What are Google Forms? How to use the online form builder

  • Google Forms is free online software for creating surveys and questionnaires.
  • You need a Google account to create a Google Form, but you don’t necessarily need an account to complete a form.
  • You can customize your Google Form with question types, a header image, and a color theme.
  • Visit the Business Insider Technical Reference Library for more stories.

Google Forms is free online software that lets you create surveys, quizzes, and files. It is part of Google’s suite of web applications including Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, etc. It’s a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of applications, from collecting RSVPs for an event to creating a pop quiz.

You’ll need a Google Account to create a Google Form, but you can adjust the settings so that anyone can fill it out, which means no Google Account is required.

Here’s everything you need to know about Google Forms.

How to configure and customize Google Forms

Google Forms differs from similar online software with its library of customization options. When creating your new form, you will have the option to choose from a series of templates or design your own. If you choose to create a new template, consider adding your logo and photos, and watch Google generate a matching custom color scheme.

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Google offers template forms so you don’t have to start from scratch.

Abbey White / Business Insider


With the Q&A format at the heart of Google Forms, the Workspace tool offers a variety of question and answer options, including multiple choice, drop-down list, and linear scale. And with each new question, you can embed multimedia like images or YouTube videos or add text descriptions that offer advice or explain your question.

In the General tab, you can check boxes such as “Collect email addresses”, which will require entering an email address to submit the form, or allow respondents to submit anonymously. On the Presentation tab, you can click the boxes to include a progress bar, shuffle the order of the questions, and set a personalized confirmation message that respondents will receive when submitting the form. In the Quiz tab, you can turn your form into a quiz.

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Google Forms offers tons of customization options.

Abbey White / Business Insider


You can get even more sophisticated by using logical breaks that take users to different sections of the form based on their responses. This is a great way to ask follow-up questions related to specific answers. Using logical jumps can help users navigate longer surveys faster and answer only relevant questions.

Organizational features allow you to determine the order of your queries via a drag-and-drop tool or to randomize the order of responses to specific questions via form settings. Another way to organize your form is to use the section tool in Google Forms. These can be useful for longer surveys, as they break questions down into manageable chunks. To create a section, click the Add section icon (two vertically stacked rectangles) in the right toolbar. It is located on the same toolbar as the “+” to add a question.

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There are many sharing options to help you reach respondents.

Abbey White / Business Insider


Once you’re ready to share your Google Form, click the Submit button at the top right of the screen. will allow you to email the form, copy a link, or copy an embedded HTML code to add the form to your website or blog.

How to browse responses from Google Forms

Once your Google Form is published and you’ve shared it using the multiple public and private sharing options, it automatically collects responses as people complete and submit responses. Answers collected by a Google form are visible only to you, the creator and the collaborators you add.

To view the responses for your Google Form, open your Google Form and go to the Responses tab. Here you will see a summary of the responses collected. Click the green Google Sheets icon to create a spreadsheet that displays all of the information gathered from the form, which will automatically update when people submit your Google Form.

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Your responses will confirm whether the form is anonymous.

Abigail Abesamis Demarest / Business Insider


In the Responses tab, you can also choose to receive email notifications for new responses, select a response destination (a new or existing spreadsheet), download or print responses by clicking the three dots at next to the Google Sheets icon. There is also an option to remove all responses, which can be useful for removing responses collected while testing your sheet.


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