Create New Variables - Combine Questions as a Grid

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This tool combines several Pick Any questions into a Pick Any - Grid question, or several Number - Multi questions into a Number - GridBinary - Multi variable sets into a Binary - Grid variable set, or several Numeric - Multi variable sets in to a Numeric grid variable set. This can be used to combine data from aided/unaided awareness questionsvariable sets, or when questionsvariable sets from a grid have been stored in the data file without appropriate labelling.

When the script runs you will be asked to select the questionsvariable sets to combine and a name for the new questionvariable set. The questionsvariable sets that you select should all have the same set of variable labels in the same order.


  1. Run this option from Automate > Browse Online Library.
  2. Select the questions you wish to combine.
  3. Choose a name for the new grid question.
  1. Select two or more Binary - Multi or Numeric - Multi variable sets under Data Sets.
  2. Select Anything > Data > Variables > New > Ready-Made New Variables > Combine Variable Sets as a Grid.


In this example two Awareness questionsvariable sets are combined into a grid. Note that the two input questionsvariable sets have identical labels.


Technical details

This tool derives appropriate labels by adding the namevariable set name to the existing variable labels. It is usually better to ask your data provider to set up the labels in your file so that the grid structure can be automatically determined when you import the data, and the recommended specifications are linked here.

How to apply this QScript

  • Start typing the name of the QScript into the Search features and data box in the top right of the Q window.
  • Click on the QScript when it appears in the QScripts and Rules section of the search results.


  • Select Automate > Browse Online Library.
  • Select this QScript from the list.

Customizing the QScript

This QScript is written in JavaScript and can be customized by copying and modifying the JavaScript.

Customizing QScripts in Q4.11 and more recent versions

  • Start typing the name of the QScript into the Search features and data box in the top right of the Q window.
  • Hover your mouse over the QScript when it appears in the QScripts and Rules section of the search results.
  • Press Edit a Copy (bottom-left corner of the preview).
  • Modify the JavaScript (see QScripts for more detail on this).
  • Either:
    • Run the QScript, by pressing the blue triangle button.
    • Save the QScript and run it at a later time, using Automate > Run QScript (Macro) from File.

Customizing QScripts in older versions

  • Copy the JavaScript shown on this page.
  • Create a new text file, giving it a file extension of .QScript. See here for more information about how to do this.
  • Modify the JavaScript (see QScripts for more detail on this).
  • Run the file using Automate > Run QScript (Macro) from File.


includeWeb("QScript Selection Functions");
includeWeb("QScript Utility Functions");
includeWeb("QScript Functions to Generate Outputs");
includeWeb("QScript Value Attributes Functions");


function main() {

    const web_mode = inDisplayr();
    const allowed_types = ["Numeric - Multi", "Binary - Multi"];
    let selected_questions = selectInputQuestions(allowed_types);
    if (!selected_questions)
        return false;
    if (!areQuestionsValidAndNonEmpty(selected_questions))
        return false;
    if (selected_questions.length < 2) {
    	log("You must select at least 2 appropriate questions.");
    	return false;
    let data_file = getDataFileFromQuestions(selected_questions);
    if (!data_file)
        return false;

    // Make sure all are numeric or all are pick any
    const prop_name = web_mode ? "variableSetStructure" : "questionType"
    if (! (q) { return q[prop_name]; }).every(function (type) { return type == selected_questions[0][prop_name]; })) {
    	log("The selected " + (web_mode ? "variable sets" : "questions") + " have different " + (web_mode ? "structures" : "types") + " and cannot be combined.");
    	return false;

    const is_categorical = web_mode ? selected_questions[0].variableSetStructure == "Binary - Multi" : selected_questions[0].questionType == "Pick Any";

    // Check labels
    let all_labels = (q) { return (v) { return v.label; }); });
    // Check lengths
    if (!all_labels.every(function (label_array) { return label_array.length == all_labels[0].length; })) {
    	log(correctTerminology("The selected questions have different numbers of variables and cannot be combined."));
    	return false;
    // Check all sets equal
    function labelArraysEqual(array_1, array_2) {
    	let are_equal = true;
    	array_1.forEach(function (label, ind) {
    		if (label != array_2[ind])
    			are_equal = false;
    	return are_equal;
    if (!all_labels.every(function (label_array) { return labelArraysEqual(label_array, all_labels[0]); }) ) {
    	log(correctTerminology("The labels from these questions do not match, and so they cannot be combined."));
    	return false;

    // Copy variables and edit labels
    let new_vars = [];
    let last_var = null;
    try {
        selected_questions.forEach(function (q) {
             q.variables.forEach(function (v) {
                let q_below = data_file.getVariableByName(;
                let new_linked = preventDuplicateVariableName(data_file, 
                let new_var = data_file.newJavaScriptVariable(, false, new_linked,, q_below);
                new_var.label = + " - " + v.label;
    } catch(e)
        log("Could not create variable: " + e);
        return false;
    // Set question and create summary tables
    let new_name ={ return }).join(' + ');    
    if (!web_mode)
        new_name = prompt("Enter a name for the new grid question:", new_name);
    new_name = preventDuplicateQuestionName(data_file, new_name);
    let new_q = data_file.setQuestion(new_name, (is_categorical ? "Pick Any - Grid" : "Number - Grid"), new_vars);
    if (is_categorical) {
        setCountThisValueForVariablesInQuestion(new_q, 1, true);
        new_q.needsCheckValuesToCount = false

    if (!web_mode)
        var new_group =; = new_name;
        var new_table = new_group.appendTable();
        new_table.primary = new_q;

        if (fileFormatVersion() > 8.65)
            conditionallyEmptyLog("A table showing the new question has been added into the folder " + new_name);
    return true;

Prior to the 15th of December, 2015, this page was known as Data Manipulation - Combine Several Questions as a Grid

See also