Inputting Data

The automated OSRI and SIG each include a variety of different question formats. These different formats require not only different types of information, but different methods for inputting the information as well.

The following types of question formats are incorporated into the application:

  • date questions
  • text questions
  • number questions
  • select one/select any questions
  • chart questions


Date Questions

Date questions require the input of specific dates in a normal date format (month/day/year). To answer a date question, click on the first (left-most) spot in the blank datefield displayed in the white textbox. Type the date using a month/day/year format.

To make corrections to a date question, position the cursor in the textbox and use the delete or backspace key to erase your errors. Type any corrections normally.

Note that some date questions, particularly those embedded within a grid question, employ a calendar tool that allows you to select a date without typing.

Text Questions

Text questions require the input of blocks of text, typically full sentences or paragraphs. To enter text, position the cursor in the white textbox and type normally. Tabs and hard returns are accepted by the application, but no other type of automated formatting (for example, bullets or font changes) are accepted.

To delete or replace text, position the cursor at the appropriate spot in the white textbox and use the delete and/or backspace keys. Type any revisions normally.

As with a normal word processor, you may select blocks of text for copying, cutting, pasting, or deleting. Select text by holding down the left mouse button and dragging over the portion of text that you need. Then, release the left mouse button and right click. A pop-up menu of options (including cut, copy, paste, and delete) will display.

Number Questions

Number questions require the input of a single number. To answer them, position the cursor in the white textbox and type the number normally. Use the backspace or delete key to make corrections.

Select One/Select Any Questions

Select One and Select Any questions require you to select single or multiple items from a list of options. Simply click on the appropriate choice or choices to make your selections. To make corrections, click the Clear All Choices button. Your current selections will be removed so that you can start over.

Chart Questions

Chart questions require the input of information to a multi-cell chart. You can adjust the width of individual cells in the chart by clicking the cell’s border line in the title bar and dragging sideways. You can also adjust the height of an individual cell by clicking on the left border’s side bar and dragging up or down.

Note that expanding cells may result in the chart becoming too large to fit within the window. In this case, scroll bars will appear at the bottom or right-hand side that enable you to scroll from side to side or up and down as necessary.

Charts also feature arrow controls that allow you to scroll up, down, left, or right. Clicking on an arrow will scroll the chart in that direction.

Note that every time you click the left-hand margin of the bottom row in the chart (which displays with an asterisk beside it), a new row will be automatically created below it. To delete a row from a chart, click one of its cells, then click the Delete Highlighted Row button. You will be prompted to confirm your selection; when you do, the row will disappear along with all of the information entered in it. You can also clear only the cell with which you are currently working by using the Clear Active Cell button. Clicking this button will delete all information in the currently active cell, regardless of the question type (see below), and allow you to start over in your answer.

Types of Chart Questions

There are four types of chart questions: text, menu selection, yes/no, and date. To answer either type, click once in the question's cell. You can move across a row from cell to cell by using the Tab key. The Enter key moves you down to the next row of cells. You can also select any cell in the chart at any time by clicking in it.

Note that the Clear Active Cell button is the only way to delete menu selection, yes/no, and date questions from a chart.

Text, Menu Selection, and Yes/No Questions

Text Questions

When you click in a cell that requires a text answer, the cell will change to a white textbox with a cursor. Type your answer normally, using the backspace or delete key to correct errors.

Menu Selection Questions

Cells requiring selection from a drop-down menu will have a down arrow appearing inside them. Click this arrow to open the menu, then click on the appropriate choice.

Yes/No Questions

For yes/no questions, use the mouse to check the box for yes. Leave the box blank for no.

Chart Date Questions

When you click in a cell requiring a date answer, a drop-down menu showing the current date will appear in the chart cell. Simply click on the month, day, or year to highlight it, then type the correct date over it. Note that you must click on the month, day, and year individually in order to type them. You cannot simply type the date as one entry or use the tab key to move from field to field.

Calendar Controls

You can also change the date using only the mouse. To do so, click the chart cell’s down arrow. A pop-up calendar showing the currently selected date will appear. If the month and year are correct, select a new day by clicking it on the calendar.

If you need to change the month or year, you have several options. The left and right arrows at the top of the calendar will move you back (left) or forward (right) one month. You can also click on the month’s name to reveal a pop-up menu to choose from all 12 months.

You can change the year by using the left or right arrows to move backward or forward. However, an easier way to change the year is to simply click on the year displayed at the top of the calendar. Doing so will reveal a spinner control (an up and down arrow) that allows you to move the year forward (up) or backward (down).

Once you have selected the month and year, click on the appropriate day to close the calendar control.