Hint NOT Working in Formbuilder for multiple languages (translation)


If you use more than one language. Hint in Formbuilder has a bug.

Steps to Reproduce

  1. Create a form with more than one language
  2. Create a (text) variable and add a hint (not guidance_hint)

Or import this example: Hint02.xlsx (9.4 KB)

3 View form (in default or 2nd language) : NO hint shown
4. View translation table (Manage translations): a new undefined language is added
5 Edit the translations: Your hint text is NOT show (nowhere)
6. Save form
7. Try to re-edit form. Blocked with ERROR
8. Download XLS and inspect: 3 hint columns(!), the one without ::language has your hint text. Also further language columns, with empty cells, e.g. question label and choice label)

Expected behavior

Hint text should be saved with default ::language, be shown and allow translation (as guidance_hint).
No additional empty language should be created.

Actual behavior

See above and screenshots and XLS download below

Additional details

KoBo unfortunately treats this Hint as new language (undefined). In consequence:

After adding a hint and saving, this form is working (and can be deployed) but cannot be edited anymore!

Workaround: The only possibility is now to download as XLSForm, delete the (default language) column, rename the false hint column, which contains your hint text(!) from Formbuilder, to hint::language (default language) and re-import the form. (Better, also delete other created columns for the empty language (but as far as all cells stay empty, it will still work)
From now on Formbuilder and translation table will work well.

This hint Problem stays the same, after adding a guidance_hint. Guidance_hint works better, but cannot be translated directly in Formbuilder (see extra topic).

Kind regards

1 Like


A guidance_hint cannot be translated (directly) in Formbuilder.

Steps to Reproduce

  1. Create a form with more than one language
  2. Create a (text) variable and add a guidance_hint (not hint)

Or import this example:
Hint05 Gudidance XLS Download.xlsx (9.5 KB)

3 View form (in default & 2nd language) : Guidance_hint is only shown in default language.
4. Save form
5 View translation table (Manage translations): Guidance hint NOT there
6. Download XLS and inspect. a column guidance_hint (NO ::language!) is created
(See file above)

Expected behavior

Guidance_hint should be saved as with default ::language, Translation with Formbuilder should be possible.

Actual behavior

At the moment, it is only possible workaround is XLS download and changing guidance_hint column name to guidance_hint::language

As in Formbuilder, a guidance_hint XLS column without ::language will work, for the default language only and is not shown for translation,

It will only show for translation if named as hint::language (via XLS download and re-import)…

Additional details

Tested on OCHA 11/04/2020

The KoBo behaviour is different to _message. A _message text without ::language specification will appear for all languages. (And can after XLS download and changing column_name to ::language be translated.) See example for constraint_message in XLS file abve.

Workaround is to download XSL and change column name to guidance_hint::language (dafault), than re-import.
Hint06 Gudidance XLS Download.xlsx (9.5 KB)
From know on all works fine: Translation is available as Formbuilder field (not on Valdation Criterai, but on Question page) and in translation table.


See also previous discussion: https://community.kobotoolbox.org/t/hint-vs-guidance-hints/2367/3

1 Like

Dear @stephanealoo,
I am sorry, but may I ask you, please, to separated the 2 posts again, as hint and guidance_hint are two different elements and also the bug situation is different.
Merging might confuse more than help here.
Thanks in advance.
Kind regards

Hi @wroos
Will keep them as the same for now for the developers to look at both of them and identify if the source of the issue is the same. Hope that clarifies.