Actions

Question type - List (Dropdown)

From LimeSurvey Manual

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Contents

Short description

This question type collects input from a dropdown list menu. You can also create subcategories within this list by making use of the "Category separator" attribute.


EM ListR.png


Example: List dropdown question.zip

General options

Option 'Other' (other)

Description

This option is used by multiple choice-type questions and gives you the ability to ask for a selection that is not part of the enumerated answer list.

Available options

  • On
  • Off (default)



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.


Display

Sort answers alphabetically (alphasort)

Description

If you use a list of radiobuttons or a dropdown list, you can order this list alphabetically by activating this option.

Available options

  • On
  • Off (default)



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).



Category separator (category_separator)

Description

This attibute takes a char that will be considered by LimeSurvey as a category separator in answers.

Example

If you set this to the char ":", and have an answer with the following text "Fruit: orange" and another with "Fruit: apple", then a category of "Fruit" is assumed and will contain 2 items "orange" and "apple". This will be displayed as categories/items in the dropdown list.



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)



Label for 'Other:' option (other_replace_text)

Description

Short text string to replace the text "Other" as label for the "other" option.

Help.png Note: You can make use of this attribute if you have previously enabled the "other" option located under the general options tab.

Example

Entering a value of "Alternative:" for this attribute would result in the word "Alternative:" being used instead of "Other".


Important.png
Attention : It is extremely important to note that this question attribute should only be used in single-language surveys. A translation will be attempted but will only be successful if the translation already exists in the alternate language file (i.e.: translation cannot be made on a survey-by-survey basis). Therefore, to translate your other text, you have to add your other_replace_text to the english .mo file (because this is LimeSurveys baselanguage) and translate this String in each of your surveys languages .mo files.



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.



Height of dropdown (dropdown_size)

Description

The List dropdown questions types contain the "heigh of dropdown" attribute, which allows you to control how many list items are visible to the respondents without scrolling down or clicking on the dropdown menu.

Valid values

  • Any integer value greater than 0
  • Note, if you select a number larger than the length of the list, the list will be sized to show all options



Relevance help for printable survey (printable_survey_relevance_help)

Description

If you wish to print a survey, you can also print the relevance equations for each question. But, if you wish to offer instead an explanation rather than the expression on the printed form, fill in this box with the text explanation for the relevance equation.

Valid values

  • Any text and/or numbers you wish to be displayed on the printable form.



Prefix for list items (dropdown_prefix)

Description

The following attribute can be located under the display option of the List dropdown question type. It allows you to use a prefix (before each list option) for easier keyboard-based selection.

Available options

  • None
  • Order - like 3)


Logic

'Other:' comment mandatory (other_comment_mandatory)

Description

It only applies to mandatory questions having an "other answer" option in which the participant can give a free text response ("other comment").

When this setting is activated and the participant selects the other answer (the "other checkbox" or "other answer in a list"), then he will have to give a comment in the "Other comment" input box in order to proceed to the next page.

Note that this option is not available for Multiple Choice questions because the "Other" checkbox status is not recorded in the database for this question type, only the content being recorded. This means that checking the "other" checkbox is just a visual effect that is only meaningful if the text box is filled in: that is why other_comment_mandatory is assumed to be set for this question type.

Available options

  • On
  • Off (default)

Example

If activated for a "Multiple options with comments" question and the user enters a value in the left part of the Other answer but doesn't enter text in the Other Comment part, a warning message will be displayed when he tries to proceed to the next page.



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.


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)



SPSS export scale type (scale_export)

Description

This is used for SPSS export only. This attribute overrides the default scale guessed by SPSS. To learn what the different measurement scales do, please read the related SPSS documentation.

Available options

  • Default (default)
  • Nominal
  • Ordinal
  • Scale


Statistics

Show in public statistics (public_statistics)

Description

This attribute allows the survey administrator to chose if a particular question results should be displayed to the survey participants after they submitted the survey.

Help.png Note: To have the statistics displayed on the last page, do not forget to enable this functionality from the presentation & navigation settings. Otherwise, no statistics link will be displayed at the end of your survey.

The default setting for each question is 'Off' (=Do not show the question statistics to the respondents). You have to enable this for every single question if you want to show the survey statistics of that (those) particular question(s) to the survey participants after the survey submission.

Available options

  • On
  • Off (default)



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


Timer

Time limit (time_limit)

Description

Setting the time_limit attribute on a question will cause a countdown timer to begin counting down as soon as that question/page is loaded. At the expiry of the countdown timer the question will either automatically move on to the next page or become read-only.

Valid values

  • Any positive integer number

Example

Set it to 240 to count down from 4 minutes (240 seconds).



Time limit action (time_limit_action)

Description

Sets the action performed when a time_limit has expired. By default the action for a time limit is "Warn and move on", which means the system will give a short warning that the time limit has expired before saving the question and effectively automatically clicking "Next >>". The alternative choices are to:

  • "Move on without warning", which automatically clicks the "Next >>" button after the timer is finished but without any warning message.
  • "Disable only", which disables changes in the question so the participant can't change anything, but doesn't automatically click the "Next >>" button.

This setting is only applicable if the general time limit setting is activated.

Available options

  • Warn and move on (default): will warn the participant that the time has expired, and then click the next button
  • Move on without warning: will immediately click the next button after the time limit has expired
  • Disable only: will disable the answer after the time limit has expired but not automatically click next
Help.png Note regarding group-by-group mode: When in group-by-group mode, the "move on" actions of the timer are replaced with a "disable" action. This is so the timer does not affect other questions on the page.



Time limit disable next (time_limit_disable_next)

Description

It allows disabling the "next" button while a time_limit countdown is occurring. Normally, even if the time limit countdown is active, if the participant wants to click "Next" and move on to the next question or question group, they can simply click on the "Next" button (thus cutting short the time spent on the question or question group). By activating this function, the next button will appear greyed out and will not be available until the countdown timer has finished.

This settings is only applicable if the general time limit setting is activated.

Available options

  • On - The "Next" button will be disabled until the time limit countdown is complete.
  • Off (default)
Help.png Note: If your survey uses the group by group format, this function applies to the whole group this question belongs to.



Time limit disable prev (time_limit_disable_prev)

Description

It allows disabling the "previous" button while a time_limit countdown is occurring. Normally, even if a time limit countdown is active, if the participant wants to click on "Previous" and move to the previous question or question group, they can simply click on the "Previous" button (thus cutting short the time spent on the question or question group). By activating this function, the previous button will appear greyed out and will not be available until the countdown timer has finished.

This settings is only applicable if the general time limit setting is activated.

Available options

  • On - the "Previous" button will be disabled until the time limit countdown is complete.
  • Off (default)
Help.png Note: If your survey uses the group by group format, this function applies to the whole group this question belongs to.



Time limit countdown message (time_limit_countdown_message)

Description

Write in this field the text message you wish to be displayed in the countdown timer during the countdown. This setting is applicable only if the general time limit setting is activated. If nothing is written, the the field will use the default value: "Time remaining".



Time limit timer CSS style (time_limit_timer_style)

Description

It allows (and overrides the default) css styling used to display the countdown timer. The default style value for this attribute will be used if it does not exist, which is: 'width: 150px; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; border: 1px solid #111; text-align: center; background-color: #EEE; margin-bottom: 5px; font-size: 8pt;'.

Any text entered into this attribute will overwrite the entire default css style, so you should ensure that care is taken when entering a value for this attribute. A simple way to hide this is to copy the default style into this attribute and add 'display: none;' to the end.

This settings is only applicable if the general time limit setting is activated.



Time limit expiry message display time (time_limit_message_delay)

Description

This attribute sets how many seconds the time_limit_message is displayed before the time_limit_action occurs. If this attribute is not set, it defaults to a value of 1 (1 second).

This settings is only applicable if the general time limit settings is activated.

Example

time_limit_message_delay: 5 = the message displays for 5 seconds



Time limit expiry message (time_limit_message)

Description

This is the text of the message that appears to the participant when the time_limit has expired. By default, this message is "Your time to answer this question has expired". If the time_limit_action attribute is set to "Move on without warning" this message is not displayed. You can set the CSS style for this text in the time_limit_message_style attribute (see below).

This settings is only applicable if the general time limit settings is activated.

Example

time_limit_message: The time limit on answering this question is now up.



Time limit message CSS style (time_limit_message_style)

Description

It allows (and overrides the default) css styling used to display the time limit message. The default style value for this attribute will be used if it does not exist, which is: 'top: 10px; left: 35%; width: 30%; height: 60px; padding: 16px; border: 8px solid #555; background-color: white; z-index: 1002; text-align: center; overflow: auto'.

Any text entered into this attribute will overwrite the entire default css style, so you should ensure that care is taken when entering a value for this attribute. It is strongly recommended that you re-use the z-index value, or that, at least, the z-index value is higher than that used for the time_limit_warning_message_style attribute (which defaults to 1001).

Example

Set to: top: 10px; left: 35%; width: 30%; height: 60px; padding: 16px; border: 8px solid #555; background-color: black; color: white; z-index: 1010; text-align: center; overflow: auto



Time limit warning message timer (time_limit_warning)

Description

With the help of this attribute, you can set the time (in seconds) when the time_limit_warning_message will be displayed before the time limit expires. Setting a value for this attribute activates the time limit warning message.

This settings is only applicable if the general time limit settings is activated. This setting also exists for a second warning message.

Example

If you set this to '20', then the time limit warning message will appear 20 seconds before the time limit countdown reaches zero.



Time limit warning message display time (time_limit_warning_display_time)

Description

It sets for how long the time_limit_warning_message is displayed before it is removed/hidden from the screen. By default, if the time_limit_warning_message appears, it will remain visible until the countdown timer has completed the countdown. If a value greater than zero is introduced in this field, the message will be hidden after that many seconds.

This setting is applicable only if the general time limit setting is activated. This setting also exists for a second warning message.

Example

time_limit_warning_display_time: 10 = The time limit warning message will disappear 10 seconds after its moment of appearance.



Time limit warning message (time_limit_warning_message)

Description

If set up, it displays the text of the warning message which is displayed for a fixed period of time before a time limit expires. The default text is "Your time to answer this question has nearly expired. You have {TIME} remaining." {TIME} is replaced by a formatted description which represents the amount of time left (i.e. "30 seconds", "1 minute or 5 seconds"). This message only appears if the time_limit_warning attribute exists. You can set from the time_limit_warning attribute when the message (time_limit_warning_message) appears.

This question attribute is only applicable if the time limit setting is activated and you set some text in the time limit warning message field. This setting also exists for a second warning message.

Example

Attention: In {TIME} the time limit to answer question will expire.



Time limit warning CSS style (time_limit_warning_style)

Description

It allows (and overrides the default) css styling used to display the time limit warning message. The default style value for this attribute will be used if it does not exist, which is: 'top: 10px; left: 35%; width: 30%; height: 60px; padding: 16px; border: 8px solid #555; background-color: white; z-index: 1001; text-align: center; overflow: auto'.

Any text entered into this attribute will overwrite the entire default css style for the warning message, so you should ensure that care is taken when entering a value for this attribute. It is strongly recommended that you re-use the z-index value, or that, at least, the z-index value be lower than that used for the time_limit_message_style attribute (which defaults to 1002).

This settings is only applicable if the general time limit setting is activated. This setting also exists for a second warning message.

Example

top: 10px; left: 35%; width: 30%; height: 60px; padding: 16px; border: 8px solid #555; background-color: gray; color: white; z-index: 1001; text-align: center; overflow: auto