Google Gab: How do forms really work?

Google forms is an easy way to launch a survey or create a form to place on your website. In this article, we’ll explore the form itself and then how to get it “out there.”

‘How to’

1. From Google Drive, click on the New button and select More, then Google Forms. Name your form at the top. By the way, this action does not name the form “file.” Right click the form in Drive and Rename it.

2. Select the look and feel of your form by clicking on the Color Palette icon. You can even upload a picture that acts as a banner.

3. Add questions. You have several types to choose from. Experiment with them to determine what will give you the information you want and be easiest for the respondent. If it’s not easy, you won’t get what you need.

The multiple choice grid is a little tricky. You are offering multiple answer choices (columns) for a selection of items (rows). Check on how things look with the preview (eye) icon at the top of the screen.

Multiple choice

Close that window to return to editing your form.

4. Click the plus sign on the form toolbar to add new questions. For any questions that are required, move the Required slider to the right. That forces an answer before the form can be saved.

5. Add other elements to your form, such as additional sections, pictures or video. If you want respondents to rate the picture or video, add it below the question with the rating scale or response options. Then add the next question below that object.

New question

Now what?

What happens when respondents submit the form? Click on the settings wheel and General settings to tell Google:

  • To collect (or not collect) email addresses
  • Whether to limit respondents to only one response
  • To allow respondents to edit their responses after they submit them
  • Whether to allow respondents to see charts and text responses. Be careful if one of your questions asks for their name or contact information.

Then on Presentation settings, you can choose to show a progress bar, shuffle the questions, create a link to another response or customize the confirmation message. If you would like to make this a quiz, click on the Quizzes settings.

Getting it out

Once you’re done with all of the above, it’s time to get it “out there.” For this you’ll click on the Send button. Even if you don’t want to email it, the Send button will lead you to all the ways you can share your form with people. Click on the link button to create a link that you may copy and paste as a hyperlink, for example on a social media page. Or, click the < > symbol to create code to embed on a web page.

Collect usernames

And, then?

As people respond, you’ll be able to see those responses by opening your form file and clicking the Responses choice (to the right of the Questions choice) at the top of the form.