Using select_one_from_file question type

We have consider using external selects but because we use select_multiple, it doesn’t work with odk collect.
If you have any other ideas on how to deal with large select lists, we would be really grateful !

Have a good day


@fpageot, have you tried using select_one_from_file (it should help you handle external choices stored in a CSV file). Moreover, this question type is supported by both Collect android app and Enketo.

For details, please view our support article Select One or Many From External File Question Type. We also have some workarounds in our community:

A simple workaround of using select_one_from_file question type:

If you wish to use the cascading select with select_one_from_file question type:

Thank you @Kal_Lam for your answer BUT we need to use select_multiple in ODK collect.
Is there any way to deal with this?


This approach is able to handle both select_one_from_file as well as select_multiple_from_file.

But this is written that it doesnt work on ODK collect

Sorry our support articles are outdated. We will be updating our support articles soon.

Okay thank you, I will try this solution then


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It works !
Thank you @Kal_Lam for your help and support !

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Sorry @Kal_Lam but it actually doesn’t work with select_multiple_from_file + cascading on ODK collect.
It works on enketo but in odk collect I have this message :

These are the 2 files that I’ve used :
species.csv (13.6 KB) test_select_external_cascading.xlsx (8.2 KB)

I’m not sure if the problem is what I’ve done or ODK collect.
If by any chance you have time, I would be very grateful

Thank you


Have you made a check with the files that I shared with you previously?

Yes, the only difference is that I use text value in “choice_filter” column instead of reference to another question.

And also it’s a select_multiple instead of select_one

I’ve notices an error :
list_name is species_arbustres instead of species

but now I have this error on KoboToolBox :

I know it’s not really a cascading but it’s still a choice that depends of a filter right?

Hi @fpageot
I would like to recommend the following topic that would help you address your issue.


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select_one_from_file seems to work fine in the ODK/Kobo Collect, but still not in the Enketo preview and open. Error msgs attached.

@Johs, it should work fine even though it does not work with the preview.

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is there any reason for listing the list-name with name and label in the Choices sheet when using select_one_from_file?
It seems to work well without.

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You could continue without the same.

I have been trying to use the select_one_from file. i have my choices in a csv file and added as a media image.
it deploys but when i try to open the form it gives me an error as below
"the header contains a duplicate name: in (list_name, value, label).
I am stuck at figuring out what this means.

@bmakori, maybe you will need to check out the choices sheet of your XLSForm to see if there are any duplicates in the choices name. For ease, you could also validate your XLSForm through this online validator.