Master Mobile Form Building with 5 Techniques

Ready to build CommCare mobile forms like a pro? We’re here to help you up your mobile form game in 2016. Our Dimagi field team compiled a list of five of our favorite techniques for efficiently using the CommCare Form Builder a place where we spend a lot time. We are excited to share these mobile form building tricks with you, and hope you find them useful. Check them out below!

Move, Copy, and Delete Multiple Questions at Once

When you select one or more questions in the question tree by using the usual copy/paste shortcut keys, you can cut down on manual work and build your forms more efficiently. In addition to copying questions within a form, you can copy questions between forms, move questions to a different section of the form, and delete multiple questions at once.

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View the Question Tree as Question IDs

Just like you can view the Question Tree in any of your application’s languages, you can also choose to view it by Question ID. This is very helpful if you are trying to track down a specific question or choice just switch over to Question ID and then use your browser’s search feature to narrow in on the question you want. Note: use the Expand All feature to make sure you are searching against all possible questions!


Add Comments to Questions

Did you write a complex calculation expression and wish you could leave yourself or colleagues a reminder about how you were designing it? You can do that in the CommCare Form Builder! Under the Advanced section of the Question Properties there is a field called Comments. Anything you add to the Comments field will be visible to other app builders, but will not be visible on the phone.


Edit Translations Quickly in Excel

When you have multiple languages it can be time-consuming and cumbersome to translate the questions one at a time. A much easier approach is to use the Edit Bulk Translations feature found under the Tools dropdown in the Form Builder. This allows you to easily export the existing translation to Excel, collect all the translations, and then quickly update all of the translations in the form at one time. Also check out the Bulk Application Translation Tool, which you can use to easily translate multiple forms at once, in addition to other app language like case list/details and form/module names.


Quickly Change the Appearance of Questions

Until recently if you wanted to alter the appearance of a question using Advanced Formatting options such as a grid appearance, drop-down menu, or automatic advancing, you had to manually edit the form xml. Now you can type in the desired appearance attribute into the Advanced section of the Question Properties! For a complete list of supported appearance options see this page.

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