What does Validation Error mean and can I edit this message?

When creating a question that asks for open-ended comments, you can validate the type of text that is accepted.

If the respondent's answer does not meet the requirement set by the validation, then this error will appear above the question. The respondent cannot progress to the next page. It is a best practice to edit the error message to reflect what is expected of the answer.


Default Error Messages: 

There are several places within the question editor where we provide default error messages. For example:

  • When setting the Require Answer to Question feature, the default error message provided is "This question requires an answer." 
  • When creating a Numerical Textboxes question, the default error message provided is, "Please enter a positive number."
  • When using the Add Comment Field option, the default error message provided is "The comment you entered is in an invalid format." 

Example with a Text Validation:

You create a question asking for the respondent to enter an email address and set the Text Validation of "must be an email address". If you leave the default error message of "The comment you entered is in an invalid format", your respondent may not understand what this means. It is best to edit the error message so your respondents know what is expected of the answer.

For example, you could edit the default error message to indicate this: "Please enter your comment in an email format: myemail@myaddress.com


How to Edit the Validation Error Message: 

When you are in the Design mode of the survey, click the [Edit] button associated with the question. This opens the question text editor, and you will see the box to edit the default error message.

  • If applying the Required to Answer feature, this will be located in that section.
  • If using the Add a Comment Field option, this will be located under the Text Validation section of that feature.

Click the [Save Changes] button when you are finished.