Limit on Long Answer?

Copper Contributor

Users have been reporting issues with 2 of the long answer questions on our Form. There are 5 other long answer questions and they seem to be fine. What is strange is some users have been able to successfully submit with those questions being answered but many more are reporting they get a message saying they have exceeded a limit and need to shorten their answers. Are there limitations other than the 4000 characters on the long answer responses? Any suggestions on how to proceed? We are expecting quite a few responses on this and would like to resolve it before we keep getting more users reporting the issue. 

12 Replies

Hi Beverly


Long answers can only do under 4000 characters. It's currently not allowable to go beyond that.


My thoughts to combat this are:


1. Instruct users to be concise and to note a 4000 character limit.

2. You can try to break the question down into smaller questions (1a, 1b, 1c, etc) which would avoid this problem.


Best wishes with your form!




Hi Damien,


Users have indicated they have shortened their responses to under 4000 characters (which is what we want anyway) but they are still experiencing the issue. Does the character limit include spaces? Are there any other limitations with what characters are used or paragraphs etc.?




Hi Beverly


Yes spaces are also characters so it would count towards their limit.


I would also suggest checking with users to see if they are actually checking for character count versus word count in case there is any confusion there.


Out of curiousity, how are they measuring the character count? Do they put the text in Word, see the count, and then copy it over to the form?




Thanks Damien, I had a user email me all of his responses. There are 7 long answer prompts. I copy and pasted each of his answers into Word and the character count for each answer was under 4000. I really appreciate your assistance thus far.

Good morning Beverly


I think I'm tapped out on ideas with this issue at the moment.


You will likely need to put a support ticket through to Microsoft for them to comment on this one especially if the issue is a show stopper for your use of the form.


If I come up with anything further I'll let you know.


Cheers & best wishes with your issue. I hope it gets resolved soon!



Thanks for trying Damien. It seems more and more people re reporting the issue and now with more than just those 2 prompts. How do I submit an issue to them? I had been looking for that originally but was only finding this and the voices forum for suggestions.

Hi @Beverly Hague


If you are on Office 365 at work, get your admin to log a ticket for you with Microsoft. 


Otherwise you can also post in for assistance.


It could be a random thing happening so only Microsoft can answer this one now as we have tried all the basic things first that they will likely ask you!


I really hope you find the solution to the issue. Please do let us know how you go so other forum visitors can learn from it.


All the best with your form!




In case it could be useful:

My experience is that some parts of 365 will count some characters (eg the scandinavian special characters æÆøØåÅ) as more than one. I know we have had this as an issue with total nuber of characters for files and folders in onedrive/sharepoint. 

Could this be the case in Forms as well?


Hi @sverre1965 


Thanks for the thought though I'm not sure as I've personally never experienced the issue. In saying that I've also never provided long answers like what has been discussed to encounter the issue.


Maybe someone else will have an answer later down the track?




We have recently experienced the same problem at the University of Houston and the limit is of great concern to our Internal Audit department. If Microsoft cannot fix Forms they should at least show TOTAL NUMBER OF CHARACTERS and NUMBER OF CHARACTERS USED so that a respondent knows they have a limit and knows when they are reaching that limit.  



Good morning. If Microsoft cannot fix Forms at least they should be able to show the NUMBER OF CHARACTERS AVAILABLE and the NUMBER OF CHARACTERS USED as a respondent types in a reply. The way the other survey tools do. 

Hi @BB999 


I agree with you and I see there's some limited advocacy on UserVoice to advocate for this request.


If we can get traction to support the link below, it would make a great addition to Forms (I've voted to support this).