URL Parameters not clickable on Android devices

I am using url parameters to prefill hidden fields on my Kobo survey with data already collected in another application. When I copy/paste the full url, this works seamlessly. However, we push the survey link out via SMS and when I test it on phones, Android doesn’t accept the brackets required for the parameter as a part of the link. In the SMS, the clickable portion of the link stops at the bracket. The only way the parameters will be included is if the end-user does a full copy/paste from their phone, which seems unlikely. Is there a way to prefill Kobo form fields with data using a different approach without the need for the brackets? I did try encoding the url with %5B and %5D instead, but Android still interprets those as brackets and I get the same result on the phone. Ultimately, I just need the full link, including the parameters, to be clickable by the end user. Would appreciate any ideas.

Welcome to the community, @sm2! Maybe share your sample XLSForm (with the relevant part of the question) with the community so that the community could also test and help you out if it’s possible through KoboToolbox.

Hi @Kal_Lam and thank you. As a new user, it’s not letting me upload the xlsform as an attachment, below is a partial screenshot. The issue I’m having isn’t with the form functionality itself though. Rows 7 & 8 are two hidden fields. I’m grabbing that data from another internal system using parameters in the url where ‘c’ and ‘e’ equal different unique ids from that system. Example: Enketo Express for KoboToolbox[e}=12312

When copy/pasted in its entirety, the url works perfectly and those hidden fields are filled on my form. My issue is that brackets aren’t allowed in url strings by android devices. We are primarily sending this link via sms to participants and the link breaks at the first bracket on these devices. Subsequently, when a participant clicks on the link in their sms, they are only clicking on Enketo Express for KoboToolbox and the rest of the url falls off, rendering the parameters useless. I guess my overall question is if there is a way to use url parameters in Kobo without the brackets.


@sm2, have you validated your XLSForm through this online validator to see if there are any issues?

Hey @Kal_Lam
I ran it through the validator. The only issues are some missing label names:

The underlying issue I’m trying to troubleshoot isn’t with the form itself, but specific to how Kobo handles parameters in the survey urls. When using parameters, do they always need to be formatted as &d{fieldName] or is there a way to omit the brackets and still have the fieldName map to the survey appropriately?

Thanks again for looking into this.