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Export and import the form structure

It is possible to export and import the form structure using XML, ZIP or CDISC ODM formats. This article will walk you through the process. The XML and ZIP export is available by default. Functionality to export and import files in CDISC ODM format is currently available upon customer request without any additional fee. To enable it please contact Castor support at and provide the study id where you would like to have this feature enabled.

Export the form structure

The 'export' function can be used to download a copy of your study forms so you can reuse them in other studies or share them with colleagues.

1. To start with exporting the structure of the form, go to the 'Structure' tab and click the 'Export' button.

2. Select the steps, phases, reports, surveys or survey packages that you want in the export. You can export the whole study, report, surveys or survey packages by clicking on the relevant folder. In the example below, 'Study' is selected:

3. Click 'Export Selection' to export the structure to a XML file. After clicking 'Export Selection', the download will start immediately and the exported file will be saved in the default download folder.

Import the form structure

You can use the exported files to import the forms into another study or copy structures.  XML, ZIP or CDISC ODM formats can be used for importing forms. 

1. To start importing a structure file, click the 'Import' button.

2. Click the 'Browse' button to select the .zip or .xml file containing the structure from your computer's files.  Click the 'Upload' button to upload the structure to Castor.

3. If you import an element of which the position matters, dropdown menus will appear where you must select where you want to insert the element. Once a position is selected, click 'Continue import' to continue importing the structure.

4. When importing a report structure, it is strongly advised to check that all reports have a unique name, as duplicate names may cause confusion and errors when collecting and exporting the data.

5. When the import from the zip or xml file is successful, you can find your imported elements in the position you specified in the previous step. If the imported items don't appear directly in the interface, re-opening the study should resolve this.


  • When trying to import a form structure, if you see that the 'Browse' button is unavailable/greyed out, that means that a file was previously uploaded but was not imported. To continue, remove the previously uploaded file using the 'Remove file' button. Once removed, you can proceed to add and import the new file.
  • For CDISC ODM format, please consider the limitations which are listed in the article CDISC export and import limitations

Importing the same structure

In some cases it might be necessary to copy the same phase into the same study. In this case all the variable names for duplicated fields will cleared since the variable names should be unique across the entire study. This can be solved by copying separate steps into the new phase and selecting the necessary variable prefix, suffix or replacing the variable.

Importing survey packages

If multiple survey packages, that contain the same survey, are imported the result will be duplicates of the same survey form.

To avoid this, you will want to upload the package once. After uploading the package, use the copy option on the cogwheel to copy the package and rename your package and field variable name if needed.

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  1. Castor Support Team

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