Add multi-select to Collector for ArcGIS dropdowns

06-07-2013 02:36 PM
Status: Open
New Contributor II

The Collector for ArcGIS app supports dropdowns through the use of domains, but currently only allows for a standard single-selection dropdown in the app. Some data collection efforts  require the user to choose multiple items to add to the record's field (as comma separated items within a single field). It would be very useful to allow for a way to allow either a multi-select dropdown or a checkbox list for certain data fields displayed in the Collector app.

That would be nice - very useful to redice the number of attributes (and/or checkboxes).
To piggy-back off of this suggestion, it would also be nice to select an other option and type in a new response. For Ex. If you have a field with Color Type, with Green, Blue, Black as your options and the color is Orange. It would be nice to click Other and type Orange in the field. 

Please, please, please at least add the Multi-select field though. This is a huge negative to the Collector App. It has forced me to use a competitors app to do this application (Trimble TerraFlex). I would prefer to stay in the ESRI family though. 


Hello John,

Thank you for submitting this idea. The functionality you are describing is currently available in Survey123 for ArcGIS, as detailed here (select_multiple).

When voting on this idea, please consider explaining your use case and how this functionality would fit into your current or potential workflows.




Hi Scott,

I too have this problem. Our organization ( works for the Governmental Agricultural Advisory Services in Germany and amongst others we are providing tools to collect field data on plant pests and diseases.

Our use case is that the advisor for example monitors a field for a range of pests and needs to select one or more from a (pre-defined) list. We could add - let's say - five string fields (Pest1, Pest2,...) and connect them to a attribute domain. But this would either be 'overkill' when the advisors find only three and result in an angry phone call if he finds six.

I dream of a checkbox list in the like of

Multi option list

I know that Survey123 does support this but it lacks the feature of (a) editing existing data and (b) supporting related tables (a bug that had befallen Collector too [BUG-000097876] but was fixed there in the 10.4.1 release) both of which are mandatory to us

Best wishes



Piggy backing a little off this, I would also like to say that as well as multi choice dropdown it would be useful to be able edit the output


In our potential scenario, our Tree Team are carrying out surveys on our trees and listing anything of note that represents a risk. Some of that can be limited to a common response e.g. tick all items found under tree (bench, wildlife, signage etc). However for more complex descriptions they are having to use free format text boxes, even though a lot of the text will be the same for each tree as its common terminology. All they are changing each time are the specific measurements for that individual tree. Examples are shown below

Canopy is overgrown by X

Roots are protuding about X metres away from the tree

Contractor Y will be contacted to trim back branches by X


If there was the ability to select from a series of options and this to then populate a text box, they could then go in and amend as necessary.




Use Case:

Our organization has been using Collector to create new layers for various assets.  While the field crew is adding features, they sometimes find that the asset requires future repairs.  It would be nice to have a "check-box list" attribute of repair options that could be parsed out later (and I'm thinking imported into Workforce for ArcGIS).  Right now the workaround is creating multiple separate Boolean attributes (T/F) that represent each repair type.


This seems like an obvious feature request that wouldn't need a usage case defense, but here it is anyway.

When we are out surveying plants on parcels slated for the dozer, the municipalities request information about which significant trees can be transplanted or not. In the case of not, there are several reasons why, and more than one can apply. 

Currently we have to use a field for each reason, i.e. reason1, reason2, reason3 and so on.

So, our collection form for each plant would read: 

Disposition (This is a single-choice domain field)




Reason for Transplant (This is a multi-select)

Poor health


Sandy (uncohesive soil)


Form not suitable

Adjacent plants

The comment above that includes a graphic showing a "Select All" is a great idea. 


Hello Ben,

Thanks for sharing this detailed example. Currently Survey123 offers this functionality, where the multi-select is stored as comma delimited text in a resulting feature layer. However, desktop applications like Pro and ArcMap present the resulting field as text, so the multi-select is somewhat obscured. Are you able to create forms for use in Survey123 for these projects?

Since Collector is designed to consume data that has been created through these desktop applications and other means, their inability to author these at this time puts a limit on what Collector can consume. Survey123 supports this data model because the generation of the dataset begins with XLSForms, and XLSForms define this question type.

I did a brief search but didn't find any existing ideas asking for this same functionality in ArcGIS Desktop. If Survey123 cannot be used for your projects, please consider creating a new idea requesting the same multi-select functionality in ArcGIS Pro.

Thanks for taking the time to participate in ArcGIS Ideas!



Thanks for the reply, Scott. And thanks for the detailed explanation.

I hadn’t heard about Survey123. Does that come with ArcGIS Desktop? Or is that a product I need to purchase? I will take a look.




Hello Ben,

Survey123 for ArcGIS works with named users in the same way that Collector does. It is also possible to share surveys with other named users (through groups or your organization) as well as anonymously. The primary distinction between Collector and Survey123 is that they are map-centric and form-centric respectively.

As I mentioned in my last post, Collector requires an existing data model and is generally approached from existing GIS data that you'd like to enhance with field work. Survey123 starts with XLSForms. PM me if you've got further questions on Survey123.