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Preview Survey

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About Previewing Surveys

Once you have finished building your survey, you can preview it to ensure that everything is working the way you want by clicking Preview in the top-right of the Survey tab.

image of the Preview button in the survey tab

In the preview survey mode, you can answer questions and move through the survey the same way your respondents would with a real link. The survey will look exactly the same as in the real link, except you’ll have some additional options available at the top to help you test your survey; these options won’t appear in the real link.

The Preview Survey page

Qtip: If you would like another individual to preview the survey, you can copy the URL in the web address when you are previewing your survey and send that URL to whomever you want to test your survey. Note that your associate doesn’t need to have a Qualtrics account to view the preview link and test out the survey.
Attention: Preview survey works similarly to what’s described on this page in various EmployeeXM projects, but there is a one key difference. Previewing an engagement, lifecycle, or ad hoc employee research project does not produce a response. When you fill out the preview link and submit a response, the response is not recorded.

Preview Banner

This banner will have options useful for previewing the survey. Remember, these options are only available during the preview mode and will not be accessible with live links.

Ignore Validation

Ignore validation bypasses questions with answer validation, such as any character limits in Text Entry questions. This includes force response and custom validation. It also allows you to bypass non-SSO authenticators so that you can complete the survey without authenticating. This is helpful when you want to test a specific portion of your survey without having to answer every required question.

Under the Tools Button, Ignore Validation option

Show Hidden Questions

Show hidden questions lets you view questions that may be hidden to respondents, like timing and meta info questions. This option is enabled by default. Remember that this option only applies to the preview survey mode and that these questions will not be seen by respondents accessing a live link.

Under the Tools Button, Show Hidden Questions option

Place Bookmark

Place Bookmark tags any page you are currently on, letting you skip previously tested questions later. Note that after placing the bookmark, the Place Bookmark button will be replaced with a button that says, “Go to Bookmark.” The next time you start your preview survey, you can click Go to Bookmark and jump ahead to the bookmarked page.

On upper-left, the Place bookmark button

At any point, you can clear away the bookmark or place it somewhere else. Click the “Clear” button to clear your current bookmark and place a new one.

Upon clicking Place Bookmark, the Go to Bookmark and Clear buttons appear

Restart Survey

Restart Survey jumps back to the beginning of your preview.

Blue Restart Survey button on upper-left

Preview Responses

Preview responses are recorded in your data as a way to let you see what your response data might look like on the backend. These responses do not count toward your license total, and they will only be recorded if the entire survey is previewed and finished. Because of this, a preview can never be a response in progress.

Although these preview responses are flagged in your data and included in your results, the preview survey link is only for testing the survey and should not be used to record real data. For example, your participants could ignore validation, see hidden questions, save their answers for the next participant, or not have their incomplete response recorded.

You can quickly delete all preview responses at one time by navigating to the Data section in the Data & Analysis tab, clicking the Tools dropdown, and selecting Survey Previews under Delete Data.

Deleting preview surveys on the Data and Analysis tab

Qtip: The preview email you can send yourself in the Distributions tab uses the preview survey link; be careful to not forward this link to your participants!

Mobile Preview

You can also preview how the survey will look on a mobile device. This mobile representation is dynamic, and you can use it to move forward in the survey. This page shows an interactive preview of how your survey will look on a mobile device. This preview is not device specific.

Mobile preview of a survey

You can hide or show the mobile preview by clicking the yellow mobile device icon in the upper-right corner. In addition, you can preview the survey on your own mobile device.

To preview the survey on a personal device:

  1. Click the QR Code™ option in the Tools menu.
    Under the Tools menu, Scan QR Code option
  2. Scan the code with your device.
    QR Code window overlay on the Preview page
  3. Preview directly on your mobile device.
Qtip: For more information on the mobile preview and other mobile options, visit our Mobile Device Optimization page.

Other Preview Modes

In addition to the preview survey, there are two other preview modes: block and question.

Qtip: We recommend previewing the entire survey in order to fully test skip and branch logic, piped text, and other interactive elements in your survey.

Block Preview

In some cases, you only need to preview a block of questions instead of the entire survey. In these instances, you can click on the block options in the top-right of each block and select Preview block from the menu.

Block Options button drops down to reveal preview Block option

Qtip: Note that you will be unable to test any survey flow elements with this method since survey flow elements appear before or after a block, not within.

Question Preview

You can preview a single question instead of the whole block or survey by clicking on the dots in the upper-right of a question and clicking Preview question.

Preview question option from upper-right of question

Previewing/Testing Your Survey with Embedded Data

If you have added a lot of embedded data to your survey and also have logic that depends on the values of these embedded data fields, you may find testing/previewing your survey difficult. However, you can always test your survey by adding these embedded data values as query strings to the end of the preview survey link.

When you have embedded data set in your survey flow that says “Value will be set from Panel or URL,” this means that your survey will look to one of two places to find this value: either from a contact list (i.e., Panel) or from the URL. Most likely you were planning on using individual links that are connected to an individual in your contact list so that the embedded data values are populated automatically when the person goes to take your survey. However, preview survey links are not connected to a contact list, so this means you will have to add test embedded data values as query strings to the end of the preview survey link in order to completely test your survey.

In the example below, there are two embedded data fields whose values would normally be pulled from a contact list. Therefore, you would want to add these two fields as query strings to your preview survey link.

  1. Identify the embedded data fields you would like to have values for in your survey preview. In this example, we will want values for Email and Level.
    An Embedded Data element in a survey flow
  2. Locate your preview survey link. In this example, the link is:
    The survey preview URL
  3. Decide what values you want to assign your embedded data fields. In this example, we will give Email a value of and Level a value of 3.
  4. Add query strings for each of your embedded data fields with their values assigned. You can find detailed instructions for query strings on the Passing Information via Query Strings support page. In this example, the URL with the query strings added would look like this:
    adding a query string to a preview survey URL
  5. Click enter on your keyboard while in the URL bar to go to your newly created URL with your query strings added.
  6. Your embedded data values will now be set and you can take your preview survey like normal.

QR Code is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED.