How to troubleshoot forms using the form inspector

This article is aimed at helping users get the most out of our form design troubleshooting feature, the form inspector. You can also check out this video. For a detailed guide on troubleshooting, check out our guide to troubleshooting form designs.

When designing your forms, you may run into errors that cannot be detected using the form validator. For example, what if a field is relevant when it shouldn't be? What if your calculate fields are not storing the expected value? In SurveyCTO, the test view and the form inspector can be invaluable tools for troubleshooting your forms.

If you don’t have any deployed or draft forms on your Design tab, you'll need to add a basic form to your server before trying the test view. To learn how, check out our quick start guide, section 1, Creating your first form.

1. Getting started

1.1 Open the test view

You can test your forms right from the server console. To open the test view, go to the form on the Design tab, click the Test button. The test view for the form will open in a new tab.


If you are working in the online form designer, you can also open the test view by clicking the switch in the upper-right. You can switch back-and-forth without losing any progress.


1.2 Open the form inspector

To open the form inspector, either click Form inspector on the top bar, or click the magnify glass symbol in the upper-right. It will open in an orange pane on the right.


2. Using the form inspector

The form inspector will look something like this:


On the top is information about the field you are working on, and on the bottom is information about fields that have been skipped.

2.1 Field info


This box will state the field's properties, including its name, constraint, whether it is relevant, and more.

While testing the form, you can use this box as a quick reference. For example, if a field's constraint is not working as expected, you do not have to go back to the form design (either the online form designer or the form definition spreadsheet). Instead, you can look at the constraint expression right there, and find what needs to be fixed. If a field is relevant when it should not be, you can also check the field's relevance expression right from the form inspector by clicking show expression.

2.2 Skipped fields and groups


This box shows the list of fields and groups that were just skipped.

Fields and groups will be skipped either because they are hidden (such as calculate fields, or geopoint fields with the "background" appearance), or because they are not relevant.

2.3 Clicking on a field name

When the name of a field is blue, you can click on it to learn more about that field.


The Show current value option is exactly what it sounds like: click this option, and it will show the current value of the field. For example, let's say the field "all_kg_grow" has a value of 100: if you click "all_kg_grow", then click Show current value, a popup will appear showing the field has a value of 100.


The Show expression option of a calculate field will show that field's calculation in a popup. Not only that, but the field references in that expression will also be clickable. If you click on them, you will get a list of options for that field, such as Show current value and Show expression. You can keep clicking on field references and clicking Show expression until you find the expression that is causing the issue.


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