Designing your survey - configuring text box, dropdown, multiple choice and checkbox elements

If you click within each element container it will be highlighted and switch from the Build to Configure tab in the left-hand palette.

Element settings

Required answer

Check this setting to make an answer mandatory. You can also choose the error message to be generated if this is left blank. If you select a required answer and do not enter a required error message, the error message will default to Please answer the question below. There are some other default error messages such as Please enter your full name and Please enter your email address for preconfigured Name and Email fields respectively.

Validation (text box and email address questions only)

Check this setting for validation of a required field. You can choose the type of validation you require from the drop down menu (currently only email address validation is available). If you do not enter a validation error message, a default message of either The format is incorrect (or Please enter a valid email address when using an email address element) will be generated.

Note: A required answer setting and a validation setting can both be selected for an email address box. If the box is left blank, the required answer error message will be generated in the first instance. If the field is filled in, and a recognized email address is not entered, then the validation error message will be displayed.

Default value (text box questions only)

Enter details to create a guide for how to complete a field, e.g. Please provide your full name (first name and last name) – however if this box is not completed the default value will be stored as an answer. If you do not require the value to be stored then see the watermark instructions below.

Watermark (text box questions only)

Enter details to create a guide for how to complete a field. As soon as the cursor is placed in the field, the watermark will disappear and allow a new value to be entered. If not completed (and it is not checked as a required field), the watermark will not be stored as an answer.

Note that the watermark feature is not supported by all browsers; as such it should be used to guide the respondent, and not be relied on for survey navigation. (At the time of writing it is supported by all major browsers except for Internet Explorer.)

Edit list (for dropdown, multiple choice and checkbox question only)

Click the Edit list button to populate and edit your dropdown, multiple choice and checkbox lists.

Import list (for dropdown, multiple choice and checkbox questions only) You have three options:

  • paste a list from another document
  • use a predefined list
  • type your list directly into the Manage list section

Click on Paste a List and paste the list you wish to use into the text box (note that the list you copy must be formatted with one item per line), click on Use this list and this will populate the Manage list section.

Alternatively, select Choose a predefined list and choose from the dropdown, click on Use this list and it will populate in the Manage list section.

Manage list (for dropdown, multiple choice and checkbox questions only)

To type in an item directly, click within the topmost field directly underneath the Manage list heading, make your entry and then click Add. It will appear in the list below. This item will then appear at the bottom of your list. You can add items for your list one by one this way.

To change an item's position within your list, select it to highlight it in blue and then move it by using the green arrows to the right. You can delete items using the delete button positioned in between the arrows.

Default selection (for dropdown, multiple choice, checkbox and Likert questions only)

This is the default for the answer for this question; if you do not select a default it will remain blank.

To select a default value, click on the arrow to display your list and select the value you wish to display as default. If you are shown the choice of [None] in the default dropdown, selecting this will mean no choice is pre-selected for multiple choice and Likert scale questions, whilst dropdown questions will display a [Please select] prompt.

Finally click on Accept changes to load your settings into the dropdown, multiple choice or checkbox elements on your survey.

Display Other option (for dropdown, multiple choice and checkbox questions only)

Selecting this checkbox will add the item Other to the end of the list of answers. This allows respondents to select this field and enter their own answer to the question.

Page branching (for dropdown and multiple choice questions only)

Selecting this checkbox will allow you to create surveys with multiple routes based on your respondents' answers. This will ensure they only see the questions that are relevant to them. To enable page branching though, you will need your survey to have at least three pages, to include a multiple choice or dropdown question, and have at least one answer to that question.

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