Microsoft Forms provides the capability to create surveys, quizzes, and polls. After doing so you can invite users to participate, from most any device, and then view the results in real-time, use analytical tools to summarize the information gathered from the form, and optionally export these results to Excel for use with other analytical tools.

Creating and deploying a form is extremely easy, and can be completed with just a few mouse clicks if you are utilizing an Out-of-Box (OOB) template provided by Microsoft. However, there are a few additional mouse clicks necessary when creating a new form from scratch.

To begin the process, you’ll need to decide what type of information you are attempting to gather. This will help you decide if you are going to create a new form (poll or survey), or a new quiz. That decision is driven by the type of information you are trying to gather from your participants.

Forms are used to gather feedback, conduct surveys, conduct polls, and much more. These forms can be created as Web-based, created in OneDrive, inside an Excel workbook, inside a OneNote notebook, and as a tab in a channel in Microsoft Teams. To help you get familiar with the steps necessary, and also see how easy it is to do, we are going to go through the basic steps used to create a web-based survey.

  1. After logging into Microsoft 365, click the Forms option located on the waffle in the top left hand corner of M365
  2. Click on +New Form
  3. Type in title of form, optionally a description, and an image representing the topic of the form
  4. Type in the survey question you want to ask the participants
  5. Choose the type of responses associated with the question. Main options are Choice, Text, Rating, or Date. Other options include Ranking, Likert, Upload File, or Net Promoter Score

Note: You can format your text using keyboard shortcuts: Bold, Italic, Underline, Font settings, and you can add an image to each possible response to the question if using Choice

  1. Optionally, you can specify whether the question is required, if you want to allow multiple answers for the question while controlling how many choices they can select, and if you want to allow participants to add their own option
  2. If needed, you can add more questions to this form using the previous steps

Note: If you are going to include several questions you can categorize them using sections

  1. Optionally, you can customize the look and feel of the form using the Style option which includes background themes, colors, and even a selection of background music
  2. Click Preview to view what your survey will look like when the user views it on a computer and then click Mobile to view how it will be displayed on a mobile device
  3. Use the Collect responses button to specify the following configuration settings:
    • Specify who can respond and whether you want to document their name and if you want to limit each participant to one response
    • Create a shorten URL and/or copy the link to the survey
    • Send an invite to the survey to participants using Outlook or a Microsoft Team
    • Download the QR code so participants can scan the code to access the survey
    • Copy the code that was generated so it can be pasted on a webpage
  4. By clicking the ellipsis (top right hand side of page) you can complete the following steps
    • Collaborate or Duplicate (add collaborators, or share as a template)
    • Settings – participants who can access the survey, configure response options including start/end date of survey, shuffle questions of survey, create a custom thank you message, and you can configure response receipts
    • Multilingual for displaying the survey in different languages
    • You can also use the Print Form option to print the survey you’ve created
    • You have the ability to provide Feedback to Microsoft regarding what you like, dislike, or make a suggestion to Microsoft on a potential improvement to Forms
    • To view the survey results you can click the Responses option on top left of page to view the following information
      • Responses
      • Average time to complete survey
      • Status of survey
      • View individual responses
      • Open responses in Excel

Here is an example of a one question survey that I created in less than five minutes using Forms. It requires an answer, allows you to select multiple choices up to three, and allows you to add your own choice to the question:

Tip: When viewing your forms and quizzes in your Microsoft 365 account, it may be challenging to differentiate between forms and quizzes. When creating them you may want to use a prefix to help you identify the type of form that was created. For instance: Quiz-FavoriteSportResults, or Survey-FavoriteSport.