Please note that Group Complete has been discontinued and released as open source ⇒ Read More

Building Forms By Hand

Based on XML, the XForm standard is a flexible and advanced form definition format. This article will introduce you to the information and reference materials necessary to understand, create and edit XForms by hand.

We find that hand-editing forms generated by graphical form builders & other tools or creating forms from scratch is sometimes necessary to define complex conditional logic and make use of certain advanced features. After hand-editing, you should always verify the syntax of the form using ODK Validate.

Understanding XForms

If you wish to write or edit XForm files by hand we suggest that you begin by reading the following guides and reference material.

Editing XForms

XForm files are stored in a simple XML format that can be created and manipulated with a text editor. Please note that you cannot use a word processor in place of a text editor.

There are many text editors available and nearly as many discussions about which one is best. If you don't already have a text editor installed check out Notepad++ for Windows or gedit for a simple text editor that runs on Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

Support Policy For Hand-Edited Forms

We provide support and assistance to users of our premium plans who wish to use their hand edited forms with Group Complete. Please contact us for more information on using your hand-edited forms with Group Complete.

Group Complete

Group Complete was discontinued in March 2012 due to a change in direction at Radical Dynamic. This website has been kept intact as a sample of Group Complete's technology portfolio.

Source code for the Group Complete Android app has been published to Please be sure to read the README file if you intend on releasing derivative works!

Visit or follow @radicaldynamic for updates on other projects by Radical Dynamic.

Thank you for your interest in Group Complete!

Matt Adams
Founder, Radical Dynamic, @stuffbymatt