Import and Export Surveys

About Importing and Exporting Surveys

The Import Survey option allows you to upload a .QSF or .TXT file of a survey into Qualtrics. The Export Survey option allows you to download a .QSF file of a survey into your computer.

Exporting a Survey

Download your survey as a .QSF file to use as a backup file. Or download a Word document which you can use for a paper version of the survey or as a reference sheet for the coded values of your answer choices.

To export your survey:

  1. On the Edit Survey page, select Advanced Options.
  2. Select Export Survey or Export Survey to Word.
  3. Select to Download or Save the file in the browser download box.
    Note: With Internet Explorer, you might need to click on the yellow bar at the top of the page to give it permission to download the file.

Importing a Survey

To import a survey, open the Advanced Options menu on the Edit Survey page and click Import Survey. There are two options for importing a survey.

  • .QSF – This would be a survey you had created and exported or that someone else had created and sent to you. The survey will import without any further formatting.
  • .TXT – The text file option is appropriate in an automated system, where you have a back-end program that automatically generates .TXT surveys for you to import. Generally, if you are creating surveys yourself or bringing a survey in from another survey platform, it is quicker and easier to simply recreate it in Qualtrics.

Preparing a .TXT File in Simple Format for Importing

The text file option is appropriate in an automated system, where you have a back-end program that automatically generates .TXT surveys for you to import.

To create a survey in the Simple .TXT format:

  1. Format questions.
    • A question begins with a number followed by a period (“.”). Choices are below the question text with a blank line between the question and the answer choices.
    • For matrix questions: Answers are after choices with a blank line between.
    • Make question multiple answer by using [[MultipleAnswer]] on the line just below the question text.
    • Insert a page break by entering [[PageBreak]].
  2. Save as a .TXT file and import into Qualtrics.

The following is an example of Simple .TXT formatting:

1. This is a multiple choice question. Every question starts with a
number followed by a period. There should be a blank line between
the question text and the choices.

a
b
c
d


[[Block:My Block Name]]
2. This is a multiple choice- multiple answer question.
[[MultipleAnswer]]

a
b
c
d


[[PageBreak]]
3. This is a matrix question that has longer question text.
It is a matrix question because it has two groups of choices.

The question text is on two lines.

ma
mb
mc

m1
m2
m3



4. This is a matrix-multiple answer question.
[[MultipleAnswer]]

ma
mb
mc

m1
m2
m3


[[Block]]
5. What is your gender?

Male
Female

Preparing a .TXT File in Advanced Format for Importing

The text file option is appropriate in an automated system, where you have a back-end program that automatically generates .TXT surveys for you to import. When using the Advanced .TXT format each part of the question must be explicitly defined using the [[]] tags. The tags begin with [[ and end with ]] with no spaces in-between the brackets.

Question Type Codes

  • MC – Multiple Choice

    • SingleAnswer – single answer question
      • Vertical – vertical layout
      • Horizontal – horizontal layout
    • MultipleAnswer – single answer question
      • Vertical – vertical layout
      • Horizontal – horizontal layout
    • DropDown – drop down list
    • Select – select box
    • MultiSelect – multiple answer select box
  • Matrix – Matrix Table
    • SingleAnswer – single answer question
    • MultipleAnswer – multiple answer question
  • TextEntry or TE – Text Entry
    • SingleLine – Single line question
    • Essay – Essay box question
  • ConstantSum or CS – Constant Sum
  • RankOrder or RO – Rank Order
  • Text or DB – Text/Graphic (Descriptive Block)

Other Tags

  • [[AdvancedFormat]] – Specifies the file is an advanced formatted file.
  • [[SimpleFormat]] – Specifies the file is a simple formatted file.
  • [[ED:{field}:{value}]] – Adds embedded data to the flow with the given field. If value is specified then the field will be set to that value.
  • [[Question:{question type code}:{question sub-type code}:{question sub-sub-type code}]] – Specifies a new question with a specific type, either MC, Matrix, TE, CS, RO, or DB. Optionally a question sub type code can be used.
  • [[Choices]] – Specifies the choices for a multiple choice question or the statements for a matrix question (one per line after the tag).
  • [[Answers]] – Specifies the choices for a matrix question (one per line after the tag).
  • [[AdvancedChoices]] – Specifies we are using advanced choice formatting allowing for recode values and multiline choices.
  • [[Choice:{recode value}]] – Specifies the start of a choice. An optional recode value can be used to set the recode value of the choice.
  • [[AdvancedAnswers]] – Specifies we are using advanced answer formatting allowing for recode values and multiline answers.
  • [[Answer:{recode value}]] – Specifies the start of an answer. An optional recode value can be used to set the recode value of the answer.
  • [[MultipleAnswer]] – Specifies that the question should be a multiple answer question.
  • [[ID:question ID]] – Specifies question ID.
  • [[PageBreak]] – Specifies a page break.
  • [[Block]] – Specifies a block should begin.
  • [[Block:block name]] – Specifies a block should begin with a specific name.

The following is an example of Advanced .TXT formatting:

[[AdvancedFormat]]

[[ED:State]]
[[ED:Gender]]
[[ED:SawSurvey:1]]

[[Block:MC Block]]

[[Question:MC:Dropdown]]
drop down
[[Choices]]
a
b
c

[[Question:MC:Select]]
select
[[Choices]]
a
b
c

[[Question:MC:MultiSelect]]
multiselect
[[Choices]]
a
b
c

[[Question:MC:SingleAnswer:Horizontal]]
single answer horizontal
[[Choices]]
a
b
c

[[Question:MC:MultipleAnswer:Horizontal]]
multiple answer horizontal
[[Choices]]
a
b
c

[[Block]]

[[Question:MC]]
[[ID:q1]]
This is a multiple choice question. With one value recoded.

[[AdvancedChoices]]
[[Choice]]
a choice
with text on
multiple lines
[[Choice]]
b
[[Choice]]
c
[[Choice:99]]
N/A with recode 99

[[PageBreak]]

[[Question:Matrix]]
This question is a matrix question.

It has lots of question text on multiple lines and uses
advanced answers.

[[Choices]]
statement a
statement b
statement c
[[AdvancedAnswers]]
[[Answer]]
answer 1
[[Answer]]
answer 2
[[Answer]]
answer 3

[[PageBreak]]

[[Question:Matrix]]
This question is a matrix question and uses advanced choices and 
answers with recode values.

[[AdvancedChoices]]
[[Choice]]
a
[[Choice]]
b
[[Choice]]
c
[[Choice]]
d

[[AdvancedAnswers]]
[[Answer:10]]
answer 1 - recode 10
[[Answer:20]]
answer 2 - recode 20
[[Answer:30]]
answer 3 - recode 30
Google+