Documentation for select_one_from_file

Hi there,

I couldn’t find a proper documentation on how to implement choices with select_one_from_file or select_one_external.

I’ve read a lot of posts in this very community forum, about the select_one_from_file feature.
Some of those post are fairly recent, so before trying anything, I upgraded our server to last version (kobo-install 2.020.25).
Screenshot_2020-06-30 Select one from file KoboToolbox(2)

What I can read everywhere is that feature should works in Enketo.
At the begining of May, I saw many entries saying it’s even working on ODK android’s app (great news, we need that!).

Many posts are referring to the same article: Select one or many from external file question type… which is a broken link giving 404 error.

I found few “all set” forms, like select_one_from_file.xlsx with fruits.csv.
Or EXAMPLE - Selects with Choice Filter Search with from_file.xlsx with id_names.csv.
But I couldn’t make those examples works on our KoboToolbox server.

No problem when uploading the XSLX forms, but it’s not working:

And form editing:

I have absolutely no clue on how to upload the associated CSV files.
I’m not sure if it’s related, but on the official documentation about the pulldata feature, they say: " upload your CSV the same way you would upload your images".
What does this means?

Well, I’m totally puzzled about that feature, if anyone can share some light here, I would greatly appreciate.

Also, I can’t find this question type in the list:

OK, I found this article Adding Media to Your Form which explain how to upload an image.
I guess that answers the question I had about how to upload a CSV file, but I still don’t see how to implement this in the context or a multiple choice.

Hi @pasteurlaos,

Regarding your queries:

KoBoToolbox is migrating all it’s support article to a new location hence there might be a broken link (for some of our articles). But kindly please be informed that we shall fix this soon. Besides, we would also appreciate if you could point it out in the community forum like you have done for this article.

You could share your xlsform and the csv file with the community and we would help identify and fix the issue for you.

The issue you are seeing here is a known issue and our developers are working on this to fix it. You get this when you have a select_one_from_file question type in an xlsform, upload them in the KoBoToolbox server and edit the survey form in the KoBoToolbox formbuilder UI. To avoid getting this, skip editing the survey project in the KoBoToolbox formbuilder UI. It should not affect your survey project with the select_one_from_file question type.

You could follow our forum post that should help you upload a csv file as discussed here:

Hope i was able to respond to your queries. Kindly please reach us back if there is anything missing.

Have a great day!


Dear @Kal_Lam, thanks for this very quick answer.

Regarding to the CSV upload, I don’t see the same screen there’s on this post.
I don’t have the [Media] section:

Or should I need to deploy the project first?

OK, so I understand I cannot use the builder to edit this form.
But still, when previewing the form, it just don’t work, it’s stuck on loading, forever:

1 Like

Hi @pasteurlaos,

Yes, you should deploy the project first.

Yes, you may not be able to preview it (at the moment) but you should still be able to collect your data once it has been deployed.

Have a great day!

So, thanks to your help, I’ve seen some progress here.

First, after deploy, I was able to upload the CSV:

However still no luck on collecting:

While on Android’s KoboCollect I couldn’t download the form:

Hi @pasteurlaos,

Good to see the progress. Would you mind trying the same with ODK Collect android app if you intend to use the collect android app as apparently KoBoCollect android app does not support the same. However the upcoming release should support it.

Have a great day!

Thanks, I’m not full-time on this.
Will try tomorrow and give feedback here.

Have a nice day.

Hello, so as stated before here is my feedback.

I’ve installed ODK Collect, it worked seamlessly:

When using Enketo from our serveur, it’s still not working:

I just mention this as a feedback, since we will only use Android tablets to collect data for our survey.

Thank you for your time, long live KoboToolbox!

Hi @pasteurlaos,

Would you mind trying the workaround that has been discussed in this post (it should solve your issue):

Have a great day!

Hi @Kal_Lam,

I already tried this, it didn’t work.
No big deal for me, since my use case doesn’t require Enketo to work.

However I can take a few minutes to show you what happens when I use the files from this post:

Here’s the result:

I also tried the solution proposed by @freedim, in the same post, but this is not working too.
I must say I’ve tried a lot of solutions, basically I’ve tested each solution that came to the posts given by the search engine for select_one_from_file;

Again, I don’t use Enketo for now so it’s not a problem for me.
I found all I needed here and done cascading by mixing infos from another post:

Have a wonderful day!

1 Like

Hi @pasteurlaos,

Would you mind letting us know the server you are using?

Have a great day!

As mentioned in the OP, I used the last kobo-install (2.020.25).
I believe it pulled kobotoolbox/enketo-express-extra-widgets:2.3.5.

And this shows up in kpi:
Screenshot_2020-06-30 Select one from file KoboToolbox(2)

Have a nice day.

Hi @Kal_Lam,
I have tried to make select_one_from_file work also, but conclude that this is not a stable feature on Kobo. Do you know anything about the status of this issue?
Ref this article Select One or Many From External File Question Type — KoBoToolbox documentation
and your filed issue from 2019 on
Not able to view the collected data (under Reports) when using select one from file or select multiple from file · Issue #2275 · kobotoolbox/kpi · GitHub

Best regards!

@Johs, this should now be supported by both Enketo as well as Collect android app. However the visualization aspect as recorded in the GitHub is still on.

I spent a day doing this too.
Kobo seems incompatible with using external csv files for select_one and select_multiple type questions.
I tried it on enketo using the kobo server.
The fruit example got me started on this. But my effort was fruitless
Maybe it works on odk.

Welcome to the community, @plepcha! Could you also share with the community the screenshot of the issue you are facing so that we could help you solve your issue?

Hi @plepcha
Do you mind sending your XLS form so that we look at it?


I manage to run successfuly this exemple.
The choice_filter works great !

But it doesn’t work when I want to extend the multilanguage functionnality
instead to have label, I have label::English (en), label::French (fr)

I would like to join the files, but they say, I’m new :frowning: