Auto populate favorite answer(s) as default value in Survey123

01-04-2017 10:33 AM
Status: Open
Occasional Contributor III

My users often have the need to repeat answers to survey questions throughout their entire day's data collection effort. To help with this it would be great to see an enhancement to the Favorite Answer functionality in Survey 123 giving an option in the form menu to allow the user to set favorite answers as default values/answers to their forms so that they don't repeatedly have to paste their favorite answer each time they open a new form. Maybe have the menu look something like this:

  • Set as favorite answer
  • Paste answer from favorite
  • Set favorite answer as form default value

Hello Brent,

Thank you for submitting this idea! To clarify, is this functionality for your user to set their own default values, rather than setting these when the form has been authored? Would they be setting individual defaults for each question, a default template for all values at once (similar to favorites right now, but without the steps to populate from favorites)? Can you provide an example in your current projects where this functionality would help your users?




Hi Scott,  Yes, the idea would be to allow the user to select their own default values, rather than setting them in design/authoring of the form. These values typically differ for each user and also location. I think your understanding of the issue that it would be similar to favorites minus the step to paste the desired stored favorite is be right on. Not that it is a huge step to paste them but it would speed up the efficiency of data entry if the favorites just auto-populate.

The screen shoot below is an example from one of my forms,  In this form the species list for the SppID question is populated via a couple cascading selects from the previous two questions. For the taxa type question users would typically be working in a single environment (terrestrial/aquatic) and usually with a single taxa (plant/animal/insect) so the answer to this question would not change during a survey session (say  0.5 - 1 day sampling). Also, we have some users who know common names better than scientific names and some that prefer scientific names, so the answer for this question in most cases would always be the same for an individual user. Other instances where our users might want to a have their own default answers would: be a site name, or in some cases we collate names of others surveying with the primary user. For our workflow it would be great if the users could answer these once and forget rather than paste from favorites for each new survey. My thought was just add an option under favorites to make the pasting automatic.


YES! So much yes. I have been looking for this functionality. Use case: We have park rangers that have their own license numbers for their medical training. It would be great if they could set it once within their survey and not have to input it every single time. 

Likewise - autopopulating certain answers based on other questions. I.E. If you put in John Doe, it automatically populates your medical training license number. 


Sunny,  You may want to look at the pulldata() command for your auto populate based on other question scenario.


copying and pasting answers from one repeat into the next would be great as well.... this would work great for repeating plant names throughout repeats..... and it would remove the risk of duplicates.....