Piping Variables

Piping Variables are expressions within the site to reference other information that has already been provided. These variables can be used to display the score on a specific question or total questionnaire. You can, for example, add *|total_quiz_score|* to your final screen to say something about the respondent's quiz score.

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They are useful because they personalize the site to the user that is accessing it. For example, they can be used within an email to pipe in the first name of the user into the email, so instead of the email stating "Dear Applicant", it can state "Dear Tom" (with Tom being a variable).

Piping variables are a great way to make your survey more conversational and relevant for the respondent! In this guide, we'll discuss the following:

  1. An example of piping
  2. Add Piping to your questionnaire
  3. Variable Search Function
  4. What's next?


You can also look into the Master List that we have prepared for you and search there for variables. These variables can be used in Email invitations, Email templates, PDF reports, Outcomes, and Formulas.

1 An example of piping

Here's an example to illustrate the concept of piping:

Q1 What is your favorite city trip destination?
A1 Berlin
A2 Amsterdam
A3 Paris
A4 London

Q2 What do you like about {Q1}?

Say that the respondent selects the 4th answer of Question 1 (London), the subsequent question would become:

Q2 What do you like about London?

example of piping

2 Add Piping to your questionnaire

Piping variables can represent answers from the following question types: Text Choice, Image Choice, Dropdown, Open Text, Typeahead, Form Text Single Line, Star Rating, and Slider (Text).

Write your first question, for example:

Piping - first question


Make sure you have turned off multiple answers possible. Piping can't be used when you make your question multiple choice in Text choice questions and possibly in Image choice questions.

Now let's include piping in the next question using answers from the previous question. Make sure to save the earlier questions so that they'll appear in the drop-down menu of piping variables.

Type your question, and when you want to insert piping, click Variables in the rich text editor to access the drop-down of piping variables. Then select which variable you want to add. In our example, we'll choose Question 1 response.

Piping Variable Button

Piping Variables List

Now you'll see the piping variable added inside your question.

Don't forget to save changes when you're done!

Let’s see how this will look in your questionnaire! Note how the second question uses the answer chosen in the first question.

Piping example

3 Variable Search Function

Piping variables can also be found by using the Search Function.

Search function for variables

4 What's next?

The common use of variables as discussed above is to pipe text that has been provided at an earlier point in the survey into a later question, personalizing or making it specific to the responses given. 

Here is some other inspiration for using piping variables:

  • Email invitations – when sending out survey invites by an email invitation to your saved contacts, you can personalize the invitation text by using variables, which in this case would usually be the recipient name, piped from the contact list which you have uploaded.
  • Email templates - The email templates feature allows you to send emails to your respondents based on their selected answers or a quiz/survey score. You can use variables as part of your message, either to address respondents by name or to show how they answered questions of the survey, by including answer variables such as *|q1_response|*. If question 1 was asking their name, and you write " Dear *|q1_response|* ", the email will now address respondents by name, eg, Dear John. Or if your first question was asking for some information, the answer respondents gave will be inserted into that field.
  • PDF reports – You can create a personalized PDF report that respondents can download immediately after taking the survey. This can include text, charts, and tables. For each content type, you’ll be able to include variables from the survey, making it completely personalized for each respondent.
  • Formulas - When you create a formula, the formula will usually be based on an answer chosen to a question or questions; for example, you could write: *|q1_custom_score|**(*|q2_custom_score|*-*|q3_custom_score|*). The formula itself also has a name, so you can use the formula variable in other features, for example, when setting up outcome screens.
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