Form expressions

You can use expressions in a survey to control the default behavior of questions. A question, or a group of questions, can be hidden and revealed based on previous answers using expressions in the relevant column. When a question is hidden through an expression in the relevant column, no data is submitted for the question.


In the ArcGIS Survey123 field app, if an answer is entered for a question that is later hidden because of a relevant expression, the answer is cleared. If the question becomes relevant again, a new answer must be entered. In the web app, the answer is not cleared, so if the question becomes relevant again, the previously entered answer is used.

You can also apply expressions to the readonly column, which can disable input to a question or group based on the result of the expression. The required column also supports expressions, allowing the survey to require the user to answer a question only under specific conditions.


Read-only expressions are not supported in the web app.

Previous questions must always be referred to in expressions with the format ${field_name}.

Question visibility

You can hide a question from view with an expression using the body::esri:visible column. This column hides the question if the expression it contains does not evaluate as true, while still keeping the contents of the question. For example, the expression ${edit_location}='yes' causes the question to only display if the edit_location question is equal to yes.

This behavior is similar to the relevant column, with both columns hiding a question until the expression in the column evaluates as true. The primary difference is that body::esri:visible doesn't clear the value of a question that is made not visible by the expression, and submits existing values to the feature layer. Use the relevant column instead of body::esri:visible when you want to ensure the question will have no values calculated or stored when it is not relevant.

When using either the body::esri:visible or relevant columns to control question visibility, required, defaults, constraints, and input masks are only enforced when the question is visible.

You can also control the visibility of questions using the hidden question type and the hidden appearance, but these can not be controlled with an expression.


Image, audio, and file questions do not support being hidden by the body::esri:visible column.

Simple expressions

The best way to use one of these expressions is to change the behavior or visibility of the question, unless a particular answer was given previously. For example, the following expression checks if the answer to the previous question is true:

${previous_question} = 'true'

The following example checks if the answer to the previous question was greater than or equal to 100:

${previous_question} < 100

The select_multiple question type holds values differently than other question types, with each checked answer entered in the order it was selected, separated by commas. For example, selecting answers A and B, in that order, will present the response as A,B. To use a select_multiple question as part of an expression, you must use the selected function. The following example checks if the user answered the previous question with A and works regardless of other answers chosen:

selected(${previous_question}, 'A')

The count-selected function counts the number of options that have been selected in a select_multiple question and provides a number to use as an operator. The following example checks if the previous question had more than two choices selected:

count-selected(${previous_question}) > 2

You can use the count-selected function as a constraint for image or file questions with the multiline appearance to control the number of files submitted.

Mathematical expressions

The following example combines multiple operators and questions:

${previous_question} + ${other_previous_question} <= 100

When using mathematical operators, you may need to cast values into numbers. In the previous example, it is assumed that previous_question and other_previous_question are integers or decimals, but if the question types are strings, cast them as follows:

int(${previous_question}) + int(${other_previous_question}) <= 100

You can also perform mathematical expressions on date questions, which are saved as Epoch time, the amount of milliseconds passed since January 1, 1970. The following expression reveals a question only if the answer to the previous question is more than two weeks before today:

if( ${previous_question}='',false,today() - ${previous_question} > 1000*60*60*24*15)

Regular expressions

A regular expression is a sequence of characters used to match patterns in strings. In Survey123, if the pattern is matched, the expression will return true; otherwise, if the pattern is not matched, the expression will return false.

You can use regular expressions in any column that accepts expressions to alter the behavior of a question, unless the string provided by another question is in a given format. The following example, when placed in the relevant column, only displays a question if another question has been answered with a letter:


The following example, when placed in the choice_filter column of a select_one question for street names, will only show choices of streets that are contained within the citystreets list that match the city name selected in a previous question named city:


For more information about regular expressions, see Formulas.