Welcome to Narrative1! The steps outlined below will help you install the platform, access N1-Web, and work with N1-Excel and N1-Word to create your first narrative report.
This document is meant to be read in order, but you can skip ahead to a particular section by clicking one of the green links below. Throughout the document, you will also find links to more detailed information; these will open in a new browser tab so you can easily return to this document at any time.
- N1 Overview
- General Guidance
- Installation and N1 Updater
- Accessing N1 Web
- Getting Started with the N1 Excel Workbook
- Getting Started with the N1 Word Report
Narrative1 consists of three major components:
- N1-Web: N1-Web is accessed with your browser at www.n1-web.com. You will use N1-Web to manage your comparable & subject properties, and view jobs and contacts.
- N1-Excel: N1-Excel is where you will conduct your analysis work, using comps from N1-Web.
- N1: Word: Once you've completed your analysis in N1-Excel, you will import your data into a narrative report document using N1-Word.
The N1 University sessions are a helpful resource for new users. N1 University is a series of live training sessions that all Narrative1 users are invited to attend. All sessions are recorded and posted to the N1 University Videos page.
The three Getting Started videos are particularly helpful for new users, as they provide a walkthrough of the three main N1 components: N1-Web, N1-Excel, and N1-Word.
|Getting Started Part 1: N1-Web||Getting Started Part 2: N1-Excel||Getting Started Part 3: N1-Word|
For details about the next live N1 University session, including when it will be held, the topic to be covered, and registration information, please visit the N1 University Videos page.
We also offer customized training programs as an additional service. Refer to our downloadable Additional Training - Beyond the Basics PDF for more details.
Begin by installing and then updating Narrative1. Once installed, you will have access to N1-Excel and N1-Word on your computer. Instructions for installing Narrative1 and running the N1 Updater are available on the Installation page.
As N1-Web is accessed via a web browser, it does not require any installation in order to view or edit comps/contacts/jobs.
N1 Web is where you will manage your comparables, Jobs, and Contacts. To access N1 Web, simply open https://www.n1-web.com in any contemporary web browser.
Your login credentials can be found in the Narrative1 onboarding email.
There are also shortcut buttons for accessing N1 Web in the N1 Excel files; these are simply a convenience and are not required to access N1-Web.
You'll most likely want to start by inserting data for properties, which can later be imported into your N1-Excel workbook as your subject property or as comparables. You can find a description of this process on the Quick Start: Creating a Comp page.
For instructions on how to view comparables, visit Quick Start: Viewing Comps.
For more detailed information on the individual pages that appear when editing a comparable, read the information on Data Pages.
Upload Excel is a helpful tool that allows you to easily import a spreadsheet of comps into your database. For more information about how this tool works, you can read the documentation on the Upload Excel page.
After the N1 Updater has been run for the first time, the default N1-Word and N1-Excel templates are downloaded to Documents\Narrative1\Narrative1 Templates. Within that folder, the files in \Default Templates\General Use are re-updated every time the N1 Updater is run, providing a way to easily re-acquire fresh template files at any time. For this reason, if you want to start editing or customizing a "primary" template, it's best to edit it in \My Templates\General Use instead, or any other folder.
There are two ways to access these files:
- The N1 Dashboard. The N1 Dashboard is essentially a way to view and manage your N1 document files and folders. It can be opened by clicking the Narrative1 Start icon on the desktop. Refer to the Narrative1 Dashboard page for more information.
- You can also simply open up the Documents folder and access the files normally in your Windows file explorer.
As a new N1 user, you will want to create an Excel template that meets your specific business needs. Each time you begin a new appraisal project, you will create a copy of this template to work with. Though it is possible to re-use old projects, it's ideal to use a fresh template as often as possible, to avoid potential problems with accumulating errors.
A good approach to creating a template is to use the "Open Selected File or Folder" button in the Dashboard to open the Default Templates\General Use folder, and copy over the most up to date N1Appraisal.xlsm and N1Report.doc files into My Templates\General Use. This ensures they will not be overwritten by the N1 Updater later. This will allow you to save any adjustments or customization you perform in either file.
For more information about customizing an Excel template, refer to Customization.
After creating an Excel template, make a copy of it for your specific appraisal project:
1. Click Narrative1 Start on your desktop to open the N1 Dashboard.
2. Click the folder containing the Excel template you would like to use for your project, and then click the Copy Folder button.
3. In the Rename box, enter a name for the project and check the Save as work folder box.
4. Once all desired settings have been made, click Save. The Save As window will close, a confirmation window will appear, and the new folder and files will be visible in your Dashboard.
Refer to Narrative1 Dashboard for more information about this process.
Begin by opening the new Excel project file you created by double-clicking on it in the N1-Dashboard.
When Narrative1 was installed on your computer, it added the Narrative1 Ribbon to the menu at the top of Excel.
Learn more about the tools on the Ribbon in the N1 Ribbon section. When you are getting started, the most important N1 Ribbon tool is Prep Fields and Tables, which will be covered in more detail below.
If you have added your subject property to the Narrative1 database (via N1 Web), you can get started by importing it into Excel.
- Click on the File Info worksheet.
- Enter the subject property ID# in the yellow field beneath the button titled "Import Subject Data from DB." (for more information about finding ID numbers in N1-Web, refer to Quick Start: Exporting to Excel)
- Click the Import Subject Data from DB button.
The subject data will populate the fields to the right.
For more information about the File Info sheet, refer to File Info - Environment Overview.
You will typically progress through the individual worksheets from left to right, starting at the File Info worksheet.
The N1-Excel page contains documentation for all of the N1-Excel worksheets. Three worksheets bear special mention:
- Land Grid: used for comparing unimproved land
- Sales Grid: used for comparing improved property sales
- Lease Grid: used for comparing commercial/multifamily leases
Some projects might use only one or two of these, based on the subject property being evaluated.
Once your Excel data entry is complete, or at least in a solid draft form, click the Prep Fields and Tables button on the N1 Ribbon to prepare the data to be merged into Word.
Let the process fully complete. Once it is done, a brief pop-up will list the total number of prepped fields and tables.
Please note the Narrative1 Prep Fields and Tables function does not replace the need to save changes made within Excel through the normal Excel save process. Any work you do not want to lose should be saved through Excel's save options before you close an Excel file, as you would for any non-Narrative1 Excel workbook.
Now that the Excel workbook has been filled out, the next step is to merge the content into N1-Word.
If you haven't already created a separate copy of your Word report template, per the instructions on starting the N1 Excel workbook and creating a separate project workbook, now would be the time to do so.
Double-click on the N1-Word file you'd like to open. In this example, we will open the N1-Report file within the new "Example Project Name" project folder we created.
You can also click once on the file you'd like to open, then click Open Selected Folder or File below.
As with the N1-Excel file, you will likely want to customize the N1-Word Report file to create a template that meets your specific business needs. For information about working with the fields and tables in N1-Word, refer to Updating and Editing Fields and Tables. The Word templates are much more freely customized than the Excel templates, and can, for the most part, just be edited (or even created from scratch) like any other Word document. The only real difference between this and any other Word document is the use of the Fields and Tables tool on the N1 Ribbon to create placeholders for data to come in from Excel.
It is also possible to convert your existing appraisal report file to N1-Word template by following the instructions found at Convert Your Appraisal Report to an N1 Template.
To make it clear what is normal text vs. a field, you may want to turn on the Field Shading option in Word. This will not affect printouts. It only changes how the document looks while you are viewing it. Instructions can be found at Enabling Field Shading. You will only need to do this once per computer, at least as long as Office remains installed.
Just as the Prep Fields and Tables tool is found in the Narrative1 Excel Ribbon, the Merge Fields and Tables tool can be found on the Narrative1 Word Ribbon. This tool merges in all of the data from the prepped N1-Excel file.
1. Click on the Narrative1-Word Ribbon.
2. Click Merge Fields and Tables.
3. Click to select the N1-Excel file containing the data you'd like to merge.
4. Click OK to begin merging the data.
It will automatically search the data of your Excel file and begin updating all fields and tables in your Word file, as long as they have matching data in the Excel file. Once the process has completed, you will have an appraisal report file containing all of the data merged in from the N1-Excel file.
For more information about this process, you can watch the N1 University session Prep & Merge In-depth Analysis.