Surveys - introduction

From LimeSurvey Manual

Revision as of 22:43, 17 May 2009 by Anonymous
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

Video tutorial

This video tutorial was made available to us by Andreas Pursche (PAUL Consultants e.V. of University of Technology Dresden). Therefore all interface components use German language. The english translation was done by user "Mazi".

LimeSurvey Video-Tutorial

Basic survey elements

A survey has three integral elements, each of which must exist:

  • A survey name
  • At least one group
  • At least one question

Optional elements to a new survey include:

  • Applicable answers to each question
  • Modifiable labels (known as label sets)
  • Conditions that determine whether a question should be asked

Survey name

The survey name provides the unique title to a survey and becomes the handle to access various option settings that apply to the survey as a whole. Settings such as the welcome message on the opening screen, the description of the survey, contact information for the survey administrator, and what format the questions are to be asked.

Question Groups

A survey requires each question to be a member of a group (and only that group).  Depending on the number of questions in the survey, Groups can be used to define logical sections, common subject themes, or possibly pages on the screen. A group can have questions about a similar subject or simply be setup as a manageable number of questions.

This whole chapter deals with question groups. Do not confuse a question group with a user group.  Each is very different and used in different ways, based on the object being grouped.

A question group has a title and an optional description. You must have at least one group in each survey, even if you do not wish to divide the survey into multiple groups.


Questions are the core of your survey. There is no real limit to the number of questions you can have in your survey or in a group. Questions include the actual question text as well as settings that determine what form of answer you will accept. You can also specify a short 'help' explanation for each question and determine whether the question is mandatory (that is, must be answered) or optional.  For more details check the question types section.

Basics of navigating the survey administrative interface

The LimeSurvey tool presents horizontal tool bars to the survey creator in their web browser.  These toolbars are the header of a window allowing interaction.

Administrative Tool Bar

The top toolbar is usually the Administrative Tool Bar providing top level, global actions.  One of the key items there is the drop down list of surveys along with a Create New (Survey) button; if available and enabled for your login account.  Both are on the right side of the toolbar.


Want to know more about a particular icon button in a tool bar?  Hover over the icon to see its name or click on the Help button Help-button.png in the Administrative Tool Bar to see a description of icons in the currently active toolbar.

If the Administrative Tool Bar does not appear to be on top, click the home button Button-home.png to get back to it.  The Labelset Button-labelset.png and Template Button-template-editor.png editors, available in this tool bar, are the only ones that can replace the Administrative Tool Bar.

By clicking the Create New (Survey) button CreateSurvey-button.png or selecting an existing survey, you minimize the Administrative window and open a new tool bar below to manage the Survey.


Survey Tool Bar

Similar to before, one can click on the drop down list of question Groups or on the Create New (Group) button CreateSurvey-button.png on the Survey toolbar.  Either selection will bring up the question Group toolbar below the Survey toolbar.


Group Tool Bar

In the Question Group, you can click on the drop down list of Questions or click the Create New (Question) button CreateSurvey-button.png to add a fourth toolbar to now edit a Question.


Common Buttons

In these nested toolbars are some common, navigational buttons.  There is an Edit button Edit-button.png to edit the object you selected.  By default, you will be put in the editor if you create the object.  There is a Delete button Delete-button.png to delete the object.  For Groups and Questions, there is a Reorder button Change-order-button.png to change the order the object appears in during the survey execution.  Finally, there is an Export button Export-button.png to export a survey, question group or question that you can import back into another survey.  Note that the Create button CreateSurvey-button.png also allows you to import a previously exported object.


Finally, there are two to three small buttons to the far right CommonButtons.png to minimize, maximize, and close the window of a toolbar.  The maximize button will take you back to the summary window of the currently selected object.

As seems natural, the window of the current toolbar is automatically minimized when you select a lower level object to edit.  Only the current toolbar and its window can be closed.  You can open a previous toolbar and window by clicking on its maximize button.  And you can jump around by selecting or creating a new object in another toolbar without having to close the currently open window first.

We will discuss navigating through a survey itself later on in the section on testing the survey.

Now that we have some basics down, lets move onto Creating a new survey