Google Forms are the best service for creating online forms but they miss a few key features found in commercial web form builders. For instance, Google Forms do not allow file uploads to Google Drive, there’s no support for CAPTCHAs to prevent spam and, what may be of interest to the legal and retail industry, Google Forms cannot capture electronic signatures.
A school teacher may want to build Google Forms where students can upload assignments and the files are automatically saved to her Google Drive but in separate student folders. The HR department of a company may want to build an online form where job applicants can upload their resumes in PDF or Word format.
Google Forms do not allow file uploads but here’s a workaround. To get an idea, open this sample web form and you’ll find that it has all the fields found in native Google Forms but a few extra ones as well. There’s a file upload button (demo), an area for visitors to e-sign the form (demo) and a CAPTCHA.
File Upload Forms – Main Features
The form is exactly like Google Forms and when you press the submit button, the files are sent to the owner’s Google Drive while the entered data is saved in a Google Spreadsheet. Here are some of the main features of File Upload Forms:
- Track visitors to your form with Google Analytics.
- Protect your forms with CAPTCHAs and passwords.
- The forms will auto-save the user’s input while typing so the content is preserved even if the browser is closed.
- Add data validation rules to form fields using simple regular expression.
- Allow single file uploads or multiple uploads per file upload field.
- The forms are hosted on Google Servers but can be embedded on external websites.
- Send email notifications when people submit the form. Include the form fields in the email subject and body.
- Customize the colors of your forms with simple CSS.
- Limit your form and allow file uploads of specific types.
Add File Uploads to Forms with Google Script
The forms are built using Google Scripts and you too can build one in minutes with absolutely zero coding. Watch the video tutorial to get started. You’ll need a premium license to use the form upload script.
How to Configure & Install File Upload Forms
The first step is to create the form. You can design the form yourself using HTML or a simpler option is Forms Studio. This is a WYSIWYG form builder where you can drag and drop fields to build your form. Design the form, preview the layout and copy the embed code to your clipboard.
Now that you have the form code ready, you need to configure the Google Spreadsheet that will store your form responses.
Open your Google Spreadsheet and go to Tools -> Script Editor. Click the forms.html file and paste the form embed code from the clipboard. Save the file.
Next, go to Publish -> Deploy as Web App, choose Me under Execute the app as, choose Anyone, even Anonymous under Who has access to the web app and click the Deploy button.
Switch to your Google Sheet, go to Addons -> File Upload Forms -> Form Settings and update the form configuration. Save the settings and you’ll be presented with the public URL of your form that you can share with the world. You can use Gmail Mail Merge to send the form link to all your contacts in a personalised email.
Please refer to the File Upload Forms documentation for tutorials on how to embed forms in your forms, change the colours of the form, add images & videos to your forms, apply data validation rules and more.
Things to Know – File Upload Forms
- File Upload Forms for Google Drive and Forms Studio are only available with a premium license. The basic version is free however.
- To stop accepting new responses, go to Publish -> Deploy as web app menu and click the Disable link.
- If you wish to restrict the forms to users inside your Google Apps organization, choose your domain under Who has access to the app.
- You can edit your existing forms at forms.studio but remember to publish a new version of the web app to apply your changes.