Open question

An open question allows participants to enter a text response in a corresponding text box. Open questions are mainly used to get qualitative information about any topic and to expand on and clarify closed responses.

Open questions can be set to three different sizes: Small, Medium or Large.

Note: There is generally no limit to the length of open questions. The only limitation is in Excel. Here the text of a cell is cut off after 32,767 characters. If you download the data via an API, there is no such limit.

If you check the box next to Hint text, an input box will be displayed allowing you to give a detailed explanation to the participants as regards the purpose of the question. The hint text is not included in reports.

A participant has to enter the required information, once the box next to Force response (mandatory question) has been checked. If the corresponding question hasn’t been answered, the message ‘Please answer this question before you continue’ will be presented on the screen prompting the participant to fill the requested details.

The Small size is used to record data like a 4-digit year or the age of the participant.

The Medium size is used to record full names or e-mail addresses.

The Large size is used for typical feedback questions, i.e. questions aimed at providing you with more significant details.

Note: There is no limit to the maximum number of characters.

If you check the Autocomplete box, a text area appears where you can enter specific information, e.g. a combination of city & country. Each line represents one autocomplete value. This, for example, enables the participant to select the correct location. When answering a corresponding question in the survey, the participant only has to enter a limited number of characters, e.g. ha. The tool will then display the locations sharing these characters, allowing you to choose the precise location.

An open question can be validated with the following criteria:

Integer number

The participant may only enter an integer number which lies between the specified minimum and maximum value. Let us assume that the minimum and maximum value for age are 12 and 25, respectively. A participant will then have to enter an age between 12 and 25.

Real number

The participant may only enter a real number which lies between the specified minimum and maximum value. A maximum of three decimals can be entered for both the minimum and maximum value (see figure above).

  • The English or Swiss decimal sign is a full stop.
  • The German, Dutch or French decimal sign is a comma.

When creating a survey which contains an open question with a real number (incl. one or more decimals), the decimal sign to be used is based on the selected profile language.

When filling out this open question, the participant must use the decimal sign which is defined for his/her language.

Let us assume that the minimum and maximum value for the corresponding open question are 1 and 9.9, respectively. A participant who is filling out an English survey, will then have to enter a value between 1 and 9.9. Yet a participant who is filling out a German survey, will have to enter a value between 1 and 9,9.

Value listed in autocomplete

In this case, the participant can only make a selection from the entries listed in the autocomplete text area. Generally, the participant only has to enter a limited number of characters, e.g. ha. The tool will then automatically search for the corresponding full entry, e.g. Hamburg, Germany.

If the Placeholder box is checked, you can enter text which will be displayed in the input field, once the respondent is filling out the survey. The entered text can be overridden by the respondent.

This field is only shown for this question type, if you have purchased the Panel ADD-ON functionality.

If Password field is ticked, a field to confirm the password is added under the text box of the corresponding question. This allows the participant to log in to a portal. The text box may contain a description such as "Your password".

Updated on August 4, 2022

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