We are using Forms for almost everything these days. We have used it to sign up for webinars, to register who enters the building, to request research and that is outside the “formal” use as a way to get people’s opinion.
As Forms is a personal tool, all Forms you create are by default for your eyes only. You are the only one who can adjust your Form and can view the responses. Moreover, when you leave the organization, your Forms are deleted. And while your Form appears to be a sort of document (it appears in your All files on your Microsoft365 start page), it does not live in your OneDrive nor SharePoint so your manager can not save it when you leave.
Fortunately, there are a few options to share Forms with others (in or outside your organization).
1. Just the responses
If you would like your colleagues to view results, you can share the responses page with them.
- Click on the Responses tab and then the … on the right
- Click “Create a summary link” from the popup
- Share the resulting link with the person(s) you would like to share with.
The people you share the link with will only see the response page, and can not see anything more, such as all results or individual results. In case you have asked text- or date-questions, they will only see the 3 latest responses.
So, this can be useful if you want to share preliminary results with your colleague or team. They can watch progress and get an idea of the responses. But they will only get the complete picture when you share the final results with them.
2. Share the Form to collaborate
My colleague and I organize webinars, and one of us creates the Form to sign up and then shares it with the other. We can both adjust the texts, questions and settings, which allows us to make modifications where needed, e.g. add a warning that a certain webinar is fully booked, share the link or close the Form when we are at the end of a series.
Additionally, we can both see all the results, and export them to Excel, so we can both see who we need to invite for each webinar.
This is useful when your Form is part of a team project, or when the Owner is busy or on a longer leave during the run.
The Form will still be deleted once the Owner leaves the organization and their account is deleted. If the Form needs to run after their departure, the new owner will have to make sure to download the Excel, make a copy or use the template (see option 3), and share the link to the copy before the original Form is removed.
How do you share to collaborate?
- Click the Share button, and in the popup go to “Share to collaborate”
- Click “Get a link to view and edit”
- Select the option on the bottom: “Specific people in my organization can view and edit” (assuming you do not want the whole world to be able to edit your survey)
- Start typing the name of the person(s) or Group you want to share the Form with, and click on the correct suggestion
- If it is urgent, copy the link and share it with your colleague(s), but the Form will show up on their Forms page anyway under “Shared with me”.
3. Share as a template
If you have created a nice Form, and someone else wants to use it for their own purposes, you can share your Form as a template. They will then create one or more stand-alone copies of your Form. I often use this when creating a “solution” for a specific question. In that case I create the Form and after testing and approval from the requester, I share it as a template. They are then free to do with the Form whatever they want.
- Click the “Share” button, and in the popup go to “Share as a template”
- Click “Get a link to duplicate”
- Share the resulting link with the people you want to share it with – these can also be outside of your organization
The receiver clicks on the link and sees the Form with a text on top: “Duplicate this form to use as your own”. If they then click “Duplicate it” they will have a copy of the Form. The word “Copy” is added to title, but the new owner can remove that easily.
As far as I know, you can not stop sharing the response page or the template, but you can stop the sharing to collaborate.
- Click the “Share” button
- Click the arrow to the right of the people that have access
- In the next pane, hover over the person or group to be removed and click the trash can symbol
What type of link did I receive?
You can see from the first part of the link what your colleague shared with you:
- The responses page: https://forms.office.com/Pages/AnalysisPage.aspx
- The link to collaborate: https://forms.office.com/Pages/DesignPage.aspx
- The template: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ShareFormPage.aspx
Do you often share your Forms or do you mostly keep them to yourself? If you share, what do you use most often?