Day 3: Sections
Previous Topic  Next Topic 

In the last lesson we asked you to RUN your survey on the HANDHELD SIMULATOR, then to RECEIVE the DATA back and finally, to look at your RESULTS using DATA DOCTOR. We called that whole process the OPERATIONS CYCLE. If you have not done the previous lesson, please go back and do it now before continuing with this lesson.

This lesson will show you how to organise a survey into SECTIONS. SECTIONS enable you to organise larger surveys into manageable parts and also display the questions in three different display modes: DIRECTED mode, RANDOM mode and FORM mode.


Up to now we have just added questions in the MAIN SECTION, which is created automatically when you create a new survey. This automatic section is specified as DIRECTED, which means the ITEMS in that section are displayed in order, one after the other... the END-USER is DIRECTED through the survey.

Now do the following.

    1. Create a new survey and save it as a name of your choice as we did in lesson 1.

    1. Now position your mouse cursor at the diamond in QUESTIONS AREA. Although we said the QUESTION AREA shows the questions in your survey it actually shows what we call ITEMS of your survey. ITEMS can be of two major types: QUESTIONS or SECTIONS. SECTIONS can contain QUESTIONS and indeed other SECTIONS. Thus SECTIONS can be NESTED much like a traditional Windows folder structure.

    1. Click the EDIT BUTTON on the MAIN TOOLBAR to open the QUESTION DEFINITION DIALOG. Notice in the line of TABS there is a LABEL called 'SECTION'. Click this to let PocketSurvey know you are intending to insert a SECTION item.

    1. Instead of a QUESTION PROMPT you will see an input area to specify a SECTION NAME. Type, "SECTION 1" in this input area. Note. To keep things neat and tidy we generally put SECTION NAMES in uppercase and QUESTION PROMPTS in mixed case. Notice that to the left on the QUESTION DEFINITION DIALOG are three RADIO BUTTONS allowing you to select the TYPE of SECTION you want to work with. For this section choose DIRECTED, then click INSERT to insert your SECTION.

    1. Repeat the above step to create another section with a name of "SECTION 2", but make it a RANDOM type. Finally create a third section with the name of "SECTION 3" but make it a FORM type.

    1. Now we have three sections and we are going to add three questions inside each section. We will stick with TEXT questions for now, but by all means experiment with other question types if you wish.

    1. To go inside a SECTION, you simply DOUBLE CLICK on the SECTION NAME in the QUESTIONS AREA. You can then add questions at the INSERT point indicated by the diamond. Go ahead and add three questions in "SECTION 1". When you have finished, exit the section and return to a higher level by clicking the PARENT BUTTON on the toolbar.

    1. Now go inside the other sections that you created and add three questions in each section.

    1. SAVE and RUN your survey as explained in the last lesson. Notice how the questions in each of the three different section types are displayed.

    1. Remember you can have as many SECTIONS in your survey as you like. In the more advanced EDITIONS of PocketSurvey the SECTIONS are also used to good effect when running reports in the associated DATA MANAGER program.


Do NOT make the MAIN SECTION a FORM or create MENU questions in a FORM without any choices since both of these actions will give unpredictable results.

The next lesson will explore some of the other question types you can use in your survey, such as MENUS and TICKLISTS.

Final Tip

You can select QUESTIONS (and whole SECTIONS) using standard Windows selection techniques. These items can then be COPIED, CUT and PASTED to other parts of your survey. Furthermore, you can copy from one survey and paste into another. The useful quick keys for this are shown below.




HandHeld Systems Ltd ©