Using placeholder text

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Placeholder text, also known as ghost text, lets you display initial text which describes the expected type of response. This helps the respondent reply to the question with relevant information. Once a respondent starts entering text in the question box, then this removes the placeholder text. Placeholder text is available for all open-ended questions.

Labels used for the placeholder text

The placeholder text is selected from the Code label, Grid Label, Question Text and Footnote.

By default, an Open Ended question style displays only the Question Text, and an Open First or Open Next question style displays the Question Text and Grid Label. There is also a Code Label and Footnote available. The labels can be made visible using the Show option. The label does not have to be visible to use it for the placeholder text.

To show these labels:

  1. Select the open-ended question in the questionnaire.
  2. Select Show from the second dropdown.
  1. Select the label in the third dropdown then select the Show checkbox.

Adding placeholder text

  1. Select the open-ended question in the questionnaire.
  2. Select Show from the second dropdown.
  1. Select Placeholder in the third drop-down then select the Show checkbox. This enables the from drop-down.
  2. Select the label that will provide the placeholder text.
  3. If the label is visible, select the label and enter the placeholder text.
  4. If the label is hidden, click the Variable Properties icon on the Questionnaire toolbar. This opens the Variable Properties dialog. Enter the placeholder text in the Value column for the selected label. Click OK.
Graphical user interface, table

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The placeholder text is shown in a light grey color.

Graphical user interface, application

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Using placeholders in an interview

In an interview the question shows the placeholder text as it is displayed in the Questionnaire design window.

Graphical user interface, text, application

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When the respondent enters the first character in the text box then the placeholder text is removed and replaced with the respondent’s response.

Graphical user interface

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