You can create data entry forms for any sheet. Use this to:
- Make data entry easier and quicker, for you and your team
- Allow anyone to submit data to a sheet, without giving them access to the book itself
Adding a form to a sheet
Just use the “Add Form” option in the Forms menu. It will add a form to the current sheet. The new form starts off with all columns. You can hide ones you don't want or further customize from there.
Form name and description
Like other views, each form has a title and description—just click to edit. If you share the form (see below), these will also appear on the shared version, so they're a good place for instructions.
Adding and removing columns
When you create a form, it starts with all columns; you can remove ones you don't want. If new columns are created in the sheet, they do not automatically get added to the form, you have to explicitly add them.
To remove a column, go to the menu next to the column name:
To add a column, use the add-column menu. You can add columns from the sheet that aren't on the form, or create a new column in the sheet:
Which columns can show up in forms?
Right now, everything except:
- Formula columns (since these are calculated, they don't take input)
- Columns that are hidden in the underlying sheet. Unhide columns from the sheet to make them usable in a form.
Customizing labels and order
By default, the label for each input is the name of the corresponding column. You can customize this name by clicking on it. You can also drag inputs up and down to reorder them.
These customizations will not change the underlying sheet; they only affect the form.
You can mark any input as required. (This will also make the value required in the column it belongs to.)
Form fields can show a dropdown of autocomplete options as you type based on other entries in your book. You may want to select it for standard fields with recurring entries or deselect it for linked fields that could show private info on a shared form.
Note: linked fields have autocomplete enabled by default; standard fields do not.
Forms use the column types from the sheet they belong to. For instance, a date column in a form will automatically format any value as a date, and will not allow anything other than a date. You can change the type from the form view.
Pick list dropdowns
Any column with Pick List type will display as a dropdown select menu:
Images and file attachments
Any column with Image or File type will let you upload a file (or enter an URL from the web):
Any column with type Text or Generic can allow multi-line text, in a bigger box:
Sharing the form (allowing submissions from anyone with the link)
You can enable a shareable link for any form. Anyone with the link can submit data, without needing to sign in, and without having access to the rest of the book:
To share, go to the “Share” button and then choose the option for “This form”:
Embedding a form on a blog or website
If a form has been made public, you can also embed it on a blog or other website. Just copy and paste the embed code:
If you link to a form with URL parameters, it will prefill the corresponding fields. Example:
This uses the same field references as are used in formulas (e.g., “First Name” becomes first_name).
This works for both internal and external forms. It works whether or not the field is actually visible in the form (but the field cannot be hidden in the sheet itself).
Who can access forms?
- Anyone with admin permissions on a book can create and customize forms.
- Anyone with “edit rows” access can fill out forms and submit them (but not create or customize).
- Anyone with “view only” access can see the form, but not fill it out or submit.
Of course, if the form is shared publicly, then anyone with the link can submit.