Apostrophe in front of each entry in google spreadsheet after sending forms from ODK collect

1. What is the problem? Be very detailed.

I have been using ODK collect for a few months now. I designed an xlsx form offline and uploaded it and everything has been fine. But lately the forms which I am sending from collect to google spreadsheet have an Apostrophe in front of every entry. I have attached the image of what I am talking about. The apostrophe is not visible in the cell but in the formula bar you can observe the apostrophe in front of the entry. Please let me know what is the reason for this issue and how to solve it

2. What app or server are you using and on what device and operating system? Include version numbers.

I am using ODK collect v.1.23.3 on Motorola e5 plus, android version 8.0.0 and the forms go to google spreadsheet upon sending.

3. What you have you tried to fix the problem?

So while sending forms to the google spreadsheet, the spreadsheet was being edited and top row was frozen. I unfroze the top row and sent more forms to the spreadsheet but the apostrophe is still there, in front of every entry in each cell

4. What steps can we take to reproduce the problem?

I am not sure how to reproduce this problem. freezing the top row of the spreadsheet and sending forms to the google sheet may induce this problem.

5. Anything else we should know or have? If you have a test form or screenshots or logs, attach below.


If I copy the google spreadsheet and paste it in excel, the apostrophe doesn't appear, but if I download the google spreadsheet as an excel file the apostrophe is visible in the formula bar.

It's in order to avoid converting answers. Please take look at this topic Strange output from "select_multiple" questions
Without an apostrophe an answer might be converted for example text -> date.

1 Like

Hi @ecorock,

Just to add from what @Grzesiek2010 has mentioned. After you have downloaded your excel file, you can use excel shortcut tip to convert your values. I find the function "Text to column" to be very useful. Just select your column, then go to "Data" tab then find "Text to column" Just press next till you finish, the column will be automatically converted to numbers.

Hello @ecorock

I have the same situation, for me is complicate use the apostrophe.
The version 1.22.4 of odk collect do not send the apostrophe.

Maybe the developers reevaluate the use of apostrophe, or give a metod to choose if use the apostrophe or not.

Best Regards.