Questions - introduction

From LimeSurvey Manual

(Redirected from Adding a question)
This page contains changes which are not marked for translation.
Other languages:
Deutsch • ‎English • ‎Nederlands • ‎Tiếng Việt • ‎dansk • ‎español • ‎français • ‎italiano • ‎magyar • ‎polski • ‎română • ‎slovenščina • ‎български • ‎русский • ‎日本語

Important.png  Attention : Please note that the explanations and screenshots from this wiki section are based on LimeSurvey 3.


Once you have created your question groups, you can start adding questions within each group. There are multiple ways through which you can do that. Two solutions are presented below:

Survey structure - add new question.png

  • Access a question group and look for the add question quick action button;

Question group - add a new question.png

Field descriptions

When adding a question, you will be asked about the question code, question and help texts, and the general question options:

Add a question - 1.png

  • Question code: It represents the ID, number or code for the question that is used for quick identification. This field is normally not displayed to people taking the survey unless specified in the Presentation panel - Show question number and/or code. It is especially useful if you wish to use the LimeSurvey assessments feature and/or the ExpressionScript.
Help.png Note: The question code must be unique across the same survey, must start with a letter, and can only contain alphanumeric characters. If you ever try to export your data to SPSS or R, you will discover that the "qcode" becomes the value label, so you have to make the code unique. For the time being, LimeSurvey will support legacy code values, but the Show logic file button will color-code such questions so that you know you should change their names.
  • Question: This is the actual question being asked. There is no real limit to the length of the question here, however if you want to explain how to fill out the question, leave that for the "Help" field. HTML-code can be used, e.g., for including images:
<img src="">
Help.png Hint: You can also use the HTML WYSIWYG editor, which offers a GUI to perform the most important tasks such as using different fonts or sizes, including images, etc. To find out more about it, read the following wiki section.
  • Help: This is an optional field. It is useful if a question needs some explanation or you want to explain how it should be answered. When you put text in this field, a "question mark" icon appears on the survey entry screens with the help text right beside it.

Help.png Note: The General options tab is accessed by default when you wish to add/edit a question (on the right side of the panel). The most important attributes can be found here such as the question type, question theme, as well as the mandatory attribute. However, you can edit your question further by making use of all the other attributes located under the rest of the tabs (see the below screenshot). To find out more about the multitude ways of designing questions in LimeSurvey, please continue reading the following wiki section.

Add question - 2.png

General options

Different tabs are displayed on the right part of the screen. The most basic and important one is the General options tab. The following question settings can be changed from here:

  • Question type: This determines the type of response the survey allows. View the question types section for a description on the various available options.
  • Question group: To change the question group of a question, select from the dropdown list the desired group.
  • Validation: This feature is available in all text- and numeric- type questions. You can use standard regular expressions in this field to validate the responses to the question, and if the responses don't validate against this expression, the user will be prompted to try again before he or she can progress further.
  • Other?: This option can be used only with certain question types. If enabled, the question will include as a possible answer an extra "other" option/answer box, which can be selected by the survey participant if he or she is not satisfied with the predefined answer options.
  • Mandatory?: This setting allows you to require survey participants to answer all the mandatory questions before they can move on to the next question. Note that for ranking question, all items have to be ranked.
  • Condition: This is the ExpressionScript equation that specifies the question conditions. If it evaluates to true (1), the question will be displayed to the survey participant; otherwise it is hidden and since it is irrelevant, data for that question is NULLed in the database. Details about how to use this option can be found in the ExpressionScript wiki section.
  • Encrypted: This setting is only available for some question types and determines if the saved response data is encrypted in the database. This gives an additional layer of security if your database gets hacked. However, it has some minor drawbacks, as you will not be able to search for partial texts in the response view and encrypting/decrypting also requires additional server resources.
  • Save as default values: This setting allows you to save the settings of the current question type as default settings for new questions. If you set it to 'On', it will save the default values, then automatically reset to 'Off' after you saved.
  • Clear default values: With this setting, you can reset any default values saved by the function 'Save as default values' and revert to system default values. If you set it to 'On', it will reset the default values, then automatically reset to 'Off' after you saves.
Help.png Note: As it can be observed in the above screenshot, many other options can be used besides the general options tab to customize your question. These more advanced question settings are different for each question type! Therefore, please consult the documentation for your particular question type.

Importing a question

The following steps demonstrate how to import a question into a survey.

(1) From within a survey, click the Structure tab.

(2) From the Create question page, click Import a question at the top of the page.


The Import a question options will be displayed.

Import a question 2.png

(3) Click Browse and select the .lsq file (which is the LimeSurvey question-type format).

(4) Select the Destination question group that you want to add the imported question into.

(5) Choose whether or not you would like to Automatically rename the question code if it already exits. If the question code already exists, enable this option to use another question code. You can also have two questions that use the same question code. However, some issues might appear if you use more complex LimeSurvey options such as the ExpressionScript or when you work with the exported data in R or SPSS (qcode becoming a value label).

Help.png Hint: To check if the question codes are unique across your survey, use the Show logic file LimeSurvey function to highlight the similar question codes.

(6) Choose whether or not to Convert resource links. This option is usually used together with the ExpressionScript to create advanced question types. If you use them together, complex branching, assessments, validation, and/or tailoring can be done.

(7) Click Import located on the upper right part of the screen.

The Question import summary will be displayed.

Import a question 3.png

Information from survey participants table

Help.png Please note that the token tables are called now survey participants tables.

You can insert information or text from the survey participants table into your question so that it can show context related information. For LimeSurvey to do this, the survey needs to be set as not anonymous (i.e: tracked) and it needs to have a survey participants table created.

The following placeholders can be used within a question:

{TOKEN:FIRSTNAME} inserts the value from the "firstname" field located in the survey participants table
{TOKEN:LASTNAME} inserts the value from the "lastname" field located in the survey participants table
{TOKEN:EMAIL} inserts the value from the "email" field located in the survey participants table
{TOKEN:ATTRIBUTE_1} inserts the value from the "attribute_1" field located in the survey participants table
{TOKEN:ATTRIBUTE_2} inserts the value from the "attribute_2" field located in the survey participants table

To use any of the placeholders from above, you must type it/them as written above in the question field text. For example:

Hello {TOKEN:FIRSTNAME}. We sent an email to you using this address {TOKEN:EMAIL}.

If you wish to further customize your questions, use the [[ExpressionScript - Presentation|ExpressionScript]]. For example, if you wish to make use of the tailoring technique, type in:

<syntaxhighlight lang="php">What do you as a {TOKEN:ATTRIBUTE_1} think about your {if(TOKEN:ATTRIBUTE_1=='worker','bosses','workers')}?

You may also use JavaScript to achieve further question customization. First, you have to allow JavaScript to be used when setting up questions. This can be achieved by deactivating the XSS filter from the global settings of your LimeSurvey installation. However, deactivating this option is not always a good idea - read the following wiki section for further information. Question tailoring via JavaScript:

Hello {TOKEN:FIRSTNAME}. We sent an email to you using this address {TOKEN:EMAIL}. Is this correct?
What do you as a {TOKEN:ATTRIBUTE_1} think about your
<script type="text/javascript" language="Javascript">;
   var job='{TOKEN:ATTRIBUTE_1}';
   if (job=='worker') {
      document.write ('bosses')
   } else {

Information from previous answers

LimeSurvey allows survey administrators to insert an answer(s) from the previous question(s) into the text of a question:

  • You can refer to answers on the same page and even dynamically update tailored messages as responses change on the page.
  • You can use question code naming - for more details, see the ExpressionScript documentation.

A wizard has been integrated in the WYSIWYG HTML editor (FCKeditor), so that you can easily insert previous question/answer codes. This plugin is called LimeReplacementFields.

In order to use this feature in the FCKeditor:

(1) Click the "lime between brackets" icon.

(2) Select a question from the select box.

Editor replacementfields button.png

Only answers from previous pages are displayed.

Help.png LimeReplacementFields notice: When you want to delete a reference to a {name} tag, please select all characters from the opening bracket to the closing bracket and press delete: DO NOT erase it character by character with the delete or backspace key, otherwise the field will appear again.

Styling questions

It is possible to edit the question layout/design with CSS using the theme editor.