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What is QDS™?
What's New in Version 4.0?
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Online QDS™ 4.0 Help System 
QDS 4.0 New Features (PDF|1.5MB)
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QDS™ Video Tutorials
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QDS Sample Files

Related Services
QDS™ Trainings
Questionnaire Development

Brochures Adobe PDF documents
QDS™ Fact Sheet (2MB)
QDS™ ACASI Case Study (84KB)
Custom Data Management Solutions (158KB)

For support or technical information, please contact:

QDS Support

For sales-related information,
please contact:

QDS Sales
NOVA Research Company
801 Roeder Road
Suite 700
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301-986-1891
Fax: 301-986-4931


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which version are you using?
QDS™ Version:

89 FAQs Found in the following topic areas:

Installation/Version Control

I have files of different versions. Will they all work with each other?
In general, QDS™ is backward, but not forward compatible. In other words, newer versions of QDS™ can use files created using an older version of QDS, but not the other way around. Ideally, when you upgrade your QDS™ system, you should upgrade all components in order to avoid version conflicts. However, we recognize that this is not always practical, or feasible. The following rules should help guide your upgrade decisions:

Control files created by an older version of the Design Studio can be used by a newer version of the data collection modules (i.e., ACASI, CAPI, Web, and Data Entry ) – e.g., a control file created by v3.0 Design Studio, can be used with a v4.0 data collection module.

Control files created by a newer version of the Design Studio cannot be used by an older version of the data collection modules – e.g., a control file created by a v4.0 Design Studio, will not work with a v3.0 data collection module.

Data files created by older versions of a data collection module can be used with a newer version of the Warehouse Manager.

Data files created by newer versions of a data collection module cannot be used with an older version of the Warehouse Manager.

For exceptions to this rule: see Are v2.6 and v2.6.1 compatible with each other? and Can files created by v3.0 or v4.0 data collection modules be used with a v2.6.1 or v2.6 Warehouse Manager?.
Are v2.6 and v2.6.1 compatible with each other?
Because the only change between v2.6 and v2.6.1 was the migration to the AT&T Natural Voices text-to-speech engine, there is more compatibility between these two versions.

Data files created by v2.6.1 data collection modules can be used with a v2.6 Warehouse Manager.

Using the v2.6 Design Studio will still allow you to use the new AT&T Natural Voices text-to-speech engine (which is what the v2.6.1 ACASI module uses), however, you will not be able to select the voices from the Design Studio -- you would need to designate the default voice via the Windows control panel.*

* If you are running a 64-bit version of Windows 7, there is an operating system limitation that prohibits you from changing the voice from the installation default.
Can files created by v3.0 or v4.0 data collection modules be used with a v2.6.1 or v2.6 Warehouse Manager?
Because the changes between v2.6/v2.6.1 and v3.0/v4.0 did not affect data structure:
  • Data files created by v3.0 data collection modules can be used with Warehouse Manager v2.6 and v2.6.1.
  • Data files created by v4.0 data collection modules can be used with Warehouse Manager v2.6, 2.6.1, and v3.0.

I am having trouble with installation. What could be the problem?
(1) Make sure you are logged onto the computer with an account that has administrative privileges. (2) Try copying and pasting in the serial number and password to avoid any typos.
How can I select which module(s) are installed on each machine?
If you have multiple modules associated with a single order/serial number, but do not wish to install all the modules on a single computer, run a custom installation. During the installation process, select custom installation which will allow you to choose which module(s) you wish to install.
Can I move my QDS™ license from one computer to another?
To transfer your QDS license to a new machine, you should uninstall the software from the first machine prior to installing on the new machine. To uninstall, use the Windows Programs and Features | Uninstall a Program to remove QDS™. To install QDS™, use the original installation instructions. You will need your serial number and the installation password that was sent with the installation instructions. If you have lost the installation instructions, send your serial number and a request to have the installation instructions resent to QDS Sales (
Should I install the latest patch?
In order to ensure that your software includes all current fixes and updates, it is always a good idea to install the most current patch. Remember that you will need administrative privileges to install.
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Do you have an educational discount for the QDS™ Software?
No, there are no educational discounts; however, there are volume discounts. See pricing.
How can I find my serial number?
Your serial number can be found under Help | About for each QDS module. It is also listed on the upper right-hand corner of your invoice.
How do I know what version I am running?
You can find your QDS version under Help | About for each QDS module.

Design Studio

How do I fix the QDS™ error message: "There is no Data Element for the Subject ID variable SUBJECT?"
By default QDS requires a single unique identifier called SUBJECT. This means that QDS is looking for a data element with the variable name SUBJECT to exist somewhere in your survey. If the default variable name is acceptable for your survey, ensuring that a data element with this variable name exists in your survey will resolve the error. To change the variable name and/or add additional variables to your unique identifier (e.g., interview date or follow-up wave), go to Options|Interviews and select the Identifier tab. From here you may change the default variable name and/or add additional variables. If you do not want to include a Subject ID variable, you may blank out all variable names on the Identifier Variables tab. Keep in mind that if a survey has no defined identifier variable, every case will be marked as a duplicate when added to the Warehouse Manager.
View Help Information
Is there a way to automatically assign a Subject ID variable so that it does not have to be entered for each interview?
There is no way to have QDS automatically assign sequential IDs. However, you can create an automatically calculated subject identifier. Example:
1. Create an Automatic Variable called TODAY; type: Today's Date.
2. Create an Automatic Variable called TIME; type: Current Time.
3. Create an Automatic Variable called SUBJECT, type: String Expression.
4. Enter the following into the Numeric calculation/String Expression box:
The resulting Subject ID for an interview conducted on March 19, 2002 at 11:22 a.m. would be: 3/19/200211:22:12.
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How can I reduce the size of QDS™ specifications files (*.QDS)? (Why is my specifications file so large?)
By default, specifications files retain a history of all changes. This history allows users to undo changes and is used to create the Change History report. It is recommended that you periodically clear old history information from your file. This can be done by selecting File|Save a Copy As and checking the Discard Undo Information After Saving Copy option box. This action creates a copy of the specification, including all of its associated change history, and removes the historical information from your current file. If you are not interested in retaining any history information, go to File|Save a Copy As and check the Always Discard Undo Information Before Saving option box. These options can significantly reduce file size.
View Help Information
How do I copy survey items from one file to another or within the same file?
To copy items within the same Specifications file:
  1. Select the element(s) you would like to copy. (To select more than one element, click on the first element in the group, and while holding down the SHIFT Key, click on the last element in the group.)
  2. With the element(s) selected go to Edit|Copy;
  3. Select the Element just below where you would like the items inserted
  4. Go to Edit|Paste.
Your copied Element(s) will now be visible in the Element list. Remember that you may need to edit the variable names and other information to avoid creating duplicate items.

If you wish to copy Element(s) to a different QDS™ Specifications File, open both file(s) simultaneously within the Design Studio and follow the same steps described above for Copying Elements. You can toggle between files by using the Window Menu item (or by selecting one of the Tile options to display both windows). You can also use the Copy, Cut, Delete, and Paste Element(s) buttons on the Design Studio toolbar, or standard Windows shortcuts—i.e., Ctrl+C to copy, Ctrl+X to cut, the Delete button to delete, and Ctrl+V to paste.
How can I tell what the question numbering will be before building a paper questionnaire? How can I update the question numbering that is displayed within the Design Studio?
The Question Number box on each Data Element tab displays the question numbers that will be used when the paper survey is built. As you make changes, you will need to run the Validation step (Tools|Validate) to update the question numbers
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How can I override the QDS™ default question numbering? How do I number questions such as, 1, 2, 3a, 3b, 4, etc. for my paper questionnaire?
Although QDS™ assigns default question numbers, there are several methods you can use to override this function. A question number has 3 parts: Prefix, Integer, and Suffix. For example, for a question numbered A1a, the Prefix is A, the Integer component is 1, and the Suffix is a. The Integer component is determined automatically by QDS™ unless you override it with a Section Header Element or Format Element. Both the prefix and suffix are optional. The Prefix can be added using a Section Header Element. The Suffix can be entered in the Question Suffix box on the Data Element tab of the Data Element (the same tab where you enter the question text, variable name, etc.). You can also use the Increment Question Number Integer checkbox on the Data Element tab to force QDS to move to the next number in sequence. Once you have made adjustments to the question numbering using any of the methods listed above, you must run the validation step (Tools|Validate,) to view the updated question numbering.
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How do I include an Other-specify category to a pick-one or check-each type question?
There is not a specific Response Type for Other-Specify questions. Specify items are generally implemented by creating a text item that is only presented if the “other” category is selected. See the help link for detailed instructions.
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How do you label one or more of the points on a scale in addition to the endpoints?
To label intermediate points on a scale, use a Response Card to define the response labels; only include the numeric points that need labels.
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How can I enter a line break in my question text?
Use Ctrl+Enter to insert a line break in your question text.
What's the maximum number of questions QDS™ can handle?
As of Windows XP, there is no limit to the number of elements that can be included in a single instrument.
How can I set up a skip based on responses to a Check-Each question?
When you create a Data Element with a Nominal-Check-Each Response Type, your output data set will include a set of variables--one for each choice and one for the total number of checked responses. The count variable will use the variable name entered on the Data Element tab (e.g., VAR), and the choice variables will be the count variable name plus the suffix from the response set definitions (e.g., VARA, VARB, VARC, etc.).
View Help Information
How can I put the number of choices selected in a Check-Each question into another question on an Automated Interview? How can I include the selected responses from a Check-Each question in another question?
When you use a substitution token to display the response to a previous item, QDS always uses the display value (rather than the numeric value) for the item. For example, for a check-one item, QDS would display the item label, rather than the numeric value associated with that item. In general, this is what you want. However, the display value for the count variable for a check-each item is a string of 1s and 0s corresponding to the items that were checked. To display the number of items that were checked, you will need to create an Automatic Variable. The Automatic Variable settings should be as follows:
Type of Data: Numeric Calculation
Numeric Calculation box: VAR where VAR is the variable name for the Check-Each question.

To display a list of checked items in a question, create an automatic variable to concatenate the responses for each checked item.
How can I create an automatic variable to calculate the respondent’s age?
To calculate the respondent's age, create an Automatic Variable with the following specifications:
Type of Data: Numeric Calculation
Numeric Calculation box: AGE(DOB,DATE) where AGE() is a built in QDS function for calculating age, DOB is a date variable used to collect the date of birth, and DATE is a date element used to collect the date at which the age should be calculated (most commonly, this is an automatic variable of type "Today’s Date").
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How do I create a skip based on a question response that was Refused, Don't Know, Not Applicable, Skipped, or Missing?
To test for a variable with a value of Don’t Know, Refused, Not Applicable, Skipped, or Missing, you can use the following aliases, rather than testing for the numeric values: Don’t Know = .DK,Refused = .REF,Not Applicable = .NA,Skipped = .SK, and Missing = .
For example, to test if a variable (VAR) was equal to Don’t Know or Refused, the following test can be used: VAR = .DK or VAR = .REF
View Help Information
How can I skip over questions in a Table for a particular category?
By default, QDS will ask all questions for each Category. If you would like to skip certain questions for one or more categories, this can be specified on the Data Element Applicability tab. You may specify that a given question be applicable for all questions except the one(s) listed, or that it be applicable only for the question(s) listed. (For assistance remembering which suffix is associated with each category, go to Tools|Table Categories while on the Applicability tab and with the mouse in the appropriate listbox; clicking a category will add it to the current list.)  You should only use the Include *or* exclude listbox.
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Can I use a Marker in a table?
You cannot insert a Marker Element inside a table. You can designate a special Marker named NEXTCAT within a table for your skip destination. A skip to the NEXTCAT marker will move the respondent to the first element of the next category. You can designate a skip to a Marker Element outside the Table, as long as the Marker is the first Element after the end of the Table.
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How do I enter long category labels for Table questions?
You cannot increase the maximum length (40 characters) of the Text (&TXT) substitute box. However, you can use the &TXT and &ALT fields together to create one long label. Continue your text from the &TXT field to the &ALT field. For example:

&TXT: Welfare/Food Stamps/Aid to Dependent
&ALT: Children

The appropriate substitution reference in the question text will then be &TXT&ALT, e.g.: "Have you received any income from &TXT&ALT?" This will appear as: "Have you received any income from Welfare/Food Stamps/Aid to Dependent Children?"
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Which types of elements can be used within a table.
The only Element types allowed within a Table are Data Elements (except Check-Each Response Type), Skip Elements, and Automatic Variable Elements. Check-Each Data Elements cannot be used within a table; a workaround for this limitation is to replace the desired check-each question with a series of Yes/No items.
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How can I add an image to my interview?
Images can be added to Data and Information elements in the Design Studio and can be displayed by the CAPI, ACASI, and HAPI interview modules. Several image formats are supported, including BMP, JPG, PNG, and GIF. For QDS-Web, images can currently be added via custom request to your QDS-Web sales representative. Future versions will allow users to add images to your Web survey in the Design Studio.
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Can I have images on response buttons?
Yes, you can use the graphics software of your choice to create new response buttons. Response buttons must be bitmap (.bmp) files. Refer to the help link below for detailed instructions.
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Can I open another program or website during an interview?
You may use an Edit element to open a file or website using the resolution option "Link to File/URL". Linked files must reside on the interview computer. QDS-Web only supports linking to another website.
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How do I record the starting and ending date and time for my survey?
You can use Automatic Variables to store the current date and time (based on the computer’s system date). These data are always stored in the interview Meta Data and can be exported with the Access relational database export option. 
View Help Information
Is there a way to display responses from a previous question in question text or responses?
QDS allows the use of substitution tokens to insert values from previous data items. For example, entering &[VAR] in your question text inserts the display value for the VAR variable. Substitution tokens may be used in the question text, edit element message, and response option text.
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How do I change or translate system keywords, such as "Refused" or "Next Question"?
System keywords can be translated via the Language | Translations menu. You can also modify the default keyword text for English by editing the text displayed for the English keywords (e.g., if you choose to use the word “Decline” instead of "Refused").
View Help Information
Can QDS™ be used with Vietnamese?
Vietnamese is a special case because it uses characters from the ANSI Vietnamese character set (or script) and the ANSI Latin character set. To enter Vietnamese text, you need to type directly into QDS™ using the Vietnamese keyboard that's installed automatically with Windows. If you are using Windows XP, you can enter text into WordPad XP for Windows and copy and paste the text into QDS. Alternately, you can do a search and replace for the characters that do not translate correctly when copied from Word. For example, To create õ or ã, type an "o" and then Shift-7 or an "a" and then Shift-7. To create ò or ì, press "o" and then shift-5 or "a" and then Shift-5. To create ý, press “y” and then Shift-8.


How secure is my data? How can I make it more secure?
There are five encryption levels available within QDS: no encryption, default encryption, read password, modify password, and key exchange. See the help link for details on each security option.
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What do I need to consider if I am using encryption passwords for my interviews?
If an encryption password has been set, the password must be entered before conducting a QDS interview. Once entered, the current user account is authorized; if interviews are conducted under multiple user accounts, the password will be required the first time the interview is conducted for each account. In order to insure that your QDS passwords remain valid after resetting your Windows password, it is important that you reset your password by entering Ctrl-Alt-Del (and then supply both the old and new passwords). If a Windows password is changed in a different manner (e.g., by a password reset), it may block access to any existing encryption containers and disallow you from installing the Read Password. Contact for further assistance.
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Are there any special considerations for using Key Encryption?
In addition to password requirements, key exchange encryption requires that the data manager append their personal public key (based upon Windows login account information) to each control file in the Warehouse Manager. Data files collected with key exchange encryption are initially saved with a .QED extension which are then renamed to a .QAD extension once decrypted in the Warehouse Manager. It is crucial to always have more than one user add their public key to the control file and always back-up the Key Pair in case a Windows user profile is ever damaged or destroyed. If key pairs are unavailable or lost, it will NOT be possible for the files to be decrypted by you or NOVA.
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How can I recover a lost password?
It is not possible to recover a lost Read or Modify password; therefore it is important that you always keep a separate record of your Password. If the password is lost, it will not be possible for the files to be decrypted by you or NOVA. Lost exit passwords are accessible via the Design Studio Build Option; i.e., go to the same screen where the password was originally set.
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How can I resolve the following error: "Cannot open Bitmap File C:\ProgramData\NOVA Research\QDS\#.#\Bitmap32\En\Keyed or Plain\Male-U.BMP. The standard QDS™ bitmap will be substituted."?
This is the path where the default installation saves the QDS bitmaps. If you have saved your bitmaps elsewhere, you will need to update the location information using the Build options. If you do not change the options, QDS™ will use the default buttons. 
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How can I interrupt or exit an ACASI or CAPI interview before it is complete?
For CAPI, use the menu option Interview|End Interview or Interview|Exit, or the keyboard shortcut Alt-F4. For ACASI, use Alt+F4 to exit an interview where keyboard input is allowed. Note: On devices without a standalone Alt key, it may be necessary to enter Fn+Alt+F4. When keyboard input has been disabled, move the mouse pointer to the upper left corner of the screen and simultaneously click the left and right mouse buttons. On a touch tablet with no keyboard or mouse, press and hold in the upper left corner of the screen.
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Can I resume an ACASI or CAPI interview that was interrupted before it was complete?
Yes, as long as the data file is available to QDS, you can resume an interrupted interview, by selecting “Resume a prior interview” from the Open Dialog box. You will return to the screen in the interview where you left off. See the help link below for detailed instructions.
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How do I resolve the following error message: 'Attempting to recover damaged interview file…QDS™ was not able to recover any usable information. Discard file X?' when attempting to add an interview file to the Warehouse Manager. What is the problem?
If the CAPI or ACASI program is not properly shut down before the interview is saved -- e.g., if the computer shut down unexpectedly, or the program was exited using Ctrl-Alt-Del or the Task Manager -- the interview file can become damaged. If you receive this message, first attempt to resume and save the interview; the CAPI/ACASI program is often able to repair a damaged file. If the file is not able to be recovered, contact QDS Technical Support ( for further assistance.
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Can I prevent a respondent from returning to previous questions in the interview?
Yes, you can do this with Format Element settings in the Design Studio. On the Format Element tab, select the option to "Disable Previous Question button on next data element". The Previous Question button will be disabled on the next Data Element as well as on any intervening Information Elements.
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Can I change how my CAPI/ACASI screen looks?
Under CAPI/ACASI Build Option, Appearance Tab, you may change the space allotted for questions, shape of standard buttons, fonts and choose whether or not to show question numbering.
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How can I add color to my ACASI/CAPI screens? 
Under CAPI/ACASI Colors Build Option, the color for screen text and backgrounds can be changed and an image may be added for the main window background.
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Can I change the CAPI/ACASI screen display for just a portion of an interview?
Some CAPI/ACASI screen settings may be changed for a portion of an interview with a Format Element, including some colors, size of question text box and buttons. Each Format Element setting will be in effect from that point forward in the interview. See the help link below for detailed instructions.
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I don't want to display disallowed special codes. How can I remove the Don't Know and Refused to Answer buttons from my ACASI interview screen?
Disallowed buttons can be hidden by enabling the Hide disallowed special response buttons CAPI/ACASI Operations Build Option.
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How do I make the question box larger in an Automated Interview?
You can change the space allotted for question text for the entire interview using the CAPI/ACASI Appearance Build Options. See the help link below for detailed instructions.
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Can I make the question box larger for just one question?
You can change the question text box size or button size for just portions of an interview using Format Elements. Each Format Element setting will be in effect from that point forward in the interview. See the help link below for detailed instructions.
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Can you display question numbers onscreen during an Automated Interview?
You can control the display of question numbers by enabling/disabling the Show Question Numbers CAPI/ACASI Appearance Build Option.
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Can you display more than one question on a single screen in a CAPI or ACASI interview?
No. QDS™ allows only one question/response per screen.
I added all new language translations but the text on the yes/no and male/female buttons does not change? How can I change those?
The standard Yes/No and Male/Female buttons included with QDS are image files. So, it is necessary to create new image bitmap files for additional languages. Buttons for Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, or Ukrainian are available for download from our QDS™ Resources Page. If you prefer not to have to create new buttons, consider the use of a Nominal - Pick One response. Because this response type uses text buttons, it is able to use the keyword translations. See the help link(s) for more information.
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How do you remove the keyboard from the screen?
To remove the keyboard, go to Translations from the Language menu. Select your language and then the Edit Button. On both the Keyboard and Alt Keyboard Tabs, blank out the English characters that appear there by default. Click OK. The keyboard will now be removed from ACASI and CAPI screens.
Is there a way to skip, or opt out of, a question without giving the interviewee Don't Know, Refused, or Not Applicable options?
It is not possible to 'skip' a question; however, it is possible to hide and restrict access to the Refused button. To add this option to your survey, enable the Restrict use of “Refuse to Answer” ACASI Operations Build Option. When this option is enabled the Refused option can only be selected by simultaneously clicking the left and right mouse buttons in the upper right corner of the ACASI screen. Tablet users will be able to activate this function with a press and hold in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
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What should I do if I receive the following error message: "Cannot write to the audio script file" when attempting to build ACASI?
This error will occur if you attempt to build an ACASI Application when you already have the Script file from a previous build open on your computer. Close the open file before attempting to re-build your ACASI application.
How can I use the keyboard in an ACASI interview?
By default, the keyboard is disabled in an ACASI interview. To enable the keyboard, you will need to enable the “Support Keyboard Input” option in the ACASI Operations Build Options.
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Is there a way to shorten the pause between questions?
The amount of time between questions can be adjusted using the Pause between screens CAPI/ACASI Operations Build Option. The default setting is 500 ms.
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Using Audio

How do I make my entire interview "audio interruptible" if I did not when I first created my survey?
From within the Design Studio, go to Options | Data Defaults from the main menu. Next, go to the Data Elements tab, check the Audio Interruptible box and Click OK. At this point, any NEW elements will default to Audio Interruptible. To apply to this to existing elements: Go to Tools | Global Changes. Check the Audio Interruptible box and Click OK.

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How do I set up human recorded WAV files for an ACASI Interview?
QDS requires that recorded audio files are formatted as 8-bit or 16-bit waveform (.wav) audio files. Other audio file formats (e.g., 32-bit WAV file or MP3) will not work. Audio files cannot be generated within QDS; you may use any software you choose as long as it is able to save your audio in the required format. All Audio Files must be located in the same directory on all machines that will be administering the ACASI survey. See the help link for more information.
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Is it possible to change the speed or other settings used by the computer-generated voice?
You can control many aspects of the AT&T Natural Voices with SSML (Speech Synthesis Markup Language), an XML-based markup language. For example, you can instruct it to ignore the capitalization of words; or change the rate, voice, or volume.
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How do you select different computer-generated voices?
Computer voices can be selected using ACASI Audio Build Options. To view voices currently installed on the interview computer, go to Tools | List Text-to-speech Voices in the ACASI module. AT&T Natural Voices that come with the ACASI module are downloaded and installed separately from the QDS install page. Any other SAPI 5-compliant speech engine installed on the interview computer may also be entered in Design Studio Audio Build Options.
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How can I correct the way the text-to-speech engine is reading a specific word?
In general, AT&T Natural Voices will pronounce words correctly; however, occasionally you may need to change the way the speech engine pronounces a word. This can be done using the Custom Dictionary Editor (QCE) utility program installed with QDS ACASI.
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How do I tell QDS™ to read the response choices during an ACASI interview?
To have the Text-to-Speech engine read the response options, enable the “Read Choices” ACASI Audio Build Option.
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Data Files

I cannot find my data file. Where are my data?
QDS data files are always saved in the same folder as your control file.

By default, every time a new interview is administered, QDS™ will append the new data to the end of an existing data file. If no data file exists, a new data file will be created. Using this method, it is recommended that you rename your data file (e.g. adding the backup date to the file name) and back it up on a regular basis.

For v4.0 and higher: If the Unique data file for each interview option is checked on the CAPI or ACASI Build Options, Operation tab, each CAPI or ACASI interview is saved in a separate .QAD file. The file name format is:
I have a ".log" file at the end of each CAPI or ACASI interview that is empty. What is this?
Every time you conduct a CAPI or ACASI interview a .log file is created and saved in the same folder as the control file. If any interviewer comments were entered during the interview, they will be included in the .log file. If no comments were added during the interview, the file will be 'empty'. It is not possible to 'turn off' the log file.
Is there a size limit for QDS™ (*.QAD) data files?
The Warehouse Manager will display an error message if a data file is over 2047 MB. We recommend keeping your data in separate files by renaming your .QAD after every 100 interviews or at the end of every week and then backing up the files.
What do I do if I get a message indicating "Attempting to recover damaged interview file"? Why does this happen?
If an interview is improperly closed or the computer shut down during an interview, the data file may be left in a corrupted state. To recover a damaged file, first attempt to recover the file by resuming the interview and closing the file properly (i.e., via File | Exit Interview or Alt+F4).

For v4.0 and higher: When you attempt to begin a new interview, CAPI or ACASI will display a message with three choices 1) Resume Interview (continues the interrupted interview to repair the data file), 2) Discard Interview (asks for confirmation and then deletes the previous incomplete interview if you confirm), 3) Cancel (exits CAPI or ACASI without making a change to the data file).

If you are unable to resume the interview, you may send the damaged file to QDS Technical support at and we will attempt to recover your data.

To prevent improper shutdown:
  • Do not close CAPI or ACASI using Ctrl+Alt+Del key combination or the Windows Task Manager.
  • Always make certain to keep laptop, tablet or other interview device sufficiently charged during interviews.
  • Do not leave laptop, tablet or other interview device unattended for long periods of time during an interview, as it could enter "sleep" mode resulting in an improper termination.
  • Do not keep Control Files on a shared, network, or cloud drive; if the network connection is interrupted during an interview, this can result in an improper termination.

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How can you skip a question in QDS-Web™?
Respondents may not skip a question. With this in mind, survey designers may wish to enable Don't Know, Refused, and/or Not Applicable so respondents can continue if they prefer not to answer a specific item. Text of the Special code responses in the Design Studio may be changed under Language Translations (e.g. to change “Refused” to “Decline to Answer”). See FAQ: "How do I change or translate system keywords, such as "Refused" or "Next Question"?".

Data Entry

When adding new interviews with the Data Entry program, I got the message: "The QDE Control File Interview DE.QDE does not match the specifications used to collect the interviews on file Interview DE.QPD." What does that mean?
All interviews in a single data entry data file (e.g., Interview DE.QPD) must correspond to the same version of the questionnaire. Every time QDS builds a new control file a new version number is assigned. Therefore, whenever you rebuild the control file, you should assign a new batch number to start a new data file.
How can you display a list of possible response options in Data Entry?
To view and/or select response codes go to Code|Show List and click the Code List toolbar button, or use the predefined Function Key (Default=F7). Click on the appropriate code value to enter it and return to Data Entry, or click Escape to return to Data Entry without selecting a value. To always have the Code Box displayed, check the "Display all code values" box under Data Entry Build Options.
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How do I tell the QDS™ Data Entry Module to allow missing values?
To allow missing values, enable the Allow a Missing Value for all non-ID fields option Data Entry Build Option.
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How can I enter a missing value in Data Entry?
In Data Entry, enter a missing value by going to Code|Missing, clicking the Missing toolbar button, or entering a [.]. A value of [.] will be recorded for missing values in your data file. Note that this command/button will be enabled only if the option to allow missing values was set under Data Entry Build Options.
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How do you conduct double-blinded key verification for data entry?
On the Open Data Entry dialog box, select the Verify Prior Interviews radio button. In this verification mode, the original responses are not displayed-except for text responses, which can be edited. Data entry personnel must reenter data in the same ID order as in the original keying; they will be prompted to reenter a response if the verification response does not match the first response. QDS™ generates a log detailing any discrepancies between the original data entry and the verification.
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How do I create a partnership with ActiveSync?
Before you create the partnership, it's generally a good idea to define a device ID for your Pocket PC. From the Pocket PC, select Start | Settings and then tap the System tab. Next, tap About then the Device ID tab. Next, enter a unique name in Device name. Then, tap ok.

To create the partnership, place the device in its cradle. ActiveSync will automatically detect the device and launch the New Partnership wizard. Follow the instructions on the screen. When presented with the Select Synchronization Settings screen, be sure to check the Files item. When the wizard is finished, ActiveSync will automatically create a file synchronization folder on your desktop named …\ My Documents. QDS™ control and data files will reside in the Qdsv2 subfolder within this folder.
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Where do I load the HAPI™ interview control file so that I can begin the interview process?
The control file should be copied to the "Qdsv2" subfolder within your Pocket PC's synchronization folder. If you don't know where to locate the synchronization folder, launch Microsoft ActiveSync on your desktop computer. From the menu, select Tools | Options to open the Options dialog box. Next, highlight Files on the list box and select the Settings... button. This will open the File Synchronization Settings box. This dialog displays the full path of the synchronization folder. Files in this folder will be synchronized with the "My Documents" folder on your Pocket PC.

This folder should contain a subfolder named, "Qdsv2". However, if the Pocket PC device was not in its cradle during installation of QDS, this folder will be missing. If this is the case, you can create it manually by using Windows Explorer and selecting File | New | Folder from the menu.
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I keep getting an error message, "Synchronization finished. N unresolved items," from ActiveSync. What can I do to avoid this?
To clear this error condition, you can try one or all of the following strategies: (1) Remove the Pocket PC from the cradle and then re-insert. Sometimes this clears the problem. (2) Make sure that the handheld is not still running an interview. From the device, start HAPI™. If the screen displays the "QDS™ HAPI" picture, the last interview has completed. However, if you see a question or information screen, then an interview is still in progress. Tap Interview | End to save the interview with a status of "Incomplete". (3) Try terminating HAPI™. First, select Start | Settings and then the System tab. Next, tap Memory. Next, tap Running Programs. Then, tap QDS™ HAPI™. Then, tap Stop.

After doing one or all of these steps, go back to ActiveSync and select Resolve items. ActiveSync should be able to complete file synchronization at this point.
I’m trying to enter a numeric response in Transcriber mode but the program keeps beeping—what am I doing wrong?
If you are having trouble inputting numbers, try changing Transcriber's Recognition mode to numeric. Modify the mode via the command bar at the bottom of the screen. Tap on the icon second from the left and scroll through the options—a for all symbols, A for upper case letters, and 12 for numbers. Selecting the number option usually makes it easier for Transcriber to correctly recognize numbers.
When I tap on the "x" on the top right corner, the program disappears but continues to run in the background. How do I terminate the program?
Tapping on the "x" minimizes HAPI™ but doesn't terminate the program. If you need to stop HAPI™, you have two options: (1) Using Keyboard input mode, tap Ctrl+Q (2) Select Start | Settings, select the System tab, tap Memory, and go to the Running Programs tab. Finally, highlight QDS™ HAPI™ and tap Stop.
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Warehouse Manager

I cannot locate all of my Data Elements in the Warehouse Manager. Are they there?
Some QDS response types are associated with multiple variables—for example, date elements include a full date variable and separate component variables for the month, day, and/or year. In these cases, the “base” variable is listed in sequence (i.e., in the order in which it was collected in the survey), and the additional “component” variables appear at the end of the dataset. Other multi-variables response types include: time, time span, check-each, and ranking items.
My check-each type questions list a single number for Numeric Code and a string of '0's and '1's for the Display Value. What does this mean?
Check-each data elements have multiple variables associated with them. The “main” variable (the one with the variable name matching the one entered on the Data Element tab) has a numeric value that reflects how many items were checked and a display value showing a string of 1s and 0s indicating which item(s) were checked.
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How can I update a date, check-each, ranking, time span, or time of day type response in the Warehouse Manager?
Updates to multivariable response types need to be made to the component variable(s) which are located at the end of the variable listing in the Warehouse Manager.
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What does "deleting <##> bytes" mean when adding interviews into the warehouse manager?
Typically this message indicated that QDS™ is discarding unneeded bytes from the data file and does not indicate a problem with the data.
How do I export the Interview Start Time and End Time variables from the Warehouse Manager?
Interview Start and End times are always saved as part of the data file and are included in the MS Access Relational database format. The Interview Table includes characteristics for each collected interview (Start Time, End Time, Subject ID, Language, etc.) To save start and end times as variables in your dataset (that will be included in all export files), create Automatic Variables of types Today's Date and Current Time at the beginning and end of your Design Studio file.
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Can you change the values for Don't Know, Refused, Not Applicable and/or Skipped when exporting data?
Special code values can be changed via the file export options. During the export process—after selecting File | Export Interviews and selecting the type of export file—select the Options button on the lower right hand side of the box and select the appropriate option from the Recode To box.
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Can you export a subset of variables from the Warehouse Manager?
Yes. To define a subset of variables for export, go to View | Versions | Details, go to the Variables tab and select the desired variables. To export using a defined subset, go to File | Export interviews and select the desired subset.
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Can you export a subset of interviews from the Warehouse Manager?
No, all standard version interviews are exported every time.
Why aren’t all of my cases being exported?
Only Standard version cases—or cases that have been converted to the standard version—are included in Warehouse Manager exports. Nonstandard-version cases must be converted to the Standard Version before they will be included in the export.
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Can I reduce the size of my Warehouse file?
Running File | Save and Compact can sometimes reduce the file size. QDS™ will save the file under the same name. Files that have undergone significant editing, version reconciliation, and conversion will experience the greatest reduction in size. Removing deleted cases is another way to reduce file size. QDS™ default settings specify that deleted cases will only be removed from the file when they exceed 50% of the total file size. This setting can be modified by selecting View | Options and changing the Remove Deleted Interviews When… settings. Setting the percentage to 0 (zero) will result in deleted interviews always being removed during the Save process.
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