How to create a survey in Microsoft Forms

Getting the right feedback at the right time can keep your organization heading in the right direction. Through surveys, you can give engaged users the opportunity to share feedback and make their voices heard, giving your organization a chance to better meet their needs.

Surveys can serve all kinds of purposes. Managers can use them to determine employee engagement and satisfaction, teachers can craft quizzes and tests, and students can use them to complete projects. A student writing a paper on the importance of online surveys (to use a very meta example) can collect data through a survey they share with their peers.

To create an online survey, first choose a platform or service to host it on and collect responses, such as Microsoft Forms. Let’s take a look at how to create a survey in Microsoft Forms.

What Microsoft Forms does

Microsoft Forms is a platform to create and share online surveys, quizzes, questionnaires, and polls. It helps users handle tasks like:

  • Developing and distributing forms for businesses, including polls designed to collect user feedback
  • Visualizing and presenting important data collected through surveys and forms
  • Creating tests or quizzes for educational settings
  • Creating forms for RSVPs, trivia games, or other personal uses

But those aren’t the only things forms and surveys are good for. Form-building services simply provide their users helpful templates to work from. The potential uses of forms are only limited by the imagination of the people who create them.

How to create a survey in Microsoft Forms

To create a survey in Microsoft Forms, you first need a Microsoft account (such as Microsoft 365 or even an Outlook account). Many of Microsoft’s features are available without a paid subscription, but it might be worth your time to figure out if the organization, business, or school you’re working with can purchase a plan with access to more premium features.

From there, go to Microsoft Forms and follow these steps to create a survey:

  1. Create a new form. Select the New Form option at the top of the page.
  2. Name your new survey and add a description. Click on the Untitled form section to change your title and add a brief description (limited to 1,700 characters) of what your form or survey is about, along with any directions for filling it out.
  3. Customize your form. Microsoft Forms allows you to choose from several color palettes and themes for your form by clicking Theme in the upper right. (If you’re looking for more extensive options, online form builder Jotform’s free survey maker offers more than 800 different survey templates and advanced design tools).
  4. Add sections. If you have a number of questions to ask or different topics to cover, you can create sections to make it easier for respondents to navigate your form. To add sections, click the +Add new button and then the down arrow to see additional options. Click Section to add a new section and subtitle.
  5. Add questions. Click on +Add new under your title or first section heading. From there, select one of the following question types and then add your question content.
  • Choice (multiple choice questions)
  • Text (long-form response questions)
  • Rating (answers given on a scale, such as 1–10)
  • Date (a date picker)
  • Ranking (ranking answer options from best to worst)
  • Likert (a rating scale to gauge opinions or attitudes)
  • Net Promoter Score (a rating scale for how likely the respondent is to recommend your product or service)

(Note: If you’re looking for more variety in your survey questions, Jotform’s survey builder allows you to add fill-in-the-blank questions, CAPTCHAs, star ratings, tables, and product lists.)

  1. Preview your form before sharing it. It’s always a good idea to check your form out for yourself before sending it off. Select the Preview option at the top of the screen to see mobile and desktop versions of your form. 

You can test out answering the questions and then go back to your form to see how responses will be recorded under the Responses tab. (Don’t forget to delete test responses if you don’t want them to affect your results.)

  1. Share your survey. Now that you’ve done all the hard work, it’s time to reap the benefits. Click the Send button in the top right to get a link you can distribute through email, embed on a web page, or post to Twitter or Facebook. Just share your survey with the people you want to hear from, and Microsoft Forms will handle the rest.

While it’s useful to know how to create a survey in Microsoft Forms, it’s far from the only service you can use to build robust surveys and questionnaires. Before choosing Microsoft Forms as your survey builder, take a look at some alternatives, like Jotform, and compare the processes of creating and sharing surveys. You might find that other form builders can more effectively meet your organization’s needs.

Regardless of how you do it, collecting feedback via surveys remains one of the most valuable ways for organizations of all types to get the information they need. After all, the best way to move your organization forward is by finding out exactly what your audience wants.

This article is originally published on Apr 07, 2022, and updated on Jun 24, 2022.

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