Guide to troubleshooting form designs part 1: Intro and using the test view

This series of support articles goes into detail on how to use SurveyCTO's troubleshooting tools. If you are a beginner to the test view and the form inspector, we recommend starting with our support article on how to troubleshoot forms, which is a shorter, more simplified guide.

This article goes into deep detail on how to thoroughly test your forms. However, you do not need to completely understand every part before trying it for yourself. See the bottom of this article for the other parts in this series.

Testing your forms is a key part of form deployment. Our users are only human, so it is only natural to occasionally make mistakes. Because of that, it is helpful to test your forms to make sure everything works as expected. You need to make sure every field only appears when they are relevant, all constraint expressions work as expected, every repeat group repeats the correct number of times, all calculations return the correct value, and so much more. In SurveyCTO, the Test view and its form inspector panel can greatly help with the testing process, and make sure everything works as expected.

1. Opening the test view

To open the test view, go to the form on the Design tab, and click the Test button. The test view for the form will open in a new tab. From there, you can complete the form as if it were a web form. Test the form, and make sure it works well!


When uploading a form that will be used for testing, you can select Upload as draft only instead of Deploy immediately. That way, enumerators will not be able to fill out the test version of the form. You can also hide forms during testing by having the form title start with "TEST - ". You can still test both draft forms and deployed forms using the Test view.

1.1 Using the online form designer

If you are using the online form designer, you can switch to the Test view at any time by clicking the switch in the upper-right.


You can switch back-and-forth as needed. For example, when you come across an error while testing, you can switch back to the Design view, edit the field with the issue, and then switch back to the test view. (You can also edit right from the test view, which we will discuss in part 3, section 4 Clicking on a field name.)

2. Form interface

The test form interface is essentially the same as the web form interface, but with some extra tools.


The single arrows on top allow you to go back-and-forth in the form (although the forward arrow on the right will only let you go forward if the field has a value when it is required, and the constraint is met). The lower arrows allow you to skip back to the intro field, or forward to the submission page (they do not check for completion, but you cannot submit the test form instance until all required fields are complete, and all constraints are met, which we will discuss in part 4).

Click the Go to button to access the Go To Prompt menu, which you can learn more about in our guide to the Go To Prompt menu.

More on troubleshooting form design

When you are ready, you can check out the other articles in this series on troubleshooting form design.

  1. Intro and using the test view: Why it is important to test your forms, and how to use the test view options.
  2. Saving and resuming progress: How to save your test progress so you can use it in the updated form definition without needing to start over.
  3. Using the form inspector: Using the form inspector to find errors in your form.
  4. Submitting test data: Ensuring data is correct when submitted to the server.
  5. Test view toolbar and other tips: Other details on the test view and form inspector not covered in the other parts.

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