Create and work with comparison diagrams


This topic explains how to create and work with comparison diagrams—a useful tool for comparing the similarities and differences between two project items.


The first two minutes of this video demonstrates comparison diagrams.

What do you want to do?


Generate a comparison diagram

  1. On the Explore tab, in the Diagrams group, click Comparison Diagram.

  1. Select an option to Compare Sources, Compare Nodes or Compare Cases. The Select Project Items dialog box opens.
  2. Choose the two items you want to compare—refer to Select Project Items for information about using this dialog box.
  3. Click OK. The comparison diagram is displayed in Detail View.


  • Alternatively, you can also select a source, node or case in List View first and then click Comparison Diagram and select Compare With.

  • You can also generate a Comparison Diagram while working in a node—refer to Review the references in a node.

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Change the connections displayed on a comparison diagram

You can choose to show different types of connections on a comparison diagram—for example, you may want to see only the nodes that code an item or only the memo links.

To change the type of associated items displayed on the diagram:

  • On the Comparison Diagram tab of the ribbon, in the Display group, select or clear the check box for the items you want to show or hide.

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Comparison diagrams cannot be saved in your project. However, you can copy and paste comparison diagrams as an image into many destinations, for example a memo, email or Word document.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Select and then click Select All.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click Copy.

The diagram is copied to the clipboard.

NOTE You can use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+A to select all, and then Ctrl+C to copy.

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Export a comparison diagram

You can export a comparison diagram as an image file (.jpg, .bmp, .gif, .png, .tif) to include in presentations or your final report.

  1. On the Data tab, in the Export group, click Items.

The Save As dialog box opens.

  1. Choose a location to save the file.

  2. In the File name box, review the name that NVivo proposes for the exported file, and change it if necessary.

  3. In the Save as type box, choose the file format for the exported file.

  4. Click Save.

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