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The Google Forms Beginner’s Guide

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Would you like to learn more about Google Forms? Is it a name you’ve never heard before? In any case, here are some pointers to help you get started creating free online surveys and forms using Google’s powerful form tool.

What Is Google Forms, Anyway?

Google Forms is a free survey tool included in G Suite, Google’s full office suite (although some people refer to it all as Google Docs). Sheets (Excel), Docs (Word), and Slides, among other services, are part of the cloud-based suite (PowerPoint).

Using Google Forms, you can collect information from people by creating personalized quizzes or surveys. The data can then be linked to a Sheets spreadsheet to automatically record the responses. The quiz or survey responses are then input into the spreadsheet in real time. As a result, one of the simplest ways to save data to a spreadsheet is through Google Forms.

Forms allows you to collect RSVPs, start surveys, and create quizzes for students using a simple online form. By sharing your form via email, a direct link, or social media, you can invite everyone to participate.

Because Forms is an online tool, you can collaborate on the same form in real time with multiple people.

How to Create a Google Account


You must first create a Google (@gmail) account before you can use Google Forms. You may skip to the next section if you already have one. If not, we’ll walk you through the most basic steps for creating a Google account and getting started with Forms.

Head over to accounts.google.com, click “Create Account,” and then select “For Myself.”

On the next page, you provide some information—first and last name, username, and password—to create your account.

You also have to verify your phone number so Google can make sure you’re not a bot.

Following your phone number verification, you must provide a recovery email address, your date of birth, and gender on the following pages. You must also agree to the terms of service and the privacy statement. After that, you’ll have a Google account to brag about.

How To Create A Blank Form


It’s time to create your first Form now that you have a Google account. Place your cursor on the multicolored plus sign (+) in the bottom-right corner of the Google Forms homepage.

The plus sign turns into a purple pencil icon; click it to create a new form.

Pro Tip: You can type forms.new into the address bar from any browser and hit Enter to create and open a new blank form automatically.

How to Customize Your Form

One of the first things you should do after creating a new blank form is to give it some personality. You can personalize the theme and make it stand out by adding an image, color, and font style to Google Forms.


Select the artist’s palette at the top of the screen. You can choose a header image from the many stock photos available (or upload your own), as well as the form’s primary color, background color, and font style, all from this page.

While form theme customization is limited (with the exception of the ability to upload any image for the header), Google Forms makes up for it with its other features.

After you’ve finished customizing your form, close the theme options to return to your survey.

How to Choose Question Types

When you create a Google Form, you can choose the types of questions you want people to answer. Whether you want static answers from a multiple-choice form or essay-length responses, you can create your ideal form in a snap!

Click the drop-down menu next to the question field.

Then, select the type of question you want from the list.

Your choices are:

Short Answer: Responses only require a few words. You can set rules people have to follow in their answer with data input validation. Great for email addresses or URLs.
Paragraph: Responses require long-form answers of one or more paragraphs. Data input validation is available for this type of response, as well.
Multiple Choice: People choose between a set of options (one per question). You can include “Other” and an option so people can input a short answer. Depending on a person’s answer, you can also send them to a different section of the form.
Checkboxes: Responders choose one or more of a set of options, including the “Other” option for a short answer. Depending on a person’s answer, you can send them to a different section of the form.
Drop-down: People choose their answer from a set of options in a drop-down menu (one per question). Based on the answer, you can, again, send people to another section of the form.
File Upload: This allows the person to upload a file in response to a question. Uploaded files use Google Drive space for the survey owner. You can specify the size and type of files people can upload.
Linear Scale: People can rate your question on a scale that starts at 0 or 1, and ends on a whole number from 2 to 10.
Multiple Choice Grid: This creates a grid from which people can select one answer per row. Optionally, you can limit answers to one choice per column and shuffle the row order.
Checkbox Grid: This option creates a grid from which people can select one or more answer per row. Optionally, you can limit answers to one choice per column and shuffle the row order.
Date: Responder must choose the date as an answer to the question. The default is day, month, and year. Optionally, you can include the time in people’s answers.
Time: Responder must choose the time of day or a duration of time.

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