Create a matrix table with merged columns in kobo

Hello communiy,

I’m seeking assistance in creating a table format within the XLSForm that includes merged columns.

Context of public health

Here is the documentation I consulted, but I was unable to customize the table like it is in the image

Thank you for your help

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Hi @neale,

Is there anybody with kobo experience that could help?

All the best,


@aureolngako: in my prior experience with Kobo, you would collect values for each of the respective cells, using the survey instrument generated by the XLS form. To do this, the matrix setup you found could indeed be helpful.

Then, to make the table, you would use a software like R to summarise and present the data in a table with merged cells.

But it has been some time since I last used Kobo. Maybe @amy.mikhail, @kostas.danis , or @chrissyhroberts has suggestions?

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@neale do you mean the different export formats? It is several months since I last did this but there is one export option I always end up favouring over the others, because for multiple choice questions where the respondent can tick multiple answers, there is a separate column for each possible answer. I think it might be called SPSS format or SPSS compressed - will check and let you know. The other formats put the answers together in a single column, which then requires downstream separation (which to be fair is not so difficult with R but using the right export format means you don’t need to sort it later).

Oops sorry @aureolngako - just saw your post, I had missed it and thought Neale’s reply was the post. Do you mean to structure a question in your form like a table where several columns are grouped under a common header? I don’t recall coming across merged headers before, but I would try giving several columns the same label and seeing if that automatically creates a merged header.

I guess you are collecting aggregate data from tally charts with this type of question?
If it is to copy data from a paper table that has exactly the same format and you are not able to create the merged headers, you might need to split up the table into several subgroups.