Guide to Go To Prompt

Images have been cropped to remove blank space. While not needed to understand this article, if you would like to use the time diary used in the screenshots, its sample form can be found here.

When completing a form in SurveyCTO Collect, you may notice a button that looks like an arrow pointing to a dot.


This is the Go To Prompt button. This button opens an interface that allows enumerators to jump back and forth to other fields in the form. If the user has no previous experience, Go To Prompt can be confusing when encountered for the first time, so we suggest you train enumeration teams on this feature. It can also be turned off if you prefer in Admin Settings (accessible from the three-dot menu on the upper-right) under User can access Form Entry items.

There are legitimate reasons to enable or disable Go To Prompt, but to make that decision, you must understand how it works.

What Go To Prompt looks like

When Go To Prompt is opened outside of a repeat group, it will look something like this:


If you are in a repeat group, it will look something like this:


Anatomy of Go To Prompt

Fields and groups

In the Go To Prompt menu, you will be able to view the fields in the form, as well as the answers given so far. They are color coded:

Green: Required fields that are filled in.
Red: Required fields that are not filled in.
Black: Fields that are not required, filled in or not.

You can tap on a field to jump to it.

Note: If a field uses HTML label formatting, the color applied using HTML will override the above defaults.


Go Up: If you are in a repeat group, go up a level and outside of that repeat group while still inside of the Go To Prompt menu.

Go To Start: Jump to the very beginning of the form. If your field has a note field with the "intro" appearance, it will jump to there.

Go To End: Skip to the end of the form, where you can name the form instance (if you're not dynamically naming form instances), mark it as finalized, and save and exit. Note: If the respondent skips to the end and tries to finalize the form, if there are still incomplete required fields, they will be brought to the first incomplete required field.

You may also see a triangle to the left of some of the rows (the appearance may vary depending on your device). This indicates that row is either a repeat group, or a group with the "organized" appearance. Tap on that row to open it. If you tap on a repeat group instance, you will be brought to that instance in the Go To Prompt menu, and shown the relevant fields in that repeat group instance. If you tap on a field in a regular group, you will be brought to that field.

Opening a repeat group in the Go To Prompt menu.

Getting there by mistake

If you enter the Go To Prompt menu accidentally, simply tap the back button on your device, or tap on the first red field, and you will continue where you left off.

Go To Prompt in web forms

If you are not using web forms, you can skip to How Go To Prompt can be used below.

In web forms, the Go To Prompt button on the top-right is an arrow that says Go to. (Unlike the mobile app, this cannot be removed.)


The Go To Prompt menu within a repeat group.
The Go To Prompt menu outside of a repeat group.

The buttons have the same effect as the mobile app, but there is different color coding:

Light green: Required fields that are completed.
Orange: Required fields that are not completed.
Light blue: Fields that are not required, completed or not.

If you get here accidentally, simply click the orange Close button, or tap on the first orange field, and you will continue where you left off.

How Go To Prompt can be used

Skipping a section

If a respondent is not ready to complete a certain section of the form, Go To Prompt can be used to skip that section so other fields can be completed. That section can then be completed later. If that skipped section is required, and if the enumerator tries to mark the form as finalized, then they will be brought to the first incomplete required field so they can complete the form.

Going back to fix mistakes

An enumerator may enter a value into a field, but based on later answers, it turns out that the first value was incorrect, and they need to go back and fix that answer. For example, a respondent can say they have five different cows, but while checking the health of the cows, the enumerator finds another cow that the respondent didn't consider (maybe because that cow cannot be milked yet, so the respondent didn't think it counted). The enumerator can then use the Go To Prompt menu to go backward in the form more quickly, and fix this error.

Sometimes, it is better to use field links to guide enumerators and respondents to different parts of the form. To learn more, check out our documentation on designing for easy navigation.

Check for linear completion of a form

If you are using a text audit field to record when certain fields were started and how much time was spent on each field, keep in mind that jumping around the form may cause what appears to be discrepancies. However, these are accurate readings of the field durations, since it just means the enumerator returned to that field at some point. For example, if an enumerator reaches a field 10 seconds into the form, spends 15 seconds on a field, moves on to the next field, then returns to that first field for 15 seconds, then the 'Total duration' for that first field will be 30 seconds.

Take a look at this example text audit:

Field name Total duration (seconds) First appeared (seconds into survey)
field1 10 0
field2 30 10
field3 15 25
field4 10 40

If you were just to look at the 'First appeared' column, you would presume that the enumerator spent 15 seconds on "field2", since there is a 15 second difference between the fields "field2" and "field3". However, the 'Total duration' for that field is 30 seconds. In this example, this is because the enumerator spent 15 seconds on that field initially, and then they used Go To Prompt to return to that field later, spending an additional 15 seconds there. The enumerator then skipped to the end of the form, and marked it as finalized.

For another example, take a look at this text audit:

Field name Total duration (seconds) First appeared (seconds into survey)
field5 15 50
field6 40 150
field7 15 65
field8 10 80

Here, the field "field6" does not appear until timestamp 150, even though the next field, "field7", has a lower timestamp of 65. This is because when the enumerator was on "field5", they used the Go To Prompt menu to skip over "field6" right to "field7", then returned to "field6" later in the form. In this hypothetical scenario, when the enumerator tried to finalize the form, they were automatically brought back to "field6", since it is a required field, and a form cannot be finalized until all required and relevant fields have been filled out.

If you would like a field to store timestamps and calculate how much time was initially spent on a field (that is, time spent before returning to the field later), check out this sample form for an example. However, keep in mind that when the enumerator uses non-linear navigation (skipping around the form) in a form using this approach, it can possibly result in negative durations.
To learn more about similar situations, check out our support article on the difference between duration() and end-start.

Checking completion so far

By checking how many fields and groups are red, an enumerator can estimate how much longer it will take to complete the form. If your form is being completed linearly (no jumping around), it may be better to give the form progress bars to give enumerators and respondents a sense of the completion status.

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