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Appearance

You can change the way questions are presented by setting the appearance for each question type. Add an appearance column to your spreadsheet to change the appearance and functionality of your survey questions.

Text

By setting the appearance value to multiline, a text question will be presented as a multiline text box.

Date

By setting the appearance value to year, a date question will be presented as a year-only button, with arrows to increase or decrease the year value.

Year selector

By setting the appearance value to month-year, a date question will be presented as a pair of buttons, one for the month and one for the year. Each has arrows to increase or decrease the value.

Month and year selector

By setting the appearance value to week-number, a date question will still be presented with a calendar picker for choosing the date, but once selected, the result will be displayed as the equivalent week number of the year. For example, if you chose the date 24 February 2016, Week 8 would be displayed as the result.

Week number

Select one

By setting the appearance value to minimal, a select one question will be presented in a drop-down menu.

Minimal appearance for select ones

By setting the appearance value to horizontal, a select one question will be presented in a horizontal column.

Horizontal appearance for select ones

By setting the appearance value to horizontal-compact, a select one question will be presented with options side by side.

By setting the appearance value to likert, a select one question will be presented as a Likert scale. A Likert scale is a rating scale that allows respondents to specify their level of agreement on a symmetric agree-disagree scale of a statement.

Likert appearance for select ones

By setting the appearance value to autocomplete, a select one question will be presented with a text field and a drop-down menu. Entering text into the field will narrow down the drop-down display to only answers that contain that text. This is ideal for very long choice lists.

Autocomplete appearance for select ones

Select multiple

By setting the appearance value to minimal, a select multiple question will be presented in a drop-down menu.

By setting the appearance value to horizontal, a select multiple question will be presented in a horizontal column.

By setting the appearance value to horizontal-compact, a select multiple question will be presented with options side by side.

Geopoints

By setting the appearance value to hide-input, a geopoint question viewed in the Survey123 web app will appear with the coordinate input fields collapsed on startup. Note that the fields can still be expanded by the user if required. This appearance value does not apply to the Survey123 field app.

Hide-input appearance for geopoints

Images

By setting the appearance value to signature, an image question will be presented as a blank box capable of capturing a signature or any other freehand text or drawing.

Signature appearance for images

By setting the appearance value to draw, an image question will display a button to load a canvas to sketch on. This canvas has a smart sketching tool generate shapes, and provides the ability to add text annotations to the image.

Draw appearance for images

By setting the appearance value to annotate, an image question will display a button to open a separate canvas. Unlike the draw appearance above, annotate also provides an option to provide an image from the camera, which can then be sketched on.

Defaults and calculations behave differently with image questions using draw and annotate. If the file name of an image present in the survey's media folder is used as a default value or the result of a calculation, the image will be used as an initial background for the canvas. In the case of annotate, this image will be replaced by a provided image.

Integers

By setting the appearance value to distress, an integer question will be displayed as a distress scale. A distress scale is a 10-point scale used to measure feelings such as stress, pain, and happiness.

Distress appearance for integers

By setting the appearance value to spinner, an integer question will be displayed with buttons to increase or decrease the value by one. Pressing the button will repeat the progression until the button is released.

By setting the appearance value to numbers, a highlighted integer question will be accompanied by a custom numeric keyboard to enter a value. The keyboard also includes a button to make the value positive or negative.

Numbers appearance for integers

By setting the appearance value to calculator, a highlighted integer question will be accompanied by a custom calculator keyboard to enter and modify a value.

Calculator appearance for integers

Decimals

By setting the appearance value to spinner, a decimal question will be displayed with buttons to increase or decrease the last digit of the value by one. Pressing a button will repeat the progression until the button is released.

Spinner appearance for decimals

Use a default to define the number of decimal places for a question, and the spinner will adhere to it. Here are some examples of how the spinner handles different decimal values:

  • 1.0 increases to 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4
  • 3.07 increases to 3.08, 3.09, 3.10, 3.11
  • 2.000000 increases to 2.000001, 2.000002, 2.000003

By setting the appearance value to numbers, a decimal question will be accompanied by a custom numeric keyboard to enter a value. The keyboard also includes a button to make the value positive or negative.

Bar codes

By setting the appearance value to minimal, a bar code question will display with only a single button to start the scanner. The text box that contains the value for the bar code question will not be visible.

Minimal appearance for bar codes

Groups

By setting the appearance value to compact, a group of questions will appear collapsed on startup and can be expanded by the user. This is useful for long surveys that can be difficult for the user to read and navigate. This appearance is defined in the begin group question.

Collapsed group compared to expanded group

The minimal appearance value has no effect on group questions.

By setting the appearance value to field-list, and the style column in the settings sheet to pages, a group of questions will display on a separate page of the survey, accessible by swiping left or right. The amount of pages the survey has is represented by dots displayed on the top of the survey page, with the current page highlighted in green. This is ideal for breaking down the display of your survey, compartmentalizing it and making it appear less intimidating.

Note that, while breaking your survey down into several pages will often help your survey's performance, there are currently issues with using large numbers of pages in a survey.

Multiple pages in a single survey

Repeats

By setting the appearance value to minimal, a repeatable collection of questions won't be visible on startup. The user must click the plus sign button to see the questions in the repeat. This is useful when repeated questions don't always need to be completed in a survey. This appearance is defined in the begin repeat question.

Minimal appearance for repeats

By setting the appearance value to compact, a repeatable collection of questions will appear in a collapsed state on startup, which can be expanded by the user. This is useful for large surveys that can become difficult for the user to read and navigate. This appearance is defined in the begin repeat question.

Unlike other appearance types, repeats can use both minimal and compact at the same time by setting the appearance value to minimal compact. This will present the questions in a repeat in both a collapsed (compact) and hidden (minimal) manner.

By setting the appearance value to field-list, and the style column in the settings sheet to pages, a group of questions will display on a separate page of the survey, accessible by swiping left or right. The number of pages the survey has is represented by dots displayed on the top of the survey page, with the current page highlighted in green. This is ideal for breaking down the display of your survey, compartmentalizing it and making it appear less intimidating.

Note that, while breaking your survey down into several pages will often help your survey's performance, there are currently issues with using large numbers of pages in a survey.