SurveyPro Category

Adding columns to a grid

As you start a new grid, change to the Advanced option screens on the first screen of the wizard.

When you advance through the screens and get to the Columns dialog you can add as many columns here as space on your survey will allow.  Each column can have a different scale applied. If you already have a grid created just go to the General tab and change to the Advanced Options screens; several additional tabs will appear. The Columns tab is the one you need to add additional columns to your grid. Click the Plus sign “+” at the top of the screen to add a new column. Then click the question mark “?” in the Scale column for the new row. The defined scales will appear in the bottom left of the screen. Simply click the desired scale.

Each row in this dialog corresponds to a grid column. Be careful not to delete the first item on the list, this is the column, R-Labels, that contains the question text for each question on the grid.  Also, note that Auto groups are based upon each column in this case, they are not based upon the whole grid.  You can, of course, manually create Groups based upon the two Auto groups or the individual questions.

Just a caution that you can overwhelm your respondents if you bunch too many question choices in a single grid.  At times it is better to spread out the questions and the scale so as not to confuse the respondent.  Also, you can modify the width of the area that SurveyPro uses to display question tiles by adjusting the pixel value in the ‘Survey width’ box on the ‘Web Page’ tab of the ‘Document Properties’ dialog.  An explanation of this can be found on page 61 of the NetCollect User Guide.

Sharing questions among questionnaires


If the same question needs to appear in more than one questionnaire in a single SurveyPro file, you can share the question rather than reproducing it. This will make reporting easier.

More Information

If you have a question in one survey that you want to put into a different survey:

1. Click on the question tile to highlight it. (When the tile is highlighted, you will see an orange border around it.)
2. On the Edit menu, choose copy.
3. Click on the tab for the second questionnaire.
4. Highlight the location where you want to place the question.
5. On the Edit menu, choose paste.

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Notes: It is NOT possible to copy and paste questions from the Object Tree.

It is not possible to use the same question tile more than once on the same survey. You can copy and paste the tile so it appears to be duplicated but internally the program is setting a separate question number for the second question.  You can, of course, group those two different questions together and report on the results.

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Using shared questions in reports:

With a shared question you can report on all data for that question at the same time or use Form Select Filters to show just the data for one of the surveys.

Must Answer not enforced on Web Survey


Respondents can skip questions marked as “Must Answer ” in SurveyPro.

More Information

This is almost always the result of the “Enable This Server Must Check” box not being marked on the Answer Test screen during the publish to NetCollect process.  It is important to note that there are two ‘Must Answer’ conditions in the SurveyPro family.  Another configuration issue is described here.

If you have discovered this during the testing phase, you may simply republish while marking this box for each appropriate question.

If, however, you have already gone live with the survey and noticed this after the fact, you will want to make sure that you remove this condition on the Data Cleaning Screen during import so that the rule is not enforced locally (thereby rejecting records for respondents that skipped the question).

Executive Summary Report and Filters


The easiest way to use a filter in your Executive Summary is to use SurveyPro’s “Report On – Repeat” function with a copy of the Executive Summary.   Note that the Executive Summary was never intended to used as a viable up-channel reporting tool.  Its purpose is to allow a survey administrator to verify the health and participation of the survey.  As such, there are very few options available and most characteristics of the report are not able to be edited.

Report On is one of the greatest time-savers you will encounter in SurveyPro. It allows you to tailor an entire report document to a sub-group, such as a quarter, region, or manager—in just a few clicks. Or instead of just creating one version, you can have it replicate the report for each manager or location, up to 64,000 versions at once!

More Information

1. With the Executive Summary open, go to Document and choose Copy Document. This will give an editable version of the Executive Summary.
2. Go to Document, and choose Report On. In the middle of the screen, place a checkmark next to the Apply Repeat checkbox.
3. You will notice that below this a field will appear that says Repeat On and is defaulting to Question. From this pull down list, choose the question that will be the basis of the filter. Click OK.
4. Scroll to the top of the document (make sure that the top tile is highlighted) and then select Insert, Inline Text.
5. You should now be in the Text Content dialog. Notice the Text Palate pop-up at right. On the text palate look for and click on the button that says #4. From that area, choose the item that says RptOn Doc Step. Click OK.

You should now have a label at the top of the report that changes to reflect the “step” or record that you are on.

Data transfer between Principia Remark Office OMR and SurveyPro


When you work with Remark and SurveyPro, you need to export your survey information from SurveyPro and import the survey as a scanning template into Remark. Then, when you’re done scanning, you need to reverse the process with the data collected in Remark.  This process works smoothly as long as you use the correct file formats.

More Information

Here are the steps for working with Remark and SurveyPro:

- Create the survey in SurveyPro.

- In SurveyPro, export the survey to .ST3 format with No Data Exported. The ST3 format contains the questionnaire definition which includes Questions, Scales and data entry locations.

  1. On the Database menu, choose Export To, then Survey Tag Language 3.0 (.st3)
  2. Choose a filename and location for your .ST3 file and click Save
  3. On the General tab, under Data Forms to Export, select No Data Out. Click Next
  4. Click Finish
  5. Type a name for your mapping and click Yes
  6. Click OK

- In Remark, open the ST3 file.

1. On the File menu, choose Open Template, and use the ST3 file.  Remark will create a database in which to contain the scanned data in accordance with the definition contained in the ST3.

2. It is then important that you use the ‘Reset Images’ tool in the Template editor to set the electronic template (that .ST3 file) to an image of the form itself.

3. Scan the forms and correct any missed answers.

- Still in Remark, use Save Data As to save the data to the .SRV format.

- Open your SurveyPro file and import the .SRV file back into SurveyPro.

  1. On the Database menu, choose Import from, and then choose Comma Delimited ASCII
  2. Change Files of Type to All Files and locate the .SRV file
  3. An Import dialog appears. On the General tab, make sure First Record is Field Names is checked
  4. On the Field Matchup tab the questions in SurveyPro are in the top window and the raw data you are importing is in the bottom window. Put the number of the correct Field from the bottom window to match the correct question in the top window
  5. Click Finish. By default, the imported forms will be appended to the forms already in the database
  6. Click yes if you want to save the Import Map for future imports of the .SRV format

Short Countable Written Answers – Single vs. Multiple

We often get questions from new SurveyPro users regarding the difference between the first two built-in scales, Short Countable Written — Single Answer and Short Countable Written — Multiple Answers. Considering that they are both open-ended answers, it is easy to be confused with how SurveyPro will treat your comment type answers.

The best way to look at these two scales is to compare them to a feature normally only found in checkbox scales. And that feature is the multiple response, ‘Check all that apply’ option you can implement in a custom scale.

Let’s use an example of snack foods. You could created a scale used to answer the question ‘Which is your favorite snack food?’ with answers being chips, popcorn, candy, gum, rice cakes, and fruit. The scale would be set to single answer because you want to know only their favorite snack.

But say that the question reads ‘Which snack foods to you purchase at least once a month? (Check all that apply)’. You could have the same list of answers, but by setting the option to ‘Multiple’ on the scale definition dialog you would allow for more than one answer.

The Short Countable Written answers work in the same way. The first choice is considered to be a single checkbox scale sort of answer. Whatever is written there will be binned and countable in it’s entirety. But, the second choice allows for multiple responses within the same text entry. By separating the different choices by semicolons you can create the same multiple answer allowed scale, but for comment type answers.

So, by using the Short Countable Written — Multiple answers scale to the question ‘Which snack foods to you purchase at least once a month?’ and instructing your respondents to separate answers with semicolons, you might see an answer like ‘corn chips; chewing gum; snickers bars’. These three answers would then be binned as separate virtual checkbox scale responses and could be reported upon much like a standard multiple checkbox scale.

This will obviously allow your respondents to be more precise in their answers and allow you to be more precise in how you report on these answers. It can be a win-win for everyone involved.

Using Previous SurveyPro Files as Templates for New Projects

Frequently, customers will contact the Support Department asking how to delete the data from an existing SurveyPro project file so they can reuse it for a slightly different project. After verifying that the customer does not need to perform longitudinal analysis on the different data sets, we’ll walk them through the process of using the Mass Delete feature in the Answer Entry screens. At that point most customers end the call and press on with their project.

But, there is another aspect of this situation that bears examination. And that aspect is the underlying database that is created as you add questions and grids to a questionnaire. Removing unneeded or unwanted data in the Answer Entry screens does not affect the structure of the database itself, only the responses.

Keeping that in mind, say you have a survey that contains 100 questions, after deleting the Fiscal Year 2008 responses, you start editing the questionnaire. Deleting the 10 question tiles which contain FY2008 specific questions you start adding tiles that contain FY2009 specific questions. If you were to check the tile list in the questionnaire you would see that after adding 10 2009 specific tiles you end up with 100 questions. But an examination of the Database Questions branch of the Object Tree would reveal that your database contains 110 questions.

A closer examination reveals that the extra 10 questions (numbered 101 – 110) were the 2008 questions that you deleted at the beginning off this process! Questions that do not appear on a questionnaire are shuffled to the bottom of the list while the questions appearing on the questionnaire are numbered sequentially.

It should be obvious at this point that the relationship between a question in the database and a tile on a questionnaire is not a hard link. The tile on a questionnaire is only a representation of the Question Text to Scale relationship that exists in the database. Removing one does not guarantee the removal of the other; in much the same way as removing the data via Mass Delete does not remove the associated question tile on the questionnaire.

To keep your database clean you should finish your edits with a purge of the unneeded items for the Database Questions list. Once you do have your 2009 questionnaire finalized you should go back to the Database Questions branch of the Object Tree; and starting from the bottom of the list, remove questions that no longer appear in the questionnaires. This will result in a smaller SurveyPro project file and remove unwanted and empty report figures from the automatically generated Executive Summary and data Table reports.

For more advanced information on file management, please check out our tutorial training module “Auditing Projects and Creating Templates”:

Error Configuring a New On-Line Survey Project


You get a message that is similar to the following: (note, this affects all versions of SurveyPro from 3.0 forward)

One or more survey or report files expected for this project were missing or published at different times, specifically:
“file name”.st3.
Unable to proceed with setup.


This issue is caused by a SurveyPro specific file that was created before the Congressionally mandated change in the timing of Daylight Saving Time.  The file in question, StlCvt09J.dll, creates a date-time group that is embedded into the .ST3 file associated with the project.  The issue stems from the fact that the date-time group is one hour off and as such, NetCollect will refuse to publish the project.

The solution is quite simple.  The SurveyPro Development Team created a revised DLL which needs to be downloaded from our web site, unzipped and copied into the Program sub-directory where the SurveyPro executable resides.

The direct download for the file is After downloading the file you should unzip it to your desktop.  Once you are ready to copy the file you should locate the Program directory specific to your version.

In SurveyPro 3.0 the default directory is C:\Program Files\Apian Software\SurveyPro 30\Program\

In SurveyPro 4.0 the default directory is C:\Program Files\Apian Software\SurveyPro 40\Program\

At this time please ensure that SurveyPro is not running.  Once you have located the correct directory you should find and rename the file from StlCvt09J.dll to StlCvt09J.old.  This step allows you to quickly revert should something else go awry.

After renaming the file simply copy and paste the unzipped file from your desktop into the Program sub-directory.

After you restart SurveyPro you will be required to republish any projects that demonstrated the error message.  The .ST3 needs to be recreated along with the rest of the files set.

Reporting based on Questionnaire


Creating reports based upon the results of a single questionnaire in a multiple-questionnaire project.


SurveyPro allows you to create a multiple questionnaires within the same project file.  You might have different questionnaires based upon corporate divisions within your company or questionnaires that are published in different mediums.

The following steps will allow you to create custom reports based upon that original questionnaire used to collect the data.  These same principles can be applied to the creation of banners which would allow you to compare and contrast the data collected using the different questionnaires.

The first thing to understand is that SurveyPro assigns a Document Number to all of the different documents within a project file.  A newly created SurveyPro project contains 4 documents:

  1. A blank ‘Questionnaire’
  2. An ‘Executive Summary’
  3. A ‘Data Table’
  4. A blank ‘Custom Report’

As you add documents to the project, SurveyPro will assign each one a document number.  In this example we will be working with a file that has 7 total documents.  There are three questionnaires and four reports.

List of Documents

The figure above shows this project file has 3 questionnaires:

  1. A Web survey for NetCollect
  2. A Ferry Survey that is paper based
  3. A Ferry Survey that is Kiosk based  

What we will do here is create a Form Select Filter that excludes respondent forms collected by both the Web Survey and the Kisok Survey.

We will create our Form Select Filter in the ‘Add New Filter’ dialog accessed through the Components branch of the Object Tree.  See the figure below.

Object Tree With Add New Filter Visible

Object Tree With Add New Filter Visible

Double Clicking on that entry above will open the dialog pictured below.

Add Filter Dialog

Add Filter Dialog

In the figure above you will note that I have already configured the Form Select Filter based upon the Form Property ‘Form’s Questionnaire’, or Document Number.  When applied, this Form Select Filter will display only the data associated with the paper survey.  Let’s see how that looks in the following table.

Table with Banner

This table shows the results of a banner both with and without the Form Select Filter applied.  The first column of results shows only those respondents who used Document #5, the paper survey handed out to ferry customers.  The second column of results shows the total population.

Now, if we were to create a report that displays the results of just the subset of questions that were presented to the ferry customers we would note that the numbers didn’t match the first calumn, rather they display the total population. 

This is due to having the same questions appear on three different surveys. 

The final piece of the puzzle is to apply a Report On condition to the report.  The Report On dialog is accessed through the Document Menu.  Selecting the Report On option displays a dialog with two section.  ‘Form Select Filter’ and ‘Repeat Using’. 

We are concerned with the ‘Form Select Filter’ section for the purposes of this topic.  Setting that option as shown in the figure below will filter the results of the survey to display only those respondents who complete a paper survey.

This last figure shows a portion of a report that has the Document based Form Select Filter applied.

Common Issues With CSV Files


There are two issues with CSV files that the Apian Support Team has noted occurring as a result of Microsoft Excel.

1)  The error message ‘Error in Importing on file File Path and Name Delimited field or fixed column count inconsistent near record number ##’‘ when attempting to import a CSV file that has been opened and subsequently saved in Microsoft Excel.

2)  Spurious results when attempting to import a CSV file that has certain issues within text/comment fields.


For the first issue, an error while trying to import CSV data into SurveyPro.  This error is caused by a failure in certain situations within Microsoft Excel to properly save the data with the Comma Delimiters intact.  The issue is described on the Microsoft site.  There are a couple of solutions that are specific to getting the data into SurveyPro and are not addressed in the short Microsoft workaround.

  • While in Excel, add another column after your last column containing data and fill every row in that column with random data.  This allows the real data in the preceding columns to be saved with the delimiting commas intact.  During the import process into SurveyPro, you would simply ignore that last column while doing your Field Match-ups.
  • You could download and use an alternative suite of office productivity tools that doesn’t create this issue.  A notable one is Sun Microsystems Open Office.  This package contains a spreadsheet program called Calc that does not incorrectly format your columnar data.

For the second issue there are two common manifestations that would require the same solution. In these cases the solution is in the configuration you define while in the data export dialogs.  As noted above, this issue manifests itself in two common ways, the first is that you get an error related to a formula and the second is that Excel starts splitting comment data into different, incorrect cells in the sheet.

  • The formula issue is related to text comments that contain a hyphen.  The hyphen is seen by Excel as a minus sign and in some circumstances Excel will try to derive a formula from the text string.
  • The splitting up of the comment data into different cells is caused by the presence of hard carriage returns in the comment data.  These hard carriage returns can tell Excel to move to the next cell and start inserting data at that point.

Both of these situations can be cured by asking SurveyPro to put quote marks around all written answers.  (Please see the image below)  When you do this, Excel will treat the data encompassed by quotes strictly as text and you will not encounter the anomalous behavior noted above.

CSV Export Dialog

CSV Export Dialog