How can I add an identification number to my form


I want to know how can I add a (preferable if consecutive) number to every form, that stays in that form even though I resubmit the form (when I edit some things inside it, and send it back) It can’t be longer than 5 digits.
If tried with the uuid, but it changes every time I edit a form and every time I save a draft and then send it, it also changes.
I need to show it a field in the form, but it can be simple like _index (my problem is that I can´t see that in the form) I need to identificate every form sent but I need to be able to edit that submit and for that number to stay the same!

Hi @analucia_espinoza,

Would you mind trying instance_name as discussed in the forum earlier here.

Or alternatively you could also try out using the unique submissions as discussed here.

Hope this solves your issue.

Have a great day!

I’ve seen all of those, my biggest problem is that it changes everytime I need to edit the form, so, there’s is NO WAY I cant identify the submission if everytime I enter or resubmit the changes made in the form the “identification number” changes, that way, my coordinators, or my boss can’t know for sure to wich form I’m refering to.
Is there a way to get a UNIQUE number, that won’t change with edits???
If I use the first one it won’t show in the form and also will change every time I resubmit, and If I use the second one, It will change, because the time and date will be different.
Pleeeese heeelp!

Hi @analucia_espinoza,

Try this out as outlined below:

In the survey tab of your xlsform:
Image 0.1

In the settings tab of your xlsform:
Image 0.2

If you fill out the same in KoBoCollect android app, you should be able to see the file name as follows:

If you fill out the same in Enketo, you should be able to see the file name as follows:

Finally, upon submitting your collected data to KoBoToolbox server, you should be able to see the file name as shown in the image below (please note this image is the data sent from data collected through Enketo)

Reference xlsform:
instance_name (Unique ID).xlsx (10.9 KB)

Have a great day!

I’m sorry, I think I’m not being clear enough.
The person who is filling the form selects state, sector and a date.
The form calculates a substring of the selected choices and the uuid


Then, the form shows that “name”, so the person that is filling the form will have an identification number everytime they want to come back to it or to relate some other documents. Finally, I get something like this, which is ok, BUT:


My problem is: I have a coordinator in the office whose function is to evaluate, edit, and add information that the people filling the form in the field has missed…
SO everytime she edits a form, even though it’s a minor change, the uuid CHANGES Which means, my CapID, as I called it, (Identification number) CHANGES
This is precisely what I DON´T WANT
Is there an automatically generated number that DOES NOT CHANGE when I edit the form and resubmit the edited content.
It can’t be the one that you showed me at first, because that one takes the date and the time to calculate the number, since the date and the time of the edit will be different, this number will change too, and that means it also will my identification number :frowning:

Sorry for the capital letters, and thank you for the help!!

I’m not certain exactly what your workflow is (specifically, how your coordinator is going about editing existing submitted forms) but you might try the following to see if it’ll do the job for you; for r3 have:

once(substr(uuid(), 0, 7))

The once() function will only replace the existing value of ${r3} if it is null, which it will be the first time you start a new form. But so long as you are not opening a new form submission then any existing value for ${r3} should remain…

Again, whether or not this will work for you depends on exactly how you are ‘editting’ an existing form in your system. But its probably worth a shot! :slight_smile:


It worked perfectly!!! Thaaaaank you sooo much!! You’re a lifesaver <3!!! @Xiphware


YW. Glad you (finally) found something that worked for ya! :slightly_smiling_face: