Creating multiple short URLs in seconds

Wouldn’t it be better if instead of sharing a long link like the one below, you could get a shorten version of it? Well, you can and Google provides a URL shorten service, which generally reduces any URL to only about 13 characters.

For example, here’s a link that was created by Google Forms when I pre-filled some info in (see my post on personalizing Google Forms):

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cCk-eDEV81i2X9uua_pI15SGI4N5ZJq0HE-MIHHswq8/viewform?entry.1422654197=Monday%2019:15&entry.148162827=First%20Certificate&entry.2134513978=Mark%20Walsh&entry.349432024=A01&entry.1681636254

As you can see, it’s very, loooooong!

One way to shorten this is to go to Google URL shortener site at https://goo.gl/

Here paste in your long URL in the box and click the blue “Shorten URL”.

Short URL - 1

On the right-hand side, your short URL will appear, highlighted ready to copy. As you can see it’s much shorter than the one above.

Short URL - 2

Below it you will see what your page looks like, in this example it’s a form with the fields pre-filled out.

To share your new short URL, just press Ctrl+C (Cmd+C) to copy it and paste it where you want it.


This is fine if you don’t have many URLs to make, but what about if you have 10, 20, 100 to make? A long, slow, tedious process. But you’ve guessed it, there’s a better, quicker way!

Using the spreadsheet I created in my post about creating personalized Google Forms, I’m going to show you how a little bit of Google Apps Script, can quickly create these URLs.

What’s Google Apps Script? I hear you ask. This is a programming language which sits in the background of your Google Apps (Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc) and with which you can tell it to do some wonderful things. If you’re new to Google Apps Script, don’t worry to set this up, you don’t need to know how it all works, just follow the steps.


The main steps are:

  1. Open the Google Sheet you want to put the shortened URLs in.
  2. Open the Script Editor and paste in the code.
  3. Enable the Google URL shortener service. (only necessary the first time)
  4. Select the URLs you want to shorten.
  5. Authorize and run the code.

1) Open the Google Sheet you want. In this example, I have the 4 classes I wanted to create personalized Google Forms for. The long personalized URLs are in column E.

Short URL - 3 (1)

2) I want to put the Short URLs in the column to the left of the long ones. So, I right-click on the column where it says “E” and the menu will appear. Click “Insert 1 left”.

Short URL - 4

3) A new column is added in column E. Now I just give it a name, e.g. “short URL”. It can be any name.

Short URL - 3b

4) Now to add our script. Go to the “Tools” menu and click “Script editor…”.

Short URL - 5

5) This will open the Script Editor in a new window.

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6) First, give the script a name. Click on “Untitled project” and type in a name, e.g. “Create short URL”.

Short URL - 7

7) In the main window, a new script always starts with the function below. We don’t need any of that so, highlight it all.

Short URL - 8

8) Copy all the code in the block below and paste it into the Script Editor.

//When the spreadsheet is opened it adds a menu called "Shorten URL" and a sub menu item called "Shorten"
//This relates to the function below called "short"
function onOpen() {
SpreadsheetApp.getUi()
.createMenu("Shorten URL")
.addItem("Shorten","short")
.addToUi()
}


//Takes highlighted range and goes down row by row, adding a short URL to the column to the left
function short() {
var range = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveRange(), data = range.getValues();
var output = [];
for(var i = 0, iLen = data.length; i < iLen; i++) {
var url = UrlShortener.Url.insert({longUrl: data[i][0]});
output.push([url.id]);
}
//If you want to put the short URL in a different column, adjust the "-1" in line 20
//Negative number moves to a column to the left; positive number moves to a column to the right.
range.offset(0,-1).setValues(output);
}

Here’s a link to the code: https://goo.gl/KXzdFI

Your Script Editor should now look like this:

Short URL - 10

9) Now click save (the disk icon) to save the script.

Short URL - 11


10) Now we need to enable the Google URL service. This only needs needs to be done once. From the “Resources” menu, click “Advanced Google Services”.

Short URL - 12

11) This opens the Advanced Google Services box. Scroll down until you find “URL Shortener API”. Turn it on, by clicking on “off” and then click OK at the bottom of the box.

Short URL - 13

Short URL - 14

12) Back in the Script Editor, from the “Resources” menu again, click “Developers Console Project”.

Short URL - 15

13) This will open a new window showing the “Developers console Project”. Click on the blue link “Create short URL”.

Short URL - 16

14) Under the “Use Google APIs” click “Enable and manage APIs”.

Short URL - 17

15) This brings you to the Google APIs page. Click on “URL Shortener API”.

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16) This opens the URL Shortener URL overview. Click “Enable” to well, enable it. It will change from “Enable” to “Disable”.

Short URL - 19

Short URL - 20

Note: steps 10-16 only need to be done once. Just close the window after using the Google Developers Console.


17) Now it’s time to use your script. Go back to your Google Sheet and click the browser refresh button. This will load your script in the background, as this script is automatically loaded every time you open the Sheet.

Short URL - 22

18) Select the cells your long URLs are in.

Short URL - 23

19) When you refreshed the Sheet (in step 17), a special menu was also created called “Shorten URL”. Click on that and click on “Shorten” to run the script.

Short URL - 24

The first time you run the script you’ll be asked to authorize it, just click “Continue” then on the next step, click “Allow”.

Short URL - 25 Short URL - 26

20) In a few seconds, you shortened URLs will appear in column E.

Short URL - 27

There seems to be quite a lot of steps, but even when you run it the first time and have to enable to URL shortener, this whole process takes less than a minute. The next time it takes seconds!


About the script

The only part of the script you may need to change is the last line:

range.offset(0,-1).setValues(output);

This tells the computer where to put the shortened URLs in relation to the URLs you’ve highlighted.

Generally, the only part that’s important is the second number, in this case “-1”. This is the column in which to put your URLs. If you want to put the short URL in a column to the left put a negative number; if you want to put the short URL to the right, put a positive number. The number is the number of columns away from the original URLs selected.


If you just want to use the above script for shortening URLs, where they are not linked to pre-filled Forms, I would recommend making a file just for this purpose, where you have one column for the long URL and on column for the shortened URL. Having a specific file for doing this, means that once you’ve enabled the URL shortener for the first time, you’ll only have to paste in your long URLs, run the Shortener script from the menu and voilà you have your short URLs.


This idea is adapted from one posted on stackexchange.com. If you’re using Google Apps Script, this is an amazing place to find out solutions, or to get your own problems resolved. Here’s the original post:

http://webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/76050/google-sheets-function-to-get-a-shortened-url-from-bit-ly-or-goo-gl-etc

So, thank you to Alex.


eBooks now available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, and Slides:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


Personalized Google Forms

PRE-FILLING GOOGLE FORMS OUT

Why would you want to pre-fill parts of a Google Form?

  • To ensure the information is in the format you want
  • The data format is consistent
  • Consistent data means it’s easier to analyze afterwards
  • It’s quicker for the person to fill out your form
  • It adds the personal touch, if you add their name on it
  • One form can collect data from many sources, and be sorted with ease later on in the same spreadsheet

Fortunately, there’s a way to do it, which requires a little bit of Google Sheets knowledge but if you follow the steps below, it’s pretty easy to do.


SUMMARY OF THE MAIN STEPS

Forms PF - 1


SETTING UP THE GOOGLE SHEET

1) Create a Google Sheet by going to New and clicking Google Sheets.

Forms Pre-Fill - 2

2) Add the information you want to add to your form. E.g. Columns A to D below.

In this example, I’m going to create an end of course questionnaire and want to send an personalized form to each class using the same form, but with 4 fields already filled out (Group, Level, Teacher, Classroom) so, later on the data will all arrive in the same place, but I can sort the data with ease into these areas. This allows me to look at the data not just for that particular class, but also more globally across all them.

Forms Pre-Fill - 25 (1)

3) Next to this, I need to add some columns, which will create the personalized link (e.g. columns E to I).

You can name however you want, but I’ve given them descriptive names so you can follow where the information is going. Don’t worry, what they do for now, I’ll explain later:

  • Substitute link with class details
  • Full pre-filled form link
  • Group %20
  • Level %20
  • Teacher %20

Forms PF - 2


GETTING THE PRE-FILLED FORM LINK

4) Now we need the link to the form. Go back to the form and on the top-right click on the three dots next to the Send button. Click on “Get pre-filled link”.

Forms Pre-Fill - 6

5) This opens your form. Type in words into the fields you want to pre-fill. Normally, I give them the same names as what is on the Google Sheet, so it’s easier to remember which is which. Also, only type one word per field. At the bottom of your form, click “Submit”.

Forms Pre-Fill - 7 Forms1 - 4

6) A special link will appear at the top of the page. Click on it and press Ctrl+C (Cmd+C) to copy it.

Forms Pre-Fill - 8

7) Go back to your sheet and in column F, in F2, press Ctrl+V (Cmd+V) to paste it into the cell and press Enter.

Forms PF - 3


ADDING THE INDIVIDUAL DATA TO YOUR FORM LINK

In the pre-filled form link (see below), we need to replace the words, GROUP, LEVEL, TEACHER, and CLASSROOM with the data that’s in the spreadsheet.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cCk-eDEV81i2X9uua_pI15SGI4N5ZJq0HE-MIHHswq8/viewform?entry.1422654197=GROUP&entry.148162827=LEVEL&entry.2134513978=TEACHER&entry.349432024=CLASSROOM&entry.1681636254

8) In column E (Substitute link with class details), type in the SUBSTITUTE formula below in cell E2.

Forms PF - 4

=substitute(substitute(substitute(SUBSTITUTE(F2, “GROUP”, G2), “LEVEL”, H2), “TEACHER”, I2), “CLASSROOM”, D2)


Look scary? It’s not as complicated as it seems. Let’s just look at a simpler example:

=SUBSTITUTE(H3, “GROUP”, J3)

Here we are getting the contents of cell H3 (the last part of the form link), and substituting the word GROUP with the contents of cell J3 (“Mondays”).

Forms Pre-Fill - 16


This formula follows the same principal, but the only difference is, is that we are substituting 4 different things at the same time (Group, Level, Teacher, and Classroom).

=substitute(substitute(substitute(SUBSTITUTE(F2, “GROUP”, G2), “LEVEL”, H2), “TEACHER”, I2), “CLASSROOM”, D2)

So here, it gets the pre-filled link in F2, replaces the word GROUP with the contents of G2, replaces LEVEL with the contents of H2, replaces TEACHER with the contents of I2, and replaces CLASSROOM with the contents of D2.


DEALING WITH SPACES IN YOUR DATA (not always necessary to do)

If your data has spaces in it like mine here, that’s going to cause you problems with the links, as spaces cause links to break, but there’s a way to get round this.

Forms Pre-Fill - 25 (1)

9) In column G (Group %20), type in the SUBSTITUTE formula below:

Forms PF - 5   =SUBSTITUTE(A2,” “,“%20”)

Here you’re telling Sheets to look at cell A2 (where the Group info is), to find any spaces, and to replace any spaces found with %20 (which tells the computer to add a space without breaking the link).

10) Do the same for the level and teacher columns (changing the cell reference A2 to B2 for the level, and C2 for the Teacher).

Forms Pre-Fill - 20  =SUBSTITUTE(B2,” “,“%20”)

=SUBSTITUTE(C2,” “,“%20”)

Note: In this example, I didn’t need to do this step for the CLASSROOM, as there are no spaces in that data, e.g. A01. So, it takes the Classroom name straight from column D.


10) Hover over cell E2 and the direct link will appear. To try it out, just click the blue link.

Forms Pre-Fill - 22   Forms Pre-Fill - 23

Hooray! You can see that all the fields are pre-filled out from the information on the Sheet.


COPY THE CELLS FROM ROW 2 DOWN YOUR TABLE

Now that’s done for one row, you can simply copy it down to the other rows, and it will pick up the information on each row automatically.

18) Select all the row from “full link” to the end “teacher %20”.

Forms PF - 6

19) Grab the little blue square on the end of the select row and drag it down to copy the first row to the other rows.

Forms PF - 7 Forms PF - 8

Clicking on the links in column E like before, shows the form with each row’s data added.

Forms Pre-Fill - 27     Forms Pre-Fill - 28


To summarize the columns created and why they are there.

Substitute link with class details

This substitutes the field names you add in the pre-filled form with the information from your sheet.

=substitute(substitute(substitute(SUBSTITUTE(F2, “GROUP”, G2), “LEVEL”, H2), “TEACHER”, I2), “CLASSROOM”, D2)

Full pre-filled form link

Where you paste the full pre-filled form link.

Group %20

This replaces any spaces in your text with “%20”, so that the URL doesn’t have any spaces in it.

=SUBSTITUTE(A2,” “,“%20”)

Level %20, Teacher %20

As per Group %20, just change the cell reference


Once you’ve set your Sheet up, if you reuse the form, you’ll only need to change the data on the Sheet to change the details that come out on the Forms.


eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


Google Forms – Sending them

Unless your form is for personal use, you’ll want to send it to people. Here’s how:

Open your form and click the big “Send” button on the top-right of the screen, to open the “Send form” box.

Forms7 Sending - 1

Here you have various options to send. First let’s look at emailing a link.

Emailing a link to your form

By default, the email option is already selected, so we just need to tell it who we want to send the form to.

Forms7 Sending - 2

Type in the email address(es), add a subject, and add a message.

Tip: If you have groups set up in your Contacts, you can just type in the group name and all those in the group will be added.

Forms7 Sending - 3

Then press “Send”. The recipients will receive an email with a link in it like this:

Forms7 Sending - 4

In the Send form box, there is the option to include the form in the email, but at the time of writing, I’ve found that although the form is included in the email, when you start filling it out, it still takes you to the Google Form on-line anyway, especially if you have more than one page. Plus, videos aren’t embedded in the email, they are only links.

You also have the option of adding collaborators, who can edit your edit form.


Getting the link to your form

You can also get the link to the form, which is useful if you are sharing this but don’t know the email addresses are the form-fillers. E.g. I share a questionnaire with our teachers and they share it with our students.

Forms7 Sending - 7

One nice feature they’ve added here is the option to shorten the URL right within Forms. Before you would have had to go to Google’s shorten URL page (https://goo.gl/) to shorten it.

Just click on the checkbox next to “Shorten URL” and the long URL above is converted into a shorter one.

Note, as they add the word ‘/forms/’ in the URL, this doesn’t actually create a URL  as short as going to the goo.gl site, but it’s short enough for most people and is more convenient this way.

Forms7 Sending - 8

Then click “Copy” and paste the link wherever you need it.


Embedding your form

The third option with ‘the greater than / less than’ icon, is to embed the form normally into a website. Just click on “copy” and then press Ctrl+C (Cmd+C) to copy the link. Then paste it into your site, blog, etc.

Forms7 Sending - 9

Here’s the random form I’ve put together over this series of posts, where I’ve embedded it using the option above.


Finally, you also have the option of sharing your form on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, which are easy to do but is beyond the scope of this post.


eBooks now available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, and Slides:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


Google Forms – Changing the background

We can make Google Forms a little more aesthetically pleasing by changing the background and so that it can look a little more fun or professional.

Changing the background colour of the form

By default, your form will be purple. You can very quickly change the colour by going to the colour palette menu.

Forms6 - 21

Select a colour.

Forms6 - 22

The background will change colour.

Forms6 - 23


Adding a theme

Go to the colour palette.

Forms6 - 21

Click on the image icon on the bottom-right.

Forms6 - 22

Here you’ll be presented with a whole range of themes, they’re not amazing, but at least they are a bit more interesting than the plain colours. Just find the one you like and click “Select”.

Forms6 - 24

Here’s what it looks like on the form:

Forms6 - 25


Adding your own image

You can also add your own images, which is particularly useful if you want to add your company’s or school’s logo to make the form look more professional.

Go to the colour palette as before and click on the image icon.

Forms6 - 22

Choose either “upload photos” or if it is already on your Drive, click Your albums. In this example, I’m going to add a photo. Either drag the photo onto where it says “Drag a photo here” or click “Select a photo from your computer”.

Forms6 - 26

Choose your photo and once uploaded, it will ask you to crop it so it fits on the screen correctly. Just move the rectangle to the part of the photo you want to show, and then click “Select”.

Forms6 - 27

Here’s what that photo looks like on your form. Note, it’s not exactly the same as the crop, as the height is a little less than the original crop, so take that into account when you crop it.

Forms6 - 28


eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


Google Forms – Adding images and videos

In Google Forms, apart from text, we can add images and videos to enrich the form, and as always this is simple to do.

Adding an image to a form

You can add images to your form. On the right-hand side of your questions, you will see a floating menu with 5 options.

Forms5 - 8

Click on the middle one, “add image”.

Forms5 - 9

This opens the “Insert image” dialogue box. Choose one of the options at the top depending on where your image is.

Forms5 - 11

In this example, I’m going to add an image that is on My Drive. Type in the name of the file and press Enter.

Forms5 - 12

Click on the image you want and click “Select” at the bottom of the box.

Forms5 - 13

This adds the image on your form. At first, it may be the wrong size. Just click on it and drag a corner of it to change the size.

Forms5 - 14

You also have the option of aligning it to the left, centre or right, and adding a title to the image.

Forms5 - 15

Clicking on the 3 dots, also offers you the option of adding “Hover text”, i.e. when the person’s cursor is over the image, some text will appear. Clicking on it adds a hover text line under the image title, which you can edit.

Forms5 - 16  Forms5 - 17


Adding a video to a form

On the floating menu, click the fourth option (the play icon), “Add video”.

Forms5 - 10

Either you can type in a search term or you can click URL and paste in a YouTube URL.

Forms5 - 18  Forms5 - 19

Here I’ve typed in a search. Select the video you want and click “Select”.

Forms5 - 20

Back on the form edit page, you can align it and give it a title.

Forms5 - 21

Clicking on the 3 dots, gives you the option to add a caption under the video. This can be a better option than adding a big title.

Forms6 - 15 Forms6 - 16

The form-filler will see the video embedded in the form and they will just need to click the play button to watch it.

Forms6 - 17


eBooks now available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, and Slides:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


Google Forms – More ways you can create better forms

Once you’ve got to grips with the basics, it’s time to look at other ways you can make you form better. Here’s a selection of options Google Forms provides which are very easy to use but will allow you to use Forms in different ways.

Let’s start with what’s hiding in the Settings menu.

On the form edit page, click on the cog at the top of the screen.

Forms5 - 1 (1)

This will open the Settings menu.

Forms5 - 2

Can submit only 1 response – This ensures a person can only send one response, but to do this they have to have logged in.

Forms5 - 2b

Confirmation page (message for respondents) – By default, once the form-filler has clicked Submit, they will receive a message saying “Your response has been recorded”. This is fine, but a little impersonal and a different message may be more appropriate for your situation. So, to change it just type it in.

Tip: You can add links here, e.g. a link to a page on Google Drive with the answers to a test.

Forms5 - 3

Message on confirmation page:

Forms5 - 4

Show respondents a link to – This gives the respondents 3 options:

  • They can submit another response (this takes them back to the form)
  • They can edit this current response
  • They can see the summary of responses (which if selected is available to anyone filling the form in).

Forms5 - 5

Under presentation options, you can add a progress bar to your form, which is useful if you have lots of pages, and you want to encourage those filling it out that the end is in sight!

Forms5 - 6

Progress bar on the form:

Forms5 - 7

You can also shuffle the question order.


Adding a text

If you have a text that you want your students to answer questions on, using the question option makes the text too big, but there’s an alternative way. Use the “add title and description” option. Click on the double T icon from the floating menu.

Forms6 - 18

Give the question a title (optional). Then type in or paste in your text in the description box below. The questions are then below the text.

Forms6 - 19

This is what it looks like on the form:

Forms6 - 20


eBooks now available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, and Slides:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


Google Forms – Managing your form’s responses

Once you’ve made your form and shared it, you’ll then want to see the responses  and probably want to have a visual summary of them. Google Forms provides a wonderful graphical summary of the responses automatically right within Forms itself, so there’s no need to create charts yourself.

Open your form and you’ll be in the form editor. There are two main parts to the editor, the questions and the responses. Click on “Responses”. Here it will tell you how many responses you’ve received and gives you the option of seeing a summary of them or seeing the individual responses.

Forms responses - 1

VIEWING A SUMMARY OF THE RESPONSES

Click on “Summary”. Here you’ll see all the typed in responses and for questions where there were limited options, you’ll see a graph.

In this question, I can quickly see that some of my students don’t know the capital of Wales, so I’ll need to do something about that in a future class.

Forms responses - 4

Here’s an example of a question asking for their comments:

Forms responses - 5

This one was a Checkbox question and I can quickly see the most popular sessions at this conference.

Forms responses - 6

This question was a linear-scale question. Here I can see that our customers are happy.

Forms responses - 7

This question was a multiple-choice grid and within one graph can show a lot of information. In this case, we asked them to rate the teachers on a set of criteria.

Forms responses - 8

With date and time questions, Forms will put the date or time entered along with the number of people who entered it, so you can see the most popular one.

Forms responses - 9 Forms responses - 10


VIEWING INDIVIDUAL RESPONSES

If you want to see want a specific person filled out on your form, click on “Individual”. You can flick through the responses by clicking on the arrows next to where it says. e.g. “1 of 9”.

Forms responses - 16

This shows you exactly what the form-filler completed. It also gives you the option of deleting a response, by clicking on the bin icon to the right.

Forms responses - 18


Back to the top of the page, there are some further options that you can change.

On the right, you can switch off “Accepting responses”, which means that no-one can submit more responses using your form.

Forms responses - 11

When you first create a form, you can link a spreadsheet to it, so that the responses are stored in a place other than within Forms. Either click on the green spreadsheet icon or the 3 dots and click on “Select responses destination”.

Forms responses - 15

You then have the choice of creating a new spreadsheet (and naming it) or adding a new page to an existing spreadsheet. If you want a new one, just click “Create”. If you want it to add to an existing one, click “Select existing spreadsheet”.

Forms responses - 13

Clicking the second option, opens up a dialogue box where you can choose the spreadsheet you want by clicking on it, then click “Select”.

Forms responses - 14


If you’ve already set up a spreadsheet, clicking on the green spreadsheet icon will open the spreadsheet where the responses arrive and live.

Forms responses - 12


There are also some other useful options by clicking on the 3 dots.

Get email notifications for new responses – By selecting this, Forms will send you an email every time someone fills out and submits your form.

Unlink form – Choose this if you want to disconnect a spreadsheet from a form.

Download responses (.csv) – This downloads the responses in .csv format which can be useful for uploading the data to another application.

Delete all responses – Sometimes you want to use your form with a different set of people, e.g. a new class, but you don’t want to mix the old and new responses. So, here you can delete all the responses from the form. Note, this deletes them from the form but those already collected in the spreadsheet remain.

Forms responses - 15


eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


Google Forms – Types of questions

Google Forms contain lots of different types of questions which should match most of your needs.

1) On the form edit page, click on “Multiple choice”.

Forms2 - 3

Forms3 - 13

2) You will be presented with all the options. Click on the one that best suits.

Forms4 - 1

Here is a summary of what the questions look like in both the form edit and on the final form. Plus, some tips as to when to use them.


Short answer

When you want the form-filler to write a short answer. They can write a longer answer, but the box is small so they can only see a few words.

E.g. Typing their name; A short opinion

Forms4 - 2

Forms4 - 11


Paragraph

When you want the form-filler to write a longer answer. The box is bigger than a Short Answer so they can see what they’ve written.

E.g. Leaving comments; A longer opinion; Offering suggestions

Forms4 - 3

Forms4 - 12


Multiple choice

When you want to give them limited options. These are easier to analyse afterwards as these standardize the answer format, i.e. no room for interpretation or misspelling. However, in tests these are usually easier than answers which require the form-filler to write in an answer.

You can open up the options by offering the “Other” option, where the form filler writes in an alternative response. This can be usual in questionnaires, where you don’t always know all the possible responses that the form-fillers will come up with.

E.g. Tests; Questionnaires (feedback & opinions)

Forms4 - 4

Forms4 - 13


Checkboxes

Similar to multiple-choice questions but here form-fillers can select more than one option.

E.g. Questionnaires; Tests where there is more than one right answer

Forms4 - 5

Forms4 - 14


Drop-down

Basically the same as multiple-choice questions, except that the form-filler doesn’t see the options until they click on the drop-down menu.

This is useful if the question has a lot of options, so you save space on your form, or where you have a lot of questions and what to save space on the page, to make the form look smaller and therefore, look quicker to fill out.

E.g. Tests, Questionnaires

Forms4 - 6

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Linear scale

When you want to collect someone’s opinion numerically on a scale. You can change the scale, but it must start with either a 0 or a 1, and can go up to 10.

The scale runs from the lowest on the left and the highest on the right. You can give the extremes a label, e.g. Poor / Excellent. Despite this, we’ve had times where people have misread this and assumed the left-hand side was the best, so resulting in a 1 rather than a 5.

As this records a number, it can make analysing a bit easier than with text comments.

E.g. Opinions in questionnaires

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Multiple-choice grid

The rows are the different questions or areas, and the columns are usually the opinions, but you could set it up for other uses too. It’s like having lots of multiple-choice questions joined together.

You can also make the form-filler add a response for each row, by clicking on the “Require one response per row” slider button.

E.g. Questionnaires – rating various criteria on a topic

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Date

When you want to record a date, this option is usual as it controls the format of the date, e.g. DD/MM/YYYY (the most common format). The date format will depend on where you live, e.g. in the US it will be MM/DD/YYYY, and will depend on your Google account settings. The form-filler will be able to either type in the date or select one from the calendar by clicking on the inverted triangle.

E.g. Recording someone’s date of birth, recording start and finish dates

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Time

Similar to the date, this is usual when you want to control the format of a time question. It’s in digital format, i.e. XX:XX, but the form-filler can enter the time using the 12h or 24h clock.

E.g. Referring to a specific timetable

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My final tip is not to include lots of different types of questions in your form. It confuses the form-filler and makes the form more hard work to fill out than it needs to be.

The general rule for forms is that they need to collect the information you need in the quickest time possible, as no-one likes filling in forms! That said, you also need to think about what you’re going to do with the data that it produces and how it’s going to be analysed, as this could influence your form design.


eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


Google Forms – Adding titles & sections

If you’ve got a longer form, you’ll probably want to add sections and possible pages to your form. So, here we’ll look at:

  • Adding titles
  • Adding sections

There is an important difference between titles and sections.

Titles – These add a section title to your form on the current page

Sections – These add a section title but also put the section on a new page


ADDING TITLES

1) On the right-hand side there a floating menu. Click on the double T icon to add a title to a section of your

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2) Click on “Untitled  title” to give your section a name. You also have the option to add a description of the section underneath.

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ADDING A NEW SECTION

1) To add a section on a new page, click on the question you want the new section to appear AFTER. Then click Add section (two lines icon) from the floating bar.

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2) Click on “Untitled section” to change the name of the section.

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3) You can also add a description underneath.

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PREVIEWING YOUR FORM

To see what the title and section look like on your form, go to Preview by clicking on the eye symbol at the top of the screen.

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We can see the title we added “Section 1”, which clearly labels this section.

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At the bottom of the first page, we now see that a “Next” button has been added automatically to show that there is more than one page on this form. Click on that.

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Ahh, remember in the last post, we made a question obligatory. Even though we’re just viewing this form, we can’t see the next page unless we complete this question with something.

Notice, that obligatory questions have a red asterisk next to them. This is what the form filler will see too.

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Having filled in a name, we then click on the “Next” button at the bottom of the screen, and this time it allows us to see the next page. In this example, this is where “Section 2” is.

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So, remember add sections, adds a separate page by default.

At the end of the form, you will always see the blue “Submit” button, for the form filler to send their responses.

They also have the option of going back to review or change their responses, by clicking on “Back”. The responses filled out on both pages are remembered.


eBooks now available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, and Slides:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


Google Forms – Questions: What else can you do?

Here we’ll look at:

  • Naming the form and file
  • Changing question type
  • Making questions obligatory to complete
  • Changing the order of the questions on your form

Naming the form and file

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In my previous post, we already created a simple multiple-choice form and named it “Revision test”. In the top left-hand corner you’ll notice that the file is still called “Untitled form”. So, let’s give it a more meaningful name.

Click on the filename “Untitled form” and automatically it will suggest that you name it the same as the form title. You can leave it like this, or you can press delete and type in your own filename.

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Back in the form, we can also add a form description. Click on “Form description” under the form title.

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For example, “End of unit 1 test”.

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Changing the type of question

Often we want the name of the person who’s filling out the form, so we can add a question asking for the to fill out their name.

1) Click on the first question so it is highlighted as if you were going to edit it. Then click the “plus” button to add a question.

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2) In the “Question” field type Name.

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3) Click on “Multiple choice” to select the question types.

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4) From the menu, choose “Short answer”, which requires the person to type in a short piece of text, i.e. in this example, their name.

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Making a question obligatory to complete

5) I always want them to fill in their name, so I can make the question obligatory. At the bottom of the box, click the slider button “Required”, so it changes colour.

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Changing the order of the questions

6) When I look at my form, I see the Name question is after the first quiz question. I want it to be the first one. So, all I do is click on the Name question, where the 6 little dots are, and drag it upwards above the first question then drop it.

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7) The name question is now the first one. You can change the order of any your questions this way. Think of each one as a separate block that can be moved around.

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Form3-Moving question


eBooks now available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, and Slides:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)