If Google Forms is not yet your go-to form maker, it’s time for us to change your mind. You may think you know everything there is to know about Google Forms, but thanks to Google’s use-it-and-you’ll-work-it-out attitude, perhaps you don’t. There are a lot of powerful tools hidden away in places you may not ever find unless you know what you’re looking for. We’re here to make sure you know all the top tricks of Google Forms.
If you’ve been using Google Forms for the occasional survey, you may already know a few great reasons to use Google Forms over the competition. However, you may still be unaware of some of the most powerful tools it offers. Here’s how you can do some of the more interesting things with Google Forms.
Choose Your Response Destination
If you’re a moderate user of Google Forms, you probably already know that you can choose between storing your results as a spreadsheet or keeping it within the form. However, you may not know which one to choose or why. For starters, to choose your results destination, there is a button that says “Choose Response Destination”. Click that if you want to change your response destination to a spreadsheet, or to revert back to storing your results in the forms.
You may wish to use a spreadsheet to store results if you want to view them easily, or if you want to manipulate the data (more on that later). You might prefer to keep the results in forms though if you are expecting more than 400,000 responses as that’s the limit of rows in a regular Google Spreadsheet. If your results are in forms, you can always export them as a .csv file and import them into your desktop spreadsheet software any time.
Regardless of which destination you choose, you can always go to Responses > Summary of Responses to get a more visual view of the results, which is perfect if most of your questions were multiple choice or allowed to be graphed in some way.
Add Spreadsheet Responses To A New Sheet
A step ahead from just putting your form results in a spreadsheet is that you can put your results into a new sheet on an existing spreadsheet. This means that if you’re doing regular staff surveys, you can get all the data collected on new sheets of the same spreadsheet. That makes it much easier to compare your results over time. When choosing your response destination (as detailed above), just choose an existing spreadsheet and a new sheet will be created for you.
Although many people know that it’s possible to be notified when people fill out your Google Form, it’s not entirely obvious how you set this up. For starters, it can only be done when your results are going to a spreadsheet (see above for setup). In the spreadsheet, go to Tools > Notification Rules and choose whether you want to be notified every time or as a batch.
Embed iFrame Of Form With Custom Width And Height
If you want to use a Google Form as a contact form on your website, or for some other purpose where it is useful to embed the form as an iFrame, it’s easy to do so. Go to File > Embed and choose the width and height of your iFrame. Then just cut and paste the code.
Add Page Breaks
In order to spruce up your form and make it seem more manageable to people filling it out, it’s possible to add page breaks. Just click on “Add Item” and choose the Page Break. A header and description can be assigned for each page, which allows you to clearly separate each of the pages into questions of a certain type or for a certain type of respondent. These pages can then be used for threading and logic (see below).
Use Section Headers To Add Passages
To add a section header, use exactly the same process as for adding a Page Break (see above). The best possible reason for a section header is to separate questions that are all related to each other, but don’t need a whole new page. For instance, if you are a teacher you could enter a short passage and follow it with questions relating to the passage. This scenario can also be done using the Page Break as shown.
Create A Self-Grading Quiz
We recently covered in detail how you can use Google Forms to create a self-grading quiz. For teachers, this is a really easy way to save some time with your quizzes. It also leads you on to many more ways you might manipulate the results of forms to make your life easier.
Create A Pre-Filled URL
If you want to pre-fill some answers for your respondents, go to Responses > Get Pre-filled URL. Then just fill the form out as you would like the respondents to do for any given question and save. You might want to do this on website contact forms in order to change the color of cells when a certain phrase is present.
Threading And Flow (Logic Branching)
Logic branching is a fancy way of saying that your respondent will go to a particular page based on the answer they give.
For instance, if you say you’re Australian, the questions will relate to Australian regions. If you give a certain age as an answer, you could have age-appropriate questions afterwards. For any form question where the user can give one answer from a choice of set answers, you can click the checkbox for “Go to page based on answer” and tell the form to skip to the next relevant section for each answer they choose. You will obviously need to set up the relevant pages beforehand.
There are no scripts for the forms per se, but there are many excellent ways to use Google scripting with your spreadsheet of results. If you have an inkling of an idea for something scriptable, thesewill get you up to speed and you can create amazing scripts with your form results as the trigger.
If you’ve enjoyed learning about advanced tricks for Google Forms, check out the following Google webinar on advanced Google Forms.
What great tricks have you come up with for Google Forms? Let us know in the comments!