Creating a new survey. Presentation and Navigation Tab. Format: A drop down box that allows you to choose either: Question by Question: Survey will display. May 4, Part of this tutorial was adapted from a tutorial by LimeSurvey. See its complete version at: ?page. LimeSurvey (formerly PHPSurveyor) is a free and open source on-line survey application written in PHP based on a MySQL, PostgreSQL or MSSQL database, .

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Surveys – introduction

This is the print version. Click here for the web version of this tutorial. Limesurvey is a free and open source GPLv2 limedurvey creation and publication tool. This means that you have the right install it, tutorlal use it, to alter it, to sell it, to give it away and to keep using it whenever and wherever you want. In this tutorial you will learn to use Limesurvey version 2. Limesurvey is made for scientific use. It can do much more than most other cloud based survey tools.

LimeSurvey | Website tutorials

Surveys with hunderds of questions, thousands of participants and complicated survey logic are possible. Fortunately most is under the hood. All you need to make a survey is a computer and a webbrowser. You will only touch the keyboard for typing questions and answer options. No programming skills required.

This tutorial will show you how to make a quite complicated survey with many elements that you may one day want to use. It will however start with the simplest possible survey that will only ask the participants name. This tutorial will only briefly look at the problem of data analysis. You will see that Limesurvey can export survey structure, data and codebook to a large number of file formats, allowing data analysis is SPSS, Excel, R, Python, Matlab or whatever you like.


It also has a few analysis tools itself, mainly for observing survey progress. In this lesson you will log on to Limesurvey and make your first survey. Let’s go to the Limesurvey administrative interface.

You may want to open it in a second browser window. Log on with your university number. This tutorial assumes that you are using the English language interface. If your operating system has another language then you must select “English” as interface language here. Chosing the “Default” language will present you with an interface in your own language. The interface language is independent of the language of the surveys that you make.


You will select the survey language later. Now you will see the welcome screen. Make sure that your name center and university number top left are correct. Click the circled plus icon to make your very first survey. Your survey needs a name. Let’s call it Family Life. This name will appear in your list of tuforial in the future.

Make sure you select English as the base language of your survey. If you select another language now, you will not be able to complete this tutorial. Now scroll to the bottom of the page. Check your e-mail address. Click Save to save your your very first survey.

You just made your first survey. It doesn’t contain any questions yet.

It cannot be started, but it has a name and it was succesfully saved on the server. Adding a question Surveys contain questions. These questions are grouped in question groups. For now you can think of a question group as a page. The survey participant will see one question group at a time.

If you look at the screen that appeared after you saved your survey, then you will note another circled plus icon. Click it to create a new question group. Just like the survey itself, the question group needs a name. It will contain some background questions before the survey proper starts. If you look at the screen that appeared after you saved the first question group, then you will note yet another circled plus iconthe third one.

Click it to create a new question. The page that you see now will let you create a question. The question code will later appear as variable name in your data file. Type for instance name. The rich text editor below it allows you to type a question. You will later see that it can do much more. You can change text font and appearance with it.

You can use it to insert tables, pictures, sound and video. You can even use it for inserting complete interactive apps. Right now you will simply type the question: What is your name? Press Save and close to complete your first survey. Did you notice the three rows of icons? If a survey has been selected, there is a survey toolbar on top. If a question group has been selected, there is a question group toolbar below it and if a question has been selected, there is a question toolbar below that one.

Some icons are present in several toolbars. Press the gear icon for a test run of your first survey. No data will be saved because the survey has not been activated yet. The survey contains a welcome page, a question page and a goodbye page. In this lesson we will extend our first survey with some questions of different types. The number of images will go down.


This is not kindergarten. Now add a question where you ask the participants gender in question group background. All you have to do is type the question text and select the question type gender.

Save and close the question. Now change the question type of the question asking the participant’s name. No-one has a name this long, not even Mr. Click the pencil icon in the question toolbar the bottom toolbar. Change the question type from Long free text in Short free text.

Tutorisl the question and tutoriwl run the survey to see the difference. Clicking the gear limesurveyy in the question toolbar allows you to test run the question without running the entire survey.

Add a question asking the participants age. Make sure the question type is numerical input. The participant will now only be able to enter numbers. Test run the question to see what happens if you try to enter text. Limiting age to numbers is not enough. Let’s make sure the participant cannot enter a number larger than Use the advanced settings at the bottom of the page to limit the possible answers. Test run your question. What happens if you enter an invalid value?

Routing is the process of determining a route through your survey. After asking the age of a person in question 1, you can decide what the next question has to be.

If the age is more than 18, you can for instance go to thtorial 2 about marriage and later skip question 3, otherwise skip question 2 and limesuvey to question 3 about toys. Tradionally routing is hard and leads to complicated graphs with many arrows and complicated if this, then that statements. Fortunately Limesurvey decided to stop using routing altogether from version 2.

We are using version 2. You will never, ever have to learn about routing. Instead of routing remember, routing is bad, complicated and error prone Limesurvey uses the concept of Relevance. Relevance is good, trivial to use and can stop global warming, war and bad music. All you have to do is decide for each question wether it is relevant given the circumstances.