Insight Platform - Programmer's Toolkit | Qualtrics

Programmer’s Toolkit


Across the data collection industry, there are a number of different terms and approaches to accomplishing common tasks. Below are some of the most common actions and the ways they’re accomplished in Qualtrics. Along with the description of each action, we have provided suggestions and methods to help reduce the number of clicks involved in each task.


Survey Editor

Duplicating Question(s). Rather than re-create questions each time you want to use the same content, you can use a variety of copying and referencing options. Within a given survey, you can use the Copy Question action to copy a single question and the Copy Block action to copy a whole block of questions. In addition, you can use the Import Questions feature to import questions (single, blocks, or entire surveys) from previous surveys you’ve made or from surveys stored in your Survey Library.

If you want to use the same questions again and again in different surveys (e.g., a set of standard screener or demographic questions), you can save those questions in a block to your Survey Library and then reference them in subsequent surveys. From that point, whenever you need to make a change to those questions, you can make the change to the template in your library and then all other surveys referencing that template will automatically update to reflect the change.

Moving Question(s). You can move questions one at a time by clicking the Move Question action listed in the question Editing Pane. If you need to move a lot of questions to the same place, you can select the questions and click Move Questions in the group actions Editing Pane. Once this option is selected, scroll to where you want to move the questions and click to drop them in that location.

You can also move entire blocks of questions at one time by navigating to your Survey Flow and rearranging them there.

Adding Translations: You can easily import translations from a CSV file. We recommend first downloading the translation template, entering your translations, and then uploading the file to Qualtrics. You also enter changes manually as needed.

In addition, you can create your own languages. While in the translation editor, enter the Edit Languages menu, scroll to the bottom, and click Create Other Languages. From here, enter the name for your language, a code you can use to reference the language, and a base language for Qualtrics to use to substitute wherever a translation is not provided. Once created, you can add translations for this language.

Survey Flow

Rearranging Elements. From your Survey Flow you can easily rearrange your blocks and other elements. Either click the word Move and drag your element to its new location, or select your element and press the or arrows.

Duplicating Elements. You can quickly duplicate specific elements or groups of elements by clicking Duplicate, found in the lower right-hand corner of any element. When you click Duplicate for an element that has nested features beneath it (Branches, Randomizers, etc.), all the nested content is duplicated as well.

Note that duplicating a block in the Survey Flow is different than copying it in the survey editor.

Blocks. Creating blocks of questions allows you to more easily organize your survey as well as customize the survey experience for each participant. To see which questions are within each block, click the hyperlinked “# Questions” text to the right of the block name.

Embedded Data. You can use Embedded Data fields to assign variables and values to participants who meet defined conditions, or to capture and/or categorize information about the respondent based on URL parameters, contact list information, survey responses, and more.

Branch Logic. Creating Branch Logic inside of your survey allows you to customize your participants’ experience, showing them different blocks or elements depending on what answers they choose or data they’ve been assigned.

Reference Survey. Often, you’ll need to use the same sets of questions in multiple surveys. Rather than re-creating these questions, you can make them once, save them to your Survey Library, and then show them as needed with the Reference Survey element. This element allows you to take surveys and blocks stored in your Qualtrics library and reference them inside your other surveys. Any changes made to the survey questions in your library will also change the questions within any survey they’re referenced.

Math Operations: Rather than write Javascript, you can use Embedded Data fields and Piped Text to perform math operations on numerical values in your survey. These values can be saved in your data and/or displayed to your respondents.

Screen-out Response: You can use the Screen-out Response setting (found in End of Survey elements) to collect information on why participants are being screened out of your survey. Your screened-out responses won’t be collected, but you’ll be able to see where and why individuals were screened out of your survey.


Multiple Match Handling. Sometimes your respondents may meet the conditions for multiple Quotas. In these instances, you can set which quotas your participant will increment by using Multiple Match Handling. Your options include Place In All, Current Defined Order, Reverse Order, Least Filled, Least Filled Percent, Most Filled, and Most Filled Percent. If you wish to handle certain quotas differently, you can create groups of quotas and then apply a different Multiple Match Handling setups for each group of quotas.

Simple Logic. A Simple Logic Quota is based off count. Each time a respondent meets the condition, the count for your Simple Logic Quota will be incremented.

Cross Logic.  A Cross Logic Quota uses percentages to define how respondents are distributed in your Quota. This Quota type is ideal when you have multiple groups of conditions. All you need to do is set which percentages of respondents should match each criteria and then Qualtrics will do the heavy lifting of figuring out how many respondents are needed for each combination of conditions.

Public Quota Dashboard. There may be a situation where other individuals need access to the live Quota counts. You can use the Public Quota Dashboard to create a webpage for outside viewers to reference that will show the current Quota counts.


If you find yourself reusing content for multiple surveys, we recommend saving your content to the Qualtrics library for easy access. While inside your Survey Library, you can save existing surveys, blocks, or questions. While in the Survey module, you can copy or reference this saved content in your new survey.

As mentioned above, Reference Surveys are extremely helpful when you want to manage questions that are used again and again (e.g., demographic questions, screener questions). Whenever you need to make a change to those questions, updates can be applied to the template in your library so that all surveys referencing that template are updated automatically.

Testing and Troubleshooting

Preview Survey

Preview Survey. Previewing your whole survey allows you to verify that your Survey Flow, validation, and other features are working as desired. While in Preview mode, you can answer questions and move through the survey the same way your respondents would with a live link. Previewing your survey does not count towards your collected responses.

Bookmarking. Clicking Place Bookmark allows you to bookmark whatever page you are currently on. The next time you restart your preview, you can just click Go to Bookmark and jump ahead to the bookmarked page. This capability is extremely helpful when you want to test different pathways in your logic, since the Back Button isn’t available across elements in your Survey Flow. When you get to the last page of your block, place the bookmark, then answer your questions and follow a given path. When you’re ready to follow a different path, just click Go to Bookmark and you’ll jump back to your bookmark point.

Mobile Preview. The Mobile Preview lets you view 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.

QR Code preview. While in the Mobile Preview, you can click on the QR code in the top right to open the QR code for the preview. Once open, you can scan the code with your device and preview the survey.

View Block. Rather than previewing your entire survey, you can preview individual blocks. The block preview has all the same features as the survey preview, with the exception that you can’t submit responses.

Preview Question. With Preview Question, you can see how your selected question will look to respondents without previewing the entire survey.

Google Chrome Developer Tools. Google Chrome has a number of developer tools you can access by right-clicking in your browser. The Inspect Element tool allows you to view the underlying HTML, CSS, and Javascript of a page, as well as access a device emulator. If you don’t have access to all of the mobile devices you would like to test your survey on, you can use the emulator to mimic most mobile devices.

Generate Test Responses

Computer-generated data. You can create dummy data using the Generate Test Responses feature. Test responses can help you view what type of data your survey will produce and whether or not that data can be manipulated as desired.

Additional URL parameters. If you have Embedded Data in your Survey Flow that is being set from a contact list or the URL, you can use the Options menu to set values for your dummy data. Follow the format of a query string by entering parameters in the following manner: State=Utah&City=Provo.

Meta Info Question

The Meta Info question type can be very useful when customizing the experience of your survey participants. The Meta Info question will not display to the participant, but can be used to collect the participant’s Browser Type, Browser Version, Operating System, Screen Resolution, Flash Version, Java Support, and User Agent.

A Meta Info question combined with Display Logic or Branch Logic can be used to optimize your respondents’ survey experience. For example, you can create a Javascript version of your question (or of a whole block or set of blocks) and a non-Javascript version. You would then apply logic to the two items based on the Meta Info question.

For the Javascript question, your logic would state that the question should display if Java Support is equal to 1 (meaning the respondent’s browser has Javascript enabled). For the non-Javascript question, your logic would state that the question should display if Java Support is equal to 0 (meaning the respondent’s browser has Javascript disabled).


Download Data

Recode Values and Variable Labels. When you create a question, a numeric value (known as a “recode value”) and variable label are automatically assigned to each answer choice. Even though these values are assigned automatically, you can change recode values or variable labels at any time. Any changes made to either will be reflected the next time you export your raw data.

Downloading Data Map. The Fixed Field Format export includes two files. A CSV with your data map and a TXT file with your actual data (a flat file of your data). The first column in your data map lists your survey’s metadata, Embedded Data, scoring categories, questions, and geolocation data. The second column in your data map defines the length of each field from the first column.

Codebook. Instead of individually looking at each question in your Survey module to find the recode values, you can export your survey to Word. Your Word document will contain the recode values for each of your questions and their answer choice options.


Publish Report. Once you’ve created your report in the Reports module, you can publish it to the web and share it with others. This published report updates automatically and in real-time.

Schedule Report Email. You can schedule an email with your report to send periodically to others. For example, you can schedule your report to send every Monday at 7AM. The email scheduler will include your report as a PDF, Word, or CSV file, though you can also include the published report link as well.