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Overview of Question and Element Tags

1:  Overview

All elements in the system are object-oriented. This means that each one is a refinement of a more general element. For example, the radio element is a part of the of the question object, and the question element is a part of the element object. This means that all elements like the <radio> element will have unique attributes and attributes derived from its parent object, like the question and element object.

With that, it's probably best to begin by describing the element object. However, let's take a look at the different types available in the system so we understand what kinds of values are available for each attribute.

2:  Survey Attribute Types

The survey system is strict in regards to what values can be provided for each attribute. Unknown arguments such as passing "yes" to an argument when "1" was expected will throw an error. There are 6 different types of attributes in total:

Type Description Example
integer a number minRanks="5"
string alpha-numeric characters altlabel="CustomerSat_1"
bool 1 (true) or 0 (false) optional="1"
slist (string-list) a comma-separated list of strings extraVariables="company,name,source,ID"
enum one of a predefined list of values legend="(none, both, left, right)"
set similar to enum, but multiple values may be supplied separated by commas averages="rows,cols,choices"

3:  Survey Elements

3.1:  Element Attributes

All question and control elements have the following attributes in common:

Attribute Type Default Description
disabled bool 0 Disable and hide this element in the survey?
randomize bool 0 Shuffle this element within a <block> tag?
style string -- Alternative search path for styles
where set survey,report Where should this element appear? (execute,notdp,none,summary,survey,report,data)
alt string -- Alternative <title> text displayed in the report
label string -- Symbolic name that can be used as target and in Python expressions (must be valid Python identifier)
altlabel string -- Alternative label to be used everywhere except from within the survey XML
translateable bool 1 Exclude text from translation file?
id string -- Unique ID of the element (used by the survey builder)
sst bool 1 Should SST try to understand and/or populate this element?

Learn more: Element Attributes

3.2:  Question Attributes

The question attributes apply to <radio>, <select>, <checkbox>, <number>, <float>, <text> and <textarea> elements.

Attribute Type Default Description
adim enum auto The primary report dimension (rows,cols,choices,auto)
aggregate string -- Base the question on data from other questions
alt string -- Alternative <title> text displayed in the report
altlabel string -- Alternative label to be used everywhere except from within the survey XML
averages set none What to show the average (mean) calculation for (none, rows, cols, choices, nosummary, summary)
below string -- The label of the question to place this question below
blankIfZero bool 0 Output blank data if value is 0
blankValue string 0 Sets the value for blank responses in the data file
choiceCond string -- Show each choice if this condition is true
choiceGroups set report,survey,restrict Where should the choice groups show up? (report, survey, restrict)
choiceShuffle string -- Allows you to specify the permutations of the <choice> shuffling (flip, rflip, rotate, reverse-rotate, rrotate)
colCond string -- Show each column if this condition is true
colGroups set report,survey,restrict Where should the col groups show up? (report, survey, restrict)
colLegend enum default Placement of the legend for columns (default, none, both, top, bottom, group, beforeGroup)
colLegendRows slist -- Additional rows to have column legend
colShuffle string -- Allows you to specify the permutations of the <col> shuffling (flip, rflip, rotate, reverse-rotate, rrotate)
cond string -- Display the question if this condition is true
comment string -- Additional information displayed in the respondent view beneath the title
dataSource string -- Label of the <datasource> element to get data from
dataRef string -- What <datasource> column to get data from
exec string -- Execute this Python code before displaying the question
grouping enum auto Grouping of the question's components (auto, rows, cols)
horizontalPercentages bool 0 Calculate percentages across?
keepWith string -- Display these other questions on error
label string -- Symbolic name for the question
open enum default Placement of the open-ended input field (default, left, right)
optional bool 0 Should the user be allowed to skip this question?
ratingDirection enum -- Which end of the rating scale is the high end? (default, reverse)
rightOf string -- The label of the question to place this question to the right of
rowCond string -- Show each row if this condition is true
rowGroups set report,survey,restrict Where should the row groups show up? (report, survey, restrict)
rowLegend enum default Placement of the legend for rows (default, both, right, left)
rowShuffle enum default Allows you to specify the permutations of the <row> shuffling (flip, rflip, rotate, reverse-rotate, rrotate)
showSource bool 0 Display the source code of the question for logged-in users
shuffle set none Elements to shuffle (none, rows, cols, choices)
shuffleBy string -- The label of the question to shuffle the elements by
sort set none Sort the results in the report (none, rows, cols, choices, desc, asc, percentages)
sortChoices set none Sort choices alphabetically (none, asc, desc, survey, report)
sortCols set none Sort columns alphabetically (none, asc, desc, survey, report)
sortRows set none Sort rows alphabetically (none, asc, desc, survey, report)
style string -- Alternative search path for styles
title string -- The displayed title of the question (required)
type enum none The type of question (none, rating)
uses string -- The dynamic question (DQ) style to use
values string none Sets the values for the question (none, order)
virtual string -- Python code to compute the data values

Learn more: Question Attributes

3.3:  Project Settings Attributes

The following attributes can be added and modified within the <survey> tag:

Attribute Type Default Description
agents enum normal Set "full" to show expanded vos/vbrowser tables. (Requires: "userAgent" in extraVariables) (normal, full)
allowDupe bool 0 Allow multiple submissions from same user? (Requires: browserDupes="")
allowedCountries slist -- Limit access to these countries (ISO 3166)
alternatecb bool 0 Use alternative column binary layout?
alt string -- Alternative report name (this is where you name your project)
alwaysSaveData bool -- Set to allow data load at page submission rather than survey completion
autoAddVariable bool 0 Automatically add new variables to layouts?
autoRecover bool 0 Automatically recover partials?
autosave bool 1 Automatically save progress for respondents?
autosaveKey string session Alternate key for autosave
blankValue string -- Blank value output for tab-delimited files
browserDupes set default How to handle browser dupes (default, cookie, safe, strict)
builderCompatible bool 0 Allow survey builder access to survey? (still allows XML edits)
capturePreciseTime bool 0 Capture precise timing for each survey page using Javascript?
cbUseFwidth bool 0 Obey variables.xls for extraVariables in column binary?
checkboxBlankIfZero bool 0 Apply blankIfZero option to all <checkbox> questions?
closed bool 0 Survey is closed for further participants?
compat int 119 Survey compatibility level
dashboard string -- Space separated list of segments to include in dashboard
dashboardInclude string include.dat Filename to use for including data in dashboard
dashboardIncludeKey string source Variable to reference for including data in dashboard
desktopNotAllowedMessage string -- Message to display when blocking desktops
deviceNotAllowedMessage string -- Message to display when blocking devices
displayOnError enum bad What questions to display if any have error? (bad, all)
emailInvitations int 0 Number of emails successfully sent out to compute incidence count
extraVariables slist source Extra incoming variables that are saved in the results
featurephoneNotAllowedMessage string -- Message to display when blocking featurephones
fingerprint set none Capture what fingerprinting information? (none, all, etag, browser, flash, html5)
fixedWidth enum lax Size of fixed-width fields (lax, tight)
flatKey slist record Key for the OE Data (Flat Form) data export
flatShowEmpty bool 1 Show empty lines in OE Data (Flat Form) data export?
forbiddenCountries slist -- Forbid access to these countries (ISO 3166)
forceDataChartset string -- Downloaded data files will use this charset (encodings)
fullService bool 0 Only allow staff to edit survey in survey builder?
fwoe set -- Show OE data in fixed-width files? (text, other, textarea)
geoip set -- Auto-generate geoIP question? (all)
html:showNumber bool 0 Show question numbers?
imagePrefix string record Prefix before filenames when downloading "Uploaded Files" data
indexed slist -- extraVariables to index
lang string english Default language of the survey
loadData string -- Load previous data from this variable
loggedInCanSubmit bool 0 Allow logged-in users to submit data?
markerTimeout int 900 Timeout before marker is released
minimumSegment int 0 Hide segments below this size
mobile enum none Level of mobile device compatibility (none, compat, mobileOnly, noMobile, ignore)
mobileDevices set -- Allowed mobile devices (desktop, smartphone, featurephone, tablet, mobile)
mobileOnlyMessage string -- Message to display if mobile devices are not allowed
name string Survey Name of the survey (displayed in browser tab)
namingScheme string %L%R%C%H %L%R%C%Hoe Naming format for variables
newStyle bool 0 Load nstyles and nstyles.local?
newVirtual bool 0 Use new virtual objects (enables Python expressions)
noMobileMessage string -- Message to display if mobile devices are not allowed
oldProgress bool 0 Use the old progress calculations
otherLanguages slist -- Additional languages used in the survey
pipeAltLabels bool 0 Pipes should use altlabels?
precision int 2 Number of digits to display after decimal point
progressOnTop bool 1 Display progress on top rather than in footer?
projectType enum beacon Type of Decipher project (beacon, info, email, spss)
refcheck enum default Check code references (default, yes, no)
requires set default Can enable Javascript requirement for < compat 111 surveys (default, javascript)
secure bool 0 Force survey access to use HTTPS?
setup string -- Survey setup boilerplate
smartphoneNotAllowedMessage string -- Message to display when blocking smartphones
spssSimpleCheckbox bool 0 Show simpler values labels in SPSS?
sql bool 0 Store data in SQL? (Panel surveys)
sqlRefreshTime int 3600 SQL database refresh time (Panel surveys)
sqlTarget string -- Path to save SQL data (Panel surveys)
ss:customCSS string -- Custom CSS filename (without .css) in /static directory
ss:customJS string -- Custom JS filename (without .js) in /static directory
ss:disableBackButton bool 1 Disable the browser back button?
ss:disableOfflineDetection bool 0 Disable the connectivity warning shown to smartphone devices?
ss:includeCSS string -- Comma separated list of CSS files to include
ss:includeJS string -- Comma separated list of JS files to include
ss:logoFile string -- Path to the survey logo file.
ss:logoPosition string left Position of the survey logo (left, middle, right)
ss:logoFile string -- Path to the survey logo file.
state enum none Survey lifecycle (none, dev, testing, live, closed)
tabletNotAllowedMessage string -- Message to display when blocking tablets
trackCheckbox bool 0 Track visibility of checkbox cells?
trackVars set none Track visibility of certain variable types (none, checkbox)
truesample set -- Enables TrueSample and captures data (off, real, unique, engaged, qualified)
unique string -- Requires this extra variable to exist & be unique
uniqueOnly bool 0 Variables in unique must be unique without using invited.txt?
unmacro bool 1 Survey can be saved & edited in survey builder?
uses slist -- Load style library items
weights string   Weights for data weighting
zeroPad bool 0 Enable leading zeroes for fixed width data files?

Learn more: Project Settings Attributes

3.4:  Cell Attributes

The following attributes can be added to <row>, <col> and <choice> elements:

Attribute Type Default Description
open bool 0 Item has an open-ended text field attached
openSize int 10 Input size of the open-ended text field
label string -- Symbolic name used in Python code
groups slist -- Groups this item belongs to
value int -- Numeric value for this item
exclusive bool 0 If this item is selected, it can be the only item selected
aggregate bool 1 Calculate aggregate information?
percentages bool 1 Display percentages?
optional bool 0 Item should be optional?
range string -- Range for Number questions
okUnique bool 0 Item doesn't have to follow unique="1" rule?
openOptional bool 0 Open-ended response should be optional even if selected?
colLegend bool 0 Force a column legend before this row?
extraError bool 1 Display error if open-ended response provided even if not selected?
amount int 0 Total sum must be this amount
size int -- Custom size for row or column
averages bool 0 Exclude cell from average calculations?
chartText string -- Alternative text for this cell strictly for the public charts API

Learn more: Cell Attributes