Create a Simple Online Form for Free using Google Forms

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If you are looking for a really easy way to create an online form for free and start collecting information in 5 minutes flat, follow this step-by-step tutorial.

Creating a fillable online form doesn't require a developer. Of course you can go the hard route and try to figure out how to create a form with code but why in the world would you dare try if there is a much easier way?

I like simple and Google Forms is just that - simple!

Steps to follow (click the step for screenshots):

Detailed Instructions

1. Log into your Google Account

To get started with your free online form creation, select the Gmail account (Google Account) you want the form to be associated with. If you do not have a Gmail account, click here to get started.

2. Access Google Forms

You might not have known this, but having a Gmail account gives you access to Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Forms and more. It's all free!

To create your first Google Form, just click here or type google.forms.com in a new browser tab.

3. Create a New Form

To create your first Google Form, get started by clicking the plus icon in the lower right of the screen.

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4. Adjust the Form Style

Google gives you the ability to adjust some basic styling options. You can upload your own form header image or select one from their gallery.

Next, adjust the theme color by adding your own or selecting a pre-created option.

Then select the background color that will show behind the form.

Finally, there are some limited font settings you can choose from. I wish you could select any of the Google Font options, but forms offers a puny selection.

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5. Form Title and Description

The form starts with a default option for a title and description. This is nice for introducing the form and giving any necessary instructions to users.

To add your title and description just click and type.

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6. Create Your Form Questions

Google Forms comes equipped with a bunch of question options. You can choose from:

  • Short Answer
  • Paragraph Answer
  • Multiple Choice
  • Checkbox
  • Dropdown
  • File Upload
  • Linear Scale
  • Multiple Choice Grid
  • Checkbox Grid
  • Date
  • Time

Within each question type there are some other available options you can select as well to refine the question to your form collection needs.

create-form-questions

7. Divide Your Form into Sections

Unless you are creating a simple contact or lead capture form, I recommend dividing your online form into sections.

This will make the form much easier to complete and it will actually increase the completion rate because users won't feel overwhelmed with a really long single page form.

I recommend this for registration forms, sign-up forms where you are a fair amount of details, quizzes and tests, runner check-in forms, school visitor databases and others like these.

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8. Adjust the Final Form Settings

This is where other free form options tend to make you start paying for things.

With Google Forms you can decide whether the user should get a copy of the answers emailed to them, be able to submit the form again, submit 1 time or multiple.

You can also adjust your confirmation message to display once the form is completed, show a progress bar, or my favorite, mix the questions up at random so cheating people can't give answers to someone else if you turn the form into a test.

As I mentioned, Google Forms can become a formidable online test or quiz software. The quiz portion includes features like:

  • auto grading
  • answer values
  • showing correct answers
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9. Choose or Create an Answer Collection Spreadsheet

I really like the fact that Google Forms integrates directly with Google Sheets.

In this step you can either choose an existing Google Sheet that your form entries should feed into or you can create one easily from the Google Forms interface.

online-form-google-sheets

10. Name Your Form

With your new online form ready to go, you are ready to start collecting submissions.

Don't forget to give the form a name first.

You do not need to save the form because all of Google's Products auto-save as you work.

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11. Share the Link or Embed the Form

Google gives you a few options to share your form with the world. You can:

  • Direct email a link
  • Copy the link and share
  • Embed the form in your site

The direct email link is perfect for sending a feedback form after you interact with a client or a customer.

we have used the direct email option for gathering initial project information from clients.

The option to copy and share the link is more suited when you are sending the form out to a larger audience for information collection.

A feedback form sent to course attendees or a pre-event survey are two great uses for the link option. You could also poll your social followers about a topic you want to gather data for.

I highly recommend using the link shortener before sending the link. You'll see the checkbox in the screenshot below.

If you would like to embed the form into your website, or even somewhere like your Facebook page, it's pretty simple.

To add the form to your website, simply copy the available code for your Google form and paste it into your website page. Because websites vary, I can't go into great detail in this post, but I suggest checking out these resources:

Embed form into WordPress Website
Embed form into Facebook Page

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Conclusion

With so many form options out there, it is often hard to figure out what is going to be best for your needs. This simple Google Forms option should make it very simple for you to get a form online and collecting information for any occasion.

If Google Forms just doesn't seem to have what you are looking for, jump on live chat with us or send us an email if we are offline.

Together we will probably be able to come up with a cheap and effective form solution that's right for your needs.

If you found this tutorial helpful, take a second and let us know in the comments below. You can also share the post using the buttons to the left.

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