Invalid question name in matrix-style questions and no response

Hi. I am experiencing the following problem. I created a questionnaire, which includes a question matrix with several sub-questions.
The key question is: A. Please rate your ability to carry out the following tasks.
Then there is a list of sub-questions (tasks).
One sub-question reads: A6. Prepare a budget of $100,000 USD.
I saved and deployed the form, then previewed it. At this point, a message came up saying: [row : 29] Invalid question name [Question_A_A6.Prepare_a_budget_over$100,000_USD._] Names must begin with a letter, colon, or underscore.Subsequent characters can include numbers, dashes, and periods.
Not understanding the message, I decided to go ahead, obtained the link and filled in the form to test it.
Responses to all questions including A6 appeared in the Table (Data tab) but not under Reports (which didn’t even include the A6 question).
Then I exported the responses in XSL.
All responses were included in the spreadsheet, except for A6.
So I decided to change A6 to: A6. Prepare a budget of 100000 USD (removing $ and comma).
When I exported the responses using this new format, all responses were in the XSL sheet, including A6.
I have done more tests, and found out that whenever there is a comma in a sub-question in a question matrix, responses to that question are not exported in the XSL spreadsheet.
I truly hope someone can help. Many thanks.

Welcome @andreamari,
Can you share the related extract of your form as XLSForm (.xls file), please?

As $ is a system. keyword for variable references, you may need to mask it with a backslash as \$.
Also check in the (downloaded) XLSForm, please, that all your question name follow the cited rule.

Did you check your form with the Online validator, always recommended during development?

1 Like

Hi everyone,

many thanks for your prompt reply.
Please find attached the exported XLS file.
As you can see, the only missing response is A6 (column Q). No other response was affected.
Also, the problem is not only $ but above all the comma. Even if I write 100,000 without $ I still have the same problem.
I am sorry I didn’t understand what you meant by “you may need to mask it with a backslash as $.” Do you mean I should write: ($)100,000 ?

Many thanks for your support.
kind regards,

Kobo test Question A6.xlsx (9.24 KB)

The form, please, not the data export.


Please find the related extract of the form attached.
kind regards,

aJoESKecGhyDu89wWhqPy2.xlsx (11.7 KB)

Hi all, may I ask if there is any suggestion to fix the issue?
Many thanks.

@andreamari, could you kindly share with the community a screenshot of what is not working with this matrix question? The community could then help you out.

Hi Kal Lam,

thank you for your reply.
The problem I am experiencing is that, if I use a comma or $ sign in a matrix question, the response is saved on the Kobo system but not included in the exported XLS spreadsheet.
I have attached 2 screenshots.
The first is the text of the problematic question (A6) as it appears on the form. You can see it includes a comma and $ sign.
The second is the exported XLS spreadsheet, where all responses are reported except for the response to A6.
I hope the community can help.
Many thanks.
kind regards,

Why do you use note + select question without label here, please? (Instead of just one select question with a label.)

Thank you for your reply.
I choose to use ‘note + select question’ to make the form more accessible to respondents by creating some space between instructions and questions.
I am unsure whether this is causing the problem, as the responses to the other questions in the matrix are exported correctly.
Please let me know.
kind regards,

Notes are never exported.
I would recommend this spacing, even it puts the previous choices closer to the following question text.

You may also use a table style listing here, as the choices are the same.