Open-ended question

The Open-ended activity type allows the audience to respond to the question with a written answer. Just like multiple choice activities, open-ended questions can receive responses via SMS text message, web, and the mobile app.

Responses can be displayed four different ways: Word cloud, Text wall, Cluster, and Spotlight.

Setting visualization type

After creating your open-ended activity, click the Visual settings button then select the visualization you’d like.

Visual settings

You can freely switch between the different response visualizations in the Visual Settings of your activity.

Helpful tip: On certain paid plans you can use Moderation to manage which responses are displayed.

Visualization types

Word cloud

This is a fun way to visualize responses. The word cloud will build and shift in real time as audience responses are repeated. The most frequent responses will appear large in the middle of the word cloud.

Word Cloud

Helpful tip: While word cloud works best with single word responses, you can responses in a word cloud using a tilde(~) or underscore(_) (e.g. “Bridge~Over~the~River~Kwai” or “Captain_America”) . The word cloud will also leave out extremely common words like pronouns, articles, and some adverbs to make for a clean, informative visualization.

Text wall

The text wall is great for accepting all types of open-ended responses. New audience submissions will appear one at a time at the top of the activity. As more responses come in, older responses will be pushed down. Text wall responses can have a maximum length of 500 characters.

Text Wall


The cluster display is similar to the text wall, but instead of arriving one line at a time, responses cluster together and fill the display. The responses will shift to display as many as possible. Older responses will slowly be pushed down to make way for new responses. Like text walls, clusters can accept response lengths up to 500 characters.



Spotlight displays responses scrolling up the page. The response in the center is displayed most prominently with the one before and after grayed out. Once the list has reached the end it will start over again from the first response. The Spotlight display can accept responses up to 500 characters in length.



Find out more about using Poll Everywhere to delight your audience, class, or colleagues.