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Text Entry Question

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About Text Entry Questions

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

Text Entry question in preview with the phrase Stylish Nerdy entered

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.

Variations

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.

The Single line is selected as the Text entry question Text type

Multiple Lines and Essay Text Box

The multiple lines and essay text box 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.

Multiple lines and Essay text box are highlighted as the Text entry question Text type

The preview window of the essay text box question

 

Qtip: “Essay text box” and “Multiple lines” 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 text box and multiple 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.

Password

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

Password is selected as the Text entry question Text type

Preview of the Password question

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 validation, found under the Response requirements in the editing pane, is unique compared to other types of question validation.

Response requirements highlighted on the left side

Add Validation and Content Type highlighted as customization options under the Response requirements

Once you toggle Add validation to the blue “on” setting 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.

Add validation under the response requirements with a dropdown menu showing validation types

Qtip: To select from the content type option, first click Content type under Add 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.

Visualizations

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