Editing KoboCollect Form Offline

Hi all,

I’m new to the forum and to Kobo Collect but I’ve just solved a problem I’d been having and wanted to share - in case anyone else was having issues with it.

For field work I needed to make minor changes to my forms - offline. For example, there are translations that need to be tweaked in the field. BUT when I piloted this (by downloading the .xls from Kobo Collect, making changes to the script, running an offline .xlm converter, and then using Android File Transfer to put the new .xlm back in the Forms folder of my tablet) it reflected the appropriate changes but I wasn’t able to send the finalized form back to Kobo Collect when I simulated coming back to internet. Here’s how I fixed it and I hope it helps:

Before leaving internet:

  1. Upload the most recent version of the .xlsx form to the Kobo Collect server. This should have room for all languages you might want to update in the field. Label any sections of text that will need to be translated with *Insert Translation Here. Then hit Deploy.
  2. Within the KoBo collect app on your tablet – which should already be linked to your KoBo account – go to Get Blank Form and download the .xml for your form.
  3. If you have a Mac – make sure you have Android File Transfer set up and working.

To make a change offline:

  1. Copy the .xml from your tablet (within the odk/Forms folder) onto your computer.
  2. Open it in text edit. From here you can make minor changes such as translations. You cannot change the flow of the form (easily) – just what is presented within each slide.
  3. Search – using control Find – for your Insert Translation Here marker (or just *) and replace the text with the translation.
  4. Save the updated version with a datestamp on your computer and then move a copy to the tablet - you can replace the old one to avoid confusion. Update the filename so that it matches the -media folder if necessary.
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Welcome to the community, @spope11! Thank you for sharing this wonderful workaround which should be helpful for a lot of users having internet issues.

I would also like to suggest, please: Especially for field work in remote areas, always do comprehensive quality assurance and pre-tests before starting the survey. Plan time and staff resources for this.

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