Month: February 2016

Creating multiple short URLs in seconds

Wouldn’t it be better if instead of sharing a long link like the one below, you could get a shorten version of it? Well, you can and Google provides a URL shorten service, which generally reduces any URL to only about 13 characters. For example, here’s a link that was created by Google Forms when I pre-filled some info in (see my post on personalizing Google Forms): As you can see, it’s very, loooooong! One way to shorten this is to go to Google URL shortener site at Here paste in your long URL in the box and click the blue “Shorten URL”. On the right-hand side, your short URL will appear, highlighted ready to copy. As you can see it’s much shorter than the one above. Below it you will see what your page looks like, in this example it’s a form with the fields pre-filled out. To share your new short URL, just press Ctrl+C (Cmd+C) to copy it and paste it where you want it. This is fine if you don’t have many URLs to make, but what about if you have 10, 20, 100 to make? A long, slow, tedious process. But you’ve guessed it, there’s a better, quicker way! Using the spreadsheet I created in my post about creating personalized Google Forms, I’m going to show you how a little bit of Google Apps Script, can...

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Google Forms (11) – Personalized Forms

PRE-FILLING GOOGLE FORMS OUT Why would you want to pre-fill parts of a Google Form? To ensure the information is in the format you want The data format is consistent Consistent data means it’s easier to analyze afterwards It’s quicker for the person to fill out your form It adds the personal touch, if you add their name on it One form can collect data from many sources, and be sorted with ease later on in the same spreadsheet Fortunately, there’s a way to do it, which requires a little bit of Google Sheets knowledge but if you follow the steps below, it’s pretty easy to do. SUMMARY OF THE MAIN STEPS SETTING UP THE GOOGLE SHEET 1) Create a Google Sheet by going to New and clicking Google Sheets. 2) Add the information you want to add to your form. E.g. Columns A to D below. In this example, I’m going to create an end of course questionnaire and want to send an personalized form to each class using the same form, but with 4 fields already filled out (Group, Level, Teacher, Classroom) so, later on the data will all arrive in the same place, but I can sort the data with ease into these areas. This allows me to look at the data not just for that particular class, but also more globally across all them. 3) Next to this, I need...

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Google Forms (10) – Sending them

Unless your form is for personal use, you’ll want to send it to people. Here’s how: Open your form and click the big “Send” button on the top-right of the screen, to open the “Send form” box. Here you have various options to send. First let’s look at emailing a link. Emailing a link to your form By default, the email option is already selected, so we just need to tell it who we want to send the form to. Type in the email address(es), add a subject, and add a message. Tip: If you have groups set up in your Contacts, you can just type in the group name and all those in the group will be added. Then press “Send”. The recipients will receive an email with a link in it like this: In the Send form box, there is the option to include the form in the email, but at the time of writing, I’ve found that although the form is included in the email, when you start filling it out, it still takes you to the Google Form on-line anyway, especially if you have more than one page. Plus, videos aren’t embedded in the email, they are only links. You also have the option of adding collaborators, who can edit your edit form. Getting the link to your form You can also get the link to the form,...

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Google Forms (9) – Changing the background

We can make Google Forms a little more aesthetically pleasing by changing the background and so that it can look a little more fun or professional. Changing the background colour of the form By default, your form will be purple. You can very quickly change the colour by going to the colour palette menu. Select a colour. The background will change colour. Adding a theme Go to the colour palette. Click on the image icon on the bottom-right. Here you’ll be presented with a whole range of themes, they’re not amazing, but at least they are a bit more interesting than the plain colours. Just find the one you like and click “Select”. Here’s what it looks like on the form: Adding your own image You can also add your own images, which is particularly useful if you want to add your company’s or school’s logo to make the form look more professional. Go to the colour palette as before and click on the image icon. Choose either “upload photos” or if it is already on your Drive, click Your albums. In this example, I’m going to add a photo. Either drag the photo onto where it says “Drag a photo here” or click “Select a photo from your computer”. Choose your photo and once uploaded, it will ask you to crop it so it fits on the screen correctly. Just move the...

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Google Forms (8) – Adding images and videos

In Google Forms, apart from text, we can add images and videos to enrich the form, and as always this is simple to do. Adding an image to a form You can add images to your form. On the right-hand side of your questions, you will see a floating menu with 5 options. Click on the middle one, “add image”. This opens the “Insert image” dialogue box. Choose one of the options at the top depending on where your image is. In this example, I’m going to add an image that is on My Drive. Type in the name of the file and press Enter. Click on the image you want and click “Select” at the bottom of the box. This adds the image on your form. At first, it may be the wrong size. Just click on it and drag a corner of it to change the size. You also have the option of aligning it to the left, centre or right, and adding a title to the image. Clicking on the 3 dots, also offers you the option of adding “Hover text”, i.e. when the person’s cursor is over the image, some text will appear. Clicking on it adds a hover text line under the image title, which you can edit.    Adding a video to a form On the floating menu, click the fourth option (the play icon),...

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