Forms are among the internet’s most versatile tools. Whether you would like a contact form or a checkout page, a survey or a student directory, a form is all you would like to simply gather that information. With Google Forms, it only takes a couple of minutes to form one for free of charge.
Google Forms—along with Docs, Sheets, and Slides—is a part of Google’s online apps suite of tools to assist you get more wiped out your browser for free of charge. It is easy to use and one among the only ways to save lots of data on to a spreadsheet, and it is the best sidekick to Google Sheets’ spreadsheets.
When you got to gather data for your spreadsheets, a form is your ally. during this chapter, let’s take an in-depth check out Google Forms’ features, hidden tools, and add-ons to assist you create the forms you would like in minutes.
Google Forms started life as a Google Sheets feature in 2008, two years after Sheets’ original launch. you’ll add a form to a spreadsheet, format it during a separate sheet, and see your form responses in another sheet. it had been basic, but it got the work done.
Google added more features to Forms over time, then finally turned it into its own standalone app in early 2016. Today you’ll make and manage forms at docs.google.com/forms, with templates and quick access to all or any your forms in one place.
Google Forms is now a full-featured forms tool that comes free together with your Google account. you’ll add standard question types, drag-and-drop questions within the order you wish , customize the shape with simple photo or color themes, and gather responses in Forms or save them to a Google Sheets spreadsheet.
Let’s start out by making a fast contact form so you’ll see how easy it’s to use.
Create Your First Google Form
There’s also a link to Google Forms in Docs, Sheets, and Slides: click File -> New -> Form to start out a replacement blank form. Or, in Google Sheets, click Tools -> Create a Form to start out a blank new form that’s automatically linked thereto spreadsheet. that is the quickest thanks to get data into a replacement or existing spreadsheet: open the spreadsheet where you would like the info , start a form, and therefore the form responses will automatically be saved there with none extra clicks.
The Forms editor is simple . Your form fills the middle of the screen, with space for a title and outline followed by form fields. Click a form field to edit it and add an issue . Use the dropdown box next to the sector to settle on the sector type, like multiple choice, checkboxes, short answer, and so on.
Google Forms offers several settings options. The floating toolbar on the proper allows you to add more form fields. On the highest right menu you’ll change the form’s colour scheme , preview the shape , use the Send button to share the shape , and access other extra options, including installing add-ons for Forms. Switch from the Questions tab to the Responses tab in your form editor to ascertain current responses to your form and link it to a spreadsheet.
All you would like to try to to is add your questions and send the shape out, so let’s check out the shape options and what you’ll do with each.
Google Forms Field
Google Forms includes 12 field types: 9 question types, alongside text, photo, and video fields. Just click the + icon within the right sidebar to feature a replacement question, or click the text, photo, or video icons to feature media to your form.
Each field includes a replica button to duplicate the sector , for an easy thanks to add similar inquiries to your form. There’s also a delete button, options to form the sector required, and a menu with extra options on the proper side. you’ll switch question types at any time, though do note that your field settings and questions will reset if you turn from multiple choice, checkbox, or menu to any of the opposite question types. And, to quickly fill in questions in fields, just press enter to start out adding another one.
Title and Description: The title and description fields are added automatically to every form and field—though the description is hidden by default on most fields—and you can add an extra title block anywhere with the Tt button. You can leave the title and description blank on questions, but the main form title must be filled in.
Short Answer: This field is perfect for asking for small bits of text: names, email addresses, values, and more. You get one line of text to answer the question—though your users could actually enter as much text as they want.
To make sure you get the answers you need, this field includes number, text, length, and regular expression data validations. Number validations help you watch for ranges of values, while text validations are perfect to watch for email addresses or links.
Paragraph: Much the same as the short answer field, this is a field for text—long-form text. Length and regular expression are the only data validations available here, so only use it when you want detailed feedback or longer notes in the answer.
Multiple Choice: The default field for brand spanking new questions during a Google Form, multiple choice allows you to list options and have users select one. You’ll then have the shape jump to a different section supported the solution or have the solution options shuffled to stop bias.
Checkboxes: almost like multiple choice, this field allows you to list answers and have users select as many as they need. It also includes data validation to need users to pick a selected number of options. It doesn’t include section jumps, however.
Dropdown: Want all of the solution options during a menu? This field’s for you. it is the very same because the multiple choice field—with an equivalent section jump and shuffle options—only this point the answers are during a menu. This is often useful for keeping your form compact when there are many answer options.
Linear Scale: the sector to let people select variety during a range, linear scale allows you to set a scale from 0 or 1 to 2-10 with labels for rock bottom and highest options. And yes, emoji work for labels, too.
Multiple Choice Grid: this is often perhaps the foremost confusing field, because the fields are displayed during a list instead of within the grid as they’ll appear to readers. Essentially, you’ll add questions as rows, and options about them as columns.
You can include as many rows and columns as you would like, though do note that readers will need to scroll right to ascertain quite 6 columns on desktop browsers or simply 3 columns on mobile. you would possibly want to stay the shape preview open while fixing grid questions—just tap the attention icon on the highest right, and refresh that page to ascertain your changes.
Also, additionally to the quality choice to require responses, the grid allows you to require a response per row and may also limit users to just one response per column.
Date: Want to invite a selected date or time, perhaps to schedule an occasion or log an activity? The date field is that the one you would like to pick. It can invite a date and month and, optionally, the year and time also.
Do note that the date format are going to be shown within the default format for your location. If your Google Account is about to US English locale, dates are going to be formatted as MM/DD/YYYY; UK English accounts, on the opposite hand, will show dates as DD/MM/YYYY. Your users will see the date options in your locale’s date format, unless they’re logged into their Google Account, so make certain to stay that in mind when creating forms.
Time: Time allows you to request a length of your time in hours, minutes, and (optionally) seconds, for how to log how long an activity took.
Image: Google Forms allows you to upload a picture, insert one from a link or Google Drive, or take a photograph from your own webcam (as long as you’ve got Flash installed). Or, you’ll search Google Images for photos, including royalty free stock photo and pictures from LIFE that are licensed to use inside Google Drive.
Video: Google Forms only supports YouTube videos, which you’ll add either through search or with a link.
Whether you’ve added images or videos, your form entry will have the quality title and outline, alongside options to resize and show the video or image cantered, left, or right aligned.
With the questions out of the way, let’s pull them together and make an entire form with sections and logic to route users to the right questions.
Form Sections and Logic
Simple contact forms only need a couple of fields, but longer surveys can quickly get overwhelming with dozens of questions on one page. That’s where sections are available handy: They allow you to break your make up into chunks to answer one set of questions at a time.
Just click the last button the proper toolbar to feature a neighbourhood below the present question. Each section includes its own title and outline, alongside an arrow button at the highest to point out or hide questions and keep your form editor tidy.
You can drag-and-drop questions between sections, but you cannot rearrange full sections. You could, instead, move the questions out then delete that section. Or, if you would like to reuse a neighbourhood, just click the section’s menu and choose Duplicate section for an additional copy of these questions.
That’s an ideal thanks to start a form with logic jumps. Say you would like to ask a respondent follow-up questions supported their answer—perhaps to ask which meat an occasion attendee wants, but as long as they are not vegetarian.
Just add sections with the optional questions, then either add a neighbourhood jump to the individual multiple choice, checkbox, or menu questions, or to the section itself. Confirm to think through where people that shouldn’t see those questions are sent, too, perhaps with alternate questions during a separate section. Or, you’ll send them straight to the top of the shape to submit their answers, if there’s nothing else to ask.
Be creative: Form sections and jumps allow you to turn your form into a mini-app, and that they are often an excellent thanks to condense detailed surveys down into only the foremost important questions for every person.
Another way to form an interactive form is with Google Forms’ Quiz mode. Inside your form settings, you will find a Quizzes tab. Select Make this a quiz, then choose whether to point out the results immediately after the shape is submitted or later once you review the answers. If you select the latter, your form will got to require respondents to check in with their Google account.
You can then prefer to show missed and proper answers, also as a worth for every option if you want .
With that enabled, you will see a replacement Answer Key button on rock bottom left of every question. Click it, then select the right account the question. you’ll optionally add answer feedback both for proper and incorrect answers, with a link for respondents to look at more info if you want .
Design Your Form
There’s one spot where you do not have much option: your form’s design. Google forms include a header color or image, along side lighter accent color because the background. By default, new forms are available purple, while template forms often include a picture .
Click the colour palette icon within the top right to tweak your design, if only a touch . you’ll choose between 15 colors, each a darker color for the header with a complimentary background shade.
Click the photo icon to pick a photograph or Google Doodle-style drawing from Google’s library as your form’s header photo. Or, select one among your photos from Google Drive or upload a replacement one and crop it to suit in as a form header. Forms will then automatically select a background color that matches your photo.
Some of the included header images are animated GIFs with burning candles, moving balls, and more. Unfortunately, if you add them to your form, they seem as a typical still image. Perhaps within the future Google Forms will get GIF support—for now, images and colours are the sole design options in Forms.
Store Form Responses during a Spreadsheet
Once you’ve created the shape , you do not got to do anything extra to store respondents’ answers in Google Forms. By default, it’ll save each answer within the Responses tab, showing summary graphs and lists of answers. a private response view shows the live form along side the results from each respondent.
That’s great for quick form results, except for more tools to research answers, you’ll link your form to a Google Sheets spreadsheet. Just click the green Sheets icon within the Responses tab or click Select Response Destination within the menu, then create a replacement spreadsheet or select an existing one to store the answers.
One great point about saving Google Forms entries to a Google Sheets spreadsheet: It’s fast. Change your form field names, and they are automatically updated in your spreadsheet. Get a replacement entry, and it will show up within the spreadsheet as soon as your recipient clicks Submit.
Google Forms always keeps a full copy of all of your form data, so if you mistakenly delete something from your spreadsheet, don’t be concerned . Just open your Form response settings and unlink it from your spreadsheet, or click Form -> Unlink Form inside your spreadsheet. Then, reconnect the shape to your spreadsheet, and Google Forms will add all the shape data back to a replacement sheet.
There’s one other handy extra with Sheets: notifications. Google Forms by default can email you whenever the shape is filled out, but click Tools -> Notification Rules in Google sheets for more detailed options. There, you’ll prefer to get emailed just one occasion each day with a summary of all responses or whenever changes are made to a form entry.
Share Your Form
You’ve made a form, and now it is time to share it with the planet and obtain responses to your questions. Or perhaps you would like to urge feedback from your team on your form. Either way, here’s what you would like to try to to in Google Forms.
Collaborate on Forms
One of Google Forms’ best features is that you simply can share the core form with others to allow them to assist you build and edit the shape . an equivalent sharing features you’d expect in Google Docs and Sheets are included with Forms.
Just open the Forms menu and choose Add Collaborators, then enter individual collaborators’ email addresses. Or click the Change… link to form the shape public to the online or simply inside your organization.
Form Sharing Settings
Once your form is finished, make certain to see the shape settings before sharing it with the planet . Click the gear icon to open the settings, where you’ll add a confirmation page to your form. This works an equivalent because the form description field with no formatting but support for links.
You can also prefer to share the shape either only inside your organization or publicly with anyone who has the link. There also are options to gather their username (their Google Apps email address) or only allow one response (which requires respondents to log into their Google account).
In the response options, you’ll let users submit another response, edit their responses, or see a summary of all responses. you’ll even have Google show a progress bar supported the amount of completed sections or shuffle the question order.
There’s another thing to note: language. Google will show the form’s interface within the default language for your recipients’ location. If your readers are in Japan, say, and your form questions are in English, the UI text like Required and Submit are going to be in Japanese while your questions are in English. If that’s a problem , you’ll add a note to the start of your form to remind people to line their Google language from google.com first.
Share Finished Forms Online
Ready to get responses to your form? Just click the Send button within the top right to share the shape via email or social networks, copy a link to the shape , or get an embed code to feature it to your site.
With the link, you’ll either copy a full-length link or get a shortened goo.gl/forms/ link to share more easily on social networks. The embed option includes width and height options to suit the shape within your site’s design.
Sharing the shape via email includes an additional option: including the shape within the email. This copies your actual form options into the e-mail , and if your recipient uses Gmail, they will fill out the shape inside their Gmail inbox, click Submit, and send their answer without ever seeing your real form. That only works in Gmail, though—Apple Mail shows the shape fields but doesn’t send the answers to Google Forms, while Outlook.com can’t even open the form—so you would possibly want to incorporate a note together with your form for non-Gmail users.
Share Pre-filled Form
Want to urge feedback with a form partly filled in? Perhaps a contact clicks a button on your site that says they dislike one product, so you would like the survey form to reflect that automatically. or even you’ve got a form that must be filled out with similar info hebdomadally , and you do not want to re-type it.
For cases like these, click the Get pre-filled link option within the Forms menu, then fill within the options you would like on the shape . Click Submit at the top , and Google will offer you a singular link to share that replicate of the shape with the answers pre-filled.
Share Paper or PDF Form
Need to gather responses offline? Google Forms can help thereupon too. Just click Print in your Forms menu, and Google Forms will make a ballot-style copy of your form that you simply can print or save as PDF.
Grids and multiple-choice options show pill buttons to fill in, while text fields include blank lines for answers. Once respondents have filled out your paper forms, just type their answers into your Google Sheets spreadsheet to save lots of them along side your other form entries.
Google Forms Add-ons
Google Forms is great on its own, but odds are it’s still missing some features you would like . Forms add-ons allow you to add extra features to your forms, get customized notifications, turn your form entires into documents, and more.
There’s a whole library of add-ons tucked away within the Google Forms menu. Just click the menu, click Add-ons…, then find an add-on you would like an install it. You’ll then get a replacement puzzle piece icon in Google Forms, with a menu that lists each of your add-ons.
Most Google Forms add-ons run during a pop-over on the lower right side of your forms editor, and that they can also include an options pane that opens within the center of your editor. To open an add-on, just select it within the add-ons menu, manage its settings from its add-on pop-over, and it will then run within the background automatically. there is no menu choice to manage or remove add-ons; instead, just open the Add-ons pane again, find the add-on you would like to get rid of , click the green Manage button, then select Remove in its menu.
Here are a number of the simplest Forms add-ons to urge started:
All Questions Required? adds an easy toggle to form all questions required—or not—in one click.
CheckItOut allows you to sign up or out items with a form, essentially by rearranging data from one category to a different during a spreadsheet. it is a useful gizmo for managing inventory or shared items, or it might be used creatively to, say, approve tasks or do other jobs where you would like to maneuver items between two categories.
Choice Eliminator 2 eliminates options from multiple-choice, list, or checkbox questions if they’ve already been selected. it is a good way to, say, make a signup form where respondents can each select at some point or an form for limited quantity items.
Data Director adds form responses to alternate sheets and sends email notifications supported conditions. you’ll use it to sort all similar entries into different sheets automatically.
docAppender adds your form results to the top of a Google Docs document rather than a spreadsheet. Each response are often added to unique documents supported form questions, or they each are often added to an equivalent document.
formLimiter limits what percentage times your form are often answered. It can await variety of responses, a date and time, or a group value in your results spreadsheet, then will disable your form once that’s hit.
Form Notifications sends custom email notifications to you and optionally to make respondents with details about the shape results and a many thanks message.
Form Publisher makes template Google Docs documents, PDF files, or unique spreadsheets for every entry, then share them via email.
Form Field Export turns your Google Forms fields into JSON data to import into other form apps.
formRanger pre-populates choices in multiple choice or checkbox questions from a table during a spreadsheet. that provides you a simple thanks to add questions on data you’ve already saved to a spreadsheet.
formRecycler imports questions from other forms to quickly reuse them without copying the whole form.
g(Math) adds graphs and functions to forms. Type your formula in LaTeX format, or add a function to graph, then insert it as a picture into your form.
Or, if you’re storing your form data during a Google Sheets spreadsheet, there is a wealth of Sheets add-ons to try to to more together with your data, which we’ll check out in chapter 6.
Build Add-ons with Google Apps Script
Need to receive files during a Google Form? there is no add-on for that, but you’ll use a Google Apps Script to simply accept files during a secondary form and add them to Google Drive. That’s but one among the various belongings you could do with Google Apps Script, the scripting language for building macros and add-ons in Google’s apps which we’ll dive into in chapter 7 of this book.
Grow Your Email Newsletter List
Use your form to expand your marketing efforts and stay in-tuned together with your fans. Just connect it to your email newsletter app, and add everyone who fills out the shape to your email newsletter list. Or, if you would like to feature them to a different list, you’ll use Zapier to get rid of them from one list then add them to a different .
Turn Form Entries Into Tasks and Projects
Your team has stuff that needs done, and a form are often an integral a part of your workflow when connected to your to-do list or project management app. Zapier can then start new projects, add tasks and events, and confirm everything’s in situ to urge your work done.
Create Documents from Form Entries
For more customized documents, template tools like WebMerge can take your form data, create PDF documents from templates, and save or send them wherever you would like . Or, you’ll create text files from form entries for individual copies of every record.
Whether you would like to form an easy poll or need a dynamic survey with customized questions for various response types, Google Forms has the essential tools you would like . it isn’t the foremost powerful or customizable form builder. Instead, it’s incredibly easy to use, right from your Google account.
And because of its deep integration with Google Sheets—and a wealth of add-ons—it are often a strong tool to collect data and mine it for insights without leaving Google Apps.