IT Connect
Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Create a Poll

Service notice: All Catalyst Web Tools–except WebQ Survey and GradeBook–will be retired. View timeline and details.

Create a QuickPoll Question

  1. StepsActions
  2. Log in to your Catalyst Tools page.
  3. On the Catalyst tools account page, roll your mouse over the graphic tools menu in the upper right corner. A menu appears as you hover over each tool icon.
  4. Select the QuickPoll icon, and then click Create a QuickPoll. You will move to the “Create a QuickPoll” page.
  5. Choose the question type for your poll from the menu, and click Change. The question type names identify how many answers can be selected, and the form object used to display and select the answers. Below is a list of the types of multiple choice questions:
    One answer (button) — Select one answer from a vertical list
    One answer (menu) — Select one answer from a drop-down menu
    Multiple answers (check) — Select multiple answers from a vertical list
    Multiple answers (menubox) — Select multiple answers from a scrollable list
  6. Enter or copy and paste the text of your question into the space provided. Click and drag to highlight text, and then use the toolbar to format the text as you would like it to appear on your published poll. You can also insert images, and create links with the toolbar. View detailed instructions about using the rich text editor.

Add Answer Choices

  1. StepsActions
  2. If you are creating a “multiple choice – one answer (menu)” question, you can choose to display a prompt (a null option) to be displayed as the first choice in the menu. Select Display “Select one” prompt , and then enter a label (such as “Please select”) in the space provided.

    Note: If you do not create a null option and also do not select a default answer, the first answer choice will become the default. In other words, the first answer choice in the menu will be submitted if participants do not respond to the question.

  3. Enter or paste the text of each answer into the space provided. To save time, you can also create answers with word processing software, and then copy and paste an entire list of answer choices.
  4. In the “Abbreviated answer” column, enter an abbreviation of the answer text or a code that you would like to have displayed in the results and graphs instead of the full text of the answer choice.
  5. In the “Show as default” column, select which answer choice to display as pre-selected when participants view and take the poll. If you do not want any of the answer choices to be selected by default, select None in the “Show as default” column (at the bottom).

    Note: If you choose an answer to “show as default,” you will not be able to tell if a participant selected the default answer or simply did not respond to the question when viewing the poll results.

  6. You can add additional answer choice spaces, delete answer choices, or rearrange your answer choices. Follow these steps:

    Add an answer choice: To add an additional answer choice, click New answer choice at the bottom of the answer panel. A new answer space will appear at the end of the existing answer choices.

    Delete an answer choice: To delete an answer choice space, click the Delete icondelete icon. Please note that empty answer spaces will appear on the published poll, so it is best to delete them if they are not used.

    Reorder answer choices: Click the Up arrowup arrow to move an answer up one space, or click the Down arrowdown arrow to move an answer down one space.

  7. Choose questions settings(optional). Depending on the question type, you can choose to shuffle the answer choices for each participant, or set a minimum or maximum number of answer choices.
  8. Click Preview to see your question as it will appear on the poll, or Cancel to discard your changes.
  9. When finished, click Next, to continue creating your poll. You will move to the “Settings” page.

To save time, you can create the answers as a list, and then paste them into QuickPoll. You can create the list of answers using a word processing program and then paste the list, or just type the list into QuickPoll.


Follow these steps to paste and insert an entire list of answer choices:

  • In a word processing program, create a list of your answer choices, with one answer per line. Click and drag to highlight the whole list of answer choices, and then copy them to the clipboard.
  • Move back to your Web browser where you are working with QuickPoll. On the answer panel, “Add multiple choice answers” click the link that reads You can also paste a list of answer choices to open the paste tool.
  • From the browser menu, select Edit > Paste, or use a keyboard shortcut to paste the list of answer choices into the space provided. Alternatively, you can type the list of answer choices directly into the paste tool, with one answer per line.
  • Click Insert answers to create your answer choices. QuickPoll will insert the list into answer spaces, automatically adding or removing answer spaces if necessary. If you have already entered answers into the answer choice spaces, they will be overwritten by the pasted answer choices.

Select Poll Settings

After creating the question and answer choices, you move to the “Settings” page to set security, publish your poll, and choose other options. Follow these steps to complete your poll:

  1. StepsActions
  2. Enter a name for the poll name in the space provided. The default name displayed is the first 50 characters of the question. The poll name is for your use only, and will not be shown to participants.
  3. Select a security setting to control who can view and take the poll. Choose from the following security settings:

    Anyone: This means that anyone with the poll URL can view and take your poll. Also, participants are able to submit multiple times.

    Anyone with a UW NetID: This security setting requires people who try accessing your poll to log in with their UW NetID and password. You will be able to choose later to allow participants to submit votes multiple times or just once.

    Members of a specific group (Group Manager): This security setting also prompts participants to log in with a UW NetID, but only allows members of a group you create with the Catalyst Group Manager tool to view and access the poll. You will be able to choose later to allow participants to submit votes multiple times or just once.

    Tip: When creating a group, you can select a course you are teaching to automatically add all the students to your group. Group Manager will update the group members nightly, as students add or drop your course.

  4. Choose to make the poll available to your participants. If you are ready for participants to take the poll, check This poll is available for voting. If you
    do not want the poll to be available to participants, leave it unchecked.
  5. If you want to allow participants to respond more than once, select the check box under “Options” (with Anyone security, it is not possible to restrict how many times a participant votes. Therefore, this box will be checked automatically).
  6. If you want to allow participants to view results before responding, select the check box under “Options.” If selected, participants will be able to view the graph of current poll results before casting their own vote.
  7. When you are done setting up your poll, click Save. You will move to the “Overview” page.