I am hoping to build a field in one of my QField forms that auto-increments a number associated with a particular value from a different field.

ie. if field "Sampler" has value "AA", a new field, "Station_ID" will auto-populate AA-001. If another point is taken by sampler "AA", the "Station_ID" will auto-increment to AA-002. If another point is taken by sampler "BB", the "Station_ID" will auto-populate to BB-001.

This will allow me to associated a unique station ID with each individual samplers collected data.

I'm working on QGIS 3.22.5

How can I complete this?

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3 Answers 3


Try this, configure the form for Station_ID this way

basically is to turn off the editable option, turn on apply defaults on update and paste this expression in the default value:

            ) + 1,
        lpad(@n, 3, '0')
  • you rock! Thank-you! Jun 22, 2022 at 1:45
  • Thanks. It is working well but doesn not seem to work on qfield. Do you have any ideas why this might not work? Jun 24, 2022 at 2:21
  • Another option than the array methods would have been count("sampler",group_by:="sampler"), using count_distinct would have been an extra safety too.
    – Al rl
    Jun 29, 2022 at 0:10

Python code does not work in QField. So you need an expression.

Default of 'Station-ID' should be as follows:

  • Thanks Kadir. I finally had a chance to test this a bit more and this code produces the default Station-ID "sampler"-000. On QGIS it automatically increments by sampler. ie. AA-000, AA-001, AA-002, but when exported to QField the default still does not auto-increment. Instead, each time a new point is made with the same sampler, the Station-ID stays at AA-000. Any thoughts on how to fix? Mar 9, 2023 at 0:44

I'm trying to do the same thing than you. Add +1 to increment. This is the expression I use :

coalesce("sampler") || '-' || coalesce(lpad((count("sampler",("sampler")) + 1),3,0)))

It seems to me that QGIS counts when you create a station while Qfield counts after you saved your station. But I have my own problem. Please tell me if you have the same or maybe someone will find a solution : By using my expression, because the default value is applying on update, all my stations are renamed automatically in background when I use Qfield (but it works fine in QGIS). For example, if I had three AA station (AA-001, AA-002 and AA-003), every three stations become AA-003.

  • Welcome and thank you for your willingness to provide an answer to a question. If you encounter a problem, please open your own topic. Please do not ask questions in answers to other people's questions.
    – GisUser
    Jul 18, 2023 at 8:23

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