BackGround (Questionnaire Files)


Display an image or HTML file (or URL) in the background as the current item is presented.


Any image file with a .bmp, .jpg, or .gif extension, or any HTML or URL.


In questionnaires, the item types that support background images are:



Image files


Multiple Response


Scale Response

Sound files



If you would like an image, HTML file or web page to be displayed in the background simply type in the name of the file in this field. If you want to present an image or HTML file by itself, simply use the Image or HTML item type.

Important Note

If you want to display an HTML file or URL as a background image you MUST specify the size and location of the area in which you want it displayed. This is because the browser display area will cover and hide most other items that it overlaps so it's very important to specify the area in which you want it (see below under Advanced Hints). To do this, use the top (t), left (l), height (h), and width (w) parameters. For example, if you have some specially formatted instructions in an HTML file (named "instructions.htm) that you want to use for a scale response, you could you could type

instructions.htm (t50,l50,w400,h150)

in the BackGround field for that item. This defines an area for the HTML to appear that will not cover the buttons and labels of the scale response.

Advanced Hints

You can specify the location of the background image in the same way as you do for a primary image using parameter values. This can be useful if you want to present two images (one as the main, and one as the background), or to present an image at the same time as a question item (e.g., to get judgments of the image). To specify the location of the background image, use the top and left parameters in parentheses after the file name. For example, typing

myimage.bmp (t50,l200)

in the Background field will place the background image named "myimage.bmp" 50 pixels from the top and 200 pixel from the left.

If you want to present images within HTML, Word or Word Perfect documents, you can simply insert them into the HTML, Word, or WordPerfect files themselves, respectively.

Inserting some HTML with pop-up links in your background can allow your participants to click a link on the question page to see a message, helpful hints, instructions, translations, or any other text elaboration.