This worksheet describes how to create a rating scale and a grid of literal responses, and show them as a single grid.

Snap WebHost preview of the compound grid

It shows you how to do this in two ways:


If you are creating an online survey, it is usually better to use dynamic text substitution and routing to adapt your questions to your respondents’ answers. This also means that you can have more flexible width survey layouts, so they can be used on phone screens as well as kiosks and computers. However, if you are creating a survey that is used both online and on paper, you may wish to combine grid questions in this way.

Snap cannot assume what size screen or paper you will be using to print your questionnaire. Snap also can’t be sure whether questions are going to be visible, because you might add masking or routing, so questions will appear and disappear differently for different respondents. As a result, Snap uses percentages of the total area to lay out your questions. This guarantees that the questions will fit on whatever layout people use your questionnaire on.

You can lay questions out in a grid in two ways:

  • by setting up multiple columns and putting one literal grid in each column
  • by using the compound grid toolkit to combine the grids (online surveys only).

Benefits of columns

You can easily make changes to your questionnaire.

You will be able to see your columns if you print reports from Data View mode to provide a topline summary of your survey.

Things to be aware of when using columns

You must arrange the questions in the Questionnaire design window and view the column layout in the print preview window.

Benefits of the Compound Grid tool

You can use the tool’s Edit option to adjust the columns easily.

Things to be aware of with the Compound Grid tool

The compound grid is not visible when printing a topline analysis report from Data View mode.

It’s only available for online surveys

If you republish your survey, you must also reapply the compound grid.

Summary of steps

Setting up a compound grid for a paper questionnaire in separate columns

Setting up a compound grid for an online questionnaire using the Compound Grid tool

Setting up the two grids in separate columns

  1. Open your survey in the Questionnaire Design window.
  2. Select Page Setup… from the File menu. This takes you to the Questionnaire Properties dialog.
  3. If it is not displayed, select Margins in the left-hand column.
  4. Set the number of columns to 2.
  5. Set the Column Gap to 0.
    IE addresss bar showing test survey URL with user defined
  6. Click [OK] to save your changes.
  7. Create your grid of check boxes. This example uses a rating scale. (Select Grid first for the first question and Grid next for subsequent questions as described in Getting Started with Snap: Adding a question grid.)
    Rating scale grid example
  8. Create a grid of literal questions. Select Open first style for the first question and Open next for subsequent questions. Only enter question text for the first question.

    IE addresss bar showing test survey URL with user defined

  9. Select the first grid question and insert a column break before it. (Right-click the question, select Break and then Column Break from the context menu.)
  10. Hide the grid labels and the question number of the Open questions. Select all questions then select Show then Grid Label and clear the check box to hide the spaces left for the text labels.

    QW ribbon: Show Grid Label with checkbox clear and highlighted

    Select Show then Name and clear the check box to hide the question number.

    Show name highlighted on toolbar with example open first grid
  11. Select all questions then select Tabs then Name and set the percentage of space to 0 to force the open questions to the left of the column.

    QW ribbon: Tabs Name set to 0

  12. Click the Print preview button preview button on the toolbar to see what your survey will look like.

    Grid alignment print preview: first pass

Fine tuning your column layout

It is likely that the lines of the two grids will not line up exactly and you will need to adjust the line spacing.

  1. Press [Cancel] on the Print dialog to return to the questionnaire design window.
  2. Insert an extra carriage return in the open response heading to balance out the space needed for the images in the rating scale.
  3. You can adjust the row spacing of the grids. Select Show, then Space before. Tick the box and set the space size.

    Show Space before with highlighting

  4. This will not work for the first line of the grid, as the space is inserted above the grid labels. You can increase the gap between the box row and the grid labels by changing the font size of the code labels. If you do not wish to change the size of the text, insert a space after the text, and change the size of that. The text in the image is set to 9pt but it is followed by a space set to 16pt.
  5. Preview your survey again.

    Grid alignment print preview: second pass

  6. Make further adjustments until you are satisfied.
  7. Print a test page to confirm that it looks correct on paper.

Using the Compound Grid tool to combine your questions

This assumes that you are working on a Snap WebHost edition of the survey described in step 1. You may need to set the number of columns in your survey to 1. (Open the Questionnaire Properties dialog, select Margins in the left-hand column and set the Columns value.)

  1. You will need to ensure that the grids have the same layout. Check that:
    • the Show Line before settings are the same on both grids.

      Show Line before with highlighting

    • the Show Space before settings are the same on both grids.

      Show Space before with highlighting

  2. Hide the question name and question text of these two questions. (You will add a single heading for both questions in the compound grid tool).
    Select Show Name and clear the Show box.

    QW ribbon: Show Name with checkbox clear and highlighted

    Select Show Text and clear the Show box.

    QW ribbon: Show Text with checkbox clear and highlighted

  3. Click [OK] to save your changes.
  4. Select File|Publish or press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[W] to publish your survey.
  5. Take a note of the path of the published file.
    Output options showing compound grid path
  6. Start the Compound Grid tool. You would normally do this by Selecting [Start] on the Microsoft toolbar, then type Compound Grid in the ‘Search programs and files’ box.

    Windows Search

  7. Browse for the published file that you previously noted. The file will have an .htm suffix for a Web HTML survey, a .zip suffix for Snap WebHost and Snap Mobile Anywhere surveys and an .msf suffix for an Offline electronic survey.
  8. Type a number in the Page box or use the controls to find the page containing the grid questions that you wish to combine.

    Grouping the grid questions in compound grid

  9. Select the questions and click [Group].
  10. The Group grid questions dialog appears.
    Adding heading text in compound grid
  11. Check the Add header text box and enter the heading for your joint question in the box.
  12. Click the [Preview] button to preview the compound grid question.

    Compound grid: Preview no images

    The images are not shown here because it is a Snap WebHost survey. They will be visible once it has been uploaded to Snap WebHost. Compound grid shows the images in other types of survey.

Fine tuning your Compound Grid tool layout

If you are not happy with the way that the compound grid looks in the preview, you can adjust the column widths.

  1. Click the [Edit] button. The Column width editor dialog will be displayed.

    Setting the column widths of a compound grid

  2. Change the percentage width beneath the columns to adjust the column widths. Click [Apply] to see how it will look with the new widths.
  3. When you are satisfied with the look of your compound grid, click [OK].

Winhelp: Pen If you change a width, the Compound Grid tool automatically adjusts the percentages of the unchanged columns to fit, so if you wish to keep any columns as they are, you must tick the lock box(es) for those columns. The lock boxes are below the percentage width boxes.

  1. Click [Save] to save your settings so you can reapply them easily.
  2. Click the [Process] button on the Compound Grid dialog.
    Compound grid process button
  3. Click [OK] on the message box that appears.
  4. Click [Close] when you have finished creating compound grids.

Your questionnaire is ready to be distributed.

Snap WebHost preview of the compound gridWinhelp: Pen Remember that you must re-apply compound grid each time you republish your survey. You can use the saved settings to do this easily.

Winhelp: Pen If you use Rating Check in your survey, you will need to apply it before you apply the compound grid.


This worksheet has described how to combine a multi-response and a literal grid. It explains how to do this by using columns (for paper surveys) and using the compound grid tool (for online surveys).

If you would like more information on the compound grid tool, see the help page: Creating compound grids.

If you would like more information on laying out the spacing elements in a grid, see the help topic: Multi-choice and grid question spacing.

For more information about laying out your survey, you can see a list of topics at Changes that affect the whole questionnaire.

If there is a topic you would like a worksheet on, email