Translations of this page:

Instructions for Common Jobs

Most questionnaires are easily implemented, using SoSci Survey. Yet, there are helpful tricks and cheats for some questions. This chapter introduces some typical situations.

A simple registration form will serve as an example:


You should be familiar with the basics – how to create questions and place them in the questionnaire (An Online Questionnaire in 5 Minutes) – before reading this chapter.

Displaying a Heading

There are various possibilities to embed texts within the questionnaire – and to embed them nearly anywhere. Details can be found in the chapter Using Texts in the Questionnaire. Usually, you will use the following procedure.

Tip: Following, HTML code will often be mentioned. This is text containing formating. In case you need formatted texts (multiple paragraphs, headings, line breaks, bold, italic, etc.), read the chapter Using Texts in the Questionnaire.

  1. Click Text Elements and Labels on the left and then New text element
  2. Provide your text with an ID (e.g. “title”) and enter the text (HTML code) “<h1>Registration for the Seminar</h1>” in the window below.
  3. Click OK to save the text element.
  4. Click Compose Questionnaire on the left. If necessary, select the questionnaire you created earlier for the registration form.
  5. At the bottom right, below Texts, Images, Audio you can find the new text element. Using the mouse, drag it onto the page of the questionnaire.

Text in den Fragebogen ziehen

Avoid Constantly Returning to the Questionnaire

To create a new text element or question, you need to leave the user interface for composing the questionnaire and return to it afterwards. To work more smoothly, you can use several browser tabs/windows.

If you are currently composing the questionnaire, click on List of Questions or Text Elements and Labels using the right (!) mouse button to open the context menu. Select Open link in new tab (or similar, depending on your browser).

Note for Mac users: In case you are working with a Mac, you may not have a right mouse button. In this case, hold the CTRL button and click the menu item.

Open a Menu Item in a new Tab

Now you have opened two areas of the program. Depending on the browser this will look slightly different. Using the tabs you can switch between these areas.

Multiple Browser Tabs

Henceforth, when creating a new question or text element, you will notice that the element is not displayed in the “Compose Questionnaire” tab. The solution is fairly simple: click the Reload button to display any new questions and text elements.


Warning: You cannot work in different survey projects, using multiple browser windows. Although, you may run different browsers (e.g., Firefox, Chrome, Opera and/or Internet Explorer) to do so.

A Welcome at the Start of the Questionnaire

In contrast to the registration form above, most questionnaires start with a friendly welcome page. The procedure is similar to adding a heading:

  • Create a new text in the List of Questions within a rubric with Add text.
  • Add an empty page at the beginning when composing your questionnaire.
  • Drag and drop the text (like a question) onto the empty page.

Tip: A brief explanation of how you can create an appealing introduction can be found under Short Welcome Page

Text Input and Selection

To add the text input fields (question 1: surname, first name etc in the example above), you need to create a question of the type Text input.

It is usually sensible to define the Label Width, e.g. “180” pixels in the example above.

For the selection (question: Main subject), you need another question of the type Selection.

Step by Step

  1. Click on New section (on the left below List of Questions).
  2. On the right you can see the form for sections. Enter “SD” for the ID and “Student Data” for the Name, and click OK.
  3. On the right the form for a new question appears. In case it doesn't, click on Add question in the List of Questions (below the section you just created).
  4. Type “Personal Details” for the Term of the new question and click on “Text input” in the Question Types below. You can also select the question type in the dropdown menu at the top, but then you also need to click OK.
  5. On the right, further options for text input fields appear. Type in the following Question title: “Please enter your personal data.” Further, defining a Label Width (items) of “180” is sensible. Do not forget to Save.
  6. Enter the items (Name, First Name, Student ID, …) in the Quick input for items below. Alternatively, click on Add item on the left below List of Questions. You can save an item simply by hitting the return button.
  7. For the selection, click on Add question on the left.
  8. Term “Main Subject”, Type “Selection”.
  9. Question title “Please select your main subject”.
    and add items (see point 6 above).

Tip: The item input for a selection question does not go via the quick input like for the text question. To make a quick entry here, use the direct import. Simply enter the items listed here (you can also simply copy and paste them from a document) and click Save Speichern. This saves you from entering the items individually.

A smaller text input field

For text input fields you can individually define the height and width. If you do not enter a height (default), text input fields are one row high and do not allow multi-line input.

To make the text field smaller, like in the example with the students, simply define the Width of the text input field – “32” pixels in the example above.

Step by Step

  1. Select SD Student Data (List of Questions).
  2. Select the question Personal Details (List of Questions).
  3. Enter the width of the input field in the Quick input for items or select the item Year of Study (List of Questions).
  4. Enter “32” for the Width of the input field. Save.

Gender Selection below the Text Inputs

The last item of the personal details is a dropdown selection. Although it doesn't look like it on the registration form, this is a separate question (see Concatenating Questions).

It is not visibly a separate question, because it is directly attached to the previous question. To do that, the previous question must not have any spacing - this can be set either via the settings for question items (see Concatenating Questions) or by using the argument “spacing=0” in the question() command (see Introduction to PHP). At the same time, the attached question must not display a question title.

Step by Step

  1. Add a new question of the Type “Dropdown selection”, Term “Gender”.
  2. As a Lead text for the options, enter “You are:”. In the tab Position of opener and input field, enter “180” pixels, so that the selection field is positioned in line with the text input fields. Save.
  3. Create “Female” and “Male” as options (items).
  4. Click Compose Questionnaire on the left and select the questionnaire “Registration for the SoSciSurvey seminar” which you created earlier.
  5. You can now add all three questions using the mouse (mind the sequence: SD01, SD03, SD02) or add a PHP code.
    1. If you have added the questions using the mouse, click on edit button on the first question Einstellungen. In the dropdown menu Spacing to the next question, select No spacing. Confirm by clicking the green checkmark. Now, click on the second question (the dropdown selection). In Show question text, select the option No. Un-tick the box Show explanation. Confirm again by clicking the green checkmark.
    2. In case you decided to add PHP code, enter the following code:
question('SD01', 'spacing=0');  // Personal Data
question('SD03', 'notitle');    // Gender
question('SD02');               // Main Subject

The code must contain the correct question IDs. In this example, these are SD01 to SD03.

After (automatically) saving the questionnaire, you can test it and have look at the preliminary result.

Selection Option "Other"

When using selection or multiple choice questions, additional input boxes can be displayed. This can be simply done by ticking the box Show text input field for this option in the item properties. You should define a width for this input box, since otherwise Internet Explorer will use the maximum width and spread the item over multiple rows.

Step by Step

  1. Select section SD Student Data (List of Questions).
  2. Select question Main Subject (List of Questions).
  3. Select item Other or create as a new item (List of Questions).
  4. Tick the box Show text input field for this option.
  5. Specify width of input field in quick input for items by clicking on edit icon or select item term of study (question catalog).
  6. Select question Main Subject again (List of Questions) and check the result in the preview at the bottom.

Label the Next Button

Any text that is displayed in the questionnaire can be edited via Text Elements and Labels.

You may also change the label of the next button for a single page, using the PHP function option().

Step by Step

  1. Select Text Elements and Labels from the menu.
  2. Beside Next Button, type “Register”.
  3. Beside Page title, you can optionally also type “Registration Form”.
  4. Save by clicking OK.

Activate and Edit Layout

The width of the questionnaire is set by the layout used. Most layouts (except “SoSci Survey paper”) allow to adapt the width.

The example above uses the layout “SoSci Survey neutral”, but the width has been reduced to 450 pixels.

Step by Step

  1. Select Questionnaire Layout from the menu.
  2. If you have not already activated a layout, scroll down to Layout Templates and click Activate below the Template SoSci Survey Neutral.
  3. The layout now appears in the list at the top. Click the description “SoSci Survey Neutral” or the edit button.
  4. At the top, you may change the ID to “neutral_n”, giving the Comment “SoSci Survey Neutral (narrow)”.
  5. In the first tab Basic Settings you find an option Layout base width. Enter the value “450”.
  6. Save the changes
  7. If you have enabled only one layout in your survey project, the changes will be applied to the questionnaire immediately. Otherwise, click Compose Questionnaire and the tab Settings. Here you can select the Layout “[neutral_n] SoSci Survey neutral (narrow)”. Save the changes and switch back to the tab pages in the questionnaire. Click the green arrow run to display the questionnaire.

Further Solutions

Solutions for other tasks can be found in the chapter Advanced Display Options.

en/create/stuff.txt · Last modified: 13.02.2024 18:58 by admin
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