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How to disable or enable specific questions for a text survey (SMS)
How to disable or enable specific questions for a text survey (SMS)

Customize the questions that appear in your text survey vs. your web survey

McKenzie avatar
Written by McKenzie
Updated over a week ago

Note: Your organization must have the Public | Contact module as part of your PublicInput license in order to use outbound Text features. Please reach out to your CSM by emailing for more information about the Public | Contact module or outbound text credits.

First, it's important to note that all questions are created on the Page & Survey tab, but not all questions may be suitable for a text (SMS) survey. For example, if your question relies heavily on an image for context, you may need to edit your question prompt to be more descriptive, since images can't be received by all cell phones. That, or your could disable the question from the text version of the survey all together. Fortunately, it's easy to turn off these types of questions when you enable your text survey.

On your project dashboard, go to the Text tab.

1. Enable SMS

Make sure you have enabled SMS. This is on the Text tab, and the Enable SMS Responses for this Question Set should be toggled on (indicated in green). This ensures participants can receive and send text messages to your survey.

If you're enabling text on a topic, the toggle will read "Enable Text Subscriptions" instead. It works in the same way.

All text-compatible questions will appear below the keyword(s) setup on the Text tab.

Don't worry if you don't see all of the questions you created on the Page & Survey tab. Not all question types will be compatible with text surveys. Incompatible question types such as interactive map questions, ranking questions, and slider questions, etc. will automatically be disabled from the text version of the survey.

Click New SMS Keyword to create a new keyword that will trigger your survey.

3. Enable or disable questions

Scroll down to the Default Questions section. Here you can choose to enable or disable specific questions on the text survey, as well as the web (live site) survey. The question will appear on both by default.

SMS Only will send the question in the text survey, but exclude it from the web survey (even though it still appears on the Page & Survey tab.)
Disable on SMS means the question will be excluded from the text survey, but will appear on the web survey.

To do this, toggle the Disable on SMS switch on (indicated in green.) In the example below, this question is enabled for both the web and text survey.

If your survey question doesn't make sense to ask via text, you may want to disable it. You could also click Edit prompt to edit the question prompt*, or create a new, text-friendly version of the question, and then disable it from the web version (live site) of the survey.

*PLEASE NOTE: While you can edit the text question prompt to be different than the live site question by clicking Edit Prompt, you should never change the wording to ask a completely different question. You cannot create any new questions on the Text tab. All questions must be created on the Page & Survey tab first, then enabled/disabled on the Text tab depending on your survey needs.

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