Problem with ENKETO PDF printout

Greetings community,

I am having trouble with the PDF printout of a form from enketo. The form is a grid-theme appearance with several tables. The Print preview is not consistent. At times it is coloured (as i would like) and other times it is in black and white. All of this is happening using the same browser, same form, same printer settings for both the browser and enketo (A4 Portrait coloured). There is also a problem with text randomly getting bold or repeated as well as the boundaries of the some of the tables disappearing. Look at the pictures of sections of the form for clarification below.

  1. Coloured section with boundaries missing:

  2. Coloured section with text repetition and un expected bold

  3. Black & white: image

The black and white render is the most common to appear. It is more organized but I need the colour to remain and the boundaries to remain intact as well in the pdf.

Could this be a bug with enketo? Can someone suggest a possible remedy to this? I would like to have the pdf printout to appear as on the screen during form filling.

A screenshot would be a good remedy but some of the text wouldn’t appear as it is not text wrapped.

Could you also provide us the browser and server you are currently using?

I’m using Google chrome and the form is hosted on Kobo. Now that you mention it, I have tried using Microsoft edge and the form also comes out in black and white without any problems with the boundaries or repetition but some of the longer string inputs are still bold unexpectedly.

Is the black and white render intentional? Can it be colored?

I mean, is it a self hosted server or one of the servers (HHI or OCHA) hosted by KoBoToolbox?

No it isn’t self hosted. It is the HHI server.. IT is not the humanitarian response server

Could you also list out the steps on how you try to print a PDF. Maybe we could follow your steps so that we could be able to replicate your issue at our end.

I have tried two different approaches.

  1. First is after filling the form via enketo, I click the print button in the top right corner of the page. Then accept the settings and view the print preview then proceed to print to PDF.

  2. I submit the filled form via enketo and then via the submission edit option on the server. I try to print the submission using the print button as above.

In both cases, the print is either colored with distortion or it’s black and white with minimal errors. Note: that my form has several tables generated using the matrix question type. Some of these tables are grouped. Aside from the print issue, it mostly works as expected.

Any of those options should generate a similar defective appearance in the PDF.

Hi @marc
Could you please send us a link to the form on a private message cc @Kal_Lam?
Can you also try this on another browser?


So you mean to say the form is colored while trying to fill it up:

But the same is in blank and white while printing it out:

Did I get you correctly?

Yes, that is both the render. However some fields of input string come out as bold unexpectedly. I would wish the text would appear as neat as on the Enketo render without the ‘dotted sequence’. I would mot mind the black and white but a choice between the two would be more effective and an end to the random bold answers seem like a bug…

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@marc, maybe a features improvement request here could help us document your suggestions systematically.

HI @marc
Could you please confirm if this is still an issue. Apologies, I may have missed this particular message.


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@stephanealoo Thank you. The pdf is much more stable especially under A4 print settings. Hopefully a colour version will also be available in future improvements.


Hello @stephanealoo and @Kal_Lam ,

This issue of the print to PDF has recurred on a updated version of this very form.
Same HHI server, windows PC and other settings suggested in this thread. I even switched between Google chrome and Ms Edge, different page sizes and printers without much luck. (The issue only appears with data inserted not the blank form on enketo ).

The headers of groups are split across different pages and certain cells in a some row are misaligned within the printed PDF as well. The overall pdf printout is unstable especially after data entry and especially on cells near “thousands-sep” appearances.
Could this be a bug or a result of not using “multiple pages” form style when designing forms with grid theme and matrix type questions.

Can I send a private link to the form for you to try it out on your end probably?

Lastly, I hope all earlier images of this form on this thread can be blurred out as I still don’t have permission to share the form until after this pretesting internally. I am still troubleshooting it before delivering to my supervisor.

I would appreciate any guidance on how to generate a more consistent PDF print. Thank you for all you keep doing.

Yes, maybe having a survey link should be helpful here to investigate your issue? You could sent them through a private message.