How to add your first field

These steps repeat the actions that were taken in the video above.


  1. Log into your SurveyCTO server console.
  2. Open the Online form designer. In the Design tab, go to the form you want to edit and click Edit.
  3. Click + Add your first field or group.
  4. Enter the field label (question) in the What label should appear for this field? text box.
  5. Select field type. Example: text field type.
  6. Click configure.
  7. Name your field. This is a unique internal name used to refer to the field within the form, as well as identify the field in data exports. The name cannot contain punctuation or spaces. Example: first_name or last_name.
  8. Click Save now.
  9. Click Save in the top menu, then click Save as a draft to save the changes you made to the form.

You have now created your first field. You can test your form to make sure it is working as expected.


What is a field?

A field is an individual point of data entry, which can be a visible field, typically a question or a hidden field like a calculation or an audio audit. Learn more about field types here. You may also be interested in learning more about visible field properties.

What are the different field types?

There are a wide variety of field types, learn more about them here.

What is a group?

A group is a way to organize your questions and manage which questions should appear and how. You can have non-repeat and repeat groups:

  •  Non-repeat groups are especially useful when employing relevance to skip multiple irrelevant questions, to apply specific group appearances, or for internal-organization purposes.
  • Repeat groups are used to repeat certain questions, whenever you want those questions to be asked more than once. For example, if you are asking each member of a household the same set of questions, a repeat group allows you to “loop” through those repeat questions until you indicate you have finished with each household member. To learn more about repeat groups, see this documentation, or watch this video on using repeat groups for household rosters.

What is a field label?

A field label is typically the question that is displayed to the enumerator or respondent. A field label can also contain instructions or more information that will be displayed to the enumerator or respondent. 

What is the field name?

The field name is a short, unique name, without any spaces or punctuation. This will be the internal name used to refer to the field, within the form definition and also within data exports.

What is a spreadsheet form definition?

The spreadsheet form definition is a spreadsheet that defines all aspects of the form to be filled out, such as fields, groups, choices, and more. The spreadsheet form definition is contained in a spreadsheet document that you can easily edit, save, back up, collaborate on, copy, paste, and manage. You can edit these documents directly in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, or you can use our online drag-and-drop form designer to edit them. Take a look at our Guide to spreadsheet form definitions.

What is the difference between Save as a Draft and Save and Deploy?

When you Save as Draft, it means that nobody can see the form to fill it out. When you Save and Deploy, the form will be “live” and available to enumerators and respondents. Learn more about Draft vs. Deploy here.

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