Allow Rich Text for Form Questions

Written by Lauren Neulinger

Last published at: July 7th, 2021


You have the option to allow rich text on a Text Area or Text and Upload question. Doing so allows users to format their response to that question using bullets, numbers, bolding, italicizing, and underlining. This also allows a user to copy and paste text into that question from a Word document while retaining most formatting. Allowing this type of formatting can also make responses easier to read for administrators and evaluators. 

One consideration with allowing rich text is the effect on any merge documents you plan to create. Any formatting in a response will carry through when that response is pulled into a merge document. If this is a concern with certain text questions, you might choose to not allow rich text for those questions.

You can turn on this setting for existing questions, but it cannot be turned off once a question has responses.

Allow Rich Text for a Question

You can turn on this setting when adding a new form question, or by editing an existing form question. 

If you are adding a new question, this setting is available after you click Add New Question and select either the Text Area or Text And Upload question types. 

If you are editing an existing question, this setting is available after clicking the pencil icon next to the question on the form. 

  1. Configure or edit the question as needed, then check the box for Allow Rich Text. 
  2. Click Save Question.
  3. A rich text editor bar will now be visible for this question, both for you and for users filling out the form.

The Allow Rich Text setting cannot be turned off for a question that already has responses. Doing so could cause issues with those responses, so the system will not allow you to turn this setting off once a question has been used. 

Using the Rich Text Editor

Please note that the rich text editor available on a form question does not have all of the options that you see elsewhere in your site (e.g. when editing a question description, creating an email template, etc.). For example, the options to upload an image or add a hyperlink to text are not available. 

Tips and options for using the rich text editor:

  • Click a button in the editor (e.g. the B button for bold text) and then type. The formatting will be applied to the text that you type (e.g. the text you type will be bold).   
    • Click the button in the editor again to stop using that formatting when you continue typing. 
  • Highlight existing text and then click a button in the editor. The formatting will be applied to the highlighted text.
    • Highlight existing text and click the button in the editor again to remove the formatting.
  • When adding a numbered or bulleted list, click the arrow next to the list button to view additional formatting options.