Google Forms or Microsoft Forms: Which should you use?

Both Google Forms and Microsoft Forms are solid tools for creating forms, quizzes, and surveys. Since they’re both web-based, offer a variety of question types, and have similar answer options, which one should you use?

Both services allow you to easily create a form or quiz. The interfaces are comparable and do not present any notable differences. So when it comes to knowing what one service offers more than the other, a certain feature can let you decide between the two. Let’s see how Google Forms and Microsoft Forms differ.

How to Create a Ranking Question in Google Forms

Types of questions

At first glance, it looks like Google Forms offers more question types, but that’s a bit misleading. Google Forms just lists each type separately in a single drop-down list, while Microsoft Forms has a side menu and a few options within the question type.

Types of questions in Google Forms and Microsoft Forms

Let’s take an example.

Google Forms lists the following question types as multiple choice, checkbox, and dropdown, while Microsoft Forms offers you the Choice type. However, the Choice type can be adapted to all three formats thanks to additional options.

In Microsoft Forms, choose the Choice question type for a standard multiple-choice question.

To create the Checkboxes type, activate the multiple answers option. While these aren’t checkboxes per se, you can accomplish the same thing, which is to allow the respondent to select multiple answers.

To use the Dropdown type, select the three dots at the bottom right of the choice question and choose “Drop-down” to format it as such.

Choice question options in Microsoft Forms

You can use Microsoft Rating, Ranking, Likert, and Net Promoter Score question types like Linear Scale, Multiple Choice Grid, and Google Checkbox Grid. You can also use Microsoft’s Text question type and enable the Long Answer feature to mimic Google’s Short Answer and Paragraph types.

In fact, the only question types that Google offers more than Microsoft are file downloads and time. If these are the types of questions you need, you need Google Forms.

Question features

Google Forms and Microsoft Forms both offer question-specific functionality. Below are the features you can use with both services.

Add images and videos.
Make the questions mandatory.
Use logical branching.
Enable shuffling options for replies.
Include points for quizzes.
Use restrictions or validation.

Features of forms

When it comes to form functionality, you’ll find many similarities, but also a few differences. Here are the features that both services offer, as well as their own.

Google Forms and Microsoft Forms Features and Settings
Both Services
Sections with ability to rearrange sections and questions.
Themes with possibility of customization
Form preview
Showing a progress bar
Mixing the order of questions
Self-assessment questionnaires
Print the form
Customizable confirmation message
Receive an email of each response

Google Forms only
Pre-filled link to view sample forms or partially completed forms
Allow respondents to edit a submitted form
Allow respondents to submit another response
Limit responses per form
Option to collect email addresses
Convert a form to a quiz after creating it
Ability to disable auto-registration for respondents.
Default options for all forms and questions
Ability to import questions from other forms

Microsoft forms only
Start and end dates for opening and closing forms
Previews for mobile and desktop screens
Specific quiz for math questions

If you’re looking for more control over your submissions, Google Forms gives you many features that Microsoft Forms doesn’t. However, the form features that Microsoft offers more than Google can be obstacles, depending on the type or intent of your form or quiz. For example, you might be more interested in automatically starting and ending a form than limiting responses.

Sharing and publishing

Google Forms and Microsoft Forms being web forms services, they both offer easy sharing options. But here you will find some differences that can be important.

With both services, you can email the form, get the URL to share it yourself, or get the embed code to place the form on your website. You can also share the form on Facebook and Twitter.

Google Forms gives you the option to customize the form dimensions in the embed code before you copy it. However, the code you receive from Microsoft Forms shows the dimensions of the form from the start, making it easy to change them if needed.

Google Forms Sharing Options

Microsoft Forms offers an exceptional sharing option that Google Forms does not, namely a QR code. You can download the code and then share this image wherever you want. This is a very easy way to direct people to the form.

Microsoft Forms QR Code

Options for displaying and exporting responses

Both of these services allow you to do the essentials with your responses to forms and quizzes. You can view a summary with helpful graphs, view individual responses, and review responses to specific questions.

You can save Google Forms responses to Sheets and Microsoft Forms responses to Excel. But Google also lets you download your responses in CSV format to open in Excel or another desktop app if you want.

Google Forms Response Options

Microsoft Forms has a great feature for linking summary to form responses. This feature is handy if you want to share responses with other people without giving them access to the form. Just copy the link and paste it into an email or message.

Microsoft Forms Response Options

As you can see, Google Forms and Microsoft Forms offer similar functionality for questions, forms, and answers. Since the differences are minimal, you can try both. You can also stick with your favorite company, unless you find a glaring and must-have feature in one or the other.

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