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Quick reference

Survey123 for ArcGIS supports a large amount of the XLSForm specification. This reference guide provides a summary of the XLSForm features that you can use in Survey123. Surveys can be created in either Survey123 Connect or the Survey123 website; some features are currently only available in one or the other, and some are available in both.

Question types

Question typeDescriptionAvailable in Survey123 ConnectAvailable in Survey123 web designer Visible in Survey123 field app Visible in Survey123 web app

integer

Whole number input.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

decimal

Decimal input.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

text

Free text response.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

select_one [list_name]

Multiple choice question; only one answer can be selected. Replace [list_name] to reference the correct answer list.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

select_multiple [list_name]

Multiple choice question; multiple answers can be selected. Replace [list_name] to reference the correct answer list.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

note

Displays text on the screen. Can also handle hidden calculations.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

geopoint

Collects a given GPS coordinate. Defaults to current location.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

date

Date input.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

time

Time input.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

dateTime

Date and time input.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

image

Accepts either an image from the device's files or a directly taken photo.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

begin group

Begins a group of questions.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

end group

Ends a group of questions.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

begin repeat

Begins a set of repeating questions.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

end repeat

Ends a set of repeating questions.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

calculate

Performs a calculation on values in the form. The calculate field contains the outcome of the calculation.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

username

When signed in with an organizational account, this question is automatically populated with the account user name.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

email

When signed in with an organizational account, this question is automatically populated with the account email address.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

hidden

Creates a field in your feature service that is not displayed on the form. Use the bind::esri:fieldType and bind::esri:fieldLength columns to specify the data schema for this field.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

barcode

Scans a bar code or QR code.

Yes

No

Yes

No

start

Start date and time of the survey.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

end

End date and time of the survey.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

audio

Accepts a recorded audio sample.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Question differences between app and web

While the table above describes what question types are available across Survey123 Connect, the Survey123 field app, the Survey123 web designer, and the Survey123 web app, there are differences in their behavior and implementation across platforms.

  • The web designer combines integer and decimal questions into a single question type named Number. A check box in the properties of the question allows the survey designer to define which input is required.
  • The email question types provided in Survey123 Connect and the Survey123 web designer are implemented differently. The version provided in Survey123 Connect automatically populates with the email address of the organizational account the user is signed in to. The version provided in the Survey123 web designer is instead a text field that only accepts formatting matching an email address.
  • Geopoint questions have location search in the Survey123 web app, which is not available in the field app.
  • Geopoint questions have location averaging in the Survey123 field app, which is not available in the web app.
  • Audio questions don't allow recording in the Survey123 web app. Instead, they allow the user to browse to and attach an existing audio file from their device.
  • Several appearance types available in Survey123 Connect are instead available as separate question types in the Survey123 web designer. This includes Multiline Text, Dropdown, and Likert.

Data validation

Checking This is a required question on the Edit tab causes the survey question to require that the question contain a value before the form can be completed.

Most questions also have functionality to set a minimum and maximum length. This prevents the survey from being submitted unless the response to the question is within the defined limits. This function has the same role as either the constraint or bind::esri:fieldLength column in the Survey123 XLSForm specification.

Default values

Most question types allow you to define a default answer that is automatically used when the survey is loaded. This has the same purpose as the default column in XLSForm.

Special characters

These characters can't be used in the name of a question, or in the name field for a choice list.

Special characterName

Space

,

Comma

;

Semicolon

-

Hyphen

/

Forward slash

$

Dollar sign

.

Dot

(

Opening parenthesis

)

Closing parenthesis

Singleline text

Singleline text provides the user with a single text box. If the text exceeds the size of the text box, it remains the same size and scrolls horizontally without line breaks. This is ideal for short answers.

This behaves in the same way as a text question in Survey123 Connect.

Multiline text

Multiline text provides the user with a single, simple text box. It has no text limit, wrapping to a new line and potentially introducing a scroll bar if the text is long enough. This is ideal for long-form answers.

This behaves in the same way as a text question with a multiline appearance in Survey123 Connect.

Single choice

Single choice provides a list of potential answers from which the user selects only one; you can set one as the default on the Edit tab. There is also a check box to add an other choice, which opens an additional text box if chosen. In the Appearance section, you can choose whether you want your answers to be laid out vertically or horizontally.

Single choice questions have a Set Rule button in the design section on the left. Click this to open a window that allows you to set a visibility rule for any question that comes after it. This function has the same purpose as the relevant column in XLSForm.

This question type behaves in the same way as a select_one question in Survey123 Connect.

Multiple choice

Multiple choice provides a list of potential answers from which the user can select any number; you can set some as default on the Edit tab. There is also a check box to add an other choice, which opens an additional text box if chosen. In the Appearance section, you can choose whether you want your answers to be laid out vertically or horizontally.

This question type behaves in the same way as a select_multiple question in Survey123 Connect.

Dropdown

Dropdown provides a list of potential answers from which the user selects only one; you can set one as the default on the Edit tab. There is also a check box to add an other choice, which opens an additional text box if chosen. This functions identically to the single choice question but presents its answers in a drop-down list. This is ideal for a longer list of choices, as the list isn't visible unless one is being chosen.

As with single choice questions, dropdown questions have a Set Rule button in the design section on the left. Click this to open a window that allows you to set a visibility rule for any question that comes after it. This function has the same purpose as the relevant column in XLSForm.

This question type behaves in the same way as a select_one question with a minimal appearance in Survey123 Connect.

Number

Number provides a question that allows the user to use numerical values only. By default, it also permits a single decimal point. In the Validation section, you can use a check box to state whether the value must be an integer. Checking this box will remove the ability to enter a decimal point.

In place of the minimum and maximum character count, number questions have minimum and maximum values that prevent the user from submitting their survey unless their answer is within the given range. This behaves in the same way as the constraint column in XLSForm.

This question type behaves in the same way as either an integer or a decimal question in Survey123 Connect, depending on whether you've defined the value as an integer.

Date

Date provides a calendar to select a date. As a default value, you can allow it to start on either a specified date or the date of submission for the survey. In the Validation section, you can define a date range from which the user must select.

This question type behaves in the same way as a date question in Survey123 Connect.

Time

Time provides a question to select a time in a format of hour:minute:second in 24-hour time. A drop-down menu allows the user to select times at half-hour intervals; the selected time is presented in a text question, allowing for a more specific time. As a default value, you can allow it to start at either a specified time or the time the survey was loaded (not submitted).

This question type behaves in the same way as a time question in Survey123 Connect.

Geopoint

Geopoint provides a map for the user to select a location that will display on a map in ArcGIS Online. By default, the location is the location of the user's device; this cannot be changed. The Default Map drop-down list allows you to select which online basemap the user will see for this question.

This question type uses a different method of displaying maps but otherwise behaves in the same way as a geopoint question in Survey123 Connect.