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Frequently asked questions

What is XLSForm?

XLSForm is a specification that describes how to define a form using a spreadsheet. It is a widely adopted standard and is described at length at

XLSForm allows you to specify what questions will be present in your form, how they are presented to the user, and how to validate the responses.

Numerous data collection tools use XForms as their input. XLSForm spreadsheets that you create are translated into an XML file following the XForms standard, which is then used in data collection tools.

Using the Survey123 website, you can bring your own XLSForms into ArcGIS.

Can I import existing XLSForms?


Survey123 for ArcGIS allows you to take existing XLSForms and import them into ArcGIS. You'll use Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS to do this.

If you create surveys that you want to share with others, you can send them the .xls (or .xlsx) file via email to import into Survey123 Connect for publishing.

What is the Survey123 website?

The Survey123 website is the heart of Survey123 for ArcGIS. Using the Survey123 website, you can manage your surveys, control who can contribute to them, and view and understand the data submitted to your surveys. The Survey123 website is a web browser-based application and is available at for ArcGIS Online users.

When should I use the Survey123 website to author my surveys versus Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS?

The advantage of the Survey123 website authoring tools is their ease of use: You can start creating surveys with no training. The type of questions and smart survey features available through the Survey123 website authoring tools are limited but are sufficient for basic surveys. If you need more advanced question types or more complex rules, you'll need Survey123 Connect for ArcGIS. In either case, your surveys will be displayed in the Survey123 website survey gallery, and you can share them and analyze your collected results in the Survey123 website as well.

Can I show specific questions based on the answers from other questions?

Yes. Using the relevant column, you can hide some questions by default, and show them based on the answer from another question. A question hidden through the relevant column cannot submit any data in the survey, and any data previously entered into the field is deleted. For more information, see Form expressions.

Do I need to include a geopoint, geotrace, or geoshape question in my survey?


If you do not include any geopoint, geotrace, or geoshape questions, the main feature service layer for your survey will have a geometry type of esriGeometryPoint. The point location is populated with the location information available from the device at the time the survey data was captured.

Can I control the initial extent, scale, and basemap in the map display for my geopoint, geotrace, or geoshape question?


You can configure the map settings for geopoint, geotrace, and geoshape questions on the Settings tab in Survey123 Connect.

Can I use non-ASCII characters in my survey?


In Survey123 for ArcGIS, you can create surveys that display questions in any language or multiple languages. Non-ASCII characters are not allowed in the name column of your choices or survey worksheets.

Do surveys support right-to-left languages?


Surveys support right-to-left displays.

How many questions can a survey contain?

When publishing to ArcGIS Online, a survey can contain a maximum of 1,024 columns (including system fields), while a survey published to a portal can contain a maximum of 500. In both cases, this maximum limit can be circumvented by placing part of your survey into a repeat with a repeat count of 1 and storing that part of the survey in a related table.

Is there a limit on the number of choices shown in a pick list?

You can add pick lists to your surveys using select one types of questions. The only limit is what's practical for your survey users. Any list with more than 15 values will be difficult to use on a small display, such as a smartphone.

How can I restrict user input for a question in my survey?

For surveys authored in Survey123 Connect, Esri custom columns such as body::esri:inputMask can be used to restrict user input. The Survey123 web app does not currently support input masks.

What bar code formats does Survey123 support?

Survey123 supports the following bar code formats:

  • QR
  • Code 39
  • Code 93
  • Code 128
  • EAN 8
  • EAN 13
  • UPC A
  • UPC E
  • UPC EAN Extension
  • Aztec
  • Codabar
  • Data Matrix
  • ITF
  • MaxiCode
  • PDF 417
  • RSS 14
  • RSS Expanded

The default bar code question format is QR. To scan other codes, select them from the Menu Menu of the bar code scanning page.

Where are my surveys stored?

A survey is composed of two items in your ArcGIS Online account. One is Form item, which represents the questions and settings in your survey. The other is Feature Service item, which stores your survey data. Keep in mind that both of these items are required for your survey to behave normally.

Can I move my survey files to a different location on my machine?

Moving your survey files on your machine will cause Survey123 Connect to be unable to find them and will either return errors or show no evidence of the survey, depending on how much information was moved.

Can I move the items for my survey to a different location in my ArcGIS organization?

Moving the items for your survey in your ArcGIS organization after the survey has been published may cause both Survey123 Connect and the Survey123 website to be unable to find them, which may cause unexpected behavior.

Can I transfer my survey files to a different machine?

Yes. After publishing a survey, you can use Survey123 Connect to download your files. Sign in with your ArcGIS organizational account, and click the thumbnail for the survey that appears to download.

Alternatively, if you want to transfer files before publishing, Survey123 Connect will display and open any survey in the My Survey Designs folder, provided all files are present in a folder and share the same file name. On all platforms, this folder can be found at \Username\ArcGIS\My Survey Designs.


Be sure to use the My Survey Designs folder, rather than the My Surveys folder that may be present. My Surveys is the folder the Survey123 field app uses for its downloaded surveys.

Can I modify an existing survey?

Before you publish a survey, you can modify the survey, such as changing the question label, adding questions, reordering questions, or deleting questions.

Once a survey is published, you can make limited modifications to it. Edits that do not require changing the schema of the feature service can be made without issue. For more information, see Publish your survey.

How can I integrate Survey123 with Workforce for ArcGIS?

Workforce for ArcGIS works well with Survey123 for ArcGIS, allowing dispatchers and mobile workers to communicate as they complete assignments. You can integrate with Survey123 to provide mobile workers a clean transition between updating their assignments in Workforce and capturing data in Survey123. To do so, create your survey, and configure Workforce to open that survey. For details on configuring Workforce, see Integrate other Esri apps. You can also learn more about Workforce through its resources.

Why can't I access my Survey123 survey in Workforce?

Early adopter releases of Survey123 for ArcGIS used the ArcGIS Code Sample item type to store surveys in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise. These survey items are not supported in Workforce and will soon no longer be supported in Survey123. Be sure to upgrade your surveys or re-create the survey items with the latest version of Survey123.

Why can I no longer ignore SSL errors?

The option to ignore SSL errors has been disabled to address security concerns.

Why does the schema preview for my survey display the field length for select one questions as 255, when the field length for the question in the existing feature service is less than 255?

Prior to Survey123 2.7, the default field length for select one questions was equal to the longest choice in the choice list. This was changed in version 2.7, making the default field length for select one questions 255. This is to allow the user to add additional choices with a greater length to a choice list in an already published survey without having to re-create the feature service to increase the field length for this question.

For surveys previously published or created using existing feature services, the schema preview will always display 255, regardless of the length of the field in the feature service. When publishing the survey again, the field length in the feature service will be honored, and a warning will be displayed if changes to the choice list exceed the current field length.

Does Survey123 Connect have support for command line parameters?

Currently, the following command line parameters are supported by Survey123 Connect. These parameters should have two hyphens before them, for example --show maximized.

  • show maximized—Opens the window as maximized on desktop platforms.
  • show fullscreen—Opens the window as full screen on desktop platforms.
  • show minimized—Opens the window as minimized on desktop platforms.
  • show normal—Opens the window as neither maximized, minimized, nor full screen.
  • locale localeCode—Overrides the system language with the language defined by the locale code. For example, locale fr uses French translation files. This can be useful when testing your app in different languages.
  • renderingEngine—Only supported on Windows desktop. Sets the graphics rendering engine. Supported values are default (which will use OpenGL and fall back to ANGLE if OpenGL encounters errors), opengl, and angle.

Can I reference images that are hosted online inside note questions and the thank you screen?

If your survey is to be completed in a web browser, you may choose to use images in it that are hosted online. When doing this, ensure that the image is shared publicly. If you are referencing an image hosted by ArcGIS Online, the URL must use the format of https://<org_url>/sharing/rest/content/items/<item_id>/data.