Kobo Matrix Enketo Form Creation in XLS Form

Hi all,

I recently started using kobotoolbox and working great mostly. However, I did encounter an issue which seems to be a bug. I was trying to build a matrix using the begin_kobomatrix in excel. For small examples it works fine but as soon as I try slightly more comprehensive (longer) questions it fails. I would like to report the issue but I am unsure of the correct procedure. I looked at all your repos on Github but at a glance can’t seem to locate the one I should report an issue for.

Or perhaps I am doing something wrong?!

Here is what I get (I tried adding screenshots of the kobo_matrix excel relevant parts but as new user I am allowed only one image)

I consistently get this misaligned generated form for other similarly configured kobo_matrix. If I used something more simple like three columns only (e.g. Female, Male, Total) then the grid generated fine.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi @ghachey,

Welcome to the community! Would you mind sharing the design that you wish for and would you also mind sharing your current xlsform. Maybe we could help you out figuring out your issue. Kindly please be informed that there should not be an issue with Matrix Question at the moment.

However, if you still wish to learn more on Matrix Question Type and solve the issue by your self please feel free to have a look at our support article QUESTION MATRIX RESPONSE TYPE.

Besides, you could also have a look at some of the workarounds that has already been discussed in the forum here.

Have a great day!

Hi @Kal_Lam and thank you for replying.

I wanted to share my xlsform but as a new user I was not allowed to upload file. How can I share my xlsform?

Thanks for your links but I do not see anything that resembles my issue.

Hi @ghachey,

You should now be able to share your xlsform. Also please do not forget to mention the rows and columns you wish to see in your matrix question.

Have a great day!

Thanks. I have created a minimal case with only one kobo_matrix. For me, when I load the following one.

matrix.xlsx (10.2 KB)

I get the following.

Hi @ghachey,

Thank you for bringing this out! I just tested the same and came to know that the matrix question works smoothly till 4 columns while using kobo--matrix_list in xlsform and the same gets distorted when trying to use more than 4 columns.

My advise is why would you not try the Matrix Question Type that is embedded in the form builder which is more flexible and dynamic. You could also exploit the same by downloading them to the xlsform and then re-working on it. It should provide you with more options (and you should get more out of it).

Have a great day!

Thanks @Kal_Lam.

Well I prefer to work directly in XLSForms as it is much faster and provides a much cleaner XLSForm template which I can re-work for various countries, etc. I thought that was the purpose of kobo_matrix, no?

I can use the form builder online for those cases for now. But as this has now clearly been identified as a bug I would hope it would eventually get fixed as I find kobo_matrix quite a useful feature. I suppose you could say it is a limitation (albeit it would be a strict and unfortunate one) but then it would be nice to have some sort of user error thrown when trying to load the XLSForm.


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Hi @ghachey,

Well if you wish to use the kobo--matrix_list Matrix Question type that is embedded in the form builder you could do the same as outlined below:

In the survey tab of your xlsform:

In the choices tab of your xlsform:

Image 2

In the settings tab of your xlsform:

Image 3

Data entry screen as seen in Enketo:

Reference xlsform:

matrix.xlsx (11.8 KB)

Have a great day!

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Hi @Kal_Lam,

Many thanks for this. The only difference I see with what I have is the appearance set to w5, w1, etc. Is this what fixes it?

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Hi @ghachey,

You got that correct.

Have a great day!