Change character limit after data collection

I have collected about 7000 responses for and ODK form with a tablet using ODK Collect, but one of the questions was text type, and many entries had more than 255 characters. ODK Collect saved all entries completely, without cutting them down to the character limit, but when I uploaded them to Aggregatem as I hadn't programmed a bind::odk:length column before data collection, answers were cut to 255 characters. Is there a way to upload responses to Aggregate without having to retype everything? I tried uploading a new version of the form with the bind::odk:length column, but apparently it can't be done this way, as it is a deeper change and requires to be uploaded as a whole new form. Is there a way to copy all responses as in a new form with subtle changes?
I am using ODK Aggregate v1.4.15 and a bit worried about all this.

Thank you,


Hi @lucafm
welcome to the forum! Please introduce yourself here!

Unfortunately you would need to open each form and manually update your answers it's not possible to do that automatically. It depends how you analyze your data, if you export it to xls file you can create a function which would update the answers but that's all you can do.

I'm sorry to hear you're running into this problem. Did I understand correctly that you used a single tablet for data collection and that all submissions are still on it? I believe you can recover by using Briefcase and if you did use a single tablet this should be relatively straightforward. You can start by pulling forms directly from Collect following the instructions at

If you only need a spreadsheet from which to do your analysis, you can actually stay within Briefcase and export from there:

If you need the submissions in Aggregate, you should be able to delete the form definition and corresponding submissions, update the form in your local ODK Briefcase Storage folder to explicitly set the column length, and then push from Briefcase to Aggregate (