Creating a Question Table

A question table is a group of questions that shares a common set of response options. Generally, a question table will have three components: instructions, prompts, and a set of response options.

Instructions tell the participant what type of response is expected. For example, “Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements.”

Prompts are the individual items to which participants respond. A question block that uses the instructions above may include prompts such as:

  • I have a strong understanding of current technology.
  • I read product reviews before selecting a product to buy.
  • I do not let others influence my purchasing decisions.


The final component in a question table is a set of response options shared by all of the prompts. In the example above, each of the prompts might include the following options:

  • Strongly Disagree
  • Disagree
  • Neither Disagree nor Agree
  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree

If you are editing a multilingual survey, and you have the translation tools enabled, you will see a list of languages at the bottom of the Question Table Editor. Choose the language you want to work with from the list. You may edit most text properties (prompts, scale values, error messages, etc.) in each language individually (though it’s much easier to create a Translation Package and do all of the translation at once). Display and show-if properties apply across all translations.

Choosing a Display Type

The general tab of the Question Table Editor provides a list of display types. When you choose a type from the list, you’ll notice that a sample appears to the right of the list showing what the selected display type looks like.

The Select One display type actually shows two samples: one with radio buttons and one with poplists. When you choose the Select One display type, you must use the ‘Select-one style’ list in the Display Properties tab to indicate whether the collection should use radio buttons or poplists.

Creating Instructions

Type the instructions for your question table into the Instructions entry under the General tab. These instructions will appear above the table.

Creating Prompt Headers

The prompt header appears above the table’s set of prompts.  For example, the Instructions of a table might be “Rate the following aspects of your hotel stay”, whereas the prompt header might be “Aspects”, under which the hotel stay aspects are listed as the prompts.

Creating and Editing Prompts

To add prompts to the collection, click the Prompts tab. For each prompt you want to add, type the prompt into the Prompts box and press Enter (or click the Add button). You’ll see that each new prompt appears in the list of prompts at the bottom of the Question Table Editor.

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To edit an existing prompt, click on the prompt in the list, make your changes to the prompt’s text in the Prompts box, and click Replace . (Note that if you press the Enter key instead of clicking Replace, you will create a new prompt.)

Deleting Prompts

To delete a prompt, click on the prompt you want to delete (it should be highlighted against a blue background once you click on it) and then click the Remove button.

Importing Prompts from the Clipboard

It is possible to copy a group of prompts from another document and then using the “Import From Clipboard” button paste them into the Prompts area. Because it is coming directly from another document it may require some formatting.

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Setting Show-if on Prompts

You can set show-if conditions on the individual prompts within a question table, so that the rows conditionally show based on prior responses or pre-known participant information.  To set show-if conditions on a prompt:

  1. Create the question table by entering the Instructions, Response Options and Prompts.
  1. Once the table has been created, click on the table on the left pane, so that the prompts populate the right pane.
  1. Double click on a prompt, and go to the show-if tab for the prompt.

Display Properties: Setting Columns of Equal Width

It is important to ensure that the columns of a table are of equal width.  By default, columns will size to the widest column header.  To prevent this, make sure to enter something in the “Column Width” field on the Display Properties tab.  You will need to enter a value in pixels, such as 80px, 90px, etc.  You may have to try a number of pixels and then preview the table to see whether that number is just wide enough to keep columns equal, but not so wide that it uses up screen real estate unecessarily.

Display Properties: Repeat Column Headings

If a table has many rows, the respondent may be forced to vertically scroll to see all of the rows, and in doing so may lose sight of the column headers – this can lead to error.  To mitigate that error, repeat the column headings every 5 or so rows so that respondents can always see the column header


Display Properties: Randomize Prompts

There may be some cases where it is beneficial to randomize the order in which the prompts are displayed in the table.  To do so check the ‘Use custom display order for prompts in this table’.


Sub-Grouping and Response/Prompt Headings in Question Tables

Questions Tables may have both Response Headers as well as Prompt Headers.  Response Headers are labels that apply to multiple column headers, e.g. ‘Gender’ might be a response header for the column headers ‘Male’ and ‘Female’.  Prompt headers serve to group the prompts into categories.  For example, a table may ask respondents to rate how much they like various foods.  Those foods might be grouped into Fruits, Vegetables, Meats, etc.

Adding Response Headers to a Question Table

Response Headers are added to Question Tables in the same way as  standard response options.  They are only available for Select One and Check All That Apply display types.

To add a response header:

  1. On the Response Options tab type appropriate text.
  1. Check ‘Group header’ box.
  1. Click Add.
  1. Drag where appropriate among the list of response options

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Adding Prompt Headers to a Question Table

Prompt Headers can be used with all of the Display Types in a Question Table. Prompt Headers are created by selecting the Prompts tab in the Question Table Editor and checking the “Group header” box. Prompts can me moved up and down in the list by clicking and dragging.

Example Question Table with Response and Prompt Headers

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