Google forms is one of the most popular form builders available today.
The fact that the application is completely free and is easy enough to use without technical expertise makes Google Forms accessible for practically everyone.
However, if you are starting to look into Google Forms, chances are that you would like to get into the nitty-gritty of what the platform is capable of. After all, the core features of Google Forms should be indicative of whether the application is the right fit for your organization.
In this post, we cover the 7 most important Google Forms features in-depth so that you can determine if the application is right for you.
Like most form builders, Google Forms offers a variety of prebuilt form templates that can save you a ton of time building a form from scratch. Nevertheless, these templates are still very customizable so you can edit them as you see fit.
The software offers 17 different templates in the form template gallery. These templates are broken down into three main categories: Personal, Work, and Education.
The Google Form templates available (broken down by category) include:
- Personal: The six Personal Google Form templates include:
- Contact information form
- Find a time scheduling form
- RSVP form
- Party invite
- T-shirt sign up form
- Event registration form
- Work: The six Work Google Form templates include:
- Event feedback form
- Order form
- Job application
- Time-off request
- Work request
- Customer feedback survey
- Education: The five Education Google Form templates include:
- Exit ticket
- Assessment survey
- Course evaluation survey
Whether you are a business, school or other organization, chances are there is at least one template that makes sense for you.
There are many question formats you can add to your Google Form that respondents can interact with. These elements include:
- Short answer: A single line that respondents can use to answer a question.
- Paragraph: Multiple lines that respondents can use to give an in-depth response to a question.
- Multiple choice: Multiple answers with bubbles next to them that respondents can select to indicate their answer to a question.
- Checkboxes: Similar to multiple choice but rather with checkboxes. Multiple checkboxes can be selected by respondents.
- Dropdown: Gives respondents the ability to drop down the list of answers.
- File upload: Gives respondents the ability to upload a document such as a resume or an image through your Google Form.
- Linear scale: Multiple choice bubbles along a scale (for questions such as “on a scale from one to five, how happy are you with our service).
- Multiple choice grid: Multiple choice bubbles in a grid format (Gride could be 4 bubbles by 5 bubbles for instance)
- Checkbox grid: Like a multiple choice grid but with checkboxes.
- Date: For selecting a date in the month, day, year format
- Time: For selecting a time in the 00:00 format.
Given the wide selection of elements, you shouldn’t have any trouble customizing a survey as you see fit.
Simply put, conditional logic changes the questions that respondents are served when going through your form based on their previous responses. This is definitely relatively one of Google forms advanced features.
In Google forms, with a multiple-choice question for instance, you can have respondents who choose answer A get diverted to one section and respondents who chose answer B get diverted to a different section.
For example, lets say the question is “Are you happy with our service?”. Answer A could be “Good” and answer B could be “Bad”. Upon selecting answer A, respondents would be diverted to a new section with the question “Glad to hear it! What did you like about our service?”. Upon selecting answer B, respondents would be diverted to a new section with the question “Sorry to hear that. What didn’t you like about our service?”.
While Google Forms has conditional logic, its relatively simple compared to the conditional logic/branching logic capabilities of paid form builders.
There are various changes that you can make to the design of a Google Form.
- Header image: This image is like a banner at the top of your Google Form that you can swap out with whatever image you want.
- Theme color: There are 12 colors that you can choose from as the background of your google form. However, you can also change the background to your own custom color if needed.
- Fonts: You can change the default font for your Google form, however, there are only four options available.
The file upload element is one of Google Forms’ features that almost all form builders have.
File upload gives respondents the ability to submit files through your Google Form.
To give you an idea of when someone might want to use this element, it makes sense to use this element if you want to receive:
- Job applications or resumes for prospective employees
- Quiz, test or essay submissions
- Photos for a photography contest
The possibilities are endless. Submissions via the file upload element will be stored in your Google Drive.
However, while this Google Forms feature is nice to have, the element does have some limitations. Fortunately, there are paid form builders with file upload functionality that might make more sense for you to use if this particular feature is important to you.
Reporting and Analytics
When respondents submit your forms, Google Forms will automatically generate graphs that display how many people answered each question in your forms. The pie charts are a very visually appealing way to communicate the results of your campaigns.
For more thorough analysis of your data collected through your Google Form, you can utilize Google sheets. To do so, within the Google Forms dashboard you can go to the responses tab to the right of the editor and clicking the recognizable Google Sheets Icon.
And of course, with Google Sheets you can sort and analyze the data as you would with Excel: with various functions. For instance, if you ask for the respondents’ age in a google form, you could sort respondents by age from highest to lowest in Google Sheets.
Google Forms quiz features are excellent for educators.
With Google Forms you can turn your survey into a quiz by simply making some changes within settings. In doing so, each question in your form will have a point value assigned to it. This way, when a respondent answers all the questions in the form, the form will automatically calculate a grade based on the responses. This auto-grading functionality can be a huge time saver for busy teachers.
You can either set up the form so that the respondent gets instant feedback on their grade or so that only you receive the grades for the quiz.
Want some inspiration for creating your own Google forms quiz? Check out these Google Forms quiz examples.
Although Google Forms can be a game-changer for many, keep in mind that some of Google Forms’ features are limited.
After all, Google Forms is a free solution that doesn’t have the functionality that paid form builders have. Paid form builders, such as Jotform for instance, are far more flexible, customizable and feature-rich.
For more information on the limitations of Google Forms features (as well as the advantages), check out this post on Google forms advantages and disadvantages.
Related: Best free form builders