Text piping: previous answer

Compatibility:IdSurvey 5IdSurvey 6

Text piping displays in any part of the survey a data you collected before. It can be used with any survey methodology (CATI, CAWI, CAPI), both on survey texts and questionnaire objects (page title, question text, answer text).

By piping a previous answer, you can display the option selected or written in an answer to a question in a previous page of your survey. Any type of answer can be displayed, both open-ended (text, numbers, assisted, etc) and not. In the latter case, the function will pipe the text of the answer’s label. If the piped answer is not selected (in case of multiple answers) or the piped question is not shown during the survey, the line N.D. will appear instead.


Each type of answer option has a slighlty different codification for text piping.
The same codification can be used with GUI or IdCode. Following is a list of the most common cases:


  • Single-select questions: [Questioncode] (ex: [Q1])
  • Multiple-choiche questions (all selected options): [Questioncode] (ex: [Q1])
  • Multiple-choiche questions (specific answer): [Questioncode:Answercode] (ex: [Q1:1])
  • Multiple-choiche questions (multiple specific answers): [Questioncode:Answercode,Answercode,Answercode] (ex: [Q1:1,2,3])
  • Text input in the “Text field after question” box (if enabled): *|Questioncode|* (ex: *|Q1|*)


In simple matrixes, each row is considered as a separate question. Therefore, it is possible to use the same syntax indicated for basic questions, but instead of using the question code only, you’ll need to add the row code immediately after the question code.

  • Matrix row: [MatrixcodeRowcode] (ex: [Q1.1], will show the answer given to row .1 in matrix Q1)


In 3D matrixes each cell is itself a separate question. So, similar to simple matrixes, you can use the simple questions syntax, but in this case you’ll need to specify the coordinates of the cell inside the grid instead of the question code.

  • [MatrixcodeRowcodeColumncode] (ex: [Q1.1.1], will show the answer given to the cell at the cross between row .1 and column .1 in matrix Q1)
  • Note: in 3D matrixes you cannot enable the “Text field after question” box

You can also use the Text Piping function to set a default value in an open-ended text answer, assuming that this answer is in a page after the one you’re trying to pipe. To do it, you’ll simply need to input the correct syntax in the “preset value” field of the answer settings.


Example 1

Text piping of answer given to question 63, row one, column 1.


Text piping of answer given to question 63, row 1, column 1 as displayed in CAWI.


Example 2

Text piping of answer given to question Q7.


Text piping of answer given to question Q7 (Brand “X”).

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