Using Forms in Google Docs

>>Let’s take a quick look at how an online
spreadsheet from Google Docs can solve your common business problems faster than traditional
software and with a lot less headache. For example, say you’ve just been put in charge
of organizing a multi-day management-training event for your company.
You need to gather information from dozens of employees, like who’s confirmed to come,
what training workshops they can attend, guest panel suggestions, and so on.
So, how would you normally approach this problem? If you’re still using traditional spreadsheet
software, you could send our an email to 50 or 100 folks, wait for responses and questions
to pile up your inbox, and then patiently transcribe those email response to a spreadsheet.
Or you could use an online spreadsheet from Google and make people enter their own information
in a single, online copy of the document. There’s no email overload, no network drive
headaches and no busy work for you. There’s actually a powerful feature inside
spreadsheets called Forms, which lets you gather information from co-workers without
even making them open a spreadsheet file at all.
They just fill out a form in their email or browser, and their answers are automatically
added to a spreadsheet that you control. Just open any spreadsheet in Google Docs and
click the “Forms” tab. When you create a form, you’ll enter introductory
text and can list the questions that you need everybody to answer.
Choose from text, multiple choice, checkboxes, lists and more.
Hit “Send,” and your colleagues will receive an email with all your questions.
You can watch in real time as data provided by your co-workers effortlessly flows into
your master spreadsheet. Spreadsheets even includes tools which automatically
create a running summary and charts of all your responses.
You can embed forms on a web page or customize your confirmation message.
And, of course, you’ll find all the familiar functions you’d expect in a spreadsheet, like
intuitive charting, powerful formulas and a whole lot more.
To get started with Google Docs at your workplace, talk to your I.T. department, or visit

68 thoughts on “Using Forms in Google Docs

  1. WOW! useful for businesses – they have to be educated to use this and know of its existence. Databases on the cloud – integrates well with Zoho.

    twitter handle @iTbay

  2. Face it, you're just not cut out for this kind of work. See if you can get a job working with republicans or tending animals because you're about 50 iq points short.

  3. DanEDA, you are a complete moron.

    I followed this video and made a working form + spreadsheet, exactly as described, in about 90 seconds. And yes, this was my first time doing it.

    "Any spreadsheet" means just that. You can either open an existing spreadsheet or a new one. Then on the top menu bar, click "Form" -> "Create a form".

    Please pay attention or do your company a favor and resign from your current position. You are clearly not qualified to accomplish simple tasks.

  4. so the question is, why buy expensive MS office anymore? Google is offering it completely shareable for free!
    simple unimagenable a few years ago – amazing…
    google wave (which the made open source) will, in addition to that, revolutionize the web anyway – keep being innovative!

  5. Google are doing a great job with their Docs apps. This example is typical, demonstrating how these apps really can make life easier in a collaborative environment.

  6. IS THERE A BETTER WAY to create a nicer layout for the form. I want to have two columns instead of a long running list of questions which requires visitors to my site to have to scroll.

  7. Wow! This just made me look so competent to the local arts groups for which I am in-charge of scheduling details for an up-coming exhibit! Thanks Google!!

  8. Thanks lot google. You can change the world with things like these. Not like that BS named facebook.

  9. @RasrapSmurf Yes but how secure is all off that private information. I'm so tempted but not sure if there is a potential for exploitation in the future.

  10. I love the simplicity and ease of cranking out a form in literally seconds. However, I'm wondering why on the form entry page the layout is so rigid? Why can't I have my text box to the right of my label instead of below it? seems to waste a lot of space. There also seem to be double line-breaks between each "question" which also takes up a lot of space. Of course, for free and functional, not complaining, just wondering.

  11. Hey
    how can i copy a part of a form in other form?
    i have to send a very similar (but not the same) form to many people, and i don´t want to make 30 diferent forms.

    thanks !

  12. @RasrapSmurf nothing is really ever 'free' – google can use your information to advertise to you, to keep you in their 'sphere', use your information for their own purposes (even if they wont personally identify you, they track your IP address) etc. You relinquish your control of your information to google which google uses to profit from.
    However, I'm not denying they are providing good apps, which are 'free'.

  13. @digitalsoul18 If you've ever read about Google Apps, you'd know that the 'for business' and 'for education' versions do not include advertising. Apps for Business is a paid version, and 'for Education' is free because of branding purposes. If you develop trust in future consumers/users, you are creating future business for yourself. They can't afford not to do it.


  15. @chipk77 I'd like more layout options too. But –

    When I saw how long my form looked with double line spacing, I put fewer & shorter questions.

    Double line-breaks remind me to keep questions to a minimum.

    I think that's more readable.

    Who needs to fill out a long cramped form? People often don't – especially volunteers. This way makes your form look good, and there's a better chance of it being read at a glance, and responded to.

  16. @DanEDA How about: 1) Realizing that they mean you can CREATE ANY SPREADSHEET! 2) Follow their instructions (they're the ones who created Google Docs, so I ASSUME they know what they're talking about) 3) See number 2 4) See number 2 again.

  17. OK. So everything was started from within Google Docs. If one uses the normal MS Excel, is it also possible for him/her to make a Form-like "form", same like Google's? Thanks.

  18. This is great and easy way how to get online form. If you looking for more options how to customize and design you form, try

  19. Hi! I'm doing a form on google docs and I think my future respondents would gain a lot if they could see an image of what i'm talking about.. Is it possible to put an image on a google docs form?

  20. Hey, try It let's you create nice forms that allow users to upload too. It works with your Google account.

  21. update: google wave is dead 😉
    well – the problem with new things is – better make em compatible with the existing one 😉

  22. In two billion years the Planetary Republic of Google will find us a new solar system to inhabit.
    In fourteen billion years the Galactic Republic of Google will find us a new universe.

    Someone needs to write a Sci-Fi about Google forming a republic. That would kick ass.

  23. @sarakaster

    I don't think the question is "why buy MS Office when there is google Docs". There is much that Google Docs doesn't do. Don't get me wrong, there is much that it does do that other office software doesn't. I've got everyone at work addicted to Google Docs and Forms. But You don't ditch MS Office for Google Doc. You ditch MS Office for something superior, like OpenOffice/LibreOffice. Also free. And more powerful than MSO. And more accurate too (Excel sucks at accurate solutions).

  24. How do i get the entries from my form to show up in the spreadsheet by order of the most recent entry at the top? something about sister doc? I really need this function, step by step answer would be greatly appreciated.

  25. Can we set this up to be 2 directional? I want the form to populate from the row of data associated with the person I'm sending it to and when that person sends a response, for that row to update. Maybe there is something different that is a better fit for this.

  26. I am trying to find instructions for using google docs forms for a petition, is there a way I can have different responses counted separately? can I have the count displayed at the bottom of the form instead of in a separate window  ?

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