Use Question Aliases

Question Aliases, available on the Logic tab of each of your questions, allow you to create shortnames for questions in your survey. These shortnames are great to use in reports, exports, custom scripting, as well as when utilizing SPSS.

Question Alias in Builder

Add an Alias to Your Questions

  1. Edit your question and go to the Logic tab.
  2. Scroll to the Alias field.
  3. Enter your alias and click Save Question.
    Add Question Alias

Tips for Choosing an Alias Name

  • Be consistent - All caps, all lowercase, underscores. Deciding on some conventions will make your life easier later, particularly if you plan to do advanced analysis. 
  • Be concise - Keep your variable names short and sweet.
  • Be descriptive - Good variable names are descriptive. This makes your data easier to use later.

Add Aliases for the Entire Survey in Once Place

If you weren't able to specify Question Aliases while building your survey (or perhaps you forgot), click Results > Edit Reporting Values & Aliases to access the Question Alias editor. The editor will give you access to quickly edit all Question Aliases in your survey!

View Aliases on the Build Tab

There are two options that allow you to view your aliases on the Build tab of your survey.

Question Metadata

The question metadata option will display as a banner below your question. In addition, the question ID and question type will display in the metadata banner.

Question Metadata

  1. To select this option, click View Settings in the top right corner above the first page of your survey.
  2. Select Question Metadata and click Apply.
    Enable Question Metadata

Question Aliases

The question aliases option will display a grey badge with your alias in the bottom right corner of your question.

Show Alias in Builder

  1. To select this option, click View Settings in the top right corner above the first page of your survey.
  2. Select Question Aliases and click Apply.
    Show Question Aliases

Use Question Aliases in Your Reports

If you've added question aliases to your questions, they will be available in Standard Reports to use in place of question titles.

To toggle your report to use Question Aliases (when available), access Report Options > Layout and check the box corresponding to Use Question Alias as Title.

Use Question Alias as Title in Standard Report

Aliases are also available in Legacy Summary Reports to use in place of question titles. Within your Summary Report, click Customize Report and go to the Options tab. Under Report element titles select the option to Use aliases (where specified).

Note: Aliases are not supported in Legacy Summary Reports for Custom Group and Custom Table question types.

Use Question Aliases in Exports

If you've added question aliases to your questions, the CSV/Excel Export of your raw data will automatically use your aliases in place of question titles as the column headers of your spreadsheet.

Question Aliases in Exports

Use Question Aliases in Merge Codes

Another benefit of using question aliases is that aliases can be used within merge codes in place of question IDs. In our example above, we assigned an alias of FIRSTNAME to our textbox question with ID of 2.

A typical merge code for this question would be as follows (note that the question is referenced by its ID):

[question("value"), id="2"]

Since we have assigned an alias to this question, we can substitute the ID with the alias within the merge code, as follows:

[question("value"), id="FIRSTNAME"]

This method makes your merge codes more readable and more meaningful.

Use Question Aliases in Custom Scripting

Finally, question aliases can be used in custom scripting. Check out our Scripting with Question Aliases Tutorial to learn more!

Why aliases are much better to use in scripts

  • You can use aliases in your script that mean something. 
  • Your scripts can be re-used more easily across surveys.  Question IDs change, aliases do not!
  • Your code will be more readable!


The majority of Alchemer questions support adding a Question Alias/shortname to the overall question. The below questions are not compatible:

Certain questions, notably grids, allow for adding Question Aliases to the overall question as well as the individual grid rows. The following questions allow for this configuration:

Grid questions with specific answer option aliases are not compatible with an excel export, and are only intended for use with SPSS.

It's import to note that certain questions that allow for rows do not allow for adding Question Aliases to the individual rows:

Basic Standard Market Research HR Professional Full Access Reporting
Free Individual Team & Enterprise
Feature Included In