Survey Platform - Highlight | Qualtrics



The Highlight question type allows you to present survey participants with an interactive text sample. Participants can select words from the text and evaluate using criteria you choose. For example, whether they like or dislike the selected text.


Setting Up a Highlight Question

  1. Click the Create a New Question Item dropdown and choose Highlight.
  2. Enter your question text, then select the blue Click to edit highlight text to enter the interactive text participants will evaluate.
  3. If desired, group multiple words together by clicking between the words (click again to separate the words).
  4. If desired, click on a word or group to specify that it should be non-interactive. Interactive words are outlined, and non-interactive words are not.

    Qtip: You can use the Stop Words feature in the question Editing Pane on the right to automatically specify basic words (it, the, to, a, etc.) as non-interactive.
  5. If desired, click the Like/Dislike text to edit the names of the categories.

Highlight Options

The Highlight question type can be customized using a few special features found in the question Editing Pane.

  • Categories: Increase the range of your Like/Dislike scale to include more than three options. You can also use the Automatic Categories option to alter the scale to use words like Effective/Ineffective.
  • Color Schemes: Customize the colors associated with each scale point.
  • Stop Words: Automatically exclude filler words from the interactive parts of your question. With this option checked, words like “it,” “a,” “an,” “to,” etc. will not be selectable for survey participants.
  • Text size: Change the font size for the interactive text part of your question.
  • Validation: Use these settings to encourage more specific responses from your survey participants. For example, you may require respondents to select at least three terms.

Data Analysis

Once your responses have been collected, Qualtrics offers various methods to create reports both in and out of the platform. From the Reports module, you can view aggregate data with pre-made reports as well as create your own. From the Data & Analysis module, you can view and manipulate your survey responses on an individual basis.


There are several visualization types available for Highlight questions: Simple Table, Bar Chart, Text Highlights, and Word Cloud. For more information on these visualization types, please visit the linked visualization support pages.

Downloaded Data Format

In the downloaded dataset, a column is included for every term in the interactive text of your Highlight question. In each row of the column, a number will indicate whether that term was liked or disliked and to which degree. For example, if you allowed only three scale points, values would range between 1 and 3.