In June 2016, Microsoft introduced Office forms to allow users to develop quizzes and surveys. Subsequently, new features were added for a better user experience, and this became Microsoft forms in September 2018. This versatile tool that is a part of Office 365 was designed to collect data and input automatic markings. The application was well received and since its release, it has been one of the top data collection tools.

Let us look at answers to recurring problems with the tool, as well as its features, limitations and alternatives.

Read: The Best Alternative to Google Forms: Formplus vs Google Forms

FAQs About Microsoft Forms

  • How to make Microsoft form public but not editable

Simply follow these two steps.

Step 1: Right-click on any developer tabs such as Home, on the ribbon and then click customize. When you open the ribbon dialog, on the main tabs box, click on 'Developer' and then click 'OK'. This will give you permission to customize the form and restrict access as you want.

Step 2: You can lock and unlock your form by clicking the 'restrict editing' command on the Developer tab.

  • Which browser is best for Microsoft Forms?

According to Microsoft, Forms is optimized for Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, and the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Chrome on Android, and Safari on iOS. With any of these browsers, your forms should work just fine.

  • Microsoft forms not working on mobile: How to solve it?

Go to forms settings, then click the Anyone with the link can respond option. That should solve the problem and authenticate users automatically without requesting for their identity.

Read: Looking for an Alternative to Wufoo? Formplus vs Wufoo
  • Microsoft forms not loading: How to solve?

If you encounter the 'Microsoft Forms not loading' problem, you should ensure that the browsers you're using are supported by forms. We have listed supported browsers above. You should also confirm that you do not have a third-party extension affecting the rendering of the form.

You can also add forms through the Teams Desktop client by entering the URL.

  • Do Microsoft Forms allow anonymous responses?

Yes. Microsoft Forms allow you to create and share your forms with anonymous respondents anywhere in the world. You can enable One response per person feature in settings and exclude the Record name. This will allow your participants to respond anonymously.

  • Microsoft forms not syncing with excel: How to solve

With OneDrive, SharePoint, or Microsoft Teams, you can sync both Excel and Forms. For example, in Microsoft Teams, click on Files tab, then select Add new Excel Spreadsheet. Give it a name and that's it.

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  • Can Microsoft forms merge?

Enable the form merging for a form template and you can use the form merging feature. It is useful when you need to compare data from multiple forms.

  • Can I copy questions from one Microsoft form to another?

Open the form you wish to copy from My Forms, click on copy to and select the form you want to copy the questions to. 

  • Microsoft forms not sending email notifications: How to solve?

Click on Settings in the Forms app, under Options for responses, check the Email notification of each response, and save. That should fix that.

Read: Looking for an alternative to Typeform? Typeform vs Formplus
  • Microsoft forms not saving: How to solve? 

Ensure that your auto-save feature is turned on. Do not leave your browser dormant for a long time so it doesn't assume you're no longer working and disconnect you from the server. 

  • How to solve Microsoft forms not recording responses

Microsoft forms not showing all responses: How to solve? Contact Microsoft Forms support. It may be that the form is corrupted.

  • How do I retrieve data from Microsoft Forms? 

You can select Open in Excel to receive a stored workbook. This depends on if you create your form in OneDrive, SharePoint online e.t.c

  • How do you reset a form in Microsoft Forms? 

There is no way to reset your form without losing your data and analytics. You may have to just click the Delete all Responses on the Response tab. Be very sure that's what you want to do.

  • Can you edit a response in Microsoft forms? 

No, once you have submitted a response, Microsoft Forms has no update feature to edit it.

  • How many responses can you have in Microsoft Forms? 

You can have up to 50,000 responses in Microsoft forms. You can also create up to 400 forms.

  • How to recover Microsoft forms responses?

 In the forms app, click the Open in Excel button, your responses should be on OneDrive of the form creator.

Read: Looking For an Alternative to Cognito Forms? Formplus vs Cognito Forms

Microsoft Forms Features and Capabilities

Microsoft Forms is packed with many features that make survey design a lot easier.

Here are 5 Microsoft Forms features you should know about. 

1. Integration With Microsoft Stream

This feature allows Microsoft Forms to integrate with Microsoft's Stream video-sharing service. This makes it possible to use forms in Microsoft Stream. All you need to do is insert the forms into your videos.

Once you've done that, the forms will pop up at a set time whenever someone is watching your video and interacting with them. The viewer can choose to respond to the form before continuing to watch the rest of the video.

For example, when recording an instructional video, a teacher can embed questions for the students to answer before they can watch the rest of the video. This is an avenue to introduce course engagement to your students and make the course more fun and enjoyable rather than the passive approach. Combining Microsoft forms with Stream is an added advantage for the instructor to get real-time feedback from the students.

2. Microsoft Forms Integration with Excel in Real-time

This is another stand-out feature of Microsoft forms. As both Forms and Excel are part of Office365's applications, both of them can blend into each other.

This means that your surveys or quiz can be linked into an Excel Spreadsheet. This will allow Excel to automatically collect responses when someone responds to your survey, and also update the results in real-time. This helps to save time as you would not need to perform extra activities to interpret the results from your survey.

Excel will provide an up-to-date spreadsheet of your results.

3. Multi-Language Forms

Microsoft Forms provide the option for you to create replicable forms that can be administered to different target audiences. You can perform this by interacting with the participant of your form in their own language.

In addition, you can solve the language barrier by interacting with diverse audiences using multi-language forms. This will improve the quality and quantity of your findings. 

4. Mathematical Keyboard

When you look at a standard keyboard, you will realize that there are some characters and symbols you cannot find. To achieve these symbols, you may need to use complicated key combinations, such as AltKey+251, to type in a square root. To solve this problem, Microsoft added a virtual Math keyboard into Microsoft Forms. Now, you can easily write some equations into your forms by choosing the math option, then click on your keyboard icon, and then start typing.

5. Branching in Microsoft Forms

Branching is defined as when two or more options are given to users to choose from. Each of the options you select has a pre-set action that should follow after it has been chosen by the user. Branching can be used to guide users to the section they need to complete their designs In Microsoft Forms. It also ensures that the user is provided with a matching response from the target group and target location.

You should take note that branching is only available on Microsoft Forms Pro.

Limitations of Microsoft Forms

There are some limitations that apply to Microsoft Forms including the Forms Pro. They are:

  1. 100 questions limitation: Microsoft Forms are limited to 100 questions per form. If, when writing, you have more than a hundred questions, you will be required to craft another form or compress your questions.
  2. Microsoft Forms does not have an update feature for submitted answers or the option to save a form for later.
  3. There is a 4000 character maximum on text responses.
  4. There are 2 to 10 options per response for ranking questions. Which means you can only ask 50 questions. If you have a question with 10 options, you'll only be able to ask 20 questions related to the 100 question limit per form.
  5. There can only be 60 options stored for choice questions.
  6. You only have 20 questions when using the Likert scale. This is because the Likert scale counts each statement as one question.

Microsoft Forms vs Formplus

Microsoft Forms and FormPlus share similar features and we are going to compare how distinct features work on both platforms. But first, let us briefly look at what Formplus does.

Formplus is an online drag-and-drop form builder that you can use to create mobile-friendly web forms. Whatever industry you are in, you can count on Formplus to provide from its over 1000+ form templates to help you create workflows, receive payments and even collect customer feedback.

Formplus is packed with robust features such as; document merge, digital signatures, file uploads, repeating data sections, save & resume, on-form payments, and conditional logic.

It also has numerous sharing options such as Website and WordPress embed, across social media channels, QR codes, and via customized Email Invitation.

Formplus also has integrations with third-party storage apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, and third-party integrations like Zapier. 

Another cool thing about Formplus is that you can enjoy most of these features for free. Now let’s consider the similarities between Microsoft Forms and Formplus.

  1. Supported platforms: Both Formplus and Microsoft Forms support SaaS
  2. Audience: Formplus forms are available for individuals, small businesses and large teams who need to collect data online through forms, surveys, polls and quizzes. While Microsoft offers its forms to anyone who wants to create basic surveys.
  3. Support: Formplus support offers live and email support. Microsoft does not offer any support to its users.
  4. Pricing: Microsoft Forms and Formplus forms are both available for free. 

Microsoft Forms vs Google Forms

Microsoft forms and Google forms have the same primary functions but with diverse features. Here's a quick look at their similarities.

1. Although both applications are great when it comes to question & answer types, Google Form provides a wider range of question types, from linear scale, text-based responses to multiple-choice answers, and even checkboxes, Google form offers a lot more than Microsoft Forms that provides six options only. This makes it easier to create a variety of quizzes and forms. It has a bevy of options to meet your design needs.

2. While Microsoft Forms does not support for separate sections, it has a feature known as branching that does let you add conditional logic in your form design.

3. Both Microsoft Forms and Google forms allow you to share the link to your form or survey directly to the participants or email it to them. Although Microsoft Forms requires an ID to create the forms, Microsoft ID is not required to respond to the form. Anyone with the link can respond to the survey.

Both Forms allow provide the option of embedding the link in your webpage or any webpage.

4. While Google forms allow you to add anyone with an active email address as collaborators to your form, Microsoft Forms does not. In the standard version of Microsoft forms, you can't restrict or filter your audience to just employees from your organization unless you have an Office 365 Education subscription.

Google forms also allow you to edit the access of your collaborators or restrict them from adding other people as collaborators.

Conclusion

Microsoft Forms is an excellent tool that can be highly beneficial for instructors, employers, and business owners that need to collect and analyze data from their customers online. However, if you're looking to switch to a more robust data collection tool, consider switching to Formplus.

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