How to use Google Forms offline

How to use Google Forms offline

Millions of users love Google Forms, one of the top form builders on the market, because of its simplicity, ease of access, and integration with the Google suite of tools. Users often choose Google Forms to create surveys, signup forms, and a wide variety of other types of web forms. However, this form builder isn’t always the best choice in every situation.

While Google Forms may have several useful benefits for those who need a basic form creation tool, it falls short on some key features for businesses and advanced users. One of its most notable flaws is its lack of offline data collection capabilities.

Without an internet connection, your Google Forms are rendered useless, minimizing their overall effectiveness. Follow along as we discuss why offline forms are a valuable feature to have and what to look for when you’re choosing a form builder. 

Looking for the best alternative to Google Forms?

Looking for the best alternative to Google Forms?

Jotform’s full-featured form-building solution is mobile-friendly and has the most integrations in the industry. Use it to collect payments, automate workflows, gather leads, and more.

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Can Google Forms be used offline?

Put simply, you can’t use Google Forms offline. Google Forms is a cloud-based form builder, which means it requires an internet connection if you want to create, send, receive, and fill out forms. This reliance on an internet connection impacts the accessibility of your forms — as well as your form submission rate. However, Jotform is the perfect tool for collecting data offline and online. Jotform is a form builder that comes with many advanced features compared to Google Forms. You can build forms, customize them, collect data, analyze data, and more.

What is an offline form?

An offline form is a type of web form that doesn’t require an internet connection to build, fill out, or use to collect data. Users typically create and share these forms with an application or software that stores collected information on a local server. Once you reconnect to the internet, this data is then uploaded to the cloud for backup and synchronization.

What is an online form?

An online form is a type of web form that relies on the internet to be created, operated, and distributed. Most online form builders use this type of form. However, online forms are less accessible where internet connections are unreliable. While these forms are still useful for a number of purposes, they’re less versatile than their offline counterparts.

Woman in White Sleeveless Dress Sitting on Chair in Front of Table With Macbook
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

What is the difference between online forms and offline forms?

Both online and offline forms have unique benefits. Offline forms are more accessible, as they don’t require an internet connection, but this doesn’t mean they’re entirely better than online forms. For example, online forms collect and store data faster than offline forms can. They’re also typically easier to use and offer a better experience for users with disabilities because they work well on desktop computers.

Offline forms have a number of advantages, but when it comes to building them, you have a limited number of options to host and create them. These solutions include

While all these options offer value, the best solution by far is a platform that allows you to create offline forms with a mobile app — such as Jotform Mobile Forms. By using Jotform Mobile Forms, your team can access Jotform’s form templates, custom form builder, and e-signature capabilities wherever they are. It also offers a number of advanced features, such as

  • QR code/barcode scanning
  • Geolocation
  • Voice recordings
  • Kiosk mode, which allows you to collect multiple form responses on a single device at events like trade shows
  • Easy form-sharing on social media

Jotform’s free mobile forms app allows your team to get work done on the go while reducing paper use and improving collaboration.

Man Communicating via Smartphone on a Street
Photo by Michael Burrows

What are the alternative offline form builders to Google Forms?

Although Google Forms isn’t available offline, that doesn’t mean there aren’t alternatives that offer this benefit. Many form builders now offer the chance for your team to access their web forms offline, whether it’s through a mobile app creator, plug-in, or downloadable template.

Some of the most popular offline Google Forms alternatives include

  • Jotform
  • WPForms
  • Formstack
  • Formplus

Each of these options provides users with some kind of offline form access, increasing their competitive edge over other solutions that rely on the cloud.

The advantages of offline forms

Choosing an offline form alternative may seem unnecessary, but there are a number of advantages offline forms offer that can help keep your team connected and productive, regardless of their location or internet connection. Consider how these benefits impact your business before resigning yourself to only using online forms.

No internet connection necessary

The main advantage of offline forms is that they’re accessible even without an internet connection. This means your team won’t have to access forms through unsecured Wi-Fi networks, rely on mobile data, or travel with a hotspot to collect the data they need.

Better data collection in remote areas

If your team travels to remote locations, they likely have trouble accessing the internet. Using offline forms keeps your team moving without having to worry about limited internet access.

Solid privacy and security

Keeping your data offline limits the risk of potential data breaches that come with cloud-based software. Since data from offline forms is stored locally, it’s under a higher level of security and protection compared to the data associated with online forms.

Expanded reach 

Getting beyond the limits of online forms allows your team to gather data from anyone at any time. Users can fill out offline forms at trade shows, restaurants, and everywhere in between. This breaks down barriers and opens the door to new, previously inaccessible users.

Increased form completion rates

By increasing access to your forms, you give your users more opportunities to fill them out. This means your team has access to more information and more chances to interact with customers. It also removes a barrier to entry, as users no longer have to rely on the internet to respond.

How can you empower your team with offline forms?

Just because Google Forms doesn’t offer offline forms doesn’t mean you should settle for less than what you want or need from a form builder. Choose alternative programs like Jotform and get more from your forms’ extended capabilities. Jotform allows you to bring your web forms along no matter where you are, collect responses on the go, and empower your team with a powerful tool that increases your forms’ effectiveness.

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