About Blocks


Blocks are sets of questions within your survey. Typically questions are separated into blocks for the purpose of conditionally displaying an entire block of questions, or for randomly presenting entire blocks of questions. These branching and randomization options are found in the Survey Flow.

Example: In academic research, you might have two sets of questions – one for a control group of participants and one for an experimental group. Rather than creating two surveys, you could create two blocks of questions within one survey and randomly assign participants to one or the other.

Blocks can also be used to organize longer surveys. For example, the first five questions in your survey might be in a block called “Screening Questions”, and the last ten questions in a block called “Main Questions”.

Qtip: Participants won’t see these block titles, but adding a description that they will see is easy. Simply add a Descriptive Text question as the first question in your block. This is found in the question types menu, or by removing all the choices from a multiple choice question.

On this page you will learn everything you need to create and edit question blocks.

Adding a New Block

When you first create your survey, you will notice it already includes one block. If you need another question block, simply click Add Block in the bottom right-hand corner of an existing block. This option will be available on any block that contains at least one question.

Splitting an Existing Block

In addition to adding a new empty block, you can also split an existing block of questions.

To split a question block:

  1. Select the boxes on the left of each question you would like moved to a separate block.
  2. Click the new Move to a New Block option that appears once you have multiple questions selected.
Qtip: A group of consecutive questions can be quickly selected by clicking on the first question, and, while holding Shift, clicking on the last question.

Your questions will now be placed in a new block at the bottom of your survey. To move your block elsewhere, use Move Block Up or Move Block Down in the Block Options menu.

Saving a Block to the Block Library

If you’d like to use the same set of questions in multiple surveys, rather than creating from scratch each time, consider saving the block to the Block Library.

To save to the Block Library:

  1. Click Block Options.
  2. Select Copy Block To Library.
  3. Select the library where your block will be saved.

  4. Qtip: Saving the block to My Library will save it for your own personal use. You might also see other group libraries available. Question blocks saved to a group library will be available for use by all members of that group.
  5. Choose a Category (optional) and a Block Name and click Copy.

Adding a Block from the Block Library

A block that is saved to the Block Library can be added to any survey. This can save you from needing to re-create questions.

To add a block from the Block Library:

  1. Click Copy Items From at the bottom of any existing block.
  2. Choose the library where your block is located.
  3. Select Block Library.
  4. Choose the category where your block is assigned.
  5. Choose the name of the block you want to add.
  6. Click Import Block.

Renaming a Block

Qualtrics gives each new block a default name. You can rename a block at any time. Although block names will not appear for survey participants, they can help you keep your survey organized.

To rename a block:

  1. On the top left of the block, click the current block name.
  2. Type in the new name.
  3. Click anywhere off of the block name to save the changes.
Qtip: Participants won’t see the block name, but adding a description that they will see is easy. Simply add a Descriptive Text question as the first question in your block. This is found in the question types menu, or by removing all the choices from a multiple choice question.

Minimizing a Block

If you have a number of blocks and only want to view the one your are currently editing, it may be helpful to minimize the other blocks.

To minimize a block, click the arrow next to the block name.

A block can also be minimized by clicking Minimize on the bottom left of the block.

To expand a minimized block, click Click to show questions.

Using Blocks in the Survey Flow

In the Survey Flow, you can choose which blocks will be displayed to which participants, and in what order. To learn how to display a block conditionally, refer to our Branch Logic tutorial. To learn how to randomly select a block to display, refer to our Block Randomization tutorial.

All blocks are automatically included in the Survey Flow; however, there may be cases where you’d like a block to be included in multiple locations in the flow, or where you’ve removed a block from the flow but would like to put it back.

To add a Block into your Survey Flow:

  1. In the Edit Survey tab, select Survey Flow.
  2. Click Add a New Element Here or Add Below.
  3. Click Block.
  4. Select the block you want to add into the Survey Flow.
Qtip: If a participant sees the same block of questions twice while taking a survey, the second time around all of the answers will be pre-filled and they will be able to review and update what they answered previously. Only one set of answers will be included in the data set.

Using Block Options

Block Options can be found on the top right of every block. In addition to the abilities mentioned above, the following options are available:

Block Options

View Block

View Block allows you to preview a single block in your survey. This is especially helpful in longer surveys so you can preview just a specific section without having to start at the beginning.

Collapse Questions

Collapse Questions reduces the size of your question for easy navigation and can be enabled or disabled by clicking Collapse Questions. When this option is enabled, the question text and any choice text will display in a collapsed format.

An icon will appear to the left of your questions indicating what the question type is. Radio buttons, checkboxes, text entry boxes, and other features of your questions will not display.

To uncollapse a single question, click on the question. It will remain uncollapsed until you click on a different question.

Lock Block

Lock Block is useful when others have access to your survey but you do not want any edits to be made to the block. You can add a password to the block so it can only be unlocked for further edits by entering the password.

In the Lock Block menu, you can lock the block without a password by simply clicking OK, or with a password by first typing a password and then clicking OK.

To unlock a block, click Locked, or Locked with a Password. If prompted, enter the appropriate password.

Qtip: Once a block has been unlocked, you will need to lock it again to prevent further edits.

Question Randomization

Question Randomization allows you to randomize the order of your questions, display a subset of questions, and even permanently hide questions.

For more details, visit our tutorial on Question Randomization.

Loop & Merge

Loop & Merge allows you to present the same questions to a participant multiple times. For example, if your block is a set of product satisfaction questions, you might want to repeat the block for each product the participant has purchased.

For more details, visit our tutorial on setting up Loop & Merge.

Next/Previous Button Text

Use this option to specify the text of the Next and Previous buttons participants see in this block while taking the survey.

Qtip:Try putting the last page of your survey in a separate block and using this option to change the Next button text to “Submit”. This way respondents will know they have reached the last page of your survey.

Copy Block

Use Copy Block to crate a copy of the block within the survey you are editing. This can be a time-saver if you have similar questions repeated in the survey.

To copy a block, click Copy Block and enter in the name of the new block.

Qtip: Any logic that is copied will continue to reference the same items referenced in the original questions.

Copy Questions to Library

Copy Question to Library is similar to the Copy Block to Library, except that it saves each question individually to the Question Library rather than saving the block as a whole.

Delete Block

Delete Block will delete the block and all questions within the block. Be careful when using this option to ensure that you do not delete anything that you need. Deleted questions will be added to the Trash / Unused Questions section at the bottom of the survey.

Qtip: If you delete all the blocks in your survey, Qualtrics will automatically insert a new block so you still have a place to add questions.