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How to Group Open-Ended Questions in a Report

This documentation is for Legacy Checkbox Version 6. Please visit our Checkbox Version 7 Documentation page for current user guides.

 One of the more useful (and powerful) features of Checkbox Survey is the ability of grouping open-ended responses with other open-ended responses to quickly categorize and associate names with answers. This also saves the report viewer from tediously scrolling down the screen to view the potentially hundreds of responses line-by-line. Consider the following report as an example of a non-grouped report, specifically the responses that required the respondent to enter in free text:

Without Grouping:

Ungrouped Survey Responses

As you can see, most of the report page consists of the extensive lists that the first name, last name, email address, and other details generate. Also, it makes it difficult to identify, at a glance, who said what without opening up the individual response details page of the respondent. With grouping, you can not only shorten the load time of generating the page but make it easier to navigate and identify respondents with comments. See below as an example:

With Grouping:

Grouped Survey Responses

Notice that the comments can now be seen alongside the email and the name of the respondent. This certainly makes for an easier view for the administrator to quickly associate details with the respondent. Also, this cuts down the load time and the length of the web page dramatically.

We can do this by taking the following steps (note: this assumes you have already built a survey, collected responses, and generated a report).

1. Click on the Report you wish to edit and to group the responses.


2. Select the first open-ended text item that you wish to have grouped. In this case, it would be ‘First Name’ and then select the ‘Source Items’ tab.

Ungrouped Survey Responses


3. Select the other response items that you wish to group along with ‘First Name’ from the list of options in the ‘Available Items’ column. Once you have selected them all, select ‘Add Item’ and these options will be transferred to the ‘Source Items’ column.

Survey Source Item 1



4. Select ‘Save’ and the ‘Preview’ tab will now display all items you have grouped. Now, go to the ‘Behavior’ tab and select ‘Group Answers’ and ‘Save’.

Survey Preview 1

Survey Behavior


5. Now re-run your report and see how the response details are displayed. They should look like this:

Grouped Survey Responses


April 5, 2021