Question groups - introduction

From LimeSurvey Manual

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Help.png Please note that the below explanations and screenshots are based on LimeSurvey 3.

Create question group

To start adding question groups to your survey, access the survey structure page and locate in the left menu the add question group button.

Option 2 - create a question group.png

After you click on it, the add question group panel will be showed up:

Add question group panel.png

Please note that you can create as many groups as you like!

The following fields will be displayed:

  • Title: Type in this box the name you wish to give to the question group;
  • Description: This field allows you to publish an explanatory note for any set of questions. If you add a description, it will be presented along with the survey before commencing any of the questions in that group. If no text is added, then public participants will simply move straightaway to the survey questions. You can use the HTML editor to include images, formatted text, etc. to your liking;
  • Randomization group: To start randomizing a question group, enter a string into the field such as randgroup1. You will need to enter that same string in all question groups that you want to randomize and which will then appear in a random order when taking the survey. Only places inside the same group will be randomly switched!
  • Relevance equation: You can set a "relevance equation" in this field for the group with the help of the Expression Manager. This is helpful for "looping" or other cases where you are repeating similar content multiple times. For example, say you want to ask the same set of follow-up questions for each child in a household and you have asked how many children are there via a question named numKids. Then, for each group of follow-up questions you would have to use relevance equations (which would collect data about the third child) such as: numKids == 3;
Help.png Note: An explanation and example for hiding question groups are available in the Expression Manager examples wiki subsection.
Help.png Hint: Groups can be used to group questions in a survey. If you are going to have multiple groups, you should note that the survey questions will be displayed group by group by default (you can change that from your survey settings). To display the groups in a particular order using the group reordering feature. If you have only one group in your survey then the name of this group is irrelevant (except for the survey format).

Add question group toolbar

You may find on the top toolbar the following options:

Add question group - toolbar.png

  • Display/Export: This function is used to export your whole survey in different formats;
  • Survey participants: Clicking on this button will redirect the survey administrator to his/her survey participants table;
  • Responses: If the survey is active, the button becomes visible. It offers you access to the responses table;
  • Import a group: Besides the two ways mentioned above, new question groups can also be added via the import group function.

Import a question group

You can also import a question group (.lsg file format) that was previously exported from a LimeSurvey survey. First, access the add question group option and then locate on the top toolbar the import question group function:

Import question group 1.png

Browse your computer/server and upload the .lsg file that contains the question group you wish to import.

Question group actions

After the creation of a survey, you can access the newly created group from the survey structure menu. The following page will be displayed:

Question group - after its creation.png

The page is divided into three sections:

  • Question group toolbar: You may find on the toolbar the following options:
    • Preview survey/question group: Click on one of the two buttons to either preview your whole survey or only the current question group. If additional languages were added to your survey, the survey/question group can be previewed in each language of the survey. Just simply click on one of the two preview buttons and select the desired language;
    • Edit current question group: Click on this button if you wish to edit the title, description, relevance equation, or randomization group of the current question group;
    • Check survey logic for current question group: It helps you see the possible errors that might exist within a question group - it is especially useful when the expression manager is employed.
    • Delete current question group: If you wish to delete the current question group, click on this button.
    • Export this question group: If you wish to export this question group to later import it into another LimeSurvey survey, click on this button. The file will be exported in the .lsg format.
  • Group quick actions: It allows you to quickly perform question-groups-related actions - in our case, the add new question to group option is displayed. To find out more about questions, read our introductory wiki section on question.

Preview question group

Once you have started to add questions into your group, you may want from time to time to preview how the respective question group looks like. To do that, look for the question group button that can be accessed from the:

Help.pngWhen preview a group, the relevance of this group is forced to be true.
 Hint: You can add GET params in URL to set some previous question answer used in Expression.

Preview question group - survey structure

Click on the survey structure, select the desired question group, and click on the preview question group button:

Preview q group - survey structure.png

Preview question group - question group panel

You can preview the question group once you have finished editing it:

Question group panel - preview.png

Preview question group - question panel

The question group to which question belongs to can be previewed from the question panel - see the top bar:

Preview question group - question panel.png

Reordering question groups

The question groups and questions can be reordered as many times as you like. For further details, check the following survey structure wiki subsection.


The relevance equation offers us many possibilities to further customize our survey. A simple example is presented below to show how some question groups can be hidden according to the answer provided by the respondent to a prior question (part of another question group). For example, if you want to find out more information about parents that have one child in comparison to those with two or more, using the relevance equation to hide certain questions/question groups could be recommended.

Link .lss file: -> to import it, read the following wiki section.

Logic file question groups example.png

The above file contains three question groups, each containing one question. Question group "1kid" is displayed only if the value introduced by the respondent to the question "numkids" is 1. Question group "2ormorekids" is displayed only if the answer to the question "numkids" is >1.

This is just a simple example to show you how expressions can be used to further customize your survey. For further details, please start reading further about the Expression Manager.

Help.png Notes:
  • There are many ways through which you can hide questions. One way is to use conditions. However, for more complex surveys, the Expression Manager has to be used.
  • If you use expressions, don't forget to look for syntax errors with the help of the logic file.