Managing cascading select questions for a very large question choices

Thank you so much.

I am currently mastering the best way to go around using external files for cascading selection, I still do not know the way out (i.e selecting the state, then LGA, then health facility from an external file).

However, I tried removing the drop-down for the health facilities which is the longest list for the drop-down, but the problem still persists.

Attached is the currently XLS form.National iMSV Checklist (NMEP).xlsx (52.4 KB)

Have you had a look at our workaround discussed previously (it should solve your issue):

Yes, I did already.

What I am getting currently now is that older versions of KoboCollect APP is working fine (1.27.3 and 1.29). Even though it returns error, you can still get the form under blank form

Could you share with the community the error you see at your end. Which version of KoBocollect android app do you use?

I am currently using v1.27.3 and v1.29.

When getting that particular form on the two versions I got the following errors respectively.

However, when I check get blank form, the form was gotten successful.

In the newest version on playstore, it shows failure and no form gotten.

Would you mind sharing the screenshot of General Settings>Server from your KoBoCollect android app? There also seems to be a media file in your survey project:


Ensure that it’s uploaded too.

If you don’t mind, on a direct message, I can share the credentials of the account with you since it can be changed later.


Should i give a look at your issue at my end?

I see some weird column names that are not supported with KoBoToolbox from your xlsform:

In the survey tab of your xlsform:

In the choices tab of your xlsform:

Image 2

I have fixed them and in the xlsform attached below. It should work smoothly (i.e. you should not be able to download them smoothly in your KoBoCollect android app from your KoBoToolbox server). But please note that i could also see a lot of choices (hundreds and thousands). Hence once again would recommend to use the select_one_from_file question type to solve this issue as outlined previously.

But as a try you could still use the following xlsform which you should now be able to get into your KoBoCollect android app.

Edited xlsform:

National iMSV Checklist (NMEP).xlsx (804.9 KB)

So the main issue here was your weird column name that was causing the issue. Just curious to know how you got this column names in your xlsform?

Thanks so much. I thought some of them were gotten from another platform.

Using the select_one_from_file, how can I capture the cascading, I will appreciate an example file, sir.

For the updated XLS form you shared with me, the settings worksheet is not part of it, won’t there be a need for the settings worksheet again?

Thanks for your support.

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You could follow the post that i have shared above. It has a clear simple workaround that should help you for better understanding.

No, you could use the xlsform that i have shared. It should work without any issue.

Thanks Tomisin, please this issue is still persisting.

Welcome back to the community @cchukwu! Would you mind explaining a bit on what is still now working. Maybe the community could help you solve your issue.


I have replaced the exact XLS form you shared with your edit to the platforms and redeployed, but, the same error “failure” was returned when getting the blank form on the kobocollect app.

Could you try it out as a fresh project and see? It worked for me smoothly.

It worked perfectly fine as a new project. Even the older XLS form worked perfectly well without any reservation.

Would you mind downloading your xlsform again and then see if you still see the weird column names that are not supported by KoBoToolbox?

Kindly find attached the XLS form as downloaded directly from the server.aNUrDoF7VbL9sp56PGCbnz.xlsx (682.0 KB)

OK so as a temporary solution maybe you could do the following:

  • Archive the existing survey project (the one that is not getting to your Collect android app).
  • Upload the xlsform that i shared with you (for this see my post above).
  • Deploy the same and then use it as your survey.

Note: The negative aspect of this approach is that you will later on need to merge your dataset manually once the survey is over. But the positive aspect is that your enumerators need not wait for the issue to be resolved.