If you’re comfortable using Microsoft Excel, you can build the first draft of your Zingtree decision trees in Excel using a spreadsheet, and then easily import them into Zingtree. Once you’ve successfully imported your tree, you can modify it and enhance it using Zingtree’s editing tools, which offer a lot more decision tree related functionality than Excel.
Here’s how our example tree used in the tutorials appears in Excel:
Did you know you can build the first draft of your Zingtree decision trees using an Excel spreadsheet, and then easily import them into Zingtree? Once you’ve successfully imported your tree, you can modify it and enhance it using Zingtree’s editing tools, which offer much more decision tree-related functionality than Excel.
Start now by downloading and modifying this example .XLS file:
Note: This spreadsheet has two tabs: Basic and Advanced.
Here are the rules:
- The first row is for column headings. This is important, as it tells Zingtree what type of data is in each column. Make sure to use the column headings as described below.
- Column A is for the node number. Usually, this is sequential. It’s required. The heading must say “Node“.
- Column B is for the title of a node. Your trees will be easier to read if each node has a descriptive title. The heading must say “Title“.
- Column C is the question that is being asked. You can leave this blank if you want an answer node. The heading must be “Question“.
- Column D is for any content that appears in the content area. This is imported as plain text, but you can add formatting, images, and videos later using the Zingtree editing tools. The heading must read “Content“.
- If you want to include node tags in your tree, insert a column with a heading of “Tags“. This is optional.
- If you are using a scoring variable for scoring button clicks, add a column headed “Score Variable“. This is optional.
- The last columns are for the button choices. The heading over the first button column must be “Buttons“. You can have several columns of buttons.
- For the button columns, you can make them link to other nodes by adding the node number in square brackets. In the above example, cell F2 has a button labeled “Yes” that links to node #2. ( Yes ).
- If you’re using score variables for button clicks, you can include something like “+3” after the node number in brackets. This would add 3 to the scoring variable mentioned in the Score variable column. (See the Advanced tab in the sample spreadsheet for an example.)
- If you want to add a comment to any node, insert a cell on the right that starts with an exclamation point character (!).
Note: Columns can be in any order, but the column headings must contain the proper text like “Node”, “Question” etc.
You can also make Link Nodes and Tree Nodes with special text in the content column:
- Example: To make a Link Node that goes to Google, the content area looks like this (see cell D9 in the example):
- Example: To make Tree Node that opens tree ID #123456789, the content area is this (see cell D8 in the example):
- Example: To make a Tree Node that opens tree ID #999999999 at node #3, the content area should be:
Once you’ve finished your tree, it needs to be exported as a CSV file. This is also known as a tab-delimited CSV.
Build Your Tree
- To start, download our “what to wear” example tree, as an Excel.XLS file.
- Open this file in Excel, and start modifying it. You can use the Basic or Advanced tab; – most people start with the basic option. Make sure to keep the top-row column headings in place. Keep questions in the question column, content in the content column, etc.
- Save your Excel file as a tab-delimited CSV.
- When you’re done, you can import it into Zingteee by doing the following:
1. Go to My Trees and click Create New Tree
2. Select the Import button.
3. Click the CSV tab. In the drop menus choose which organization you want to save the tree under and whether you want to create a new tree or update an existing tree. Click Import File to choose the CSV file you want to upload.
- You can use this process to import files from any tab delimited CSV format.