Make Forms and Quizzes in Google Docs

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Google Docs Forms - Surveys for the Masses

Google Docs forms
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Want to find out what your coworkers want for lunch? Need to get feedback for your training session? Want to find out which movie your friends want to see on Saturday? Do you need a database of your club member's phone numbers? Use Google Forms.

Forms in Google Docs are easy to create. You can embed forms on Web pages or on your blog, or you can send the link out in an email. It looks far more professional than a lot of free survey tools out there.

Forms feed their results directly into a spreadsheet in Google Docs. That means you can take the results and publish them, use spreadsheet gadgets or charts with them, or export the results to use in Excel or another desktop spreadsheet program. To get started, log into Google Docs and select New: Form from the upper left menu.

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Name Your Form

Google Forms
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Give your new form a name and start adding questions. You can choose as many or as few questions as you'd like in your survey, and you can switch question types later. Each answer will be a new column in your spreadsheet.

The button for adding new questions is on the upper left corner.

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Choose From a List Questions

Choose from a list question on Google Docs forms
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Choose from a list questions let you create a drop down box with a list of choices. Users can only select one choice from the list.

As with all questions on a form, there is a check box if you want to require everyone to answer this question. Otherwise they can just skip it and move on.

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Check Boxes

Check boxes in Google Docs forms
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Check boxes let you pick more than one item from a list and check the box next to the item to indicate their choices.

For most form questions, you can just start typing your questions in the blank and a new blank will appear. The blank box at the bottom of the list is slightly transparent to show you that it's not visible.

As soon as you click on a blank, it becomes visible in your form. If you make a mistake and end up with too many blanks, click on the X to the right of the blank to delete it.

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Scale (1-n) Questions

Rate on a scale in Google Docs forms
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Scale questions let people rate something on a scale of one to whatever number you'd like. For instance, rate your love of pie on a scale of one to ten. Rate your dislike of traffic jams on a scale of one to three.

Be sure to specify the number you want as your highest number and label the two extremes. Technically labeling them is optional, but it's confusing to rate things on scales without knowing what the numbers stand for. Am I rating pie a one because it's my number one favorite dessert, or should I rate it a ten because it's perfect?

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Text Forms

Text forms in Google Docs
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Text forms are for short text answers of a couple words or less. Things like names or phone numbers work well as text forms, although if you ask for names, you might want to ask for first and last names separately. That way you'll have a column for each in your spreadsheet, which will make sorting the list by name easier.

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Forms in Google Docs and Google Apps
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If you want a longer response, use a paragraph question. This gives your user a larger area for answering a question, like "Do you have any feedback for our performers?"

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Share Your Form

Email Your Form
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When you're done adding questions, you can save your form. Don't be alarmed if the save button is already grayed out. This just means that Google has auto-saved the form for you.

Now you can choose how you'd like to share your form. You can share the form in one of three ways, linking, embedding, and emailing. The public URL for your form is on the bottom of the page, and you can use this for linking to the form. You can get the code to embed your form into a Web page by clicking on the More actions button on the top right of the screen. Clicking the Email this form button lets you enter a list of email addresses to send the form.

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Your Form Becomes a Spreadsheet

Spreadsheet From Form
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As soon as you're done and your form has been saved, you can go ahead and close this window. Your form will feed into a spreadsheet in Google Docs. The spreadsheet is


If you wish, you can share the spreadsheet with others or publish it, but the choice is yours. You can also go in and manually add data to your spreadsheet without having to rely on the form or use the data to make charts.

You can even make a chart that is public while leaving the spreadsheet itself private. This way you could graph the results of your survey or show a map of where respondents are located without having to show everyone the raw data.