Question themes

From LimeSurvey Manual


Question themes can be used to customize existing question types and change their visual appearance. Question themes can only be built on core Question types.


To access the question themes, go to Configuration > Themes > Question themes.



Here you can visualize both question types, core question themes, and user question themes.



Question Themes are by default visible, but can be switched off. Once turned off, they will no longer be displayed inside the question type selector.

Configuration > Themes > Question Themes > Visibility


The following screenshots of the question type selector shows the visibility of the Array 5-point question "On" (left) and "Off" (right)


When the Option "Show as question type" is enabled, all question themes will also be displayed inside the question type selector.

Uninstall and available question themes

All available themes will be displayed in this section.

If you want to uninstall a question theme, you can do so by selecting the question Theme and choosing "Uninstall" inside the dropdown menu under the table. They will now appear inside the available Question Themes table.

If a theme is uninstalled, it will no longer be available inside the question type selector.

Steps to uninstall a question theme:

1. Configuration > Themes > Question themes

2. Tick the box for the question theme that you would like to uninstall.

3. Click on "Selected themes" at the bottom of the page and select "Uninstall" from the dropdown options.

Help.pngQuestion themes cannot be uninstalled if they are still used inside a aurvey.


Broken question themes

If there are errors while loading the available question themes, they will be displayed in this category with an error message.

Importing question theme

It is possible to import Question Themes using the import button. During the import, the theme will be automatically installed and available for use.

When a theme is imported from LS3 or above, it will be automatically converted into the current standard.

The imported Theme must be in the ZIP format.

Before compressing the folder to zip, it must have the following structure:



List of question types/IDs and default CSS classes

Question Type Question Class Question ID
5 point choice .choice-5-pt-radio 5
Array (10 point choice) .array-10-pt B
Array (5 point choice) .array-5-pt A
Array (Flexible Labels) dual scale .array-flexible-duel-scale 1
Array (Increase, Same, Decrease) .array-increase-same-decrease E
Array (Multi Flexible) (Numbers) .array-multi-flexi :
Array (Multi Flexible) (Text) .array-multi-flexi-text ;
Array (Yes/No/Uncertain) .array-yes-uncertain-no C
Array (flexible labels) .array-flexible-row F
Array (flexible labels) by column .array-flexible-column H
Boilerplate question .boilerplate X
Date .date D
Gender .gender G
Huge free text .text-huge U
Language switch .language I
List (dropdown) .list-dropdown !
List (radio) .list-radio L
List with comment .list-with-comment O
Long free text .text-long T
Multiple numerical input .numeric-multi K
Multiple options .multiple-opt M
Multiple options with comments .multiple-opt-comments P
Multiple short text .multiple-short-txt Q
Numerical input .numeric N
Ranking .ranking R
Short free text .text-short S
Yes/No .yes-no Y


The configuration of a question theme can be found inside config.xml.

An example can be found in the docs folder.


The Metadata describes the question theme. These settings will also be saved in the database.


Tag Type Mandatory Description
name string x The name of the extension
type string x Type of the extension; can be "plugin", "theme", etc; see below
title string x The title that is displayed in the frontend
creationDate date (YYYY-MM-DD) Date the extension was created
lastUpdate date (YYYY-MM-DD) Date of the latest update
author string x Plugin author
authorUrl url x URL to author web page, necessary so that customers can contact author for support
copyright string x Copyright Information
license string x Extension licence
version string as semantic version x Extension version number
apiVersion string x Api version number
description string x Information that will be shown as help text
questionType string x The Question Type the Theme is associated with
group string x The Group inside the selector it should be assigned to
subquestions string x If or how many Subquestionscales should be displayed
answerscales string x If or how many Answerscales should be displayed
hasdefaultvalues string x If the Theme has default values
assessable string x If the Theme can be used for Assessments (Quiz)
class string x The HTML class name for the Theme


List of the of files loaded via asset manager.


General attributes

General attributes are attributes that are displayed on the right side of the question editor.

These attributes are predefined and are the same for all Question Themes. Currently, no new ones can be added. If you want to show or hide certain options for a Question Theme, you can remove or add the attribute.



Attributes are options you want to give to a Question Theme and can be customized. They are visible at the bottom of the question editor.


name The internal name
category The category tab in which the attribute should be displayed. This can also be a new one.
sortorder At which position inside the tab it should be display from top left (smallest) to bottom right (highest)
inputtype What type the input should be rendered as
default The default value for the input field
help The help text
caption The frontend Title for the Theme


Configuration for special load options


Tag Type Mandatory Description
load_core_css boolean If core css should be loaded
load_core_js boolean If core js should be loaded
show_as_template boolean If the Theme should be loaded
show_as_question_type boolean If the Theme should be listed inside the question type selector


Converting LS3 to LS4

When updating to LS4, the custom Question Themes will be updated to the LS4 standard. If the theme has missing attributes that cannot be automatically inserted, they will not be installed and instead be available for installation. If errors occur, they can be found under the broken question themes table.

If you want to import a Question Theme from LS3 into LS4 after upgrade, you can simply use the import function which automatically converts the LS3 theme to the LS4 standard.

The question themes created for LS4 are not backwards compatible (cannot be used in LS3!).

LS4 changes

The "custom_attributes" tag is no long needed. Attributes will always be defined inside the attributes tag instead. There is no need for different naming since they will be merged together when reading the Question Type.

Also, there have been additions to the metadata section of the xml. Additions are marked in red.