Updates and Additional Features


Here you can find more detailed information about the most recent REDCap updates, the available action tags, and additional features you can set up in your REDCap database.

  Recent Updates (7/26/2019)

  • Rich Text Editor: Use a rich text editor in field labels and section headers for many text-formatting options. If the rich text editor does not automatically appear, check the "Rich text editor" box over the field label or section header box
  • E-consent:
    • Force e-Consent signature fields to be erased when modifying responses
    • Allow users to specify up to five signature fields in the current survey
    • Customize text that will be displayed at the bottom of the e-Consent
    • Choose to allows users to edit e-Consent responses
    • Custom record label and secondary identifiers will now display with record name in the PDF Survey Archive
    • Users with Record Locking will now be able to Lock and e-sign the instrument
  • Alters and Notifications: Construct alerts and send customized email notifications
    • May be sent to multiple recipients
    • Set how the alert is triggered; define when it should be sent and how many times; specify recipient, sender, text, and other settings
  • Record Status Dashboard: Create new records directly off of the record status dashboard
  • Design: Links to Online Designer, Data Dictionary Upload Page, and Codebook in left-hand menu
  • Design: Quick links on the Project Home Page removed
  • Data History Widget: Now displays "seconds" component of the timestamp
  • Copy Project: Added options to select/deselect all options when copying a project
  • Copy Project: There are now separate options for copying users and copying user roles
  • Data Import Tool: Added link to Codebook
  • Help & FAQ: Opens FAQ page in a new window when clicked
  • Captcha: Use Google reCAPTCHA to protect public surveys from bots. Participants will never have to pass Captcha more than once per day per device. Available after 8/12/2019
  • Sticky Matrix Header: Matrix headers will float and stick to the top of a page on survey and data entry forms
  • Codebook: Expand and collapse sections of the codebook in a project
  • Survey settings: Save button now appears at the top of the survey settings page
  • Record Locking: Record Locking Customizations can now be edited by users with "Record Locking Customization" privileges when the project is in production


 Action Tags

Action tags are special features that begin with the '@' sign that can be placed inside a field's Field Annotation. Each action tag has a corresponding action that is performed for the field when displayed on data entry forms and survey pages.

A full list of the action tags that can be used in REDCap:

Action Tag Function


Limits the number of characters in a field


Sets a field's initial value. This allows a field to have a specified default value when viewing the field on a survey or data entry form that has not yet had any data saved for it.  For text fields, you may even perform Piping inside the default value to pipe data from another field in the project.
@HIDDEN Hides the field on both the survey page and the data entry form.
@HIDDEN-FORM Hides the field only on the data entry form
@HIDDEN-SURVEY Hides the field only on the survey page
@HIDECHOICE Allows the user to "retire" an answer choice and hide it without losing data


Allows text field to capture latitude of user
@LONGITUDE Allows text field to capture longitude of user
@HIDEBUTTON Hides the 'Now' or 'Today' button that is typically displayed to the right of date, time, and date/time fields.
@MAXCHECKED Allows designer to limit the number of answer choices a participant can check
@MAXCHOICE Limits the number of people who can select each answer choice
@NONEOFTHEABOVE A none of the above feature for checkbox fields that prevent the data enterer from selecting multiple options
@NOW Automatically provides the user's current time as value of a text field when page is loaded
@PASSWORDMASK Masks the value of a text field so that the rue value is not visible on the webpage after it has been entered
@PLACEHOLDER Is used to specify a short hint that describes the expected value of a Text field or Notes field
@RANDOMORDER Randomizes the order of answers in multiple choice questions
@READONLY Makes the field read-only on both the survey page and the data entry form
@READONLY-FORM Makes the field read-only on the data entry form
@READONLY-SURVEY Makes the field read-only on the survey
@TODAY Automatically provides the user's current date as value of a text field when page is loaded
@USERNAME Sets a field's value to the username of the current REDCap user. If this is used on a survey, the value will be '[survey respondent]'. Once the value is captured, it will not be changed when visiting the page at a later time.
@WORDLIMIT Limits the number of words in a field

 There are three additional action tags for the REDCap App. They are:

Action Tag Function
@BARCODE-APP Allows the REDCap mobile App to capture the value of a barcode or QR code
@HIDDEN-APP Hides the field only on the form ONLY on the REDCap mobile app
@READONLY-APP Makes the field read-only on the form ONLY on the REDCap Mobile App
@APPUSERNAME-APP Sets a field's value to the app username of the current mobile app user
@SYNC-APP For File Upload and Signature fields. This will cause any image files uploaded to a record to be sent to the app so that they are viewable in the app when editing the record.

 More action tags will be coming in the future!


 Additional Features 

Occasionally, we develop additional features that work to enhance REDCap, called plug-ins or hooks. These are usually developed for specific projects for a fee, but if something is in wide demand and there is time in our schedules we may develop them independently. We currently have two features plug-ins available that anyone may use.

  • The COMIRB plug-in works with the Demographics template available when you create a new project. It will allow you to produce the enrollment status you need for your continuing review, exactly as the IRB wants. Instructions for setting up the COMIRB plug-in can be found here.
  • The Add Record plug-in allows you to link two REDCap projects. By using the plug-in, you can update the information in one project as soon as you save data in the matching record in a second project. Instructions for setting up the Add Record plug-in can be found here.

Because these additional features are outside of what Vanderbilt supplies for the base-model REDCap, occasionally an update to REDCap will cause one of these to malfunction. If that happens, please e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we will try to correct the error as soon as possible.