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Creating a new survey


Table of contents


To create a new survey, click on the Add button on the right side of the administration button bar and a "Create New Survey" screen will appear. You can edit most of these settings later again by click the 'Edit survey settings' icon in the survey toolbar.

1st Step - Creation

All survey settings are organized in tabs. The following is a description of each tab and field.


  1. Base language: This sets the base language for the survey. Once saved, you cannot change it later. The language-set is the base language for possible translations of the survey. That way you can have multilingual surveys. When you create a survey, you cannot add additional languages. You could only do that if you edit the survey properties again.
  2. Title: This is the brief descriptive name of the survey (ie: "Enterprise Bargaining Survey 2003", or "Views on Ice Cream"). This title will be displayed on every page of the public survey.
  3. Description: This allows you to enter a description of the survey. (ie: "A survey to collect your ideas on the next round of enterprise bargaining" or "A survey to find out the popularity of chocolate ice cream"). You can incorporate HTML elements such as images or videos in this section using the WYSIWYG editor. By default, description is used on ivitation email.
  4. Welcome: This allows you to enter a message that will display when a participant first logs into your survey. (ie: "Thank you for taking the time to participate in this survey..") You can incorporate HTML elements such as images or videos in this section using the WYSIWYG editor.
  5. End Message: This allows you to enter a message that will display when a participant completes your survey. (ie: "Thank you for completing our survey. We will publish results soon."). You can incorporate HTML elements such as images or videos in this section using the WYSIWYG editor.
  6. Administrator: This is the name of the contact person who administers the survey. It will be included in emails sent out inviting participants to respond.
  7. Admin email: This is the email address of the administrator (as above) and is used as the 'reply to:' address on any emails sent. You can also enter several email addresses separated with a semicolon - that way survey administrator notifications are sent to more than one person. (Example: "firstaddress@test.com;secondaddress@test.com")
  8. Bounce email: This is the email address where a delivery error notification email should be sent. By default, this is the same as the administrator's email address. If you want to use a custom script to parse delivery error emails, then use a special Bounce Email address here and automatically process emails reaching this address with your script. This script could then update the Email Status field of the token line corresponding to this email address (see tokens).
  9. Fax to: This field is used to give a fax number on the "printable survey" - ie: when you want to send someone a hard copy because they cannot use the online survey.

Caution: the HTML WYSIWYG editor doesn't allow you to upload files during the survey creation process. Trying to do so will end up with an error message like: "This file uploader is disabled". If you need to upload pictures or any other ressources, please do so after survey creation, by editing the newly created survey.

Presentation & Navigation

  1. Format: Choose from "One at a time", "Group at a time" or "All in one".
    • Question by Question: Public survey will display one question per page.
    • Group by Group: Public survey will display all questions in a group per page. Group at a time surveys still have a separate "welcome" page and "submit" page, like "One at a time" surveys.
    • All in one: Public survey will display all questions in one single page. Activated All in one surveys do not have a "welcome" page or "submit" page - the welcome message and submit button all appear on the same page.
  2. Template: Choose from the installed templates in your system. The default template is rather dull, but functional. More information on creating your own templates is available in the LimeSurvey Templates / The Template Editor? Guide.
  3. Allow saves?: If you set this option to "Yes" then users can save unsubmitted surveys and return to them later.
  4. Show [<< Prev] button: This option defaults to yes, however if you set it to "No" then users will not have the option of moving to a previous page while completing the survey.
  5. Participants may print answers?: This option defaults to no. When it is set to yes, a participant can print a summary of responses at submit time.
  6. Public statistics: (since 1.80) If set to "Yes" users who have submitted the survey will be presented a link to statistics of the current survey. The admin can set which questions should be included at these statistics by applying the according question attribute.
  7. Show graphs in public statistics: (since 1.80) Determines if public statistics for this survey include graphs or only show a tabular overview. Creating graphs for huge surveys with lots of answers takes some time and server ressources so this is the switch to turn them on/off (default setting: off).
  8. List survey publicly: This option defaults to no. When it is set to yes, your survey will be listed in the 'available surveys' portal
  9. End URL: This URL will be presented as a link at the end of the survey, and allows you to direct your participants back to your home page (or, in fact, anywhere). The End URL has to be entered with "http://" at the beginning, eg. http://www.limesurvey.org. (external link)
    You can use , , and (since 1.71+) in this URL.
    SAVEDID is the id assigned to this particular submission, TOKEN is the token used to participate in the survey, SID is the survey ID and LANG is the language code
    eg. http://www.limesurvey.org/test.php?var1=&var2=&var3=&lang= (external link)
    From version 1.82+ you can use URL fields with this field.
    You can also use {INSERTANS:SGQA} in this URL (since 1.82+). This allows adding the response to a specific question in the survey to the final url. This can be useful for sending a response to an external script (ie an email address collected during the survey). eg: "http://www.limesurvey.org/test.php?email={INSERTANS:1234X56X7}"
    You can also use a 'pasthrough' fieldname and data value in the end url (versions 1.82+). In some instances you may want to pass a value to the survey at initialisation, and then have that value passed through to an external script at the end (for example a marketing firms subsid). In this case you'd start the survey with the query url "index.php?sid=12345&passthru=subsid&subsid=9999". In your url you would use and to reuse these values at the end of the survey. A URL of "http://www.limesurvey.org/test.php?=" would convert to "http://www.limesurvey.org/test.php?subsid=9999" in this case.
  10. URL description: The description for the link using the End URL.
  11. Automatically load URL when survey complete: If you choose "Yes" for this option, the script will automatically load the URL as set in "End URL" after completion of the survey, instead of displaying the usual "Completed" page. Do not use this if you are using assessments.
  12. Date format: This format is used when survey participants answer a date question. This is a language dependant setting - that means if you add more languages to this survey later you can set a different date format for each language.

Publication & Access control

  1. Only users with tokens may enter the survey: This is pretty self-explaining. If you activate this then tokens (to access the survey) are enforced. (Note: This setting was removed in version 1.87. If you create a token table access to the survey will automatically be limited to users with a valid token.)
  2. Set token length to: (since 1.87) Usually you don't need to change this, the default setting of 15 digits (max. supported value: 99) is fine. If changing this setting please enter a number (X) which should be greater than 5 (if the number entered is <5 it will be converted to the default value of 15). When generating tokens all tokens will use a length of X digits.
  3. Allow public registration: If you use tokens to control access to your survey, the only people who can use the survey are those who have an entry and a unique token from the token table. If you would like to use tokens, but also allow public registration, set this to "Yes". The "Yes" setting will allow a visitor to register his name and email address. The script will create a new entry in your tokens table for this person, then send them an invitation email. The script will ensure that only one person per email address can complete your survey.
  4. Start date: Set this to some date if you want your survey to start on a certain date. The survey will start on midnight of that day and only then will people be able to answer to it. To disable this just clear the date from the input field.
  5. Expiry date: Set this to some date if you want your survey to expire on a special date. This is the last date on which the public survey script will let people participate. (Example: If you set it for the 31st of December, then people will no longer be able to use the survey script on the 1st of January). To disable this just clear the date from the input field.
  6. Set cookie to prevent repeated participation?: If you set this to 'Yes', and your survey does not use a tokens table to control participant access, then a cookie will be saved to the client computer of each survey participant once they have submitted a survey. This cookie will stop the same user on that computer from accessing the survey more than once. There are inherent limitations in the 'security' strength of such a system, but, in general, it allows you to retain some control over multiple entries on public surveys.
  7. Use CAPTCHA for: With this option you can decide when you want a CAPTCHA to be used. Default is to enable CAPTCHA only for the public Registration page, but you can also enable it before accessing the survey, and before Load/Saving partial answers.
  8. Use HTML format for token emails?: When set to yes, all emails sent by the token management interface (invite, reminder, confirmation) will be formatted as HTML. You'll then be able to use rich formatting for this emails. Default is Yes at survey creation. Caution, when you switch on/off this feature, you'll have to double check that your email templates are still displayed as you want.

Notification & Data Management

  1. Admin Notification: Options to allow the administrator to be emailed when each individual survey response is saved. You can choose from:
    1. No email notification - Self-explanatory.
    2. Basic email notification - An email is sent informing the administrator that a survey response has been saved.
    3. Send email notification with response codes - Sends the full answers to the survey after saving.
  2. Email Responses To: (since 1.87+) This allows you to send the survey responses to additional email addresses once the survey is submitted. Multiple entries or different methods can be used by seperating the entries with a semicolon (;) - eg "yourname@test.com; ;hisname@test.com" OR when using multiple methods: "yourname@test.com;{INSERTANS:82733X12X73};{TOKEN:EMAIL}". There are three different methods for entering an address:
    1. Enter a specific email address (ie: )
    2. Enter a SGQA code and the response will be sent to an email address entered as an answer to that particular question (use the format {INSERTANS:9999X88X12}, in the same way you would Re-use information from previous answers
    3. Enter a Token code (only possible if your survey is not anonymous) and the response will be sent to an email address retrieved from a token field (use the format {TOKEN:EMAIL} or {TOKEN:ATTRIBUTE_1} in the same way you would Re-use Information from the Tokens Table
  3. Anonymous answers?: This allows you to determine whether responses to your survey are matched up with information from your surveys tokens table, or kept 'anonymous'. The default is yes. If you choose "No" for anonymous, you must also have a tokens table for your survey when you activate it. Attention: If your survey is set to anonymous there is really no way to connect answers and participants. Even the admin can't link answers' data and users' data. However you will always be able to specifically view all answers entered by a certain anonymous individual participant in the survey. Thus individual, but anonymous, statistics is still possible to do.
  4. Date stamp?: This field allows you to determine whether the survey will datestamp all responses. If you choose "Yes", then when a response is submitted, a field will be included in that response indicating the time and date that the response was made. (See configuration settings for $timeadjust setting.)
  5. Save IP address?: This field allows you to determine whether the survey will save an IP-address for all responses. If you choose "Yes", then when a response is submitted, a field will be included in that response indicating the ip-address of the participant.
  6. Save referring URL?: This field allows you to determine whether the survey will save the referrer URL for all responses. If you choose "Yes", then when a response is submitted, a field will be included in that response where this URL is saved. A referrer URL is the URL from which the user was led to your survey URL.
  7. Enable token-based answers persistence?: If your survey uses tokens and is not anonymous, then you may want to enable this feature. If you turn this on, then an auto-save is performed each time a participant answers a question, meaning that even if he hasn't submitted the survey and his browser crashes, he will find his survey answers still in place when returns to the survey. This can be used for designing pre-filled surveys as well (see data entry and importVV facility when not finalizing answers).
  8. Enable assessment mode?: With this setting you can enable/disable assessments for this survey.

Import Survey

Alternatively you can import a survey structure from this tab. You have the option to let LimeSurvey automatically convert relative URLs to local images/media files and INSERTANS tags (recommended).

Uploaded Resources Management

This tab let you manage files (pictures, media files) that were uploaded in the HTML Editor.

You can:
  • Browse available files
  • Export files as a ZIP archive
  • Import a ZIP archive of files

Important hints:
  • Authorized files extensions are defined in config-defaults.php.
  • Files for the survey are in the upload/surveys/<sid> subdirectory.
  • Uploaded files will only been seen while browsing resources on this survey (groups, questions, answers) not in other surveys or objects (labels).
  • Do not expect this limited visibility to ensure confidentiality of the resources as they are reachable with a simple browser to anyone who know the URL to the file.
  • You can't import a ZIP file containing subdirectories.

2nd Step - Additional Languages

To add more language to a survey you have to create and save it - then edit it again. Now you can add and remove additional languages to the survey. If you remove a language from a survey the complete contents of that language in that survey is deleted permanently so be careful what you are doing.

By clicking on the button 'Save and continue' on the first page in the survey settings you will be taken to the language-specific page which lets you change all texts for each language like Survey name, Welcome Text, etc. You can also edit the date format which should be used for a certain language.

Previous Creating surveys - Introduction
Next Importing a survey structure

Created by admin. Last Modification: Monday 07 of June, 2010 12:21:37 CEST by Beaverfriend.
The original document is available at http://docs.limesurvey.org/tiki-index.php?page=Creating+a+new+survey