Why doesn't a "specify other" text field appear when more than one answer option is selected?

A common support request we get is from users who have a select_multiple field that has "other" as one of the answer options and, after this multiple choice question, the user has a text field that is meant to appear to "specify other" if "other" is selected as an answer option.

However, the relevance for the text field does not appear to work properly: if "other" is the only answer selected, it appears as expected. But if additional answer options are selected along with "other", the text field is skipped.

Lets say the multiple choice question is named ${multchoicefield} and the internal value for the "other" answer option is 99.

The problem

This happens because the relevance expression for the text field is coded as:

${multchoicefield} = 99

While such an expression will work fine if the multiple choice question was a select_one question, it will not work well when you have a select_multiple question that could have 99 ("other") and additional answer values selected at the same time.

The solution

Instead, when referring to a select_multiple question, the user should use the selected() function:

selected(${multchoicefield}, 99)

Changing the relevance expression to the above will resolve the issue and the "specify other" text field will appear both in cases when "other" is the only answer selected as well as in cases where multiple answers, in addition to "other", are selected.

More help

If you are still unclear about how to fix a relevance expression that refers to a select_multiple field or you followed the steps above and are still unable to get your form to behave the way you want it to, don't worry. If you are a user on a paid SurveyCTO server with access to support, you can submit a support request from the My requests link in the top right of this page. Someone from our team will help you investigate further. Please just make sure to attach an Excel copy of your form.

If you're a community user and hence don't have professional support, you can post the issue, along with a link to your Excel form, to the community forum for assistance from other community members.

Functions and operators referenced in this article: selected(), =. For a full list of SurveyCTO functions and operators, please read this help topic.

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