Converting kobo forms to word documents

Hi all,

I’d like to introduce a small Shiny Application (web app) I made that converts ODK/Kobo questionnaires to formatted word documents that can be edited further and/or printed out.

At present, it takes as input a standard xls form, which must have three sheets:

  1. survey
  2. choices
  3. settings

It will then produce a formatted word document - users have the option of choosing to add skip logic for each question, as well. By default, it will not do this.

I’d like to get some feedback from the community on if this is useful and if there are any changes and/or other features people would like to see added to it!

You can check it out here:



Thank you for sharing this wonderful web app @zaeendesouza! It should be very helpful for the community who wishes to print the XLSForm to a word document.

The community would also appreciate if you could update this post when there are features updates to the app.

Thank you once again for sharing the with the entire community! :clap: :heart: :partying_face:

Hello @zaeendesouza,
Would you mind to explain to the community, please, how you treat the uploaded files concerning data protection and privacy?
Sorry, a first tool-test with one of our forms didn’t work, there was no error message and no word file created.


There is no information that is saved on the app itself, beyond the session (i.e the app only has access to your form for the purpose of converting the form to a document).

Beyond this conversion process, the only person with access to an uploaded form (xlsx) and word doc (.docx) is the user.



You’re welcome! will definitely post a few updates over the next few weeks, as and when, I get some feedback. Thanks!

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Just a small update:

The app now produces compact word docs by stacking choices within the same row - this results in smaller and more easily readable and printable documents!


Hi! Interesting app, thanks for sharing.

I tried uploading a very simple form, and saw that it produced a Word doc.

However, I then tried uploading a more complex form, and it just produced an error with no Word doc.

Is it possible to create more info of the errors to help develop the app further? Or do you have a list of rules that work/don’t work for conversion?


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Hi Janna, thanks for testing it out! This is exactly what I’m trying to figure out right now: what sorts of forms are people making and how can the app work well on all kobo forms.

Currently, the app requires sheet and column names to be the default odk/kobo names and that the label column in the choice sheet be called ‘label’ instead of ‘label::[language]’.

If the label column name is different in your form, try changing it to ‘label’?

Another option, is you could share an anonymised version of your form, and i could try to debug it and make sure that such forms work on the app too? Would you be OK doing that?

I am working (slowly) on creating special error messages so users know what solution exists for their individual problem!



Hi @zaeendesouza
I don’t mind sharing some forms with you for testing, sure. I think this would be a really helpful tool for people (and, selfishly, myself :slight_smile: ). I’ll send you a private message.

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Doesn’t seem to work when the form has multiple languages (labels)