How to Create Fillable Forms in Google Docs

By Kevin Lee

Whether you're a teacher needing to collect answers from students or simply a Web surfer wishing to conduct a poll, you can do it quickly using Google Docs. Google Docs contains an automated form generator that helps users create professional questionnaires forms by clicking buttons and entering text. The site's user interface gives you several questionnaire types from which to choose as well as a "Theme" button that allows you to decorate the form with an colorful image. After creating a form email it to friends or distribute the form's URL to anyone. When they visit the URL they can fill out your form.

Create Form

Step 1

Navigate to your Google Docs home page and click the "Create New" drop-down button that appears at the top of the page. Click "Form," then the Edit Form page opens and displays a new page containing a form named "Untitled Form." The form contains a text box named "Question title." For this example type "What is Your Favorite Season?" into that text box. This will be the form's first question.

Step 2

Locate the "Help Text" text box beneath the "Question Title" text box. This optional text box contains any hints you might help you might want to include that-might help the form's user understand. Type anything you like into this text box that might help explain the question.

Step 3

Click the "Question Type" drop-down box that appears beneath the "Help Text" text box. This drop-down box contains options such as "Text," "Multiple Choice" and "Checkboxes." Click the "Multiple Choices" option. A text box containing the words "Option 1" appears on the form.

Step 4

Click that text box. Google Docs erases "Option 1." Type "Summer" (without the quotes) into the text box. Doing this adds "Summer" as one of the possible multiple choice answers for the question.

Step 5

Press the "Tab" key. A new text box appears below the one containing "Summer." Type "Fall" into the new text box. Press the "Tab" key again and type "Winter" into the new text that appears.

Step 6

Press the "Tab" key a final time and type "Spring" into the new text box. Four text boxes containing "Summer," "Fall," "Winter" and "Spring" will now appear below your first question. These are the possible answers to the question "What is your favorite season?"

Step 7

Click the "Add an Item" button at the top of the page. A new text box named "Sample Question two that appears at the bottom of the form. This text box will contain the form's second question. Type "Describe your City" into this text box.

Step 8

Click the "Question Type" drop-down box located below the question, then click the "Paragraph Text" option that appears in the drop-down menu. A large multi-line text box appears below the question. Choosing this option allows you to display this large text box when you're a user's answer may consist of a lot of text.

Save and Publish

Step 1

Click "Done." Google Docs displays your form. The first question appears followed by four multiple choice answers. The second question containing the multi-line text box also appears on the form.

Step 2

Type a title for the form in the Title text box that appears at the top of the form, then click "Save" to save it.

Step 3

Click the URL that appears at the bottom of the form. A new browser window or tab opens and displays the final form.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also email the form to users. After completing the form click "Email this Form" to open the "Send This Form to Others" window. Type the email addresses of recipients who you wish to receive the form into the "To" text box and click "Send."
  • Edit a question by clicking the "Edit" button located on the right side of the question. Delete a question by clicking the "Delete" button that appears next to the "Edit" button. Add as many questions and answers as you like to the form by repeating the steps outlined in this example.
  • Distribute the form's URL to anyone who needs to fill out the form. When they visit the URL they will see the form. Answers that they enter will appear in a spreadsheet associated with your form. To view this spreadsheet, navigate to your Google Docs home page and locate the form you created. Double-click that form. A spreadsheet containing answers submitted by users will appear in a new browser window or tab. The spreadsheet's first column contains the date and time that someone filled out the form. The other columns display the answers to the questions entered by the users.
  • You can also create a form from a spreadsheet that contains questions. Do so by clicking "Tools," clicking "Form" and then clicking "Create a Form" while working in a spreadsheet. The "Edit Form" page will open. This time, however, each column in your spreadsheet will appear as one of the questions on the form. Add answers to these questions using the same method used to create the original form described in these steps.
  • Click the "Theme" button at the top of any form to view a list of colorful images that you can add to the form.