How to Create a Survey using Google Docs


In a world where change is continuous, it is important for businesses to gain access to individual views and experiences as a basis for the invention or development of products or services. In order to gauge the interests and requirements of prospective customers, organizations use ”online surveys” that allow them to reach a vast customer base on online platforms.

So how do you create a survey online? 

One of the most inexpensive, flexible, and easy to use solutions is- 

Google Docs featured tool Google Forms- a form-building tool that makes it very simple to create surveys.

Listed below are the steps to create a survey using Google Docs: 

  1. Navigate to Google Drive and sign into your Google account
  2. Under the “Drive” tab, click on the “New” button
  3. Select “Google Forms” from the menu
  4. Add a title to your form by clicking in the text box and typing it in
  5. Add a description to your form by clicking in the text box underneath the form title
  6. Fill in the question and select the question type from the drop-down menu
  7. Click the “Add Question” button to add more questions
  8. Click the “Add Section” button to create a new section for your form if necessary
  9. Click “Add Question” to add questions to this section
  10. Select your Theme Color for your survey form
  11. Click the “Preview” button to preview your form to see how it will look to your users
  12. Click the “Send” button to configure how you want to share your form
  13. Configure the “Email”, “Link” or “Embed” tab based on how you want to share your form
  14. Your form should now be published and available to your users to fill in

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How to Create a Form in Google Docs

Go to the Google Drive webpage

Google Drive
Google Drive

The first thing you need to do is to open your web browser and navigate to drive.google.com. Log into your Google account if you are not already logged in.

Under the “Drive” Tab, click on the “New” button

Select Google Forms from the menu
Select Google Forms from the menu

Under the “Drive” tab, click on the “New” button. You should then see a menu like the one in the screenshot above. Select “Google Forms” from the available options to create a new survey.

Blank Google Form
Blank Google Form

You should now see a blank survey like the one shown in the screenshot above.

Add a Title to Your Survey in Google Forms

Editing title of form in Google Docs
Editing title of the form in Google Docs

Click on the “Untitled form” title, backspace it out and type in your title as shown in the screenshot above.

Add a Description to Your Survey

Adding a description to a form in Google Forms
Adding a description to a form in Google Forms

Adding a description helps define the purpose of the survey to your users. To add a description to your survey, simply click on the text box marked “Form description” and type in a detailed description of your survey.

Type in Your First Question in Your Form

Adding a question to a survey in Google Forms
Adding a question to a survey in Google Forms

Click in the area marked “Untitled Question” and type in the question you want to ask your users. Then, to the right of the question, click on the drop-down menu to select the question type you want. For this question, we will leave the default “multiple choice” question type.

suggested responses in Google Forms
suggested responses in Google Forms

One of the cool things that Google Forms does is offer suggestions for your question type as shown in the screenshot above. To add these suggestions to your potential responses to the question, simply click on the suggestion you want to add.

For our tutorial, I will click on the “Add all” option to add the “Yes”, “No” and “Maybe” responses to our question.

Responses added to a survey question in Google Forms
Responses added to a survey question in Google Forms

You should now see those responses shown as choosable options for your users in the response section of the question as shown in the screenshot above.

Add Another Question to the Form

Add question to survey button in Google Forms
Add question to survey button in Google Forms

Next, let’s add another question to our survey. Google Forms makes this very simple to do. To add another question to your survey, click on the “Add question” button in the toolbar to the right of the survey as shown in the screenshot above.

Adding a new question to a form in Google Forms
Adding a new question to a form in Google Forms

You should now see a second question on your survey like the one shown in the screenshot above.

Google Forms can automatically detect the answer type required based on question text

One of the cool things Google Forms does is sense the type of question you need based on the question text. For example, as shown above, I typed “Tell me your thoughts” in the question and Google Forms automatically sensed that this question is likely a long-form response type. As a result, Google Forms changed the question type from “Multiple Choice” to “Paragraph”.

Adding a Question that Contains Video

Add video button in Google Forms

You can actually add media like video to a question in Google Forms. Add your question and then click the “Add video” button as shown in the screenshot above.

Searching for a video to add to a survey in Google Forms
Searching for a video to add to a survey in Google Forms

You should now see a “Select Video” screen as shown in the screenshot above. Either type in a search term for the video you want or click on the “URL” tab and paste in the URL of the video you want to add to your question.

You should now see your video embedded in the question like the one shown above.

Add a New Section to a Survey in Google Forms

Add section button in Google Forms
Add section button in Google Forms

Sometimes, if you have a lot of questions in your form or if you want to break up your questions by category, Google Forms offers the ability to create sections of your form, each of which can contain questions. To create a section to your form in Google Forms, click on the “Add Section” button in the toolbar to the right of your form as shown in the screenshot above.

Add a Title to Your Section

Adding a section to a survey in Google Forms
Adding a section to a survey in Google Forms

To add a title to your new section, click on the “Untitled Section” text, backspace it away, and type in the title of your section. Optionally, you can also add a description to your section by clicking on the “Description (optional)” text and typing in a description for this section.

Adding a Dropdown Question to Your Survey in Google Forms

Dropdown answer type in Google Forms

One of the most popular question types for surveys is questions that provide a dropdown menu of options. To add a dropdown question, click the “Add Question” button. Then, type in your question. If Google Forms recognizes from the text of your question that you want a drop-down, it will automatically change the question type to “Dropdown” as shown above. If not, simply click on the question type dropdown and select “Dropdown” from the list of available question types.

Adding a Question with Checkboxes for Responses in Google Forms

Checkboxes in Google Forms
Checkboxes in Google Forms

What if you have a question where you want the user to be able to select multiple answers. You likely want a checkbox question as it allows the user to select multiple responses. Type in your question and then click on the question type dropdown box and select “Checkboxes” from the available options as shown in the screenshot above.

Setting a Question to be Required in Google Forms

Marking a question required in Google Forms
Marking a question required in Google Forms

Sometimes there are questions in your survey that you want to require your users to answer. Google Forms makes doing this very simple. Simply click the “Required” switch at the bottom of the question to “on” as shown in the screenshot above to make this question required. Now, users will not be able to submit their survey until this question is answered.

Changing the Color of Your Survey in Google Forms

Customizing the colors and theme of the survey in Google Forms
Customizing the colors and theme of the survey in Google Forms

Sometimes, you want to jazz up your survey by changing the color. To change the color of your survey, click on the “palette” button at the top of the survey window to bring up the “Theme options” panel as shown in the screenshot above. Next, select the “Theme Color” from the list of available options.

Previewing Your New Survey in Google Forms

Preview button in Google Forms
Preview button in Google Forms

Once you have your survey ready to go, you will likely want to see how the survey will look to your users. To preview your survey in Google Forms, click the “Preview” button at the top of the survey window as shown in the screenshot above.

Page 1 of survey in Google Forms
Page 1 of survey in Google Forms

You should now see your survey the same way your users will view it.

Second section of form in Google Forms
Second section of form in Google Forms

You can actually fill in your survey just like your users to see how the user experience will be for your users and to test the survey to ensure it works the way you expect it to.

Submitted survey in Google Forms
Submitted survey in Google Forms

Once you have submitted your survey, you should see a confirmation screen as shown in the screenshot above.

Checking the Responses to a Survey in Google Forms

Response tab shows new responses
Response tab shows new responses

One of the cool things about Google Forms is how easy it makes it to view the responses your users have provided to your survey. To view the responses to your survey, click on the “Responses” tab as shown in the screenshot above.

Summary view of responses in Google forms
Summary view of responses in Google forms

Google Forms provides three (3) levels to viewing the responses:

  • Summary – summarizes all the repsonses
  • Question – provides the responses to each
  • Individual – provides how each individual user responded to your survey

Publishing your Survey in Google Forms

Send button for Google Form
Send button for Google Form

Once your survey is ready for the world, click the “Send” button as shown above to bring up the options for publishing your survey.

Publishing a Survey via Email in Google Forms

Send Survey via Email in Google Forms

You should now see the “Send form” screen as shown in the screenshot above. There are three ways to publish your survey:

  • via Email
  • via a URL
  • creating embeddable code for embedding the form on a webpage

For our tutorial, we will focus on sharing it using both a URL and embedding the form on a website.

You can publish via email by clicking on the “Email” tab and filling out the email headers as shown in the screenshot above.

Publishing a Survey via URL in Google Forms

Sending a URL to the Google Form
Sending a URL to the Google Form

To publish a link to your survey in Google Forms, simply click on the “Link” tab. Copy the URL under “Link” and send it to anyone you want to access the survey.

Publishing a Survey by Embedding the Survey in a Webpage in Google Forms

Embedding Form as HTML option in Google Forms
Embedding Form as HTML option in Google Forms

Finally, you can actually embed your survey inside a webpage. This is valuable for bloggers and content creators who want to have the survey on their webpage. Click on the “Embed” tab as shown in the screenshot above. Click the “Copy” button to copy the embeddable code. Next, paste the code into your website.

A published form in Google Forms
A published form in Google Forms

Your survey should now appear for all your users to access as shown in the screenshot above.

What Types of Questions can You Add to A Survey in Google Forms?

Google forms offer different types of questions such as: 

  1. Short answer- such as name or other short details.
  2. Paragraph Text- can be used for longer opinions, suggestions, and comments.
  3. Multiple choice- allows you to standardize your answer options. 
  4. Checkboxes- can be used to select more than one option. 
  5. Dropdown- similar to the multiple-choice, the only difference being that options are only visible when you click on the dropdown menu.
  6. Linear scale- used for rating on a scale starting from 0/1 – 10.
  7. Multiple choice grid- 
  8. Tick box grid

Do Google Forms have ready-made templates? 

Choose from a range of pre-made templates varying in subject from “Party Invite” to “Time Off Request.” Go to Google Forms “Template Gallery” to view the whole range of ready-made templates. 

Is Google Forms good for Surveys? 

If you are looking for a free, easy-to-use, and efficient method to create an online survey- then the answer is Yes! Google Forms is your best option because: 

1) The prerequisites of using this tool are only a Google Account and the internet.

2) An uncomplicated interface allows users with average internet knowledge to access this tool without any hassle. 

3) A drag-and-drop mechanism for selecting options makes it user-friendly. 

4) The Preview option lets the form owner view how the form would look before inviting people to fill in the form. 

5) Respondents can easily access Google forms on their mobile devices, which makes them easily accessible anywhere at any time. 

6) It is an efficient method for conducting surveys within organizations as well, as Google Forms automatically collects the email I.D. of the respondents. 

7) You can access Google Forms directly from your drive. 

How many questions can you ask in Google Forms?

A total of 2000 questions can be included in a Google Form. As mentioned above, you can collect data with multiple types of answers like M.C.Q.s, Checkboxes, etc.

Do Google Forms Expire? 

No, The Google forms that you create are hosted on your google drive account. Therefore, there is no expiration date for anything made within the Google Forms platform. However, the owner of the form can close it. 

Does Google Forms Cost Money? 

Google Forms is completely free for individual Google users. Forms are also available for businesses as part of G Suite, which starts at $6 per user per month.

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