Common Question Information
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All questions have some common information displayed at the side of the questions definition screen as shown below.

Question Prompt

This is the text that will be displayed to the user when you run the survey to capture answers as shown below.

Data Name

In addition to giving each of your questions prompt text, you may optionally define a data name. This data name (if defined) will be used as the field name in the data tables produced by your questionnaire. If you do not define a data name then the question prompt will be used instead.


Sometimes you may wish to assign a value to a question that has already been defined elsewhere in the section. To do this you may use the '>>' operator in the question prompt.

N.B. Be careful when you use this feature. Make sure that the destination of the assignment and the original question is the same. If the original question has a data name then make sure that the assignment is to the data name and not to the question name.

Data Destination

Defines where the result of answering a particular question will be directed. The output from a survey is in the form of one or two comma separated data files (.CSV files). Typically you will import these data files into PS Data Manager or a 3rd party database program such as Microsoft Access or a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel for later analysis.

For a more detailed discussion of how questions map on to data, see "Chapter 3: -- Questions and Collected Data".

Follow Up Questions Start At

If you want to follow the current question with a series of common questions you choose the starting question or section from the list. For example, if you are surveying a house and wanted to ask the same set of questions for each room you would first ask for a room number in the main section and use follow up questions about your room from the common section.

Initial Value

Question types that require user input can be initialised to some pre-defined value. You can set the initial value to nothing or to be the contents of a variable in the current section of your survey. There are a number of built-in variables that may be used here including a special one: 'Use previous'.

If you ask a question more that once in a survey, for example with questions in a common section, then you may wish to use the same answer to the previously answered question. To save the handheld user typing this in again 'Use previous' may be used as the initial value to display the previous answer to the question. The user can then accept the answer with the enter key or change it as required. To use this feature with questions in the common section you will need to switch on the 'Retain common answers' option in the Questionnaire | Options dialog.

If 'Retain common answers' is not switched on then 'Use previous' will still work but this time any common section answers will only be shown if a previous answer has been given that matches the Survey ID, the MainQuestionName, and the MainQuestionAnswer.


Tick Confirm to prompt to the user running the survey to verify their answer by accepting or re-typing the answer as shown below

Must Answer

This forces the user to answer the question or enter the section before leaving the survey.


Switch this on to exclude the question from being displayed at runtime. A disabled question still has a field allocated in the database layout, which, of course, will be empty if the question is disabled. The Disable switch overrides the Must answer switch.

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