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File Upload Question

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About File Upload Questions

Qtip: File upload is an add-on feature not included in the standard Qualtrics license. Please contact your Qualtrics Account Executive for more information

The file upload question type allows respondents to upload a file along with their survey response. Using file upload, you can collect data that may not be available through standard survey questions.

A question that says Please upload your resume: with a Choose File button

You can have as many file upload questions in your survey as you would like, however each question can accept only one uploaded file. Files uploaded can be up to 100MB. For security reasons, executable files (such as those ending in .exe) are not permitted.

Qtip: A respondent can upload multiple files through one file upload question if the files are compressed into a ZIP file before uploading.

File Upload Options

File upload questions are fairly straightforward, with one main adjustable option. You can restrict the type of file respondents upload. For example, if you are asking for a photo, you may want to restrict respondents from uploading spreadsheets.

To set this requirement, select Add validation in the question editing pane and choose the appropriate content type.

Validation options for the file upload question on the left side of the screen

Content options are PDF, Document (DOC, DOCX, TXT, ODT), Spreadsheet (CSV, XLS, XLSX, ODS), or Graphic (JPG, PNG, GIF). You can also choose Extensions and type in your own custom allowed file extensions. Custom file extensions should not include the period before the file name and need to be separated by a space or a comma.

File Upload Logic

When using the file upload question, you can add special logic conditions in display logic, skip logic, branch logic, custom validation, and other areas. You can add logic based on the following:

  • File: Base logic on whether a file was uploaded or not.
  • File Size: Base logic on the number of bytes the uploaded file contains.
  • File Type: Base logic on the type of file that was uploaded (PDF, Document, Spreadsheet, Graphic, Custom Extensions).

Example: In the image below, display logic has been applied so that the form only appears if someone did not upload a resume in the previous question.

File upload display logic; question will only be displayed if there is not a file uploaded

Attention: Once a file is uploaded, it cannot be removed by a participant. However, the participant will have the option to replace the file with a different file.

Data Analysis

Once your responses have been collected, Qualtrics offers various ways you can analyze your response data. From the Reports tab, you can view aggregate data in pre-made reports as well as create your own reports from scratch. From the Data & Analysis tab, you can view and manage individual respondents’ data.

Results Visualizations

In the Results section of the Reports tab, the default table for a file upload is the paginated table. This table contains the following:

a table with a column for a link to the file, the size, and the type (eg., PDF)

  1. Click the name of the file to preview it.
  2. The size of the file.
  3. The type of the file.
  4. Click the icon to export the individual respondent’s answers to the other questions in the survey.
  5. Click to Download all files.
Qtip: If you create a public report and post it online, you can decide if you want people to just view the file information, or be able to download it themselves. Under the Security tab in Survey Options, deselect Require permission to view uploaded files to create download links on the report. Keep Require permission to view uploaded files selected to prevent report viewers from downloading these files.

If you select a data source other than (the file’s) Name or Thumbnail for your visualization, you can use other visualization types, but you will not be able to link to the uploaded files.

data source for a visualization in the results section can be adjust to any column in the file type file

Reports Visualizations

In the Reports section of the Reports tab, you cannot create links to your file upload questions. However, you can still create a Results table that displays the different information for the file upload (size, type, etc.) altogether.

Qtip: Although this table is called a results table, it cannot be found under the Results section. It is a Reports table.
  1. Click Insert.
    Displaying a file in a report
  2. Select Questions.
  3. From the list, highlight your file upload question.
  4. Select Name.
  5. Make sure your new table is highlighted. You can tell if the visualization editing pane appears on the right.
    adding columns to the table so more information about the file can be displayed at once
  6. Click Add Field.
  7. Highlight your file upload question.
  8. Select the field you want to add a column for. In the image, the Id is displayed.
  9. Repeat steps 5-8 for as many columns as you want to include.

For more information on editing a Results Table, please visit the linked support page.

Downloaded Data Format

On the Data and Analysis tab, you can export a spreadsheet containing each respondent’s answers.

For file upload questions, there are four columns: the Id, Name, Size, and Type of file.

CSV with file ID, file name, file size, and file type

ZIP Download

Rather than downloading your uploaded files in spreadsheet form, you can download a ZIP file with all the files uploaded by your respondents. When exporting your data in Responses, just choose the User Submitted Files format.
User Submitted Files option from Download Data Table menu

Qtip: Depending on the number files that have been uploaded, this ZIP file may be quite large and could take a while to download. If your file is too large to download or takes too long to download, try filtering your responses by recorded date to divide your data set into smaller batches. When you export your data with the filter applied, only the filtered responses will attempt to export.

Previewing Files in Qualtrics

You and any collaborators you’ve shared the survey with can also preview the files in the Data & Analysis tab.

  1. In the Data & Analysis tab, click the dropdown next to the response you want to preview.
    actions dropdown next to a response in Data & Analysis tab
  2. Click View Response.
  3. Navigate to the file upload question and click the link.
    Link to the uploaded file in the response preview

Inserting an Uploaded Image File into an Email Task

It’s possible to include uploaded image files in an email task by modifying the email HTML. This will require a bit of coding, but can be accomplished by following the below steps.

Qtip: It is only possible to insert uploaded image files. Other file types are not supported using this method.
Attention: In order to insert uploaded images into your email tasks, you must disable Require permission to view uploaded files in your Security Survey Options.
  1. Insert any image into the email task’s rich content editor.
    Image of Email Task screen with Insert Image button highlighted
  2. Get the piped text for the uploaded file URL. Copy this code for later use.
    Image of Email Task screen with Piped Text selected for the uploaded file URL
  3. Access the Source view of the rich content editor to view the image’s HTML.
    Image of Email Task Screen with HTML Source selected
  4. Replace the image source (text between the quotation marks and after src=) with the piped text for the uploaded image URL.

Screen Capture

Attention: Website / App Feedback projects are a separate product from the Survey Platform. In order to use the screen capture feature, Website / App Feedback projects must be enabled/purchased for your account.

Screen capture allows respondents to attach a screenshot of the site they are viewing when taking a survey through a Website / App Feedback project. This question type is only available to users that have purchased access to Website / App Feedback projects. The screen capture question type allows respondents to illustrate where on the site they are referring to and gives the ability for the respondent to highlight and blackout certain parts of their image. This makes it possible to see exactly what your website visitors are seeing when they give feedback on the site.

For more information, please visit the Screen Capture support page.