User Manual


PollCat Surveys Lite (PSL) lets you build and edit surveys with an easy-to-use, browser-independent interface. When your survey is complete, you can publish your finished survey to the web with a single click. PollCat will host your survey on the PollCat website and provide you with responses and tallies.

PSL is a companion to PollCat Surveys Pro, an advanced, graphical tool for authoring and managing multiple surveys. It augments PSL with many additional features.

PollCat Surveys Lite is available at

Contents of this File:

BCreating Surveys
CTracking Results, Creating More Surveys, and Advanced/Premium Features
DSupport and Feedback

Section A: Basics

This section describes in detail the navigation features of PollCat Surveys Lite. If you are in a hurry, jump to Section B to learn about creating surveys.

Navigation Bar
The buttons on the Navigation Bar (on the left side of the screen) change based on where you are in the program. When you use PSL for the first time, you will only see a single button, referring to the Question Builder. Once you save your first question, more buttons will appear that will allow you to manage your questions and publish your survey. Once you log into the system (either from the PollCat home page or by publishing your survey), more options will appear - these will let you manage multiple published and unpublished surveys.

Here are the navigation buttons and their functions:

My Surveys Jump to summary screen with links to published surveys, work in progress, PollCat Surveys Pro and logout.
Work in Progress Jump to Work In Progress screen showing all of the draft surveys in your collection.
Published Surveys Jump to Published Surveys screen showing all of the surveys you have published to the web.
Question Builder Jump to the Question Builder to build surveys
Survey Features Format your survey and specify other options
Publish to the Internet Put your survey on the web

Tool Bar

At the top of most PSL pages you will find the Tool Bar. The buttons on the Tool Bar perform the actions shown below:

Save Save your current work, stay on the current page. This is useful if you wish to reorder or delete Questions or Answer lines - it refreshes the screen based on your input.
Preview Survey Save your current work, and display the survey input form as your respondents will see it
One-Click Publish Save your survey to the web, making it immediately available for your respondents. Note that a published survey cannot be modified using PSL!

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Section B: Creating Surveys

Step One: Question Builder

The Question Builder is PSL's easy-to-use interface for you to enter the questions you wish to ask on your survey. You will arrive at the Question Builder when you click "Create a Survey Now" from the PollCat web site.

Question Navigator:
Above the tool bar you will find the Question Navigator. Choosing a number from this list of hyperlinks allows you to jump quickly from question to question within your survey. (Note that your work will not be saved when you click on these links!)

Tool Bar:
The Tool Bar shows these additional buttons when you are in the Question Builder.

Copy Question Save your current work, duplicate the question as a new question
Next Question Save your current work, proceed to add a new question
Delete Question Delete the current question from the survey

Question Entry:

A question can have one of four answer styles:

Multiple Choice - choices show next to radio buttons allowing the respondent to choose one of many responses
Select All That Apply - choices show next to check boxes allowing the respondent to choose several responses
Single Answer Drop Down- choices show in a drop down combo box, allowing the respondent to choose only one of the options
Rating Choice or Scale- choices show above a line of radio buttons, allowing the respondent to rate the question with single selection
Short Free-Form Text -single-line field(s) for unlimited free text entry
Long Free-Form Text - mutiple-line field(s) for unlimited free text entry

Type in your question text (HTML is OK), then type in your response options. You must have at least one response option, even for free-form answer types. (e.g., your question text could be "Address", the answer style could be "Short Free-Form Text", and your answer text boxes could read "Address Line 1", "Address Line 2", "City", "State", "Zip Code").

Five answer text fields are shown as a default - any fields that are left blank at the end of the list will not be used or displayed in your finished survey. If you need more boxes, choose the quantity that you need from the drop-down box under the list of options, then click Save - the screen will refresh with the appropriate number of fields for your options.

If you need to re-order your options, you can do so easily (after saving a question for the first time). Type the new order sequence into the Order fields to the left of the response option text fields. When you click Save, the list will be re-ordered.

Next, if you wish, you may make a response to the question mandatory, by selecting the Answer Required check box.

If this question's answer style is "multiple choice" or "select all that apply", you may wish to permit respondents to enter their own response even if you have not listed it among the options. Mark the Treat Last Option as 'Other' check box if this is the case.

What Next?
In the "Where do I go from here" section of the Question Builder, you will find four next steps that you can choose from.
Click Next Question to begin composing a new question
Click Next Step to give your survey a title, footer and other features on the Survey Features page
Click Preview to see how your survey will look to your respondents
Click Publish to Web Now to publish your survey on the web with a single click. (Note that you cannot change a survey once it is published. You can, using PollCat Surveys Pro, copy a published survey to create a new draft survey)

Step Two: Survey Features

The Survey Features screen lets you:

  • give your survey a title, footer and color scheme
  • show your respondents how other people responded to your survey
  • specify a web page to which your respondents will be sent after taking your survey
  • choose how often you want email notification for your survey

Under Survey Title, specify a title for your survey so that you will know what the survey is about. This title will appear at the top of the survey. Note that you can use HTML in the survey title.

Under Survey Objective, you may wish to write instructions for your respondents.

Under Survey Footer, you can specify text that will appear at the bottom of your survey page.

(Note that HTML works in each of the above three fields.)

You may wish to have a respondent sent back to your web site after creating a survey. Put any URL you wish in the Redirect Page field to send the respondent there when you are done.

PollCat Surveys Lite supports instant tallies of reports for both authors and respondents. To show respondents a tally report complete with a graph of survey results, check the Instant Reports check box.

PollCat also provides automatic email notification for authors. If you want to be notified every time someone completes your survey, type the number 1 in the Email Alerts input box. If you wish to be notified every 10 responses, type the number 10. If you do not want email notifications, leave the box set to zero.

PollCat Surveys Lite offers six default Color Schemes. Choose one from the display on the Survey Features page.

Special Note:
On the toolbar, you will see the Manage Questions tool. This link takes you to a page where you can manage the sequence of questions and/or delete questions from your survey.

If you need to re-order your questions, click on Manage Questions, then type the new order sequence into the "Order" fields to the left of the question text fields. When you click Save, the list will be re-ordered. Similarly if you need to delete a question, mark the delete check box then click Save.

What Next?

In the "Where do I go from here" section of the Survey Features page, you will find four next steps that you can choose from.
Click "Next Step" to go to the Publish Survey page.
Click "Preview" to see how your survey will look to your respondents
Click "Publish" to publish your survey on the web with a single click. (Note that you cannot change a survey once it is published in PSL.)
Click "Previous Step" to return to the Question Builder.

Step Three: Publish

From the Publish Survey page, you can preview your survey, return to Survey Features or the Question Builder, or Publish your survey to the Internet. Note that once you publish, you cannot alter your survey structure.

When you publish, PSL asks for your email address and password if you haven't logged in. A URL for your survey will be emailed to you so that you can post it on your web site or forward it in email to your respondents. PSL keeps your email address and password on file so that you can log in, create and publish more surveys, and track and review survey responses.

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Section C: Tracking Results, Creating More Surveys, and Advanced/Premium Features

The My Surveys page provides several links for you to manage your surveys:

Create New Survey Start a new survey in the Question Builder
Work in Progress Show surveys that have not been published and may be edited or published
Published Surveys Show surveys that have been published, with links to tally result reports. You can also update email notification frequency and the availability of instant reports to survey respondents from this page.
Extra Features Access premium features of PollCat Surveys, including removing the PollCat logo from your published surveys.
PollCat Pro Mode Enter PollCat Surveys Pro, an advanced tool that offers additional features such as multi-page, multi-section surveys, additional answer types, ability to edit survey text after publication, and much more. Requires MS Internet Explorer 4.01 or later.
My Account Info Show basic information about your PollCat Surveys account.
Log Out Log out of PollCat Surveys Lite and return to PollCat home page.

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Section D: Support and Feedback

PollCat Surveys Lite and PollCat Surveys Pro are provided "as-is". Support is available at out Support and Feedback page. Feedback and enhancement requests are also welcome via e-mail.

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