Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Public Google Forms and Spreadsheets for Dummies

Here's step-by-step instructions on how to create and publish a Google spreadsheet, together with a web-based form that makes entries into it.

You could use this for everything from arranging rides to scheduling a party.
  • Go to
  • Click on New and choose spreadsheet.
  • Click on the title, "Unnamed Spreadsheet", and enter a title.
  • Enter column headings into row 1, across the top.
  • Click on the "Share" tab.
  • Under "Invite people:" choose "to fill out a form."
  • Click on "Start editing your form..."
You'll now see a form with the title you gave the spreadsheet, and a slot for each column.
  • Fill in the box below the title, which says "You can include any text or info that will help people fill this out."
  • Press "Next, choose recipients."
If you want email the form, fill in the To: list. Otherwise, just go on.

Now to embed the form in a web page,
  • Click on "Embed", in the upper-right-hand corner.
  • Copy the link location to that web page, as instructed.
Next, we publish the spreadsheet, which will change as folks fill out the form:
  • Go back to the spreadsheet and click the "Publish" tab.
  • Press "Publish now".
It will give you a URL where folks can see the spreadsheet, but that's not what you want yet.
  • Click the bottom link, "More publishing options."
A window will pop up called "More published formats."
  • Click "Generate URL."
  • Copy the link location and paste it into whatever web page you want to display the spreadsheet on.
You now have one web page with a form folks can enter data into, and another that's the spreadsheet to display the data.


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