Changing an active survey

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Changing an active survey

While a survey is active, it is not possible to add or remove questions or answers, or to change the type of the question.  However, it is still possible to:

  • Modify the text of a question (for example to correct typos or whatever)
  • Modify the attributes of a question (for exaple to include it in the public statistics, insist on a particular number of answers for a multiple options question or whatever).

To make more complicated changes, you need to use the import/export facilities described in the next section.

Changing an active survey by import and export

If you find you need to add or remove questions or answers or a combination of these, LimeSurvey has a function called "VV-Import" and "VV-Export" that can be used to move all the results from one survey across to another survey.

VV-Import and VV-Export can also be used to combine survey results when the same survey has been run on more than one server.

The method for using VV-Import and VV-Export is as follows:

  • Export the structure of the original survey. Then import that file as a new survey, and - if necessary - modify this new survey so it has the changes you want.
  • Activate the new survey
  • Perform a VV-Export from the _new_ survey (we'll call this the 'first export')
  • Perform a VV-Export from the _old_ survey (we'll call this the 'second export')
  • Cut the two top rows from the first export and insert them as the top two rows in the second export.
  • While leaving the first two rows unchanged, cut and paste the columns below so that they are now in the right place according to the first two rows.
  • Once all the data is in the correct spot, delete the 3rd and 4th row (ie: the headings from the second export)
  • Save it all as a Tab-Delimited file
  • Perform the VV-Import into the _new_ survey

Exporting the survey structure is done in the survey toolbar. The VV-Import and VV-Export buttons are found in the "Browse responses" page of an active survey.


  • When rearranging columns switch column ids ( row 2) instead of all content columns (3-end)
  • Rename vv files as .txt and excel will open them correctly (save as unicode and rename)
  • To change the survey title go to your admin section and click the 'edit survey' button you will be presented with a screen where you can edit your survey details. On the first Edit Survey - Step 1 of 2 page, click the 'Save and continue' button at the bottom of the page and you will get the screen you need to change the title.