properties are displayed:

  • Name  Displays the name of the field. You can change the name of the field, by entering a new value.

  • Analysis Type  Indicates whether the field is a codable or classifying field. You can choose the analysis type for each field when you create the dataset. You cannot modify this setting after the dataset has been created. Refer to About dataset sources for more information on codable and classifying fields.

  • Data Type  Displays the data type of the field—for example, text or date. You can choose the data type for classifying fields when you create the dataset. You cannot modify this setting after the dataset has been created. Refer to Valid data types for more information.

  • Visible  Indicates whether the field is visible when you open the dataset in Detail View. By default all fields are visible. You can clear the check box to hide the field. If a field is hidden, it is not included when you print or export the dataset.

Move Up and Move Down  You can use these buttons to reorder the fields (columns) in your dataset. These buttons are only available when you have selected a field from the list. Refer to Filter, sort and customize datasets for more information.

If the dataset contains Social Media data that was collected with NCapture, then you can see the following additional properties:

  • Origin  Displays the source of the social media data—for example Facebook or Twitter.

  • Contents  Describes the specific content of the dataset—for example posts from Mary Smith's Facebook wall or the results of searching for Tweets about climate change.

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Video/Audio properties

Duration  Displays the duration of the media file in hours/minutes/seconds/milliseconds.

Transcript entries  Displays the number of entries in the transcript for the video/audio source.

Under Media, you can see where the media file is stored. For sources containing imported media, you can select:

  • Embedded in project  Select this option to embed the media file within your NVivo project—embedding large files can impact project performance.

  • Not embedded - file location  Select this option to store the media file on a computer or network outside of your project.  Click the Browse button to specify the location. Storing media files outside of the project can be useful when you are dealing with many or very large media files. Refer to Store audio and video files for more information.

Format  Displays the file format of the media file.

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Picture properties

Dimensions  Displays the size of the picture in pixels

Log entries  Displays the number of entries in the picture log.

Properties  Displays additional properties if available—for example, some digital cameras record details about creation dates, exposure, resolution and so on. You can click on the Name or Value column heading to sort the properties.

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External properties

Type  The option displays the type of item the external represents, you can select:

  • File link:  an electronic file that can be opened or played on your computer. For example, a PowerPoint presentation.

  • Web link:  a web URL

  • Other:  items that cannot be accessed on a computer such as newspaper articles or books.  

File path  Displays the path of an electronic file that can be opened on your computer. To enter or change the location, click the Browse button and locate the file.

URL path  Displays the web address (for example, This option is only used when the external represents a web page. You can enter or change the URL.

Location description  Displays the physical location of an external item  (for example, top shelf, my desk, filing cabinet.) This option is only used when the item cannot be accessed by the computer. You can enter or change the location.

Contents  Displays the type of content that is contained in the external. When you create an external you can select a predefined content type or you can enter a new content type.  If you define a new type—it will be available the next time you create an external in the project. You cannot change the content type of an existing external.

Unit  This option is used to select the paragraph headings that you want to appear in the external. For example, if the external represents a book, you may want it divided into chapters. The unit changes depending on content type you selected in the Contents list. If you created a new content type then you will need to create a new unit type.

Start range  Enter the number for the first paragraph.

End range  Enter the number for the last paragraph.

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