Auto rename for each photo taken by KoBo

Hello everybody,
Is it possible to give an automatic name to each photo taken via KoBo, similar to the auto rename the survey by (instance_name) column, this will facilitate a lot of access to photos.
Thanks in advance

Hi @yaser_sham,

Welcome to the community! Kindly please be informed that if you directly take image from a KoBoCollect android app you are not able to save the name of the image as you wish. However, you could do this by doing it as follows:

  • Take an image
  • Rename the image (to your preferred wish).
  • Select Choose Image from your device storage.

Have a great day!

Hi @Kal_Lam,

I think KoBo Collect would still rename the image using System.currentTimeMillis() function. Am I right?

Yes @janekb you got that correct! But the above outlined method should only support the enumerators if they take photos in advance and then need to link the photos with the relevant questions later on. This could only be helpful if there are 100’s of photos taken before hand and the data is filled up later where users could easily identify which photo is required where.

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OK, thanks for clarifying!

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Just to say that if your doing this in order to easily find photos during analysis using a laptop for a project where the data is already collected, there is an alternative approach where you keep the default file names but create a hyperlink from them that allows you to scroll through your data in excel and click on a link to view the relevant photo.

Depending on where the photo is stored you can make a filepath ending in the file name, drag down for all rows and then change the cell type to hyperlink.

If its for use during data collection on a mobile device then of course this will not help and you will need to follow the method mentioned in the previous comments.

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Thanks Noel for this hint. Still, I think being able to customize file names as suggested here ( would be helpful.

Indeed it would be helpful and having custom names would of course not prevent these kind of hyperlinks from being used in addition as with thousands of images some automisation is needed regardless of naming convention. Just to clarify that as such a development would probably require work on both the mobile app and web side of the system its probably not going to happen quickly. That is unless you want to have a go adapting the software which would be really cool.

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Yes, definitely. That could perhaps be flagged to the ODK team as well. Not sure how ODK Collect and KoBo Collect are being maintained / synced.

I would say while they don’t always update at the same time, one doesn’t change significantly without the other and in the long run they incorporate the same features.

It may be worth checking as it may have been flagged before but just has not been taken on due to the complexities involved. Managing file names across weak internet signals is very different from managing them on a desktop. If there are workarounds then there are risks of data loss so a lot of care has to be taken.

While there is a small ODK team, a lot of the development of new features is done by volunteers or funded by organisations wishing to use the feature so the challenge may be more a matter of looking for backing for the idea rather than selling the idea to users of the application. Its certainly not impossible to do so and has been done before but I would say dont underestimate the technical challenges involved as it would be quite a big change and therefore it may be necessary to demonstrate significant backing for the proposal…

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