Google Forms vs. Microsoft Forms: Which Should You Use?

Person completing a survey on a laptop with a green mug in the background.

Both Google Forms and Microsoft Forms are solid form, quiz, and survey creation tools. Because they’re both web-based, offer a variety of question types, and give you similar response options, which one should you use?

You can create a form or quiz easily using both services. The interfaces are comparable with no standout differences. So when it comes down to what one service offers over the other, a certain feature might be the tie-breaker you need to decide between them. Let’s look at how Google Forms and Microsoft Forms differ.

Note: Keep in mind that these are the available features at the time of this writing, July 2022. You may see updated features for either service at any time.

Question Types

While it might appear at first glance the Google Forms offers more question types, it’s a bit deceiving. Google Forms merely lists each type separately in a single drop-down list whereas Microsoft Forms has a side menu and some options within the question type. 

Question types in Google Forms and Microsoft Forms

Let’s look at an example.

Google Forms lists Multiple Choice, Checkboxes, and Dropdown question types while Microsoft Forms gives you the Choice type. However, the Choice type can accommodate all three formats using extra options.

In Microsoft Forms, choose the Choice question type for a standard Multiple Choice question. 

To create the Checkboxes type, enable the option for Multiple Answers. While these aren’t checkboxes per se, you can accomplish the same thing which is allowing the respondent to select more than one answer.

To use the Dropdown type, select the three dots on the bottom right of the Choice question and pick “Drop-down” to format it as such.

Choice question options in Microsoft Forms

You can use Microsoft’s Rating, Ranking, Likert, and Net Promoter Score question types like Google’s Linear Scale, Multiple Choice Grid, and Checkbox Grid. And you can use Microsoft’s Text question type and enable Long Answer to mimic Google’s Short Answer and Paragraph types.

RELATED: How to Make a Google Forms Ranking Question

In reality, the only question types that Google offers above Microsoft are File Upload and Time. If these are the types of questions you need, then you’ll want Google Forms.

Question Features

Both Google Forms and Microsoft Forms offer features specific to questions. Below are the question features you can use with both services.

RELATED: How to Validate Responses in Google Forms

Form Features

When it comes to form features, you’ll see many similarities here as well a few differences. Here are the features that both services offer along with those they each offer distinctively.

Features and settings in Google Forms and Microsoft Forms

Both Services

Google Forms Only

  • Pre-filled link to show sample or partially filled forms
  • Allow respondents to edit a submitted form
  • Allow respondents to submit another response
  • Limit responses per form
  • Option to collect email addresses
  • Convert a form to a quiz after creation
  • Ability to disable autosave for respondents
  • Default options for all forms and questions
  • Ability to import questions from other forms

Microsoft Forms Only

  • Start and end dates for opening and closing forms
  • Previews for both mobile and computer screens
  • Quizzes specifically for math questions

If you’re looking for more control over your submissions, Google Forms gives you many features Microsoft Forms does not. However, the form features that Microsoft offers above Google might just be deal breakers depending on your form or quiz type or intent. For instance, you might be more interested in automatically starting and ending a form than you are about limiting form responses.

Sharing and Publishing

Because both Google Forms and Microsoft Forms are web-based form services, they each provide simple sharing options. But you will find a few differences here that may be important.

RELATED: Create a Web-Based Survey the Easy Way With Google Forms

With both services, you can email the form, get the URL to share the form yourself, or obtain the embed code to put the form on your website. You can also share the form on Facebook and Twitter.

Google Forms gives you the option to customize the dimensions of the form in the embed code before you copy it. However, the code you receive from Microsoft Forms places the form dimensions right at the beginning, so this is easy to change if needed.

Google Forms sharing options

Microsoft Forms gives one terrific sharing option that Google Forms does not and that’s a QR code. You can download the code and then share that image wherever you like for a super simple way to direct people to the form.

Microsoft Forms QR code

Response Viewing and Exporting Options

Both services let you do the basics with your form and quiz responses. You can view a summary with helpful graphs, see individual responses, and review answers to specific questions.

RELATED: How to Embed a Google Forms Response Chart in Docs and Slides

You can save Google Forms responses to Sheets and Microsoft Forms responses to Excel. But Google also lets you download your responses in a CSV format to open in Excel or another desktop application if you like.

Google Forms response options

Microsoft Forms offers a nice feature for a summary link to the form responses. This is handy if you want to share responses with others without giving them access to the form. Simply copy the link and paste it in an email or message.

Microsoft Forms response options

As you can see, both Google Forms and Microsoft Forms offer similar features for questions, forms, and responses. Because the differences are slight, you might try them both. Or, simply stick with your preferred company unless you spot one glaring feature for one or the other that’s a must-have. 

RELATED: 6 Useful Tools Microsoft Edge Has That Google Chrome Doesn’t

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