Monday, April 8, 2013

Changing Question Order in New Google Forms

With new Google Forms a commonly asked for feature request has finally been granted. One of the biggest issues with the old version of Google Forms was the inability to change your question order on the associated spreadsheet after you initially create the form. But now...we can change the question order and update the spreadsheet question order. See the steps below to do this:


With Google Forms you can create, collaboratively edit, and send your form to potential respondents.  When you create a Form, the responses are stored in the form itself by default.  If you would like to see the individual responses, you will need to choose a response destination for your form.

Old Forms behavior:

1. Create a Form
2. Organize question order (we will call it Question Order 1)
3. Click Save
4. Go look at Spreadsheet and columns will be in Question Order 1
5. Go back to Form editor and move around question order (we will call it Question Order 2)
6. Click Save
7. Go to Spreadsheet and the columns will still be in Question Order 1

New Forms behavior:

1. Create a Form
2. Organize Question Order 1
3. Google Magic automatically saves everything
4. Choose Spreadsheet as the Response Destination
5. Go to the Spreadsheet and you will see the Question Order 1
6. Go back to Form and change the question order
7. Go back to Spreadsheet, Question Order 1 is still the view
8. Unlink the Spreadsheet from the Form
9. Relink the Form to the existing (or new) Spreadsheet
10. The column order CHANGES to the Updated Question Order

If you have any questions, please ask them on the Google Forms category of the Google Docs Help forum.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Using Google Sheets to make a March Madness Bracket Pool

I've had a request for a template to use for keeping track of a Pool.  You can find the template below.  Instructions for use are on the Help tab.  Basically, this template can hold up to 50 participants.  Each participant has their own tab.  The tab must be named with the person's name followed by 's Bracket.  For example, mine would be called Ted Juch's Bracket.  You will also need to put the players name on their individual sheet in the name field and on the Bracket Participants tab.  People's selections are put in the yellow fields on their individual bracket tab.  If everything is named correctly, everything will work automatically!  Enjoy!

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments and I'll support from there.

Using Google Sheets for March Madness 2013

Google did not release a new bracket so I've updated mine a little bit and posted the template below.  Click on the link below, go to File>Make a copy.  Make sure to check out the Helper tab for how things work.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Google Forms

It has been a while since I posted...even though I promised more but hopefully you follow me on Google+ as I've been posting more quick tips there.  I've been spending a lot of time with the new Google Forms recently and I thought it was about time to blog about it.

There are many changes with Google Forms but the big change is that Forms is now its own editor.  It has the ability to talk to Google Sheets, but should now be considered a single editor.  Therefore, now when someone submits your Form the responses are actually stored in Forms itself and not necessarily a spreadsheet.  Google gives you this option with the response destination feature.  You can either keep the responses stored in the Form (which allows only a summary view) or link them to a new or existing spreadsheet to see each individual response.  There is a nice button and wizard in the form editor to help with this.

The biggest questions on the forums right now tend to revolve around the difference between an editor/owner/collaborator and respondents (Google's term for people who fill out the form).  I recommend keeping your Form always with sharing settings of Private.  This setting affects the editor/owner/collaborator.  By keeping the sharing settings at Private, you can easily collaborate with others on the content of the Form just as if it were a Google Doc or Sheet (also in real time).  Only those who have explicit access to edit the form will be allowed to edit the form.  Respondents can access the form to fill it out using the Send form feature.  You will find this blue button in the upper right of the editor or at the very bottom.  When you click here you find a few options for sending your form to respondents.  The easiest method is the URL that is generated that goes to the life form.  You can paste this link on a website, on your Google+ page, a Facebook page, in an email, etc.  When people click on it they will be taken to your Form to fill out as a respondent (There might be a bug right now with some users having to be signed into a Google account, but I have yet to find this consistent behavior or able to reproduce...there might be some user error here).  

There are lots of cool little features but my favorite is the ability to copy a list of multiple choice answers from a spreadsheet and paste it into the form editor in one quit click.  Make sure to use Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V when doing and make sure your cursor is in the first box for the multiple choice question.

Other big topics include the fact that the number of themes are limited and there is currently no feature for adding pictures on a form but hang in there!

Enjoy the new Forms and if you have any questions or feedback make sure to head over to the Google Docs Help Forum.

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Terms for Google Docs

If you frequent the Docs forum or Drive forum you might have noticed a few new terms for describing Google Docs.  With the introduction of Drive it has been difficult or many users to figure out what exactly is going on and what exactly everybody is talking about. You might have also noticed that "Documents" in your upper black bar now says "Drive."  I hope my guide below can help with the rebranding!

Google Drive (or Drive)- This is the all encompassing term for cloud storage of files using Google's service.  You can use this term by saying things like "Hey, my computer died, but luckily I have everything saved in my Drive."  Drive also has various apps associated with it that allow you to collaborate in real-time. These files are in a Google format and must be edited in a browser.  Currently, only Docs (see below) allow for offline editing and offline editing is not supported on mobile.

Doc(s) - Formerly known as Documents.  This will be the most confusing term going forward as the term "Google Docs" use to encompass Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, and Drawings.  This now refers to the Google format for word processing.  Google Documents is now Google Docs.  A single Google Docs file is called a Google Doc.  You can use this term by saying something like "Hey, I'm sick of sending this Word file through email.  How about turning it into a Google Doc so we can collaborate in real time?" (In my mind, this is much better and how it should have been from the beginning.)

Sheet(s) - Formerly known as Spreadsheets.  A single Google Sheets file is called a Google Sheet.  Not to be confused with a tab in the Sheet.  You can use this term by saying something like "Hey, I want to use Google Sheets to plan our next vacation budget!"
   Other notes: There has traditionally been dissimilarities between Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets terms.  We will see how this goes but in the past the term "workbook" has generally been avoided.  In the Google Sheets world, the terms "tab" and "sheet" will be synonymous and while the term "Sheets" could be used in place of "workbook."   However, I am going to strongly advise that "workbook" be used to describe the collection of "tabs" or "sheets" in a single file (regardless of whether we are talking about Excel or Sheets).  The capitalization of Sheets will indicate the Drive app only and a lower-case "sheets" will refer to a "tab." A lower-cased "spreadsheet" is also synonymous with "sheets" and "tabs" but the upper-case "Spreadsheets" no longer exists and should not be used.  You might want to read that a few times.

Slide(s) - Formerly known as Presentations.  This one is an easy transition and can be used by saying something like "Hey, you know building this presentation would be much easier if we did this with Slides?"

Drawings - Drawings is still Drawings.

As you can see this will be a difficult transition but I hope we can all use the same terms when discussing Google Drive on the forums or anywhere else.

Please comment if you think anything is unclear and I can make some edits!

Note: These are just my conclusions from using Google Drive but I hope Google releases something soon explaining everything.  But for now...use this.