Problem : I want to a create a web based form which i can either sent directly to my friends or clients as a link or else embed the same in my blog which can be used as a feedback form. Is there any better way to get this job done and also along i want to link this with a Online service so that all the data received is easy to handle and also stored in the cloud, reducing the risk of losing everything.
Solution : The best tool which we can recommend you is using the Google Docs online service, which is not only Online but also secure and which allows you to store the data in your Google account accessible from your computer & Smartphone. There is no need to try out using the forms option available under the Microsoft Office suite ie MS Word, Excel or powerpoint. Just visit the service at http://docs.google.com/.
Next on the left side menu, you need to click on the ‘Create New’ option which will display a list of stuff you can create using the Google Docs.
Once you click on the Create New Form, a new window would be opened displaying the basic options as shown below named as untitled form under a untitled template.
Once you have entered the Form Name and some useful description which is related to the form you are creating, you will be asked to enter a Question Title and Help Text which wont be shown directly. Next it will be asking you the ‘Question Type’ which is the section where you need to select from the following seven options – Text, Paragraph Text, Multiple Choice, Check-boxes, Choose from a list, Scale & Grid. Based on your requirements you can decide and select the right options. Since we are asking our readers some question, we opted for the Multiple Choice option which would ask you to enter a minimum of 2 different options, while clicking on the add ‘other’ link would add more options there.
If you plan to add another similar question below, you can click on the Duplicate button and the delete button is useful for deleting a question from your form. Check on the ‘Make this a required question’ option for making sure that someone has to answer this question to submit the form.
We had selected the Multiple Choice option for displaying round radio boxes, while selecting the checkboxes option will create squared option boxes. Once all the settings are done, click on the Done button to finalize it.
We can just finish the setup here itself, but there is more. If you would like to have colorful look, then instead of thinking about the complex coding you should be happy because docs offers you with multiple free templates or themes which you need to select from the top ‘Theme:plain’ drop down option. Just click on this option and you will get a list of different available themes which you can activate by clicking on them and then clicking on Apply button to make the theme changes live.
Next you can directly give the link which is listed below the form generation box under ‘You can view the published form here’ with anyone you would like to for getting it filled.
Share the Form : You can directly share the form with your friends without the need to copy the published url to be manually emailed. Click on the ‘Email this Form’ button in the form and you will get a list of options. Next you can select the ‘Choose from contacts’, option along with a Subject which would be sent in the email. Once this is selected and customized you can click on the send button and the form link would be emailed to the other party.
How to Embed the Form : Now lets move towards the step of embedding this form at any website or blog. For this you need to click on the options available under ‘More Actions’ > Embed, which will give you a code to add anywhere. We have embedded a form at our Jobs Opening Post below the main content, which is linked with our Gmail Account, hence all the submissions would be displayed at the Google Docs form.
View Form Results : In order to view all the responses to the form you have embedded or shared with others, you need to click on the ‘See responses’ button which will show you two options. One is a summary which is useful way to see the results because they are shown in the form of analytics for the radiobox type of data, while the scpreadsheet option is useful when you have submitted the form for getting some text based feedback.