Image Blocks

If you’ve read the article on Text Blocks, this will seem very familiar to you. They’re very similar tools, found in similar places, but the specifics of how you set them up vary.

Pinnion uses a feature called “blocks” to place additional text and pictures in your surveys. The type of block used for pictures is called “Image Blocks.”  Let’s look at how image blocks work. First, go to your Pinnion and look at the screen you’d like to add an image to.

Blocks Section Highlighted

There’s a button at the top of the screen that looks like a 3D box. Click this button to create a new block.

New Block Dialog

You’ll see a screen with two buttons for “Text” and “Image,” and a cancel button. This screen lets you pick which type of block you’d like to create. Text blocks can be used similarly to image blocks to precisely locate text and format it in much more complex ways than the Question Text field allows. For now we’re working on image blocks, so click “Image.”

Image Block Position Dialog

You’ll see a preview of your screen and four buttons. On the questions page these will be “Add above the question,” “Add below the question,” “Add above the answer list,” and “Add below the answer list.” When you mouse over one of the buttons, it will display an arrow showing where on the screen your image will appear. You can move your image later but try to put it as close to where you want it as possible.

Image Block Details

There’s a lot going on on this page, so I’m going to go through it from top to bottom.

  • Description: This is where you enter a name for your image block. This is what you’ll see in the list of blocks for the screen so pick a name that will let you figure out which block it is at a glance.
  • Image: Here you can upload an image to use from your computer. Avoid using extremely large images- they’ll take a long time for people to load, and will usually be scaled down in the end anyway.
  • Image Override Address: If you don’t want to upload an image from your computer, you can but a link to an image in this box and it will use that instead. Note that Pinnion retrieves the linked image every time it should be displayed, which means if the image goes away or your link is otherwise not valid anymore, your survey will display a broken image! On the other hand, this means you can replace an image in one place and your survey will be updated in every place that uses that image automatically. Use with care.
  • Div: This section controls details about how your image is displayed.
    • Display: Display has a few options that determine how your image is placed and presented.
      • block: Standard. Displays your image in a separate “block” of the screen, or paragraph break. Usually means your image will be displayed on its own line, separate from other elements.
      • inline: Displays on the same line as other inline elements preceding it.
      • inline-block: Similar to inline. In most functionality, it will only display on the same line as other inline-block elements.
      • list-item: Displays in a vertically separated list. Not exceptionally useful for image blocks in most cases.
      • flex: Similar to block. Don’t bother with it unless you’re an advanced user.
      • inline-flex: Similar to inline-block. See flex.
    • Height and Width: These sections control how tall and wide your image is. “auto” will automatically pick a value that keeps its proportions the same as the original image (to a maximum of the dimensions of your survey). You can also enter a percentage (such as 50%) and Pinnion will scale the image by that value. Numbers should be accompanied by “px” for pixels, “in” for inches, or “cm” for centimeters, depending on how you want to determine the size of your image. If you don’t enter a type of unit, Pinnion will use pixels. For example, an image with a width of 100px will be scaled to be 100 pixels wide, while an image with a width of 3in will be scaled to be 3 inches wide.
    • Border Thickness: Determines how thick the border around your image will be. Leave this at 0 if you don’t want a border. Use “px”, “in”, or “cm” here as well.
    • Border Style: Determines what type of border will be created. The options are: dotted, dashed, solid, double, groove, ridge, inset, and outset.
    • Border Color: Determines the color of your border, defaulting to gray. You can either enter an html color code or the name of a color (like red, blue, or green). If you’d like to try using html color codes, this site can help you create them easily:
    • Corner Radius: Corner Radius determines how round the corners of the border are. A higher number results in a more round border.
    • Shadow: This box can be used to add a shadow to your image. Shadows are created with the following format: horizontal vertical blur spread color. Horizontal and vertical determinehow far away your shadow is from the image. Blur determines how ‘blurry’ your shadow appears; a low value appears more sharp, while a high value looks more like a cloud. Spread determines the size of your shadow. Color determines what color your shadow is. For horizontal, vertical, blur, and spread, use distances like in Height and Width above. For color, use either the name of a color or an html color code. For example, “5px 5px 50px 5px black” would result in a black shadow 5 pixels down and to the right from the image, with a blur of 50 pixels, 5 pixels larger than the image.
    • Transform: Transform has some difficult to use features that require working knowledge of 2D math. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try them out, you can find details on the “transform” property on CSS sites. I’ll detail the easier options here, and a discussion of the more complex options may come later. Transform works by accepting multiple “functions”, which are names of what you want to do followed by instructions on how you want to do them in parenthesis. For example, if you wanted to translate your image 50 pixels down and 50 pixels to the right, you’d input translate(50px,50px).
      • translate(x,y): Moves your image to the right by a distance where x is, and down by a distance where y is. If you want to move your image left or up, use a negative value.
      • translateX(x) and translateY(y): Works just like translate(x,y), but for only right/left for translateX(x) and only up/down for translateY(y).
      • scale(x,y): Multiplies the width of your image by x, and the height of your image by y. For example, scale(2,1.2) would multiply the width by 2, and height by 1.2
      • scaleX(x): Works just like scale(x,y), but only for width.
      • scaleY(y): Works just like scale(x,y), but only for height.
      • rotate(angle): Rotates your image by an angle. Include either “deg” to designate degrees, or “rad” to designate radians. For example, rotate(90deg) would rotate your image by 90 degrees.
      • skew(x-angle,y-angle): Skews your image by a certain angle. This effectively twists your image horizontally (for the x-angle), or vertically (for the y-angle).
    • Position: Determines the default position for your image. The options are:Top: Determines the location of the top edge of your image and pushes it down.
      • Static: Appears in its normal location for where you decided to place it. Can’t be moved by the Left or Top properties below.
      • Absolute: Appears in the normal location for where you decided to place it, in the first available space (usually this means on the left side of the screen), ignoring any margins.
      • Fixed: Appears in the top left corner. This option makes it easier to put the image at a specific spot on the screen.
      • Relative: Same as Static, but its position can be altered by the Left and Top properties below.
    • Left: Determines where the left edge of your image is, horizontally, pushing it to the right with positive values. You can enter a distance (px, in, or cm), percentage (of the screen), or auto. Auto will leave your image centered.
    • Right: Just like Left, but it pushes your image left instead (determining where the right edge of your image is horizontally).
    • Padding: Clears an area around the image, inside of any border (or where a border would go). This area displays the background of your screen. You can set it in any of these ways, using either distances or percentages.Margin: The margin clears an area around the image outside the border. It is defined in the same way as padding, except that you can use ‘auto’ to allow the browser to determine a margin (usually centering).
      • 1 value (5px): The same value is used for padding on all edges.
      • 2 values (5px 10px): The first value is used for the top and bottom, and the second value is used for the left and right.
      • 3 values (5px 10px 15px): The first value determines the top padding, the second value determines the left and right paddings, the third value determines the bottom padding.
      • 4 values (5px 10px 15px 20px): The first value determines the top padding, the second the right padding, the third the bottom padding, and the fourth the left padding.
  • Link AddressThis section is for if you want to use the image as a link.
    • URL: The URL of whatever you want your image to link to. People clicking on your image will be directed to this URL.
    • Target: Determines where the link gets opened. The options are:
      • _blank: Opens the link in a new tab or window when clicked. Most generically useful option.
      • _self: Opens the link inside the survey frame. This is likely not very useful to most users, but is available regardless.
      • _parent: Opens the link in the frame just outside of the survey. This is likely not very useful to most users, but is available regardless.
      • _top: Opens the link in the window or tab it’s clicked in. This will take users away from your survey, so be careful where you use it.
      • Framename: Opens the link in a specifically named frame. Only use this if you really know what you’re doing already!
    • Social: This dropdown box is used to create social blocks. See our article on social media sharing for more information.

Now that you know what all the different options can be used for, set them to position and format your image how you’d like. Now press the “Add” button in the bottom right corner, and your image block will be created in the Blocks section you added it to.

Blocks Area

You can click the block here to edit it if you want to change something you set earlier, click and drag the dots on the left to move it to a different section (or even a different question), or press the green plus or red x if you want to duplicate or delete your block, respectively.