Smarter Google Forms

posted Jul 27, 2017, 11:47 AM by Eric Fruth   [ updated Jul 27, 2017, 11:47 AM ]

Recently, Google added the following new features and machine learning to Forms.

Intelligent response validation

When you know the specific type of answer you’re looking for, it’s often helpful to validate responses in Forms. For example, if you’re asking for a website, Forms can double-check that the answer provided is a URL. When possible, Forms will suggest response validation based on the question you ask. If you ask respondents for their age, for instance, Forms may recommend validating that the answer they provide is a whole number. This feature is rolling out gradually and may take several weeks to appear in the UMICH domain.

Cross-domain file uploads

Oftentimes, when you use Forms, you’re not collecting data from your colleagues—you’re gathering information from third parties. To guarantee you get the information you need, Forms allows people outside the UMICH domain to upload files as responses to your questions—provided the other organization allows cross-domain sharing in Google Drive. Based on usage patterns, total uploads to new forms will be capped at 1GB and uploads to existing forms will be capped at 1TB.


If you use similar settings across all of your forms, you can now assign default settings to apply to any new forms you create. For instance, you can choose to always collect email addresses, make questions required every time, and assign default quiz point values.

“Checkbox grid” questions

Sometimes a question is more complex than multiple choice or checkbox answers alone can satisfy—you need to be able to select multiple options from multiple categories. Now, you can use the “Checkbox grid” question type to get the answers you need, like dates and times that work for an upcoming meeting.

Section reordering

Many Google Forms users have stated there needs to be an easy way to organize (and reorganize) questions in Forms. In response to that feedback, Forms now makes it possible to reorder whole sections.