How to Create Fillable Forms in Google Docs
By David Weedmark
Updated August 23, 2018
Using the form templates available in Google Docs, now called Google Drive, you can create any form, questionnaire or survey and share it with clients, prospects and business partners. Whenever someone fills out the form, Google automatically tracks and compiles the results for you. You can embed a link to the form on your website, email it or post it on Google+, Twitter or Facebook. You can share the results with each person when he finishes filling out the form or keep the results to yourself.
Creating a New Form
Log in to your Gmail or Google account and click the "Drive" link at the top of the page.
Click the red "Create" button in the left column and then select "Form." A form template opens in a new tab.
Type a name for the form in the "Title" field. Select one of the templates and click "Ok."
Adding Your First Question
Type a question in the "Question Title" field. Enter a hint or further information about the question if desired in the "Help Text" field.
Click the "Question Type" drop-down menu to select how you want the question to be answered. For example, you can select "Multiple Choice," "Text" for short answers or "Paragraph Text" for longer answers. Other options allow visitors to rank answers using a scale of numbers or slide a two-dimensional grid. The "Date" and "Time" options let visitors select a date or time as the answer.
Configure the answer options below the "Question Type" menu if you selected "Multiple Choice," "Checkboxes," "Choose From a List" or any of the other options that allow visitors to choose from your preset answers.
Click the "Required Response" check box if you don't want visitors to have the option to leave the question unanswered.
Click the "Done" button to see a preview of the first question on your form. Click the pencil-shaped "Edit" button to make changes if needed.
Finishing the Form
Add additional questions as desired. Click the "Add Item" button if you want the next question to be of the same type as the first. If you want to add a different question type, click the triangle on the "Add Item" button and select a different question type.
Insert a section header between questions by clicking the "Insert" menu at the top of the page and selecting "Section Header." Enter a title and description in the provided text fields and click "Done." Drag the section header between any two questions as desired. Click the section header if you want to change its title or description.
Highlight the default text in the "Confirmation Message" field and type your own confirmation if desired.
Review the three options above the "Send Form" button and enable those you want to use by clicking the check boxes. You can offer visitors an option to submit another response, to see the published results of the form and to let them edit responses after submitting the form.
Test the form by clicking the "View Live Form" link. Fill out the form and submit your response. After you have finished testing it, you can delete your own responses by clicking the "Responses" link above the form and selecting the "Delete All Responses" option.
Click the "Send Form" button to copy the form's link, to share it over social media or to send the form from your Gmail account.
Google forms include a lot of additional options, which you can find by browsing the menu options at the top of the page. For example, you can insert paragraphs or images using the "Insert" menu. You can also have responses added to your own spreadsheet by selecting "Response Destination Link" above the form.
A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.