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Surveys can be fun and helpful to use. Many people are familiar with apps like Survey Monkey, but Microsoft also offers a very helpful and easy-to-use survey function from within Office 365. It’s not difficult to use and you can get really creative with how to build your survey and what it looks like.

Note: Microsoft is currently updating this feature. They will soon be rolling out changes, so your experience may be somewhat different than what is described here.

Your survey will be saved automatically as you are creating it. To get started, follow these steps:

1. Sign in to Office 365 and make sure you’re in OneDrive.

Click on New, and then select Excel Survey or Forms for Excel. Please note that depending upon exactly what version of Office 365 you’re currently using the dropdown list may say either Forms for Excel or Excel Survey. If working within Excel, you can go to Home > Survey > New Survey.

2. Type in a name for your survey, then click Create.

3. Click on Add Question to add a new question to your survey.

4. You have four choices when adding new questions. You can add Choice, Text, Rating, or Date questions. For each one of those, there are also several choices to make. For instance, if you select “Choice” you can change it from a 5 to 10 rating and you can also change it from a Star to a Number system. This gives participants the greatest number of choices.

We’re going to check Rating.

5. Next, we enter our question: “How would you rate our last company event?”

You can change the Level of the rating from a 1 to a 10. Or our can change it from a Star System to a Number System.

If you want to make sure that your question is answered, be sure to click “Required.”

For choice questions, enter the text you want to display for each question and choice. You can also add more choices by selecting Add Option.

Made a mistake? Just click on the trash can button next to your question to delete it.

There’s also a button to make answering the question is mandatory. Just click on “Required.”

You can click on Text to allow participants to type something back. Microsoft even allows you to require short or long answers. You might ask a question about preferred events for the next company gathering. The default is two options, but just click on Add Option to include as many choices as you like.

You can also click on Add Question to add another question. Then follow the instructions above for completing each one.

You can allow the survey participant to select multiple answers or just one. We want to limit this to just one. So, we turn off “Multiple answers” and keep the answer “Required.”

You can also add a ranking option. Go to Add question and add a ranking.

Tip: Click the ellipses button (…) and then click Subtitle to add a subtitle for each question.

Sometimes, the questions you select will trigger auto suggestions. You might want to ask participants about their preferred day of the week. You can type in any day, but the app will suggest all days of the week.

Microsoft offers a number of great options to these surveys. For instance, you can shuffle the questions around or change their order by clicking the Up or Down arrows on the right side of each question. You can also increase the size of the text box for long answers.

You can restrict the numbers allowed as answers in the Text questions by clicking the ellipses button (…) and then clicking on Restrictions. You may want to force participants to answer with numbers greater than, less than, or between certain numbers.

Preview, Theme, Share

Once you’ve completed your survey, you can click Preview located at the top right of the design window to see how your survey will appear.

You can see that in questions 3 they can choose an answer and in question 4 they can rank their answers.

Once you’re satisfied with the survey click Submit.

You may also want to test the survey before sending it out. Simply enter answers for each question, then click on Submit.

Changing the Theme is easy too. Just click on Theme and you have many choices of color and design for your survey.

Want to share your survey?

Click Share in the upper right-hand corner.

You have different options for doing this. You can copy the link and provide it to those you want to share it with.

We’re going to share the survey in an email.

This way we can include everyone in our organization, or type in individual emails for those I want to receive the survey.

Want to see how the survey will look on a Smart Phone? Click Mobile to view this.

Once, you’re pleased with your survey, click the Back Button to return to it.

Tips for Success

You can add a survey to an existing workbook. With your workbook open in Excel Online, go to Home and in the Tables group, click Survey > New Survey. A survey worksheet will be added to your workbook.

The steps to creating a survey from within Excel are very similar to those given above. Begin by entering a name for your survey. Fill out the questions and regulate how you want the answers to be given. In Excel, you can change the order of questions by dragging them up and down in the form.

When you’re all done, click on Share Survey. This starts the process of creating a link between your survey and the form. Click Create to generate the link. You can copy and paste the link into your emails or you can click on “Email” to open up Outlook. Now you’ll have all your contacts right where you need them.

Once you close your survey, you can go back and edit it by going to Home > Survey in Excel Online. Anyone who opens the link to your survey can fill it out, but only those you give permission to will be able to view the results. Once people start getting your survey, they can fill it out and then you can begin monitoring and analyzing the results of your survey.

That’s it! Have questions? Contact Intivix in San Francisco, Oakland or Corvallis OR.