Survey Question Types

The Survey Designer toolbox contains a number of different, pre-formatted question types for you to select when creating your survey. Select a question type to add it to your survey and use the properties panel to change the question’s behavior. Select an option below to learn more about unique properties for each question type.

When displayed on the Survey Designer each question can be selected to edit their details. The following icons will appear above the question when selected:

This list describes the icons from left to right in the image above.

  • Drag and Drop - click and hold this option to rearrange the questions on the displayed page.
    • Note: If you want to change the page that the question is on, you will need to use the properties panel.
  • Delete - the “x” icon will delete the question from the survey
  • Hide Title - the eye icon will hide the question’s title on the displayed survey
  • Required - select the exclamation point icon to mark the question as required. If you make the question required, the user filling out the survey cannot submit the survey until there is an answer in that field.
  • Copy - will duplicate the question on the same survey
  • Add to Toolbox - will copy the question details to the toolbox for easy use across other surveys
    • Note: The custom toolbox question will only be visible during a single session, so any page refreshes or navigating away from the survey creator will clear the temporary toolbox additions.
  • Question Type - some questions allow you to change their type after they have been added to the survey
  • Properties - select this option to display the question’s properties panel on the right

Single Input

The Single Input question type is a generic data entry question that can be utilized for a range of different formats including short text and long text data, birthdays, addresses, or many others. Under "Properties" you will see the first tab "General" gives you the ability to modify how participants see and interact with your survey. Single Input questions can be linked to short or long text, date, number, and datetime participant variables.


The Checkbox question type provides the ability to select multiple answers with all the options displayed in a list with clickable checkboxes.

Checkbox questions can only be linked to multi-select custom variables. If you have no multi-select custom variables in your study, the "Survey Variable" dropdown will be blank.


Radiogroup questions allow respondents to select one choice from the list. Note that this is different from the Checkbox question, which allows multiple choices to be selected. Radiogroup questions can be linked to any single select participant variable or Custom variable, including the following profile data:

  • Ethnicity
  • Race
  • Recruitment Strategy
  • Recruitment Site
  • Sex
  • Status
  • Any other single select custom variable used in the study

For radiogroup questions, respondents can see all options at once.



Similar to the Radiogroup question type, dropdown questions present the respondent with a selection of options and allows them to choose just one. The dropdown questions can be linked to any single select participant variable, including the following profile data:

  • Ethnicity
  • Race
  • Recruitment Strategy
  • Recruitment Site
  • Sex
  • Status
  • Any other single select custom variable used in the study

For dropdown questions, the answer will look blank until the respondent clicks on the dropdown and selects an option.



Comment questions present a large text area to the end user, allowing multiple lines of text. The comment question should be used in place of the “Single Input” text questions when you require more than a few words to be entered. The comment question type can only be linked to long text custom variables.


The Rating question presents a range of numbers to the end user and allows them to select just one. The displayed numbers default as 1 - 5, but can be customized under the "Properties" tab to control not only the min and max numbers but which increments they should be displayed as. Rating questions can only be linked to number type Custom Variables.



The Ranking question presents a series of options to the respondent and allows them to rank them in order of likelihood or importance. Respondents can drag and drop options based on preference. Users can add as many options as they want. This question type cannot be linked to a Ripple variable.


Image Picker

The Image Picker question allows adding your own custom images to a select style question. The images will be presented to the respondent as thumbnails. Under the "Properties" panel, navigate to the "Choices" section to assign each image a value. Image Picker questions can be linked to a wide range of participant variables, including any single select, multi-select, short text, or long text variables. When the survey is submitted the image’s “value” will be passed to the participant variable.


Boolean questions present a choice between two options to the respondent with a toggle to choose either the “true” or “false” option. The question defaults to “No” or “Yes” options, but these can be configured under the Properties panel.



Boolean questions can not be linked to participant variables, but are very valuable when building logic into the survey.


The Image option does not present a question to the respondent in the same way as the other toolbox options. Instead, this option is used to add styling to the survey using a picture or video. Content can be uploaded directly to the survey and will be displayed to respondents in line with the other survey questions. Images can not be linked to participant variables.



Like the image option, HTML does not present a question to the respondents in the same way as other toolbox options and cannot be linked to a Custom Variable.

Instead, HTML is used to add text into your surveys to provide information about consent, introduce a series of questions, or thank a respondent for their time. You can modify the size, spacing, and color of your HTML text in your survey.

You can use HTML to build a landing page and incorporate design elements into your survey.


Signature Pad

The signature pad presents a free entry field to the respondent which allows them to ‘draw’ their signature, initials, or any other pattern directly into the survey. The signature can not be stored as a custom variable but will be saved to the generated pdf. Capturing signatures this way may allow utilizing surveys as eConsent depending on IRB requirements. Coming soon is full 21 CFR part 11 certification which will provide more verification for eConsent workflows.


Expression (read-only)

The Expression question does not present choices to the respondent, but instead allows you to calculate values based on other answers and display the calculation. This is valuable for a number of use cases. For example, if your study wants to capture a respondent's Body Mass Index (BMI), you can ask the respondent for their height and weight and then calculate the BMI for them. The Expression field can be linked to any short text, long text, or number custom variable, so in the case of the BMI calculation you can store just the calculated value and not the other details entered by the respondent. Refer to this article to learn more about how to use expressions.



If you don’t want your respondents to be able to see the calculation, make sure to toggle “Is Visible?” to off


The File question type allows respondents to upload a file to the survey. You can modify several features including the maximum file sizes, the accepted types of files, allow single or multiple uploads, and allow or restrict image previews. Files cannot be linked to participant variables, but can be stored and downloaded for future viewing.


Matrix Questions

A matrix question is a group of multiple-choice questions displayed in a grid of rows and columns. These are often used when you have several questions about a similar idea with the same answer options. In Single choice matrix questions, you can choose only one of the answer options; multiple choice matrix questions allow you to select multiple choices for every column; matrix dynamic rows allow users to choose a value from the same columns for one or dynamically added several rows. With matrix questions, each data set can have unique logic associated with it and can be treated as individual questions when driving logic of other questions. However, matrix questions cannot be linked to participant variables.


Multiple Text

Multiple text questions present a text entry for each line of the question. You can have two or more lines within the question. These lines are not able to link to participant variables.



Panels are not questions themselves, but allow users to group multiple related survey questions together. Dynamic Panels are a special type of panels that have added functionality to make additional questions visible based on answers to previous questions within the panel. 

Panels can be helpful for differentiating the different themes of your survey and for driving logic across your survey. The entire panel can have logic associated with it to control when groups of questions should be displayed. Each question within a panel can be linked to a participant variable, depending on the question type.



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