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Question type - Array (Texts)

From LimeSurvey Manual

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Short description

The Array (Text) question type allows for an array of text boxes with a set of subquestions as the "y-axis", and another set of subquestions as the "x-axis".

SC MFT.jpg


Example: Array_Texts_Example_text.zip

You can also limit this question type to allow numerical answers only (see the question attribute "Numbers only") and "Show totals" for enabling then display of totals for rows, columns or both:

Array text numbers totals.PNG


Example: Array Texts Example text numbers.zip

General options

Mandatory

Description

This option allows the survey administrators to request their respondents to answer to certain survey questions. If the mandatory questions are not answered, the respondents will not be able to proceed further. If you have a question with multiple subquestions and you require only certain subquestions to be answered, use the minimum answer attribute located under the Logic tab.

Available options

  • On
  • Off (default)


Relevance equation

Description

If the value of the relevance equation is "1" or "true", the question is "relevant" in the survey context, i.e. it is shown to the survey participant. If not, the question is hidden. Any survey question allows you to specify a relevance equation. This function is the successor of conditions and supports much more complex conditional logic.

Syntax Highlighting

Whenever you save the relevance equation, it is evaluated and syntax-highlighted. Any errors will be color coded so that you can quickly detect and fix them.

Notice.png
Hint: To check if all the relevance equations are used correctly within your survey, read about our show logic file feature.


Valid values

  • Any equation that makes use of the Expression Manager syntax, without surrounding curly braces.

Examples

Here are good examples of syntax highlighting.



Validation (using regular expressions) (preg_validation)

Description

This option lets you specify a regular expression with which you can validate all the parts of a question.

If any question or subquestion value does not meet the validation requirements, the background colour of the text entry field will be changed to red so that users can easily see which parts of the question need to be corrected. Thus, you can do on-page validation. In this way you will not need to wait for the user to click on the submit button to validate the respective question.

Valid values

  • Any valid regular expression

Example


Display

(Sub)question width (subquestion_width)

Description

This value sets the subquestion column width by using a percentage system. For example, if you set this to value 60, then 60 percent of the question width will be used for the subquestion text (the most left column). The remaining width will be equally divided between the answer options.

Valid values

  • Any integer value from 1 to 100.


Hide tip (hide_tip)

Description

Most questions will usually include a tip that says "Please choose one of the following options" or a hint text on how to fill out the question. This attribute allows you to turn off or on this tips/hints.

These tips/hints include validation criteria messages (such as min/max number of answers, min/max/equals sum value). If hide_tip is enabled, these messages will be hidden. However, if the user enters invalid data, the tips will appear. They will be coloured in red, getting changed to green once the validation criteria are met.

Available options

  • On - the tips/hints are hidden;
  • Off (default).



Random answer order (random_order)

Important.png
Attention : The order of randomization is currently not stored. So if the user is given the option to save/resume later the order will randomly change on resume.

Description

This attribute causes LimeSurvey to ignore the existing order of answer options/subquestions, and instead it orders them randomly. It is important to note that this random order will be reordered each time the question is displayed. So, if someone returns to a question, the order will probably be different from the first time she saw it. This option permits the survey creator to diminish the survey bias. Please note that if a question has subquestions, the order of subquestions will be randomized, not the order of the answer options.

Available options

  • Yes - Randomize on each page load
  • No (default)



Text input box size (input_box_size)

Notice.png
Hint: This features is available starting in version 3.0.0


Description

This function allows you to set the size of the text area (the text input box). By default, LimeSurvey forces the input box to be displayed with a default size. This can be overridden by making use of this function.

Help.png To move the box on the next line, you need to increase the size of the wrapper. To do so, increase the value of the text input width attribute.

Valid values

  • Any numeric value


Repeat headers (repeat_headers)

Description

This option can be used if you add to a question a high number of subquestions. If this is the case, use this option in order to tell LimeSurvey after how many subquestions should the headers be repeated.

Valid values

  • Any integer values;
  • The default value is 0 - the repeat headers function is deactivated.


Question theme (question_theme)

Description

It allows you to use customized themes for the respective question.

Available options

  • Your created question themes which are located under the Question themes in the Themes panel.
Help.png Note: This feature is under development at the moment.


Always hide this question (hidden)

Description

If enabled, the question will always be hidden - it will not be displayed to the survey participants. This function can be used in the following scenarios:

  • If you wish to prefill a question with a URL and you want not to have it displayed on the screen. This overrides any conditions used within the survey because the respective question will not even be embedded on the page.
  • If you wish to store or calculate a value on the fly via the Expression Manager.
Help.png Note: A common question type that is used with this function is the Equation one.

Available options

  • On
  • Off (default)


CSS class (css_class)

Description

If you want to add special CSS classes to certain questions, you can enter the CSS class name(s) in this box. Make sure you leave an empty space between different class names.

Valid values

  • Any text string with a space between different CSS class names.
Notice.png
Hint: You can also insert an expression in this box (New in 3.0.0 ). Remember that the output of the expression will not be updated dynamically.


Important.png
According to the W3C, CSS class names can contain only the characters [a-zA-Z, and 0-9] and ISO 10646 characters U+00A1 and higher, plus the hyphen (-) and the underscore (_). They cannot start with a digit, or a hyphen followed by a digit. LimeSurvey encodes CSS classes, but it does not fix it totally.


Input

Input maximum characters (input_max_characters)

Description

The following option allows you to type in a numerical value that will represent the maximum number of characters that can be entered by the survey respondents in the answer text box(es) of the respective question.

Valid values

  • Any numerical value

Example

  • If you wish the survey participants to type in a short and concise answer, introduce within the input maximum characters field a small number (e.g., 10-15).


Logic

Minimum answers (min_answers)

Description

This function can be used to ensure that a user selects at least a certain number of answers in a multiple choice question.

Valid values

  • Any integer value above 0
  • Any number
  • Any SGQA code
  • Any question code (variable name)
  • Any equation, using Expression Manager syntax, without surrounding curly braces.

Example

If set to X (a random number), the users can submit the survey form if they select at least X checkboxes. If this option is utilised for ranking questions, this ensures that at least three items are ranked before allowing the respondent to submit the answers/survey.

Help.png Please note that if you use this attribute with Ranking questions, you have to set the question to non-mandatory. Otherwise, all the items need to be ranked which is counter-intuitive if you decide to use the min_answers function too.



Maximum answers (max_answers)

Description

It can be used to limit the total number of answers a user can select in a multiple choice question.

Valid values

  • Any number value
  • Any SGQA code
  • Any question code (variable name)
  • Any equation, using Expression Manager syntax, without surrounding curly braces.

Example

If set to 2, the user will only be able to check at most two checkboxes or one checkbox + fill the "Other" field (if any). For the Ranking question type, the participant would be able to select maximum two items.



Array filter (array_filter)

Description

The Array filter setting allows you to use any multiple choice question to select or set which responses are displayed in a subsequent list, array or multiple choice question.

The subsequent questions can be filtered on any array question type, including:
  • Multiple choice
  • Multiple choice with comments
  • Multiple short text
  • Multiple numeric
  • Array (5 point, 10 point, Yes/No/Unknown, Increase/Same/Decrease, Column)
  • Array (Dual Scale, Text, Numbers)
  • Ranking

Furthermore, each of these question types can be filtered.

The only exception is Array (Column), which can filter other questions, but not itself.

How to set a filter

To set a filter, enter the question code of a multiple options question in the array filter box of the question you are currently editing. The respective question will be used as the source of information for the current question, the selected answers from the previous question being retrieved and used as answer options for the current question. For example, if your source multiple option question code is "Q1", enter "Q1" into the 'Array Filter' box to start the filtering process of the answers. Only the answer options that are selected in question Q1 will be visible in the array_filter-ed question.

If you wish more questions to be filtered via this option, type the question codes in the box separated by semicolons (;).
Important.png
The subquestion codes used in the first question must coincide with the subquestion codes from the second one. Otherwise, the array filter function will not filter the answers to the first question. Check the below example to better understand how the whole system works.

Cascading

The selected options can be displayed in cascade. This means that you can select a question which filters another question, which filters another question, and so on.

Array filter example

Let's take a look at the following example to better understand the power of this setting:


Array filter with multipe short text.jpg


In the screenshot from above, we got two questions. The first one is a multiple short text question type, while the second one is an array dual scale question type. The answers you provide in the first question will be listed in the second one. Technically, the answers you provide to the subquestions from the first question are filtered and displayed in the second question.

This example can be downloaded from the following link: limesurvey_group_32.lsg. Import this question group into your LimeSurvey installation.



Array exclusion filter (array_filter_exclude)

Description

The Array filter exclusion setting allows you to use any multiple choice question to select or set which responses are NOT displayed in a subsequent list, array or multiple choice question.

The subsequent questions can be filtered on any array question type, including:
  • Multiple choice
  • Multiple choice with comments
  • Multiple short text
  • Multiple numeric
  • Array (5 point, 10 point, Yes/No/Unknown, Increase/Same/Decrease, By column)
  • Array (Dual Scale, Text, Numbers)
  • Ranking

Furthermore, each of these types of questions can filtered.

The only exception is Array by column which can filter other questions, but it cannot be filtered.

How to set it up

Enter the question code of a multiple options question in the array exclusion filter box of the question you are currently editing. The respective question will be used as the source of information for the current question, the non-selected answers from the previous question being retrieved and used as answer options for the current question. For example, if your source multiple option question code is "Q1", enter "Q1" into the 'Array exclusion filter' box to start the filtering process of the answers. Only the answer options that are NOT selected in question Q1 will be visible in your question.

If you wish more questions to be filtered via this option, type the question codes in the box separated by semicolons (;).
Important.png
The subquestion codes used in the first question must coincide with the subquestion codes from the second one. Otherwise, the array exclusion filter function will not filter the answers to the first question. Check the below example to better understand how the whole system works.

Cascading

The selected options can be displayed in cascade. This means that you can select a question which filters another question, which filters another question, and so on.

Example

Let's see together the below example:


Example array filter exclude.png


In the screenshot from above, we got two questions. The first one is a multiple choice question type, while the second one is a multiple choice with comments question type. The answers you provide in the first question will be excluded from the second one. For example, if you select the ComfortUpdate option (that has the subquestion code 'SQ1') and the Plugin option ('SQ4'), the 'SQ1' and the 'SQ4' subquestion correspondents from the second question will be excluded. In our screenshot, we can observe that only the unselected options in the first question and displayed in the second one.

This example can be downloaded from the following link: Limesurvey_group_array_filter_exclude.zip. Import this question group into your LimeSurvey installation.



Array filter style (array_filter_style)

Description

This function allows you to choose how the array filtered subquestions are displayed. They can either be "hidden" or "disabled".

Help.png To learn how to filter subquestions, please read the following wiki section.

Available options

  • Hidden (default) - if this option is selected, then the previously selected subquestions will not be displayed in the second question.
  • Disabled - if this option is selected, then the previously selected subquestions will be greyed out and become unselectable.

Example

If you wish to use the "disabled" option, then the previously selected subquestions will be displayed like this:

Array filter style disabled.png



Randomization group name (random_group)

Description

It places the questions into a specified randomization group, all questions included in the specified group being displayed in a random order to the survey respondents.

Valid values

Just enter any string you like (for example: 'group1'). All question which have set the same string within the randomization group name box will have their place in the survey randomized (=randomly exchanged among each other).



Question validation equation (em_validation_q)

Description

This is an equation that is used to validate the entire question (e.g, all of its parts collectively for a multi-answer question). If the question fails the validation criteria, then em_validation_q_tip message will be displayed (it uses the CSS style .error). This tip uses the .em_q_fn_validation CSS style, which is hidden by default within template.css.

The main difference between this feature and the subquestion validation equations (em_validation_sq option) is that for this feature, if the question (or question parts) fail validation, then an error message could be shown. For the subquestion validation, each text entry cell (e.g., in an array question type, but it can also be applied to single entry question types) will be styled so that the background color is (light) red.

Valid values

  • Any equation that makes use of the Expression Manager syntax, without surrounding curly braces.

Example

  • You want to collect demographic information from users via a multiple short text question, and you want to validate that the user has entered a valid email address and phone number.

This example shows how the question looks with invalid answers:

Validation-invalid-both.jpg

And here is what it looks like with one invalid answer:

Validation-invalid-phone.jpg

Here is how you edit a question to enter that information:

Validation-gui.jpg

And here is part of the Show Logic File output that lets you check the accuracy of your expression and ensure that there are no syntax errors:

Validation-logic.jpg

As you can see, the validation equation tests that both the email and phone number are either empty or match a regular expression filter.

The validation tip only shows the warning message if the phone or email appears invalid.

Notice.png
Hint: In order to create complex validation messages, read about the usage of the Expression Manager.


If you wish to import the example from above into your LimeSurvey installation, download the following .lsq file: Em_validation_q_example.zip.

Notice.png
Hint: Remember, LimeSuvey uses the Perl syntax for regular expressions, so they should start and end with / (slash character)!



Tip for whole question validation equation (em_validation_q_tip)

Description

If you are using the question validation equation, you can use this box in order to display an optional message as question tip on how the question has to be filled out.

Valid values

Example

See the example from the question validation equation wiki section- it shows how the tip can be tailored to show which parts of a multiple short text question fail the validation criteria.



Sub-question validation equation (em_validation_sq)

Description

This is an equation that is used to validate each subquestion (text field) individually. Any text field that does not pass these validation conditions will have its background color turned pink (using the .em_sq_fn_validation CSS style) to highlight the error. Note that this is available in addition to the regular expression-based validation option.

Valid values

Any equation that makes use of the Expression Manager syntax, without surrounding curly braces.

Examples

For example, if you want to allow only numbers that are a multiple of 3 as answers, the equation would be:

(this / 3) == floor(this/3)

The reserved variable this is automatically replaced by a reference to the active text entry cell.



Tip for sub-question validation equation (em_validation_sq_tip)

Description

If you are using em_validation_sq, this is an optional message/tip that will be displayed if the introduced answer is incorrect.

Valid values

  • Any string

Example

  • Continuing the example of validating emails, the tip might be "Please enter valid email addresses."


Other

Insert page break in printable view (page_break)

Description

This attribute is only active when you actually print a survey from the Printable View. It forces a page break before the question.

Available options

  • On
  • Off (default)


Numbers only (numbers_only)

Description

If you enable this option, the participant can only enter numbers in the text box(es).

For the equation question types, this setting indicates that the result could only be a number, not a string. This will guarantee proper calculations/conversions in follow-up equations regarding the decimal mark.

Behavior by question type

  1. Default: If the subject enters a value that is not a number, that value is immediately cleared from the text box so that the subject can enter an appropriate value.
  2. Array (Texts): If the numbers only option is disabled, the "Show totals for" and "Show grand total" options will be overruled, while the total text boxes will not be displayed.
  3. Equation: Enabling this option will force the equation results to be converted to a numeric value. If the equation result is not a number (and not blank), the equation will return NaN, being saved as an empty string in the response table.

Available options

  • On
  • Off (default)



Show totals for (show_totals)

Description

If enabled, the totals for either rows, columns or both rows and columns will be displayed.

Help.png The totals are displayed only if the Numbers only option is enabled.

Available options

  • Off (default)
  • Rows
  • Columns
  • Rows & columns

Example

Array text numbers totals.PNG



Show grand total (show_grand_total)

Description

If enabled, the grand total for columns (or rows) will be displayed in the bottom right part of the array.

Help.png The grand total is displayed only if the Numbers only option is enabled.

Available options

  • On
  • Off (default)

Example

Example show grand total.png


Statistics

Display chart (display_chart)

Description

This attribute allows the survey administrator to choose if a chart that contains the question results should be displayed to the survey participants after they filled out the survey.

Help.png Note: To have the chart displayed on the last page, you have to enable the following options:


Available options

  • On
  • Off (default)



Chart type (chart_type)

Description

This attribute allows the survey administrator to choose which type of chart will be displayed to the respondent once he/she finished filling out the survey.

Help.png Note: Do not forget to change the question and survey settings in order to have the charts displayed at the end on the survey. For more details, check the wiki section on the display chart question attribute.

Available options

  • Bar chart
  • Pie chart
  • Radar
  • Line
  • PolarArea
  • Doughnut