University of Vermont

Information Technology

limesurvey Lime Survey - General outline & guide:

This document is to serve as a general outline for the successful creation of a survey using the Lime Survey product.  The source of this material:

Part of this tutorial was adapted from a tutorial by Lime Survey.
See its complete version at: 
http://docs.limesurvey.org/tiki-index.php?page=English+Instructions+for+LimeSurvey

Also, some documentation was adapted from http://acc.aub.edu.lb/mod/book/view.php?id=553&chapterid=871

General Outline:  Click on links to travel to relevant sections within this document.

·  Creating a new survey

·  Creating Groups of Questions

Question Types (links to other documents)

Question Attributes

 

·  Testing your Survey

·  Adding participants to a survey

·  Deactivating a survey

·  Exporting a Survey Structure

 

Creating a new survey

To create a new survey, first you need to click on the Create or import a new survey createsurveyicon.

createAnewSurvey

Notice how all survey settings are organized in tabs. Following is a description of each tab and field. Please note that going from one tab to the other automatically saves the changes you've made.

createSurveyNavigation

IMPORTANT: some settings are default for most surveys so you can leave them as they are. Other setting marked with the icon Attentionshould be updated based on your needs.

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Creating a new survey
General Tab

  1. Base language: This sets the base language for the survey. By default it is English, but you can choose to create a survey in Arabic…etc.
  2. AttentionTitle: This is the title of the survey. It will be displayed on every page of the survey.
  3. AttentionDescription: This allows you to write a description of the survey, for EXAMPLE: "A survey to collect ideas on how to improve our services"...etc.
  4. AttentionWelcome message: This allows you to write a message that will display when a participant first logs in to your survey, for EXAMPLE: "Thank you for participating in this survey”...etc.
  5. AttentionEnd message: This allows you to write a message that will display when a participant completes your survey, for EXAMPLE: "Thank you for completing our survey"…etc.
  6. Administrator: This is the name of the person who administers the survey. It will be included in emails sent out inviting participants to respond.
  7. Admin email: This is the email address of the administrator (as above) and is used as the 'reply to:' address on any emails sent. You can also enter several email addresses separated with a semicolon - that way survey administrator notifications are sent to more than one person.
  8. Bounce email: This is the email address where a delivery error notification email should be sent.
  9. Fax to: When you want to send someone a hard copy of the survey, they will use this number to fax back the filled survey.

Don't click on the button Create Survey yet. Please continue with the next steps.

IMPORTANT: some settings are default for most surveys so you can leave them as they are. Other setting marked with the icon Attentionshould be updated based on your needs.

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Creating a new survey
Presentation and Navigation Tab

  1. Format: A drop down box that allows you to choose either:
    • Question by Question: Survey will display one question per page.
    • Group by Group: Survey will display all questions in a group on one page.
    • All in one: Survey will display all questions in one single page.
      NOTE: this format will not have different "welcome" or "submit" pages - the welcome message and submit button all appear on the same page.
    • All surveys, will require at least one, possibly more groups depending on your selection.
  2. Template: Choose a template from the list; notice that you will get a preview of that template.
  3. AttentionAllow saves: If you set this option to Yes, users can save un-submitted surveys and return to them later.
  4. AttentionShow [<< Prev] button: If you set it to No, users will not have the option of moving to a previous page and changing their answers while completing the survey.
  5. Participants may print answers: If you set it to Yes, a participant can print a summary of responses at submit time.
  6. Public statistics: If you it set to Yes, users who have submitted the survey can view the statistics of the current survey.
  7. Show graphs in public statistics: Determines if public statistics for this survey include graphs or only show a tabular overview.
    Creating graphs for huge surveys takes some time and server resources so it is recommended to keep it as No.
  8. List survey publicly: This option is by default No. If you set it to Yes, your survey will be listed publically on the LimeSurvey main page http://survey.uvm.edu/admin (you will need your netid and password to login)
  9. AttentionEnd URL: Here you can optionally specify a URL that the participants are directed to when they click on the button submit at the end of the survey.
  10. AttentionURL description: Specify a description for the End URL.
  11. Automatically load URL when survey complete: If you choose Yes for this option, the script will automatically load the URL as set in End URL after completion of the survey, instead of displaying the usual "Completed" page.
  12. Date format: Select how the date should be displayed in the survey and the survey results.

Don't click on the button Create Survey yet. Please continue with the next steps.

IMPORTANT: some settings are default for most surveys so you can leave them as they are. Other setting marked with the icon Attentionshould be updated based on your needs.

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Creating a new survey
Publication and Access Control Tab

  1. AttentionOnly users with tokens may enter the survey: If you set it to Yes, then only users with tokens will be allowed to take the survey.
  2. Allow public registration: If you use tokens to control access to your survey, the only people who can use the survey are those who have a token. If you would like to use tokens, but also allow public registration, set this to Yes. The Yes setting will allow a visitor to register his name and email address. LimeSurvey will create a new entry in your tokens table for this person, and then send them an invitation email. The script will ensure that only one person per email address can complete your survey.
  3. AttentionStart date: Set this to a date if you want your survey to start on a certain date. The survey will start on midnight of that day and only then will participants be able to answer to it.
  4. AttentionExpiry date: Set this to a date if you want your survey to expire on a special date.
  5. Set cookie to prevent repeated participation: If you set this to Yes, and your survey does not use tokens to control participant access, then a cookie will be saved to the client computer of each survey participant once they have submitted a survey. This cookie will stop the same user on that computer from accessing the survey more than once. Note that if you are using tokens, then this option will have no effect because the token itself will not allow the participant to take the survey more than once.
  6. Use CAPTCHA for: A CAPTCHA is a type of challenge used in websites to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer or malicious script. The participant will be required to identify a slightly scrambled text. If the identification is correct, then s/he will be granted access to the survey. If not, then the participant will be prompted to try again.
  7. Use HTML format for token emails: When set to Yes, all emails sent by LimeSurvey (invite, reminder, confirmation) will be formatted as HTML, meaning you can insert images, format the text as bold, italic...etc.

Don't click on the button Create Survey yet. Please continue with the next steps.

IMPORTANT: some settings are default for most surveys so you can leave them as they are. Other setting marked with the icon Attentionshould be updated based on your needs. 

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Creating a new survey
Notification and Data Management Tab

  1. Admin Notification: A drop down box that allows you to choose either:
    • No email notification: No notification is emailed to you when a participant responds to the survey.
    • Basic email notification: A notification is emailed to you when a participant responds to the survey.
    • Send email notification with response codes: A notification is emailed to you when a participant responds to the survey. The notification will include the full response to the survey.
  2. AttentionAnonymous answers: This allows you to determine whether responses to your survey are matched up with information from your survey’s tokens table, or kept 'anonymous'.
    The default is Yes. If you choose No for anonymous, you must also have a token table for your survey when you activate it.
  3. AttentionDate stamp: If you choose Yes, then when a response is submitted, a field will be included in that response indicating the time and date that the response was made.
  4. Save IP address: If you choose Yes, then when a response is submitted, a field will be included in that response indicating the IP-address of the participant.
  5. Save referring URL: If you choose Yes, then when a response is submitted, a field will be included in that response where this URL is saved. A referrer URL is the URL from which the user was led to your survey URL.
  6. Enable token-based answers persistence: If you choose Yes, then an auto-save is performed each time a participant answers a question, meaning that even if he/she hasn't submitted the survey and the browser crashes, he/she will find the survey answers still there upon when returning to the survey.
  7. Enable assessment mode: With this setting you can enable/disable assessments for this survey.

IMPORTANT: some settings are default for most surveys so you can leave them as they are. Other setting marked with the icon Attentionshould be updated based on your needs.

You are done now with defining the setting for your survey. Click on the button Create survey to proceed.

createsurvey

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Creating Groups of Questions
Creating Questions

Once you have created your groups, you can start adding questions within each group. Create a new question by clicking on the Add new question to group createicon on the right hand side of the Group menu bar.

addingquestions

The Add a new question page will open.

  1. Code: This field is only for quick identification of a question in export or for evaluation. This field is not displayed to people taking the survey.  This is analogous to Perseus, “question heading”.
  2. Question: This is the actual question being asked.
  3. Help: This is an optional field. It is useful if a question needs some explanation, or you want to explain how it should be answered. When you insert text in this field, a "Question Mark" icon appears on the survey entry screens with the help text right beside it.
  4. Question type: This determines the type of the question. Click here to learn more about each type.
  5. Label set: For some question types you can choose a set of labels.  Custom labels sets can be created for specific uses, such subjective data types (eg. good – better – best).  These apply only to array and list type questions.
  6. Validation: This feature is available on all free text type questions ("Short Free Text", "Long Free Text", "Date" or "Numerical"). You can use standard Regular Expressions in this field to validate the responses to the question, and if the responses don't validate against this expression, the user will be prompted to try again before they can progress.
  7. Other: Depending upon your chosen 'question type' this option may appear. It allows you to specify that an "other" option be presented in some of the list question types.
  8. Mandatory: For most question types, this setting allows you to require users to answer the question, before they can move on to the next question.
  9. Question attributes: Additional optional settings for the question. Click here to learn more about each attribute.

 questionSettings

Once you are done, click on the button Add question.

For some question types for example the multiple choice questions, you will be asked to enter Answers. Click on the Add/Edit answers add-answersfor this question icon to start providing answers to the question.

answers

NOTE: All new questions are assigned to the Group you were viewing when you clicked Add Question, however you can change the group the question belongs to at a later point.

 

 

Question Attributes

·         Questions Attributes are an extensible way of adding extra controls to the presentation and/or workings of questions in Limesurvey. Additional question attributes can be developed relatively easily and added to the list of options for a question.

·         Different question types have different possible question attributes. Each attribute can have a "value" attached to it. This value may indicate whether the attribute is applied or not (usually a 1 to apply), or it may indicate a value used by the attribute. It's possible to apply more than one question attribute on one single question.

·         NOTE: the Questions Attributes listed in this book are sorted alphabetically.

Question Attributes

 

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Testing your Survey

·         If you want to test how your survey will look like. You can click on the Test this survey icon in the survey menu bar.

·         test survey

·        
A new page will open with a preview of the survey. You can review the survey, and if you want to change anything, you can go back to LimeSurvey and update it.

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Adding participants to a survey
Importing participants

·         Instead of adding participants one by one, you can upload all participants using a CSV (Comma Separated Version) file. You can create such a file using MS Excel. The CSV file should contain the following fields: tid, firstname, lastname, email, emailstatus, token, languagecode, validfrom, validuntil.

importing participants

Notice that some fields are empty; these will be filled by LimeSurvey. To import this CSV file to LimeSurvey, click on the
Import tokens from CSV file icon. Browse for the file, and then upload it to LimeSurvey.

NOTE: You can download a
sample CSV file containing all the fields required and some sample tokens. Start by updating those tokens and then add the rest.

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Adding participants to a survey
Sending Notifications

After adding the participants and creating tokens. It is time to send notifications to the participants, inviting them to take the survey. A notification is simply an email sent to the participants that includes a link to the survey. To edit the text of this email simply click on the Edit email templates Edit Emailicon. Note that in the text, you will find keywords like {FIRSTNAME}, {SURVEYNAME}…etc, these are keywords created by LimeSurvey. When the notification is sent to a participant, these keywords will change to the actual first name of the participant and the actually name of the survey…etc. You can change all the other text, but keep these keywords as is.

Edit templates


After updating the email text, click on the
Send email invitation icon in order to send the notifications to the participants.

  • Edit email templates edit email: Used to customize the templates used for the invitations, reminders, confirmations, and registration emails. Once you are done updating, click on the button save.
  • Send email invitation send email: Sends bulk email invitations to all participants in the tokens table.
  • Send email remindersend email reminder : Sends bulk email reminders to all participants in the tokens table who have not yet responded, but have been sent their first invitation.

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Adding participants to a survey
Analyzing results

Once the notification is sent, participants will start responding to the survey. To view the responses, click on the Browse responses for this survey browse responsesicon in the survey menu bar. If you can’t see the survey menu bar, then click on the Home icon, you will be taken to the homepage, with the survey menu bar visible. On this page you have many options to view the results and the analysis of these results:

  • Display Responses : Through LimeSurvey, you can view each response individually. This option won’t give you any analysis for the results.
  • Get statistics from these responses : Through LimeSurvey, you can view the responses; in addition to that, you can view analysis and statistics of this survey. You will have the option to view graphs in the analysis or not.
  • Export results to application (Excel/.csv) : You can export your results to an Excel file. In Excel you can create formulas to analyze the results.
  • Export results to a SPSS/PASW command file : You can export your results in a format compatible with SPSS. This way you can use SPSS to analyze your results.

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Deactivating a survey

·         When you are done collecting responses from your survey, you can deactivate it. This way, your survey will no longer be accessible to participants and no one can fill it up any more.

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER

When you deactivate a survey all the old responses will be removed, you won't be able to access those responses any more. It is very important to export the responses before deactivating the survey. This way you can have a copy of the responses.

To deactivate a survey, simply click on the red box icon in the survey menu bar.

·         Button to deactivate survey

·        
You will get a warning message informing you that the responses will be deleted (make sure you have a copy of the responses). Click on the button Deactivate survey. The survey will be deactivated and the responses will be removed.

·         warning message

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Exporting a Survey Structure

Once you are done creating a Survey, you can download a backup of it on your computer. Click on the Export Survey Structure button in the Survey toolbar. This will export all the groups, questions, answers and conditions of your survey into a standard CSV file. This file can be imported again using the Import Survey tab when you are creating a new survey.

Why Export a survey?

  • To keep a backup copy on your personal computer.
  • To copy a full survey to another server (your local server, another LimeSurvey service in another institution, etc).

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER

Problems when editing exported CSV files with Excel

If you edit the exported CSV file with Excel problems might occur when you import the edited file with Limesurvey. This happens because Excel does some changes to the data structure the user won't recognize. Therefore it is recommended to use other programs for editing like Word pad or Open Office Calc.

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ARRAY QUESTIONS

1. Array (5 point choice)

EXAMPLE: To what extent do you agree with the following comments (1=Strongly Agree, 5=Strongly Disagree).

Array_5_point_choice

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2. Array (10 point choice)

EXAMPLE: Same as above, only with 10 instead of 5.

Array_10_point_choice

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3. Array (Yes/No/Uncertain)

Options are defined to be Yes/No/Uncertain.

Array_Yes-No-Uncertain

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4. Array (Increase/Same/Decrease)

Options are defined to be Increase/Same/Decrease.

Array_Increase-Same-Decrease

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5. Array (Flexible Labels)

An array of flexible labels allows you to select your headings from a predefined label set, and let your participants respond to a series of possible answers/options using those headings. The two options available are using a matrix organized by rows or columns.

Array_Flexible_Labels_

A further option available with Arrays is the Semantic Differential . This is a modification of Array (Flexible Labels) or Array (5 point choice). You also have to choose Array (Flexible Labels) or Array (5 point choice) as your question type and after wards you can part the answer which should be on the left side from the answer on the right side of the array by using a Pipe Char '|'.
NOTE: If you do not know where is the Pipe Char on your keyboard you can enter it by pressing and holding [Alt] key, entering 124 and releasing the [Alt] key.
For EXAMPLE: If you want to have 'Good' and 'Evil' on the left and right of the row just write "Good|Evil" into the answer field:

Array_Flexible_Labels

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6. Array (flexible Labels) by Column

Same as above, only here the orientation is different.

Array_flexible_Labels_by_column

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7. Array (flexible Labels) Dual Scale

Offers two scales with label sets for each answer, as shown in the EXAMPLE below.

Array_flexible_Labels_Dual_Scale

NOTE: You can set a special question attribute to use this question type with dropdown boxes.

Array_flexible_Labels_Dual_Scale-2-

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8. Array (Multi Flexible) (Numbers)

Allows a large array of numbered dropdown boxes with a set of answers as the y-axis, and a label set as the x-axis. It provides for a very large display of questions and answers. By default the dropdown box contains the numbers from 1 to 10; however this can be changed by adjusting the question attributes.
NOTE: For more details about the attributes specified for this question, check the "Questions Attributes in LimeSurvey" book.

Array_Multi_Flexible_Numbers

You can set a special question attribute to use this question type with checkboxes:
NOTE: For more details about this attribute, check the "Questions Attributes in LimeSurvey" book.

Array_Multi_Flexible_Numbers

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9. Array (Multi Flexible) (Text)

The Array (Multi Flexible) (Text) question type allows a large array of text boxes with a set of answers as the y-axis, and a label set as the x-axis. It provides for a very large display of question and answers:

Array_Multi_Flexible_Text


 

Question Types
Mask Questions

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in Mask types:
NOTE: Click on the question name to see more details.

  1. Date
  2. G - Gender
  3. N - Numerical Input
  4. K - Multiple Numerical Input
  5. R - Ranking
  6. X - Boilerplate
  7. Y - Yes/No
  8. I - Language Switch

1. Date

 

This question type can be used to ask for a certain date which can be entered the form. Keep in mind that a date has to be in the format YYYY - MM - DD.
EXAMPLE: 2009-12-3.

Date

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2. G – Gender

 

Gender

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3. N - Numerical Input

 

N-Numericalinput

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4. K - Multiple Numerical Input

 

It allows multiple text boxes to be created each of which can only be answered using numbers. Each text box corresponds to an answer, and the answer text becomes the label for the input.
The following EXAMPLE uses the equals_num_value question attribute which checks if the entered numbers match a certain sum:
NOTE: For more details about this attribute, check the "Questions Attributes in LimeSurvey" book.

MultipleNumericalinput

Multiple numerical -> Slider layout.

By setting the question attribute slider_layout to 1, the usual input box is converted into a slider.
NOTE: For more details about this attribute, check the "Questions Attributes in LimeSurvey" book.

MultipleNumerical-sliderlayout

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5. R – Ranking

Allows you to present your participants with a list of possible answers/options, which they may then rank in order of preference.
EXAMPLE: Please rank the following movies in order of your preference:

R-Ranking

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6. X – Boilerplate

This type of question is one that does not require an answer from the user. It can be used to provide further instructions or a design break in the survey.
NOTE: The text of the question can take html or javascript code, therefore it can also be used for other purposes.

X-Boilerplate

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7. Y - Yes/No

 

Yes/No

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8. I - Language switch

 

With this question it's possible to change the language of the survey. In a dropdown box the users can choose between the languages which the survey is available in (base and additional languages).


LanguageSwitch

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Question Types
Multiple Choice Questions

Sometimes one would like the user to enter more than one entry for the same question; this is achieved using tick (check) boxes.
NOTE: Click on the question name to see more details.

  1. Multiple Options
  2. P - Multiple Options with Comments

1. M - Multiple Options

 

M-MultipleOptions

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2. P - Multiple Options with Comments

 

P-MultipleOptionsWithComments

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Question Types
Single Choice Questions as List

 

Single choice questions are those which provide only one possible entry type. A question like "What is your name?" is an EXAMPLE and the most typical entry option is a text field.

The list type of question allows to present single questions using the same answers, but each question is displayed individually (also in terms of design).
If one wants to customize the type of answers and use custom Label sets the options are infinite and LimeSurvey allows the designer to choose how these should be displayed:
NOTE: Click on the question name to see more details.

  1. "!" - List Dropdown
  2. "5" - 5 Point Choice
  3. L - List Radio
  4. O - List with Comment
  5. W - List Flexible Labels Dropdown
  6. Z - List Flexible Labels Radio

1."!" - List Dropdown

 

You can also create subcategories within this list by using the question attribute category_separator.
NOTE: For more details about this attribute, check the "Questions Attributes in LimeSurvey" book.

!-ListDropDown

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2. "5" - 5 Point Choice

 

5-PointChoice

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3. L - List Radio

 

ListRadio

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4. O - List with Comment

 

ListWithComment

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5. W - List Flexible Labels Dropdown

The advantage of a list using labels is that labels can be used over and over. The standard List expects the designer to define answers on the fly which are used only for the specific question.
Usually the List with flexible labels can be used in place of the List (radio/dropdown) in most cases and the Label sets can be re-used.
If, however, one wants to have an open ended option in the list (i.e. other, specify...) the List with comment will be the only possible option.

ListFlexibleLabelsDropdown

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6. Z - List Flexible Labels Radio

 

ListFlexibleLablesRadio

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Question Types
Single Choice Questions as Text

 

LimeSurvey provides a number of possible variations of the standard text field.

All of these can be defined further using the Question attributes which permit to restrict the number of characters as well as the size of the field. For more details about the attributes specified for this question, check the "Questions Attributes in LimeSurvey" book.

Furthermore, text input can be validated by using regular expressions.
NOTE: Click on the question name to see more details.

  1. Q - Multiple Short Text
  2. K - Multiple Numerical
  3. S - Short Free Text
  4. T - Long Free Text
  5. U - Huge Free Text

1.Q - Multiple short text

This question type is a variation on the Short Text question type which allows more than one text entry per question. The user first defines the question and can then add additional text boxes by adding Answers. Each answer becomes the label of the new text box.

Q-MltipleShortText

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2. K - Multiple Numerical

K-MultipleNumerical

You can also use a "slider layout" attribute:
NOTE: For more details about this attribute, check the "Questions Attributes in LimeSurvey" book.

K-MultipleNumerical

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3. S - Short free text

It's a text type. Length 65 536 characters.

S-ShortFreeText

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4. T - Long free text

It's a text type. Length 65 536 characters.

T-LongFreeText

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5. U - Huge free text

It's a text type. Length 65 536 characters.

U-HugeFreeText

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Question Attributes

"A"

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in "A" attributes:
NOTE: Click on the Question Attribute name for more details.

  1. Alphasort
  2. Answer_width
  3. Array_filter

Alphasort

Description:

By applying this question attribute, you can order a list alphabetically.

Available in:

  • ! - List (Dropdown)
  • L - List (Radio)
  • O - List with comment
  • W - List (Flexible labels) (Dropdown)
  • Z - List (Flexible labels) (Radio)

Example:

alphasort 1

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Answer_width

Description:

This value sets the answer column width in percentage. Let’s say if you set this to value 60 then 60 percent of the question width will be used for the answer text (left column). The remaining width will be equally divided to the answer options.

Available in:

  • Array (5 Point Choice)
  • Array (10 Point Choice)
  • Array (Yes/No/Uncertain)
  • Array (Increase, Same, Decrease)
  • Array (Flexible Labels)

Example:

answer_width 20

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Array_filter

Description:

It is used to filter the answers of an array question which are displaying based on the selection of answers on a multi option question. The array filter is based on the answer codes selected on the multi option question, so your array must have the same codes (but can have more than the multi options question).

Available in:

  • Array (5 Point Choice)
  • Array (10 Point Choice)
  • Array (Yes/No/Uncertain)
  • Array (Increase, Same, Decrease)
  • Array (Flexible Labels)
  • Array (Multi Flexible) (Numbers)
  • Ranking

Example:

Multi Option Question
Code: Q1
Question: Which animals do you like?
1 Cat
2 Dog
3 Zebra

Array 5 Point Choice Question
Code: Q2
Question: Rate these animals on a scale of 1 to 5.
1 Cat
2 Dog
3 Zebra
array_filter Q1
NOTE: To show only those answers selected in question code A1, add this attribute with the value "A1".

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Question Attributes
"C"

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in "C" attributes:
NOTE: Click on the Question Attribute name for more details.

  1. Category_ separator
  2. Code_filter

Category_separator

Description:

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

Available in:

  • List Dropdown Question

Example:

category_separator :
For instance 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.

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Code_filter

Description:

It can be used to filter the label set codes of the current question based on the answer to a previous single choice question. The attribute was added for the purpose of being able to narrow down possible options - although it's of limited use since the answer of previous question is compared to the label code of the current one.

Available in:

  • List (Flexible Labels) (Dropdown)
  • List (Flexible Labels) (Radio)

Example:

code_filter 1X23X122
code_filter str

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Question Attributes
"D"

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in "D" attributes:
NOTE: Click on the Question Attribute
name for more details.

  1. Display_columns
  2. Display_rows
  3. Dropdown_dates
  4. Dropdown_dates_year_min
  5. Dropdown_dates_year_max
  6. Dropdown_prepostfix
  7. Dropdown_separators
  8. Dualscale_headera / Dualscale_headerb

Display_columns

Description:

This attribute allows you to display the answers for the question in more than 1 column. Add this attribute, and a value indicating the number of columns you wish the question to use.

Available in:

  • List (Flexible Labels) (Radio)
  • Multiple options

Example:

display_columns 5

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Display_rows

Description:

It sets the number of rows/text lines for the window of the Long Free Text Question Type (default: 5) and the Huge Free Text Question Type (default: 30). If the user enters more lines, a scroll bar is displayed.

Available in:

  • Short Free Text Question Type
  • Multiple Short Free Text Question Type
  • Long Free Text Question Type
  • Huge Free Text Question Type

Example:

display_rows 60

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Dropdown_dates

Description:

This question attribute changes the presentation of the Date-Question Type to single dropdown boxes for year Day - Month - Year.

Available in:

  • Date

Example:

dropdown_dates 1

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Dropdown_dates_year_min

Description:

This question attribute can be used to set the minimum year value for the calendar question. It applies to the dropdown- and to the popup-variant of the calendar.

Available in:

  • Date

Example:

dropdown_dates_year_min 1900

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Dropdown_dates_year_max

Description:

This question attribute can be used to set the maximum year value for the calendar question. It applies to the dropdown- and to the popup-variant of the calendar.

Available in:

  • Date

Example:

dropdown_dates_year_max 2100

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Dropdown_prepostfix

Description:

In dual scale questions, if this attribute is set, the layout will use the provided text as a prefix and suffix before and after the dropdown input elements.
Format is prefix|suffix.

Available in:

  • Array (Flexible Labels) dual scale

Example:

dropdown_prepostfix |€
dropdown_prepostfix $|€

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Dropdown_separators

Description:

In dual scale questions, if this attribute is set, the layout will use the provided text as a separator after answer text and between dropdown boxes.
Format is Separator1|Separator2.

Available in:

  • Array (Flexible Labels) dual scale

Example:

dropdown_separators #|-

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Dualscale_headera / Dualscale_headerb

Description:

In dual scale questions, this is the Text to be displayed above Column A and Column B.

Available in:

  • Dual Scale

Example:

dualscale_headerA "First Choice"
dualscale_headerB "Second Choice"

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Question Attributes
"E"

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in "E" attributes:
NOTE: Click on the Question Attribute name for more details.

  1. Equals_num_value
  2. Exclude_all_others

Equals_num_value

Description:

Sets the sum total of all predefined answers that will be accepted.

Available in:

  • Multiple Numerical

Example:

equals_num_value 20
EXAMPLE: Setting a value of 20 for this attribute would mean that the only acceptable total for all items would be 20. A value of 15 or 60 would be unacceptable.

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Exclude_all_others

Description:

This attribute takes the Code of an answer in a Multiple option question so that when clicked this checkbox will uncheck all others and make them read-only (disabled). It was created specifically to ensure data integrity when one of the multiple options in a multiple option question implies no other choices apply (i.e., None of the above).

Available in:

  • Multiple Options

Example:

Just enter the according answer code like
exclude_all_others Q1A1

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Question Attributes
"H"

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in "H" attributes:
NOTE: Click on the Question Attribute
name for more details.

  1. Hide_tip

Hide_tip

Description:

Most questions will usually include a tip that says "Please choose one of the following" or similar. This attribute allows you to turn off the tip for certain question types.
Adding the "hide_tip" attribute with any value will turn this tip off so that it will not display.

Available in:

  • ! - List (Dropdown)
  • N - Numerical input
  • K - Multiple numerical input
  • L - List (Radio)
  • M - Multiple choice question
  • O - List with comment
  • P - Multiple options With comments
  • R - Ranking (introduced in 1.80)
  • W - List (Flexible labels) (Dropdown)
  • Z - List (Flexible labels) (Radio)

Example:

hide_tip 1

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Question Attributes
"M"

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in "M" attributes:
NOTE: Click on the Question Attribute name for more details.

  1. Max_answers
  2. Maximum_chars
  3. Maximum_num_value
  4. Min_answers
  5. Min_num_value
  6. Multiflexible_min
  7. Multiflexible_max
  8. Multiflexible_step
  9. Multiflexible_checkbox

Max_answers

Description:

Can be used to limit the total number of answers a user can check on a Multiple Choices question.

Available in:

  • M - Multiple choice question
  • P - Multiple options With comments
  • R - Ranking

Example:

If set to 2, the user will only be able to check at most 2 checkboxes or 1 checkbox + fill the Other field (if any).
At ranking questions this limits the number of items a user can rank.

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Maximum_chars

Description:

Allows you to set the maximum number of characters that can be entered for a text based question. Entering a value of, say, "20" will mean that the participant cannot enter any more than 20 characters as their answer.

Available in:

...all text based questions

Example:

maximum_chars 20

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Max_num_value

Description:

Allows you to set the maximum sum total of all predefined answers that will be accepted. The value entered for this attribute becomes the maximum value.

Available in:

  • Multiple Numerical

Example:

Setting a value of 20 for this would mean that the total value of all numbers entered in all input boxes for this question may not exceed 20. Totals of 21 would be not allowed. A total of 15 would be acceptable.

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Min_answers

Description:

Can be used to ensure that a user selects at least a certain number of answers in a Multiple Choice question.

Available in:

  • M - Multiple choice question
  • P - Multiple Options With Comments
  • R - Ranking

Example:

If set to 3, the user will only be able to submit the surveys form if they have selected at least three check-boxes. In ranking questions, this ensures that at least three items are ranked.

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Min_num_value

Description:

Allows you to set the minimum sum total of all predefined answers that will be accepted. The value entered for this attribute becomes the minimum value

Available in:

  • Multiple Numerical

Example:

Setting a value of 20 for this would mean that the total value of all numbers entered in all input boxes for this question may not be less than 20. Totals of 21 or 50 would be allowed. A total of 15 would not be acceptable.

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Multiflexible_min

Description:

Only available in Array (Multi Flexible) (Numbers) question type. Sets the minimum numeric value for the dropdown lists.

Available in:

  • Array (Multi Flexible) (Numbers)

Example:

To set a dropdown box starting at the number 1, and going to 10; set this attribute to 1.

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Multiflexible_max

Description:

Only available in Array (Multi Flexible) (Numbers) question type. Sets the maximum numeric value for the dropdown lists.

Available in:

  • Array (Multi Flexible) (Numbers)

Example:

To set a dropdown box starting at the number 1, and going to 10; set this attribute to 10.

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Multiflexible_step

Description:

Only available in Array (Multi Flexible) (Numbers) question type. Sets the numeric step value for the dropdown lists

Available in:

  • Array (Multi Flexible) (Numbers)

Example:

To set a dropdown box starting at the number 2, and going to 10 in 2's (ie: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10); set this attribute to 2.

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Multiflexible_checkbox

Description:

Only available in Array (Multi Flexible) (Numbers) question type. Use a specific layout of array of Checkboxes.
This attribute will automatically use multiflexible_min=0, multiflexible_max=1 and multiflexible_step=1 whatever values you give to these attributes.

Available in:

  • Array (Multi Flexible) (Numbers)

Example:

multiflexible_checkbox 1

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Question Attributes
"N"

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in "N" attributes:
NOTE: Click on the Question Attribute name for more details.

  1. Numbers_only

Numbers_only

Description:

Only works for the text type questions listed below. It makes ALL the text boxes numbers only.

Available in:

  • Multiple Short Text
  • Array (Multi Flexible) (Text)
  • Short Free Text

Example:

numbers_only 1

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Question Attributes
"O"

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in "O" attributes:
NOTE: Click on the Question Attribute name for more details.

  1. Other_comment_mandatory
  2. Other_replace_text

Other_comment_mandatory

Description:

Only applies to mandatory questions having an other answer in which the participant can give a free text response (other comment).
When this attribute is set to 1 and the participant selects the other answer (the other checkbox or other answer in a list), then s/he will have to give a comment in the Other comment input box in order to proceed to next page.

Available in:

  • P - Multiple options With comments
  • L - List radio
  • W - List flexible labels dropdown
  • "!" - List Dropdown
  • Z - List flexible labels radio

Example:

If set to 1 for a Multiple options With comments question, if 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.

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Other_replace_text

Description:

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

Available in:

  • List (Dropdown)
  • List (Radio)
  • List (Flexible Labels) (Dropdown)
  • List (Flexible Labels) (Radio)
  • Multiple Options
  • Multiple Options with Comments

Example:

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.

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Question Attributes
"P"

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in "P" attributes:
NOTE: Click on the Question Attribute name for more details.

  1. Page_break
  2. Public_statistics
  3. Prefix

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.
NOTE: Only the Opera browser does not need this since it handles the page breaks accordingly.

Available in:

  • All question types

Example:

page_break 1 (-> insert a page break before this question in printable view).

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Public_statistics

Description:

It allows the admin to choose if the results of a question should be shown to the user after s/he has the submitted he survey.
The default setting for each question is 0 (do not show statistics to the user).
You have to enable this (set it to 1) for every single question if you want to show survey statistics of a certain question to the user after he/she has submitted the survey.

Available in:

  • 5 Point Choice
  • List (Dropdown)
  • List (Radio)
  • List (Flexible Labels) (Dropdown)
  • List (Flexible Labels) (Radio)
  • List With Comment
  • Multiple Options
  • Multiple Options With Comment
  • Multiple Numerical
  • Array (Flexible Labels)
  • Array (Flexible Labels) by Column
  • Array (5 Point Choice)
  • Array (10 Point Choice)
  • Array (Yes/No/Uncertain)
  • Array (Increase/Same/Decrease)
  • Array (Flexible Labels) Dual Scale
  • Array (Multi Flexible) (Numbers)
  • Ranking
  • Gender
  • Numerical Input
  • Yes/No

Example:

public_statistics 1 (-> show statistics of this question to the user)
public_statistics 0 (-> do not show statistics of this question to the user)

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Prefix

Description:

A text value to be prefixed before a text entry box.

Available in:

  • Multiple Numerical
  • Numerical
  • Short Text
  • Multiple Short Text

Example:

Entering a value of "$" for this attribute would result in a dollar sign being displayed immediately preceding the text input box.

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Question Attributes
"R"

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in "R" attributes:
NOTE: Click on the Question Attribute name for more details.

  1. Random_order

Random_order

Description:

It causes LimeSurvey to ignore the existing order of those answers, and instead it orders the answers 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 they saw it.
Having the answers display randomly is useful to remove the possibility of bias from answers to questions. The value of the attribute should be set to 1 to enable it.

Available in:

  • List (Dropdown)
  • List (Radio)
  • Multiple Options
  • List With Comment
  • Multiple Options With Comment
  • Multiple Short Text
  • Multiple Numerical
  • Ranking
  • List (Flexible Labels) (Dropdown)
  • List (Flexible Labels) (Radio)
  • Array (Flexible Labels)
  • Array (Flexible Labels) by Column
  • Array (5 Point Choice)
  • Array (10 Point Choice)
  • Array (Yes/No/Uncertain)
  • Array (Increase/Same/Decrease)
  • Array (Flexible Labels) Dual Scale
  • Array (Multi Flexible) (Numbers)

Example:

To make the answer list for any of these questions appear in random order, add this question attribute with a value of 1.

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Question Attributes
"S"

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in "S" attributes:
NOTE: Click on the Question Attribute name for more details.

  1. Scale_export
  2. Scale_accuracy
  3. Slider_default
  4. Slider_layout
  5. Slider_prefix and Slider suffix
  6. Slider_min
  7. Slider_max
  8. Suffix

Scale_export

Description:

Used for SPSS export only. This attribute overrides default scale.

Available in

  • All question types, except text questions

Example:

You can choose from 1=nominal, 2=ordinal and 3=scale.

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Scale_accuracy

Description:

When slider_layout is set, this question attribute sets the value of step of the slider.

Available in:

  • Multiple Numerical Input

Example:

slider_accuracy 0.1
slider_accuracy 2

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Slider_default

Description:

When the slider_default attribute is set to a given value, this value will be assumed to be the default answer of the participant; this means that if the question is mandatory and the participant submits the page without moving the slider, it will be assumed that he has answered this default value.

Available in:

  • Multiple Numerical Input

Example:

slider_default 5
slider_default 0

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Slider_layout

Description:

When set to 1, this question attribute will modify the layout of the Multiple Numerical question type so that it looks like a slider.

Available in:

  • Multiple Numerical Input
  • (Numerical Input: )

Example:

slider_layout 1

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Slider_prefix and Slider suffix

Description:

When set, this question attribute will add a prefix or a suffix to the value next to the slider cursor of Multiple Numerical question type with slider_layout set.
This is commonly used to add a unit to the value pointed by the slider cursor.

Available in:

  • Multiple Numerical Input
  • Numerical Input

Example:

slider_suffix €

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Slider_min

Description:

When slider_layout is set, this question attribute sets the value of the left-end of the slider.

Available in:

  • Multiple Numerical Input

Example:

slider_min 10

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Slider_max

Description:

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

Available in:

  • Multiple Numerical Input

Example:

slider_max 50

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Suffix

Description:

A text value to be suffixed to a text entry box.

Available in:

  • Multiple Numerical
  • Numerical
  • Short Text
  • Multiple Short Text

Example:

Entering a value of "%" for this attribute would result in a percentage sign being displayed immediately after the text input box.

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Question Attributes
"T"

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in "T" attributes:
NOTE: Click on the Question Attribute name for more details.

  1. Text_input_width
  2. Time_limit
  3. Time_limit_action
  4. Time_limit_message_delay
  5. Time_limit_warning_message
  6. Time_limit_warning
  7. Time_limit_warning_display_time
  8. Time_limit_disable_next

Text_input_width

Description:

This attribute sets the width of the html text box, but does not limit the number of characters that can be entered.

Available in:

..all text based questions like

  • short free text
  • long free text
  • huge free text
  • numerical input
  • multiple numerical input
  • Array (Multi Flexible) (Text)

Example:

This is usually stated as a percentage of the answer width. So an input of 80 would be 80% of the question width.

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Time_limit

Description:

The timer attributes work best with surveys displayed in Question by question mode. It is possible to use them in Group by group mode, but with certain restrictions.
In Group by group mode the default time_limit_action is to Disable only, meaning that the Next >> button is not automatically pressed.

Available in:

  • Boilerplate
  • Short Text
  • Long Text
  • Huge Text

Example:

time_limit 30 = will count down from 30 seconds
time_limit 240 = will count down from 4 minutes

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Time_limit_action

Description:

This question attribute is only applicable if there is a value greater than zero in the time_limit attribute.
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.

Available in:

  • Boilerplate
  • Short Text
  • Long Text
  • Huge Text

Example:

time_limit_action: Warn and move on (1) = will warn the participant that the time has expired, and then click the next button.
time_limit_action: Move on without warning (2) = will immediately click the next button after the time limit has expired.
time_limit_action: Disable only (3) = will disable the answer after the time limit has expired but not automatically click next.

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Time_limit_message_delay

Description:

This attribute sets how many seconds the time_limit_message displays for before the time_limit_action occurs. If this attribute is not set, it defaults to a value of 1 (1 second).
This question attribute is only applicable if there is a value greater than zero in the time_limit attribute.

Available in:

  • Boilerplate
  • Short Text
  • Long Text
  • Huge Text

Example:

time_limit_message_delay: 5 = the message displays for 5 seconds.

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Time_limit_warning_message

Description:

This message only appears if the time_limit_warning attribute exists. The time_limit_warning attribute sets when this message appears, measured in seconds before the time limit expires.

Available in:

  • Boilerplate
  • Short Text
  • Long Text
  • Huge Text

Example:

time_limit_warning_message: In (TIME), the (time limit) to answer question will expire

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Time_limit_warning

Description:

It sets how long (in seconds) before the time limit expires to display the time_limit_warning_message. Setting a value for this attribute turns on the time limit warning message.
This question attribute is only applicable if there is a value greater than zero in the time_limit attribute.

Available in:

  • Boilerplate
  • Short Text
  • Long Text
  • Huge Text

Example:

time_limit_warning: 20 = The time limit warning message will appear 20 seconds before the time limit countdown reaches zero.

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Time_limit_warning_display_time

Description:

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 exists in this question attribute, the message will be hidden after that many seconds.
This question attribute is only applicable if there is a value greater than zero in the time_limit attribute.

Available in:

  • Boilerplate
  • Short Text
  • Long Text
  • Huge Text

Example:

time_limit_warning_display_time: 10 = The time limit warning message will dissapear 10 seconds after appearing.

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Time_limit_disable_next

Description:

Allows disabling the next button while a time_limit countdown is occurring.
This question attribute is only applicable if there is a value greater than zero in the time_limit attribute.

Available in:

  • Boilerplate
  • Short Text
  • Long Text
  • Huge Text

Example:

time_limit_disable_next: Yes (1) = The Next button will be disabled until the time limit countdown is complete.

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Question Attributes
"U"

LimeSurvey currently supports the following built-in "U" attributes:
NOTE: Click on the Question Attribute name for more details.

  1. Use_drodown

Use_dropdown

Description:

In dual scale questions, if this attribute is set, the layout will use dropdown boxes instead of lines of radio buttons.

Available in:

  • Dual Scale

Example:

Dual Dropdown 1 = use dropdown layout
Dual Dropdown 0 = do not use dropdown layout

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Original guideline source material is provided by and reproduced here with permission from the Academic Computing Center of the American University of Beirut.

Last modified May 20 2010 09:52 AM

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