Edit informations in data table

Hi guys!

I’m experiencing some troubles when I try to edit data collected in forms already sent to server. A colleague fulfill a form, and I wanted to check if the data collected were consistent. From data table, I clicked the edit icon (the pencil) in order to visualize the form (and make some changes).

I notices that not all the information was visible in the form, even if it is stored in the data table. If I try to do a doublecheck opening the form with the eye icon, the page crash. How is it possibile? I need to verify the consistency of datas, but I can’t trust on what I see in the form. Am I doing something wrong?

Thanks for the support


Hello @chiaramarioni1,

  • Did you check your current form with the Online validator?
  • Did you change the form during (or after) data collection?
  • Is your problem related to special cases or for all cases?

Hi @wroos !

  • Yes, I checked the form with the online validator
  • No, the data collection started after the last version of the form was deployed
  • Since now, It seems that it happened just in one case (on 5)

Hello @chiaramarioni1,
Could you provide screenshots (eye view and table) showing the problem?
(You surely know that calculate and hidden type variables are only visible in the table (not in edit model.)
Maybe also an extract of your form could help to get support here?
Do you use multiple languages for your form?

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@chiaramarioni1, as advised by @wroos, could you share some screenshots like the table view where the data exists and the edit page where the data is missing. That should be very helpful for the community to understand your issue pictorially.

Dear @Kal_Lam and @wroos :

Here the screenshot of the form opened from data table with the edit icon. As you can see, all the answers are unchecked:

The same happens if I open the form with the eye icon:

Here, a screenshot of the data table dowloaded: as you can see, datas are stored correctly (in yellow):

Finally, I upload a screenshot of data table in kobo, because I figured out that the columns are mixed up! I 'wasn’t able to find all the columns corresponding to the question. I just found one columns, but the name of the column is not correct.

I checked in the xlsform, but in my opinion everything is correct (I upload an extract):
per kobo.xlsx (17.5 KB)

I really can’t figure out what’s going on…thanks in advance for your help


Great! Thank you for sharing the details with the community! As a check would you mind following the list outlined below to see if you are able to replicate the issue (in a dummy project)?

  • Download the XLSForm of this project.
  • Upload it as a new dummy project (where you are able to test the same).
  • Deploy the project.
  • Make some dummy submissions.
  • Edit the submissions like you edited for your original project (that caused this issue).

Would you then let us know if that should affect the same way like you reported earlier?

Hello @chiaramarioni1,
I don’t think this is the problem, but you use a multiline appearance for a select_ type. I think this is only available for text fields in the XLSForm specification.

Could you, please, check your problem showing the XLM values instead of the labels in both views (table and modal view)?

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here is the table with XLM values: why I am having two columns with the same name?

In the edit mode, now I am not able to find any column named COVID_

I checked out and the same happened to all the form in which people answer to that question.

SO, I tried what suggested by: @Kal_Lam :
I downloaded the xlsform, create new project, and in this case it seems to work

What should I do? Should I upload the form again? can I do that in the same project, or should I create a new one? I already launched the survey, and if I change the link, I am pretty sure it will be a mess.

Hello @chiaramarioni1,
What you see here is a default view.

In the table view (and modal view):
Any select_multiple variable is shown in one column, as a combination of all selected choices (either as labels or as XML values), separated by one space and in the order they have been selected.

In the export
This column also exists - per default- in the export… In addition, per default, a following column is added for each of the choice items (even if never selected). The columns are added in the order of your choice list and the values are coded as 1 (selected) or 0. The column title is (group)/ question/ item (name or label).
The idea is to facilitate multiple select analysis in other tools (e.g. SPSS), You can configure for the additional (item) columns by export configuration


If the select_multiple question was skipped all columns, including the first one, are empty.

Furthermore, the default in the table is to show group names (or labels), preceding the variable names (or labels) in the column title. You can avoid this by deactivation in the parameters of the table view.
You can avoid the group names also by export configuration (deactivate … groups):

Here is an EXAMPLE (multiple_select with group name on, label view).

Table view

Modal view of the (first) submission

Export, here without group names

And a report example (incl. additional cases)
In the report the choice items are ordered by frequency (ascending).

As far, as I could see, there is few info in the current support documentation on this presentation of multiple_select. See Exporting and Downloading Your Data — KoBoToolbox documentation (old export version). Almost no result for “table (or data) view” as search. An article might be helpful, please? (There were several related postings in the forum.)

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Thank you for the suggestion, @wroos! So you mean we should also have a support article on Managing data with select_multiple question type which outlines how it is stored in the Table View, how they are displayed under the custom report, and how they appear when downloading as XLS format? Did I get you correctly?

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Dear @wroos : thanks! Usually it is clear for me how to manage the select_multiple questions, but in this case it was all very messy

Dear @Kal_Lam Can you please tell me if now I have to replace the form with the one that I downloaded?

thanks in advance


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Dear @Kal_Lam,
Yes, that was the idea.
Have a pleasant day.

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Hello @chiaramarioni1,
Could you find out what is the difference between this working version and your form before, please? This might help the community for other cases.

@chiaramarioni1, if you feel like that step should solve your issue for now, then, please feel free to proceed. You could manage the other data later manually.

DEar @wroos : the difference between my project and your is that I can see the datas when I download the table, but I am not able to see them nor in the Modal view, neither in Report (in fact in the report I could not find even the question!). The bug is only for this specific question ,all the others seems to be ok

Dear @Kal_Lam : unfortunately I couldn’t solve the problem. I replaced the form, but the bug is still there and I am not able to see the answers if I open the forms…If I open a new project, uploading the same xlsform, everything is fine, but my survey is already started, people are working on it and I can’t send then a new link.

Since the information seems to be properly stored in the data table, I will be confident that nothing will be missed at the end. (Hopefully!)

@wroos I couldn’t understand what I should done