Textbox Question Type

A Textbox question is a short-answer, open-text field.

When To Use It

Use Textbox questions to collect a single word or short sentence response. For example, name, street address, or city. We have yet to find a character limit on the amount of data this question type can collect. Still not sure which text field to select? Check out our tutorial on Textboxes vs. Essay.

 Best Practice Tip

Because Textboxes do not have validation settings by default, the data from a textbox question can get pretty messy. Never Fear! There are a couple of tools to help assist you with collecting cleaner data!

  • One of the quickest methods for cleaning up data entered into textbox questions is to select the option on the Validation tab to Capitalize each word. This will clean up your reporting a bit by eliminating case-sensitivity as a variation in your data.
  • We have Basic and Advanced Validation tools available on the Validation tab to ensure respondent entries are in a format you expect.
  • Our Auto Suggest Answers feature will suggest answers while the survey respondent types.
  • Finally, if you know the list of possible answers and want to ensure that your data is tidy, use a Dropdown Menu question type instead!

Textbox Layout Options

  • Left or right labels for your question can be added on the Question tab via the Left Label and Right Label fields.
    Textbox Left and Right Labels
  • The width of the textbox can be adjusted on the Layout tab via the Texbox Width field.
    Textbox Width

Textbox Validation Options

There are a number of validation options available for Textbox questions. While specific question types exist to collect Email, Percent, and Number formatted text, a Textbox question itself can also be formatted to collect these types of input.

Learn more about the numerous validation options here.

Min & Max Character Count

The Validation tab of your Textbox question also allows you to specify both the Min Character Count and Max Character Count for the text that your respondents will be entering.

Textbox Question Validation Options

Input a number value into each field to specify a character count. Spaces are counted towards both the min & max counts.

Survey Taking

On a desktop and most laptops, the Textbox question type looks like so.

Survey Taking on Desktop

When optimized for mobile devices the Textbox question type looks very similar.

By default, survey questions show one at a time on mobile devices to prevent the need for scrolling on smaller screens. You can turn off this one-at-a-time interaction if you wish.

Survey Taking on Mobile

Reporting

In Standard Reports an unvalidated textbox question will report as a Word Cloud, by default, with a list of the responses below.

Textbox Reporting

If you are using number validation on a Textbox question your data will report as a Number question reports.

If you are using email validation on a Textbox question your data will report as an Email question reports.

If you are using date validation on a Textbox question your data will report as a Date question reports.

If you are using percent validation on a Textbox question your data will report as a Percent question reports.

 See additional compatible chart types

Within the Standard Report there are various chart types available for visualizing your data. The below grid shows which of the chart types Textbox questions are compatible with. 

Chart Type (Aggregate)

Compatible
Word Cloud

 
Collapsed Response List

 
Contact Cards

 
DIY Grid/Cards

 

 See what other report types are compatible

The below grid shows which of the report types Textbox questions are compatible with. If you plan to do some specific analysis within Alchemer this report compatibility chart should help you choose the right question types!

Report Type
Compatible
Standard
 
Legacy Summary
 
TURF

Profile
 
Crosstab

Comparison
 (not available as source question)

Exporting

In the CSV/Excel export, the data is displayed in a single column within the spreadsheet.

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