• Customer Experience
    Customer Experience
  • Employee Experience
    Employee Experience
  • Brand Experience
    Brand Experience
  • Product Experience
    Product Experience
  • Core XM
    Core XM

Text Entry Question

What's on This Page:

Was this helpful?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The feedback you submit here is used only to help improve this page.

That’s great! Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback!

About Text Entry Questions

Text Entry questions allow you to collect open-ended responses from your respondents.

A question asking you to describe Qualtrics culture, with an open-ended text box to fill in

Qtip: By default, the maximum number of characters permitted in a single text entry field is 20,000. However, you can change the character limit to be less than 20,000 if you apply custom validation to the question.


The Text Entry question has several variations that change the size and type of the text box. You can access these variations under Text Type  in the question editing pane.

Single Line

The Single Line variation provides respondents with a one line text box. While respondents can write responses well beyond the limits of the box, the Single Line format encourages a more succinct answer.

Single Line selected, resulting in a one line text box

Multi Line and Essay

The Multi Line and Essay variations provide respondents with multiple lines, encouraging respondents to provide a longer response. As you can see below, this change is not reflected in the editor, but in the preview of the question.

Essay text box does not change the question's appearance in the editor, but does in the survey

Preview Question window showing a question with a big text box


Qtip: “Essay” and “Multi-Line” refers to a default size that will be set, so long as you do not resize the text boxes. If you click and drag the handle on the bottom-right of the text box, you may make Essay and Multi-Line text boxes as tall and as wide as you need to, making these two variations interchangeable. Note that once you resize a text box, you cannot reset it to its default size except by manual resizing.


The Form variation provides respondents with multiple separate text-entry boxes. This format is most often used to gather contact information from respondents.

Form option creates a form with different fields to be named and filled out

Qtip: Each text box in a form can have separate unique validation settings. Click the blue Click here to edit form fields text found below the text boxes to access these options.
Editing validation on specific form fields


The Password variation provides a single line text box. Any characters typed into the text box are disguised by dots.

Password option selected, starring text entered into the box out

Qtip: Want to save individual passwords for users? Want the survey to check that the participants have the right passwords before they can respond? Consider using an Authenticator instead.

Text Entry Validation

Text Entry or Content Validation, found under Validation Type in the editing pane, is unique compared to other types of question validation.

In this area, you can specify the exact type of response you want (e.g., set Content Type to only accept answers in the format of an Email Address) or a specific length for the response (e.g., 200 characters). Respondents will not be able to move past the question until a correctly formatted response has been entered.

Validation Type set to Content and Content Type set to Email Address

Qtip: To select from the Content Type option, first click Content Validation.
Attention: Content Validation is only available for Single Line Text Entry questions as well as Multiple Choice questions with text entry enabled.

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 tab, you can view aggregate data with pre-made reports as well as create your own. From the Data & Analysis tab, you can view and manipulate your survey responses on an individual basis.


There are two visualization types available for Text Entry questions: Word Cloud and Paginated Table. For more information on these visualizations please visit the linked visualization support pages.

Downloaded Data Format

Each text entry box in your survey will be shown as a column in your downloaded data, with a row for each response. For most variations, there will be only one text box and so only one column for the question in your file. For the Form variation, there are multiple text boxes and so there will be multiple columns.

CSV data of text entry responses, all the exact text respondents entered