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Online surveys  (formerly BOS)

Powerful, flexible online surveys

How do I distinguish between a question and a sub-question?

When editing a survey in online survey, it is important to know whether you are creating/editing a parent question or a sub-question.

The main distinguishing features of parent questions and sub-questions are outlined below.

Parent questions:

  • Are added by clicking in a blue section of the survey builder.
  • Are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, …
  • Are displayed in a light brown box in the survey builder.


  • Are added by clicking in a brown section of the survey builder, inside the box surrounding an existing question.
  • Are named “sub-question” in the list that displays when you click ‘Add item’.
  • Are indented from the parent question (both within the survey builder and in the survey as it displays to your respondents).
  • Are displayed in a darker brown box than the parent question in the survey builder.
  • Are numbered a, b, c, d, … or i, ii, iii, iv, …
  • Can be set to show or hide depending on the answer to the parent question.

Parent question and sub-question example

In the screen shot below, question 1 is a parent question and question a is a sub-question.  Note that sub-question a is:

  • in a darker box than question 1;
  • contained within the box surrounding question 1; and
  • slightly indented from question 1.

subquestion added-1