Polls made easier with Google Docs Spreadsheet

Google Docs Spreadsheet makes it easy to create and run polls.

There are quite a lot of polling applications available on the web. Some of them are really useful but many of them are not and can be cheated. Instead of maintaining another account for running polls how about using Google Spreadsheet to create and run polls if you already have a Google account (you might already!)?

In this walk-thru let’s create a sample poll to get the opinions of some of DemoGeek.com’s readers to see if they would really prefer to see more of screencasts than screenshot based posts at DemoGeek.com and also to find out which topic they prefer the most.

Step-1: Sign in to Google Docs Account

Google Docs Sign-i

The basic, sign in to Google Docs.

Step-2: Create a New Form

New Form at Google Docs

Start by creating a new form by clicking on the “New >> Form" menu option.

Step-3: Poll Title and Description

Poll Title and Description

When the page loads up you should be able to see a similar page like the above screenshot. Couple of things make up a poll, a title, a description, the questions and answers. Start by giving the poll a title and a decent description.

Step-4: Create Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers for the poll

Now, it’s time to fill out the questions and the possible answers. Type-in a question title and help text and then choose the type of answers from the "”Question Type” dropdown list.

The possible Question Types are,

Question Types

For this example, let’s choose Multiple Choice as Question Type and type-in the answers as above. Once done click the “Done” button. If you want to make this question a required question then check the “Make this a required question” option.

Step-5: Add More Questions

Add More Questions

Let’s add one more question to our poll. Click on the “Add Question” button at the top of the page and then choose the type of question you want to add. Let’s choose Checkboxes question type this time.

Checkboxes type question

Once again, type-in the title, text and then type-in the answers for each choice. Once done click on the “Done” button.

Sample Poll at Google Spreadsheet

By now, your poll will look like the screenshot above and is ready to be send out.

Step-6: Send the Poll out

Email the Poll

Click on the “Email this form” button at the top of the page.

Email the Poll

Fill-in the email address to whom you want to send the poll and hit the “Send” button. The poll will now be emailed to the recipients and the sender will get an email from Google Docs acknowledging the sent poll.

Recipient View

Recipient View of the Poll

The recipient will receive an email similar to the above and will be able to pick their choice and can submit the poll by clicking on the “Submit” button.

Warning from Google Mail

You might get a warning similar to the above screenshot, just click on the OK button to continue submit the poll. That’s all you have to do to respond to the poll.

See the Poll Responses

After a while, the poll creator will obviously be interested to see the responses. It’s very simple to check the responses, sign-in again to your Google Docs account and then open the spreadsheet that has the poll title.

Form(1) menu at Google Docs

Click on the “Form(1)” menu and then click on the “Edit Form” menu option.

See Poll Responses

When the poll gets loaded click on the “See responses” button and then click on the “Summary” menu option.

Poll Response displayed at Google Docs

Google Docs will display the responses in a neat format with graphs to visually give you an understanding of the response.

Running polls with Google Docs is pretty simple and straight-forward. I hope you find it useful. If you have any questions regarding this please let us know in comments.

Technorati Tags: ,Google Docs and Spreadsheet,Create Polls,Polls with Google Docs,,,Google Docs Tips
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18 comments so far

  1. Debra

    Hey, there, thanks for the info! I selected "other," a fill in response, for one of my options and I'm not seeing that text anywhere in my results. I tried it myself, checked other, and put text in the book, but when I look at my results, I don't see that info anywhere. Can you help?

  2. Debra

    Also, I have set up the poll using check boxes options, so that people can choose more than one option, but that doesn't appear to be working. I can select more than one option, but only one selection shows up in the reults.

  3. Denni

    Thank you! I've struggled with inserting a poll into my Google website, but this works just fine :)

  4. maryann

    I would like to add a survey with google spreadsheet for a contest and I don't want that someone vote several times.
    So, how can I block the response to one unique person, one IP address ????

    Thanks a lot

  5. demogeek

    Hi Maryann – you don't have to worry about this as this has been taken care of by default, a person can't vote more than once. It does that by the email address that you send the survey to and I'm not sure about at the IP address level. I think the email level restriction is fair enough.

  6. maryann

    Hello demogeek,
    The issue is that we don't send the survey with an email. Actually our survey is embedded on our website in order that people can vote easily whenever they want.
    That's why we would like to block the IP address so one person would be able to vote once for each survey. You see what I mean….

  7. maryann


    So there is no way to block users to vote several times on google survey if it is embedded on a website ????
    Best regards,

  8. Paul

    Once I create the poll and save it, can I reuse it? When I see the file in my folder, under "actions" it has the option "Email as attachment" That's not what I want to do. Any ideas? Thanks.


  9. Amjad

    Is there a way that I can see the person's email address with the response in the spreadsheet view?

  10. lisa

    How can we edit the original question?

  11. Alex

    I'm seconding Amjad, I need a way to verify that the same IP isn't spamming the poll with double votes. The best way would be to obscure my ability to detect multiple votes, so that the offender doesn't expect my knowledge.

  12. rocil

    How i could know the identity email or IP address of people answering my google doc form?

  13. Michele

    i sent it to myself in an e-mail and I was able to answer multiple times. I sent the link to myself in an e-mail and the same thing.

  14. weo

    did you ever get an answer to this question?

  15. Riya

    Its not reliable to use google form for survey becauce, when there is no way to stop multiple votes from the same user the question of accuracy of the poll arises.
    what would you do with the poll results when you know its in accurate. doesnt make sense to me at all

  16. sap

    Did you ever find an answer to this question?

  17. Don

    Did you even try one of these polls yourself? I feel like you should not answer questions if you dont know what your talking about. I just tried it out and when I sumbited my answer there was a little link that you click on and it lets you submit another vote. I sent 30 votes in on the poll in 20 seconds. How do I stop this from happening to my poll?

  18. Niklas

    Very good post! We are linking to this great article on our

    website. Keep up the great writing.

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