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Rich Content Editor

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About the Rich Content Editor

The Rich Content Editor allows you to add special formatting to your text. Using this editor, you can bold, underline, change colors and fonts, add hyperlinks, add lists and tables, and even insert videos and images.

Rich Content Editor in the survey editor

Accessing the Rich Content Editor

You can find the rich content editor almost anywhere you work with text in the Qualtrics platform. Below are some of the more common locations.

Question Text

The question text editor uses plain text by default. Click the Rich Content Editor tab on the top left of the editor to access rich text.

Rich Content Editor button at the top left of the question editor

Changes in this rich content editor are saved automatically. To exit the rich content editor, click anywhere in the gray space outside of the rich content editor window.

Choice Text

The choice text editor uses plain text by default. To access the rich content editor, click on the choice text and then click the blue dropdown menu to access the choice options. Select Rich Content Editor from the list.

Rich Content Editor on the choice / answer text of a question

Survey Header and Footer

By default, the survey header and footer are written in plain text. Click edit to enter the rich content editor.

Edit buttons in the Look and feel menu

Email Editor

By default, the email editor uses the rich content editor. This includes email distributions, emails on tickets, email tasks, emails sent via the XM Directory task, and anywhere else in the Qualtrics platform where you can send an email.

Email Rich Content editor

Library Message Editor

By default, library messages are written in the Rich Content Editor.

Library Messages rich content editor

Inserting Rich Content

The Rich Content Editor is where you’ll go any time you need to insert media, tables, images, or other rich information into your text. This section will cover inserting each type of rich content.

Items you can insert in the Rich Content Editor

Qtip: If some of these features are missing, click More to see more options.
The More option in the rich content editor

Piped Text

Piped text is accessed via the {A} icon. Piped text is used to display dynamic text that changes from respondent to respondent.

Example: In this example, we use piped text to pull in the respondent’s first name to the introductory question.Piped text in the Rich Content Editor

When the respondent takes the survey, their name is pulled from the contact list used to distribute the survey, and they receive a personalized survey experience.
The name Barnaby has been piped into the survey


You can insert an image by clicking the the image icon icon. You will then have the option to choose an image from your graphics library, or upload a new image. See Insert a Graphic for more information about inserting and customizing images.


Insert a file for your respondents to download by clicking the the file icon icon. See Insert a Downloadable File for more information.


Click the the media icon icon to embed video or audio clips. See Insert Media for more information about the types of media you can insert.


Click the the table icon icon to insert a table. After choosing to insert a table, a popup will appear where you can determine the following aspects of your table:

  • Table Properties
    Table editor in the Rich Content Editor

    • Rows: The number of rows in the table.
    • Columns: The number of columns in the table.
    • Width: The width of the table, in pixels.
    • Height: The height of the table, in pixels.
    • Headers: Choose if you want headers on the first row, first column, both, or neither.
    • Border Size: The table border size, in pixels.
    • Cell Spacing: The amount of space between table cells, in pixels.
    • Cell Padding: The amount of space between text in a cell and the cell wall, in pixels.
    • Alignment: The alignment of the table in the text editor.
    • Caption: Add a caption to the table which acts like a title
    • Summary: Add a summary explaining the table’s purpose. This is most useful for screen readers.
  • Advanced:
    Advanced options in the table editor

    • Id: Assign the table an HTML Id.
    • Language Direction: Determine if the text in the table is read left to right or right to left.
    • Style: Add HTML style attributes to your table.
    • Styleclass: Add HTML styleclass attributes to your table.


Use the the hyperlink icon icon to insert a hyperlink to another webpage. See Insert a Hyperlink for more information about the customization options available for hyperlinks.

Formatting Rich Text

In addition to inserting rich content, the rich content editor also has text formatting features that you can use to achieve any styling you need. Below are the available options.

Keyboard Shortcuts

The rich content editor accepts many keyboard shortcuts to make your text editing more efficient. You can perform the following actions with keyboard shortcuts:

  • Copy: CMD + C (Mac) or CTRL + C (PC)
  • Cut: CMD + X (Mac) or CTRL + X (PC)
  • Paste: CMD + V (Mac) or CTRL + V (PC)
  • Bold: CMD + B (Mac) or CTRL + B (PC)
  • Italics: CMD + I (Mac) or CTRL + I (PC)
  • Underline: CMD + U (Mac) or CTRL + U (PC)
  • Redo: CMD + Y (Mac) or CTRL + Y (PC)
  • Undo: CMD + Z (Mac) or CTRL + Z (PC)

Undo / Redo

You can reverse changes made within the Rich Content Editor by using the Undo and Redo buttons

Undo and redo options in the rich content editor

Text Alignment

With the Text Alignment options, you can align selected text to the right, center, or left.Alignment options in the rich content editor

You can also increase or decrease indentation.

Indentation options in the rich content editor

Numbered/Bulleted Lists

With these options, you can turn selected lines of text into a numbered or bulleted list.

Numbered and bulleted lists in the rich content editor

HTML Source View

Attention: Custom coding features are provided as-is and require programming knowledge to implement. Qualtrics Support does not offer assistance or consultation on custom coding. You can always try asking our community of dedicated users instead. If you’d like to know more about our custom coding services, please contact your Qualtrics Account Executive.

HTML source button in the rich content editor

The HTML source view gives you the option to see the HTML behind your text and make any direct edits to the code. Take a look at the examples in this section to see what different rich content features look like in the HTML view.

  • Bold: Bolded text is surrounded by <strong> </strong> tags.
    Bolded text in the HTML source view
  • Italic: Italicized text is surrounded by <em> </em> tags.
    Italicized text in the HTML source view
  • Underline: Underlined text is surrounded by <u> </u> tags.
    Underlined text in the HTML source view
  • Alignment: Aligned text is surrounded by <div style="text-align: orientation;"> </div> tags, where “orientation” is either right, left, or center, depending on the alignment.
    Aligned text in the HTML source view
  • Lists: You can have two types of lists: bulleted or numbered. Bulleted lists are surrounded by <ul> </ul> tags while numbered lists are surrounded by <ol> </ol> tags. Each item in the list is surrounded by <li> </li> tags, regardless of list type.
    Bulleted and numbered lists in the HTML source view
  • Hyperlink: Hyperlinks follow the format of <a href="website URL">hyperlink text here</a>.
    Hyperlinked text in the HTML source view
  • HTML Space: The HTML space is a nonbreaking space, meaning the space will not break to a new line. Two words separated by a nonbreaking space will stick together (not break into a new line). The code for an HTML space is &nbsp;

Remove Format

The Remove Format option will remove all formatting from the selected text. Highlight the text you want to clear formatting from before clicking the clear formatting icon.

Qtip: Local formatting overrides formatting from the look and feel menu, so clearing formatting can return your survey to your look and feel settings.

Remove Format button in the rich content editor

Font Styles

Change font typeface, font size, style, and color. Highlight the text you want to apply formatting to, or select your desired formatting and begin typing.

Font style options in the rich content editor

Rich Content Editor vs. Survey Theme

Qtip: This section is only relevant for the rich content editor in the survey builder. The survey theme does not affect other parts of the platform that use the rich content editor.

You might notice that formatting you specify in the rich content editor sometimes does not appear in your actual survey. Or, you may have not applied any formatting changes to your text, but still find that your text is being modified. Both of these scenarios are due to your settings in the style and theme sections of the look and feel menu.

By default, if you apply special formatting with the rich content editor, that formatting will override the settings in the look & feel menu. However, any text that does not have additional formatting applied to it will follow the settings in the look and feel menu.

Qtip: Use the remove format option (the remove formatting icon) to quickly strip all formatting. This is useful if you want to remove formatting from your questions so that they’ll follow the look & feel settings.

Example: In this example, the words “highest level” have been bolded in the rich content editor.

Rich content editor with highest education shown in bold

However, when the respondent takes the survey, all words are bolded.
the whole question appears in bold when taking the survey

This discrepancy can occur when the theme for your survey has styling that overrides what you set in the Rich Content Editor. In the example above, the font options in look & feel specifies that all question text should be bold, making the bolding you do in the rich content editor unnoticeable. Luckily, this is easy to address by changing the font options in the style section of the look & feel menu.
Everything is bolded in the look and feel menu; the B is highlighted

Qtip: Use default styles to your advantage. Rather than changing the font size or color on every single question, you can use the font settings in look and feel to set default styles that will apply to your entire survey.