Survey Platform - Piped Text Overview | Qualtrics

Piped Text Overview


With Piped Text, you can customize question and answer choice wording for each respondent, allowing each of them to have a customized, dynamic, and personal survey experience. Piped Text is a line of code you add to your survey that pulls information from different sources and displays that information to the respondent (or can be used in Display Logic, Embedded Data, and other areas).

Example: After asking about a respondent’s preferred product, you can pull their selected answer into a follow up question and have it displayed in the question text.

Though Piped Text appears as a line of code in your survey editor, when respondents take the survey, this code will be replaced with the specified content.


Accessing the Piped Text Menu

Piped Text is generated using the Piped Text menu. This menu is found in many different places throughout Qualtrics.

  • Questions: Click the question text and click the blue Piped Text button.
  • Answer Choices: Click the answer choice text, then click the blue dropdown menu and select Insert Piped Text.
  • Rich Content Editor: Click the {a} icon in the Rich Content Editor (located in many places throughout Qualtrics, such as when editing an email or other survey messages).
  • Embedded Data: When adding Embedded Data to the Survey Flow, click Set a Value Now, then click the blue dropdown menu and 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 the code into the desired location. For example, you may need to set Custom Validation to a Piped Text value.

Generating Piped Text

  1. In the Piped Text menu, choose which type of Piped Text you want and specify the particular item you would like to insert.
    We are pulling information about the product category the respondent indicated they purchased. To get there, we chose the Survey Question option, selected the desired question, and finally chose the type of information to pipe in.
  2. Notice that the Piped Text is inserted into your survey, as signified by a code surrounded by a dollar sign and brackets.
  3. Place the Piped Text where you want the actual text to appear.
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 from a Previous Question

The Survey Question category in the Piped Text list allows you to pipe information such as the question’s text, a selected answer choice, etc.

In this survey, we want to follow up on the respondents preferred product, which was selected in a previous question.
Qtip: A question must be submitted by the respondent using the Next Button before Piped Text will work. For example, if you pipe in the selected answer from one question to another, there must be a page break in between the two questions for the Piped Text to load.

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 specific content from the question that you would like to pipe.

Piping from an Embedded Data Field

Embedded Data fields allow you to store information about a respondent without actually asking a question, and that information can be piped into later sections of your survey or used in your data analyses.

For this survey, we display an ID we had stored as Embedded Data so respondents can verify it. We used the Default Choices option 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 from a GeoIP Location

By default, Qualtrics will record the IP Address of the respondent as they enter the survey. Based on their recorded IP Address, Qualtrics will calculate their geographical location down to the zip code.

Qtip: You can enable Anonymize Responses in the Survey Options to disable recording of the respondent’s IP Address.

To generate Piped Text from a GeoIP Location

  1. Open the Piped Text menu.
  2. Select GeoIP Location.
  3. Select the desired location identifier.
    We’re using GeoIP location in this question to pipe in the city where the respondent is currently located.

Piping from a Scoring Category

The Scoring feature allows you to attach point values to each question answer. Qualtrics allows you to pipe the total score, weighted average, and standard deviation.

To generate Piped Text from a Scoring Category

  1. Open the Piped Text menu.
  2. Select Scoring.
  3. Select the appropriate scoring category.
    We’re piping in the respondent’s scores to show the respondent how they did on a quiz.

Piping Date / Time

Through the Date / Time Piped Text, you can display the current date and time in your survey, as well as other dates. This is useful to display in event registration surveys as a time reference for your respondents.

To generate Piped Text for Date / Time

  1. Open the Piped Text menu.
  2. Select Date / Time.
  3. Select the desired format.
    We’re piping in the current date to help a respondent reference the length of time since their last visit.

Piping from a Contact List Field

If you are sending your survey to a contact list, you can pipe information from that contact list into your survey or email invitation. These fields include basic information like first name, last name, and email, as well as the specialty fields External Data Reference and Language. Any other fields you’ve added to the contact list beyond these standard fields are stored as Embedded Data and can be piped in using the steps described in the Piping from an Embedded Data Field section.

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

To generate Piped Text from a Contact List field

  1. Open the Piped Text menu.
  2. Select Contact List Field.
  3. Choose from one of the standard contact list fields.

Piping from a Loop & Merge field

With Loop & Merge, you can repeat a series of questions for a respondent that asks about a different item each time. Piped Text is critical for Loop & Merge so that the respondent knows which item they are responding about.

In this survey, we ask the respondent which genres they enjoy reading. We then ask a series of questions about each selected genre in a Loop & Merge block.

To generate Piped Text from a Loop & Merge field

  1. Open the Piped Text menu.
  2. Select Loop & Merge.
  3. Select the correct Loop & Merge field.

Piping from a Quota

With Quotas, you can make sure that you only gather the right amount of data required for your study. Using Piped Text, you can display three pieces of information about your Quotas, or use them as values in your survey logic:

  • Count: The current number of responses that have incremented your Quota.
  • Not Met:  Whether the Quota has not been met (returns a 1 if true).
  • Met: Whether the Quota has been met (returns a 1 if true).

To generate Piped Text from a Quota

  1. Open the Piped Text menu.
  2. Select Quota.
  3. Choose the Quota to pipe from and select either the current Quota count or whether the Quota has been met or not.
    We’re piping in the current Quota count to let respondents know how many slots are left for an event.
Qtip: You can also perform Math Operations on your piped values (e.g., multiply, divide, add, subtract). For example, you can show the percentage of the Quota that is filled, rather than the actual count of the quota.

Random Number Generator

Piped Text can be used to generate and display a random number to each of your respondents. When in the survey editor, it will appear as a line of code just like all other Piped Text: ${rand://int/1000:9999}.


When respondents take the survey, this code will be replaced with a random number.


There are 3 types of random numbers that you can generate:

  • Random Integer: A random whole number.
  • Random Float: A random number with 13 decimal places.
  • Random Boolean: A 0 or 1 selected at random.
Example: You can use the Random Number Generator code to create a random number for your respondents to use as a coupon code or as an ID number.

To generate a random number

  1. Click on the item where you’d like to display the random number.
  2. Copy and paste, or type in, one of the following codes:
    • Random Integer: ${rand://int/<min>:<max>}
    • Random Float: ${rand://float/<min>:<max>}
    • Random Boolean: ${rand://bool}
  3. Replace <min> and <max> with your desired minimum and maximum values for your random number.
    The above Piped Text will generated a random number between 10,000 and 99,999.
Qtip: Note that a number randomly generated this way will not automatically be saved in your data. To capture the random number in your data, you would need to set up an Embedded Data field in your Survey Flow.