Piped Text


With Piped Text, you can customize question and choice wording for each participant. When you add Piped Text to your survey, it will appear as a line of code, like this: ${m://FirstName}. When participants take the survey, this code will be replaced with unique content.

Example: You could use piped text to create a seminar evaluation survey that auto-populates with the correct seminar speaker and date, and addresses the recipient by name in the email invitation.

Accessing the Piped Text Menu

Piped Text is generated using the Piped Text menu. This menu is found in a few different places throughout the Research Suite, and looks like this:

The Piped Text menu can be accessed in the following locations:

  • Question: Click the question text. Click the blue Piped Text button and select Insert Piped Text.

  • Answer Choice: Click the answer choice text. Click the blue drop-down menu and then select Insert Piped Text.

  • Rich Content Editor: The Rich Content Editor shows up in many locations, such as when editing an email or other survey message. Click the {a} icon in the Rich Content Editor.

  • Embedded Data field: Click the blue drop-down menu and then select Insert Piped Text.

  • Qtip: If you’d like to use Piped Text in an area that does not have the Piped Text menu, we’ve got you covered. Simply generate the Piped Text in one of the above areas and then copy and paste it into the desired location.

Generating Piped Text

Once you’ve identified the question or message where you’ll be placing your Piped Text, you can now insert it.

To generate Piped Text:

  1. Select from the menu the type of Piped Text you would like to insert (for example an answer from a previous question, or the current date), followed by the specific item you would like to insert.

  2. Piped Text will be inserted into your survey, as signified by a code surrounded by a dollar sign and brackets.

  3. Once the Piped Text is generated, place it where you want the actual text to appear.

  4. Details on the specific types of Piped Text available as well as how to generate them are discussed below.

    Qtip: Using the Rich Content Editor, you can style the Piped Text code with all the options available for regular text, such as bolding and italicizing.

Piping Text from a Question

By selecting to pipe text from a question, you can pipe in information such as question text, a previously selected answer choice, or other question content.

In this survey, we wanted to follow up on the drink participants selected as their favorite in a previous question.

To generate Piped Text from a Question:

  1. Open the Piped Text menu.
  2. Select Survey Question.
  3. Select the question to pipe from.
  4. Select the item within the question. The items listed will be unique for each question.
    1. Qtip: Piped Text is evaluated when the page loads. Make sure the question you are piping from is on a separate page than the question you are piping to.

Piping Text from an Embedded Data Field

Sometimes you’ll have extra data stored for each participant beyond what they answered to each question. This extra data, which Qualtrics calls Embedded Data, can be piped into your survey.

For this survey we wanted to display an ID we had stored as Embedded Data so participants could verify it is correct. The Default Choices option was used so this Piped Text would display within the textbox.

To generate Piped Text from an Embedded Data Field:

  1. Open the Piped Text menu.
  2. Select Embedded Data Field.
  3. Type in the name of the Embedded Data field and click Insert.

Piping Text from a Panel Field

If you are sending your survey to a Panel, you can pipe text from a Panel field. These fields include basic fields like first name, last name, and email, as well as the specialty fields of External Data Reference and Language. Any other fields you’ve added to the Panel beyond these basics are stored as Embedded Data, and can be piped in using the steps described in the Piping Text from an Embedded Data Field section.

For this email invitation, we used Piped Text to insert the recipient’s first name from the Panel. This type of personalization, though minor, can help boost response rates.

To generate Piped Text from a Panel Field:

Piping Text from a Loop and Merge Field

With Loop and Merge, you can repeat a set of questions for a participant, each time asking about a different item. Piped Text is critical for Loop and Merge so the participant knows which item they are responding about. To learn how to use this feature, refer to our Loop and Merge tutorial.

loop and merge example

In this survey, the respondent is asked to indicate which genres they enjoy reading. They are then asked a series of questions about each selected genre in a Loop and Merge block.

To generate Piped Text from a Loop and Merge field:

  1. Open the Piped Text menu.
  2. Select Loop and Merge.
  3. Select a field.
Loop and Merge menu

Other Piped Text Locations

Piped Text can also be generated from a Web Service, GeoIP Location, Date/Time, or Quota.

To generate Piped Text from a Web Service:

  1. Open the Piped Text menu.
  2. Select Web Service.
  3. Enter the Web Service URL and then select the desired field. Click here for more information on using a Web Service.
web service example

This question used the Random Number Generator Web Service to generate a unique ID number for each respondent.

To generate Piped Text from a GeoIP Location:

  • Open the Piped Text menu.
  • Select GeoIP Location.
  • Select the desired location identifier.
geo ip example

GeoIP location was used in this question to pipe in the city in which the respondent is currently located.

To generate Piped Text from Date/Time:

  1. Open the Piped Text menu.
  2. Select Date/Time.
  3. Select Current Date/Time.
  4. Select the desired format.
date example

This question pipes in the current date to help a respondent reference the length of time since their last visit.

To generate Piped Text from a Quota:

  1. Open the Piped Text menu.
  2. Select Quota.
  3. Select the Quota to pipe from.
  4. Specify if you want to pipe in the Quota Count, if the Quota has not been met, or if the Quota has been met. Click here for more information on Quotas.
quota example

Pipe in the current quota count to let respondents know how many slots are left for an event.

More Information

The piped text code can be used to pull in a random number as well. This is not one of the codes provided in our Piped Text menu, but you can find it quickly on our Random Number Generator support page along with a great tutorial.