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Build Forms and Surveys with Google Forms
When you make a new form, you typically don't actually want to make a form per se. Instead, you want to gather info—and a form's the best way to do that. Then, you'll want a simple way to list and analyze the data—perhaps in a spreadsheet.
Google Forms is a great solution for both. Originally a feature of Google Sheets, Google Forms is now its own app, an easy-to-use form builder with a spreadsheet-powered back-end. It's a bit simpler than most form tools, with only 11 question types and basic color-and-photo themes, but it makes up for that by being connected to a spreadsheet where you can easily analyze your form results.
It starts off much as other G Suite apps, with a selection of templates at the top followed by your most recently accessed forms. Select either, and you'll see the Google Forms editor where you arrange and format form questions. The Forms editor looks almost exactly like the completed form will look, with the title and description at the top followed by questions. Add a question, and you'll get a multi-choice question by default. Click the Multiple choice button to select the form field type you'd like, if you want to change it.
Then, you'll notice 4 other options below the
+ button to add new form fields. Those let you add text sections to explain your ideas in the form, image and Youtube options to embed graphics and videos in your form, and a sections tool to break your form up where needed. Then, click the palate icon on the top right, and choose a color or photo header for your form—and if you choose the latter, Google will automatically select a matching color theme for the rest of the form. And if you need more features, you can install add-ons from the 3-dot menu on the top right.
Need an interactive form? Google Forms includes branching logic tucked away under a 3-dot menu under each question. Select Go to section based on answer, then select the section to have the form filler jump to based on that answer. You can then make surveys that are customized to different audiences, or have fillers skip entire sections based on their responses.
It's then time to get the answers you set out for in the first place. Google Forms lets you share the form privately with only people inside your Google Apps team, or with anyone with the link. Or, you can embed it in your site or share it via email or social media for a quick way to get your survey out. Once responses come in, Google Forms will show them in simple graphs under the Responses tab, or let you see the responses in a sample form interface. You can also set your form to save those responses to a new or existing Google Sheets spreadsheet. It'll copy all existing responses over to the spreadsheet, and add new ones automatically as they come in, so you can build your own charts and reports inside a full-featured spreadsheet.
Whether you're making a quick survey or a detailed registration form, Google Forms is one of the simplest ways to turn your questions into responses and analyze them in a spreadsheet. It may not have as many features as other form builder apps, but it will be one of the quickest ways you could build a form.
Originally published April 1, 2016; updated May 3, 2018 with new screenshots and features