MS forms Survey - Table with free text responses

Occasional Visitor

Hello,

 

Is it possible in Forms free or Forms pro to input a table in a survey that would allow free text fields for certain rows or columns?

As per below, they'd need to enter hours, location, address and contact?

DeaneP_0-1612156544162.png

 

7 Replies

@DeaneP no this isn't possible with Forms. The list of uservoice requests around tables is at https://microsoftforms.uservoice.com/forums/386451-welcome-to-microsoft-forms-suggestion-box?query=t...

 

To achieve this currently you would need to build a form in Power Apps.

 

Rob
Los Gallardos
Microsoft Power Automate Community Super User

Hi @RobElliott

How could it be achieved via PowerApps? Could you please share with us some instructions on how to get it done?

Also, using PowerApps, do I need all respondants to have a certain PowerApps license? (we currently have MS Office 365 E3 subscription (per user), which includes basic PowerApps features only).

I appreciate your help with this.

@TaisaTk there's a good video on YouTube by April Dunnam here where she demonstrates how to build an inline editable table in Power Apps with a SharePoint list as the data source.

 

An E3 licence will enable you to build a canvas app as in the video and for your users to use it. It's what we have at my company.

 

Rob
Los Gallardos
Intranet, SharePoint, Website and Power Platform Manager (and classic 1967 Morris Traveller driver)

@RobElliott Thank you for the video recommendation! And what a great explanation from April Dunnam! Very easy to understand and reproduce.
I really appreciate your help :)

Hi @RobElliott, I've watched the video and I don't find it useful. In fact, I'm struggling to see the benefits in many of the Microsoft Products, other than the core Outlook, Word, Excel. Although I acknowledge the technology is impressive I cannot see how it can be usefully applied to a business nor have I ever worked in a business where they have used anything other than the core apps mentioned above.

 

I personally am a Mortgage Adviser in the UK and I'm looking to create my own Fact Find/Questionnaire that will automatically create the recommendation report in a Word document. I initially thought Excel would be the best solution using IF formulas to select certain paragraphs to create a Word document but was directed to Power Apps by a friend. I have come across Forms which on the surface seems ideal but I need a table to be included in the questionnaire to calculate monthly expenditure. Hence, I need a table in Forms.

 

Is it possible to include such a table? Am I right to use Forms as the ideal solution to create the questionnaire? Do you think this is even possible?

 

Many Thanks 

 

John

@JohnHollis it's still not possible to include a table as Microsoft Forms STILL doesn't have this basic functionality. If I was doing this and the resonders were external (which I guess yours are) I would probably have each row in a table as a separate question, then use Power Automate to turn it into an HTML table which is ludicrous really when Forms should have this. And Forms can't do calculations so again this would need a flow in Power Automate.

 

"Although I acknowledge the technology is impressive I cannot see how it can be usefully applied to a business nor have I ever worked in a business where they have used anything other than the core apps"

 

The Power Platform has only been in existence for about 5 years and has developed hugely in that time, but many companies won't yet have taken the time or committed the resources to identify where their business could benefit and get staff trained. In my case I'm lucky in that I work for a large 60,000 staff UK company, mostly remotely from Spain, as Intranet, SharePoint and Power Platform Manager and it's a big part of my job to build apps with only out-of-the-box Office 365 functionality that will improve our processes, save money or both. I must stress I'm not a developer. I was already our Intranet Manager when we had SharePoint 2010 but have spent the last 4 years learning the apps, how they integrate together and building up my knowledge. My bosses love being able to come up with a process we can improve and then it gets built in-house much faster and at no real cost  - they're paying me anyway! - than if it was done by an external developer. And we've been able to close several external platforms as a result.

 

I had a similar conversation with a technology director in another part of our business a few days ago. He wanted to know what we used the apps for and whether he should start to explore them. Absolutely! OK I'm biased in that it's my whole job and I love it, but I said that he should first identify a business need that might be improved and then we could look at how that could be done with the Office 365 apps.

The core apps have been fine in their own way for many many years and it's still perfectly OK to use them. I do every day. But there is a limit to what you can do; there is no automation and you can't have apps or flows running in the background while you get on with other parts of your job. So I gave him a list of what we are currently using Forms, SharePoint, Power Apps and Power Automate for and I'll add it below as well in case it gives you some starting ideas for what you could use them for. Of course, there is a learning curve but it's well-worth the investment of time & effort. And there are plenty of excellent videos on YouTube, particularly those by Shane Young and April Dunnam.

 

So this is the list of what I've built and currently have running in no particular order. Maybe it will trigger a few ideas for you.

 

SystemUsed forApps used
Public ConsultationFor a consultation currently running in the north-east of England. Members of the public view the info on our website and there is a link to the consultation form for them to complete.Forms for the consultation form. SharePoint list. Power Automate to save the response to the list and send a confirmation email if the submitter wants one.
Award NominationTo allow staff to nominate others for an award from the homepage of our intranet.Power Apps for the front end. SharePoint to store the nomination. Power Automate to save the nomination and send an automatic confirmation.
Pay PortalAn app for staff to raise questions confidentially about their pay. Routed to a senior HR director.Power Apps. Power Automate.
IT Support TicketsOur entire IT Support Ticketing system uses office 365 apps. ASo far almost 12000 tickets have been raised with the system. Saves over £5000 a month which we had previously paid to another part of the business to run this for us.Forms for the ticket to be raised. SharePoint lists (with customised Power Apps forms) for initial assessment, routing and engineer resolution. Power Automate to provide ticket number, updates etc.
IT Support StatsTo provide monthly KPI statistics on tickets open, closed etc.Power Automate to produce the stats. A JSON-formatted SharePoint list to display the results.
Application Catalogue & KBList of several hundred applications available to staff, with description, installation info and for IT staff a separate knowledgebase area to lookup known issues etc.Power App front end. Forms to request installation. SharePoint lists.
Application Video LibraryTo display Office 365 useful videos.Power App embedded on a SharePoint page. SharePoint list for url, description etc. Stream to store the videos.
Car Hire Booking AppTo allow staff to see which of our lease cars are available for a date, where they are and book one. Uses QR codes and doesn't allow clash of dates.Power App front end. SharePoint list. Power Automate to send confirmation email with reference no. etc.
Equipment Checkout AppTo allow staff to checkout survey and other equipment. Uses QR codes and doesn't allow clash of dates.As above.
Desk Booking AppTo allow staff to book desks at one of 18 offices. Doesn't allow clash of dates. Over 5500 bookings made so far.As above.
Car ShareA member of staff suggested this after watching Peter Kay and Sian Gibson in "Car Share"!  Allows staff to offer their car for car shares to our offices and for others to see where the car shares are, intermediate towns etc.Power App front end. SharePoint list.
Distance & Carbon MapperAn app based on Bing Maps to allow staff going on journeys to see & record the distance and carbon figures depending on vehicle and size.Power Apps front end. SharePoint list. Power Automate.
Page version numberAn audit requirement: to display the page version number on our Business Management System SharePoint pagesPower Automate. JSON-formatted SharePoint list view.
Fatigue Management SystemFor rail staff on site to record hours worked so that managers can check the legal rest periods are being adhered to.Power Apps on smartphone. SharePoint list.
Rail Safety Management SystemTo allow an administrator to upload a regulatory safety briefing and for it to be sent to specific, selectable groups of staff and to record that they have stated they have opened the document. For the app to be robust & work is a legal/contractual requirement. Saves £2500 every month from an external platform that was closed.Forms for document upload. Power Automate to send out the documents attached to an approval email. SharePoint to record the briefing sent and the responses from staff.
Gifts & Hospitality SystemFor staff to record gifts & hospitality received/given. Request routed to a finance director who approves/rejects. Saves over £1000 a month as we could close an external system.Forms  for the initial form. Power Automate to save & route it and for the decision to be sent back to the submitter with the decision recorded on a SharePoint list for audit reasons.
Incident Reporting SystemFor staff to record IT or other incidents.Forms for the initial report. SharePoint list. Power Automate to route it to the appropriate member of staff depending on what type of incident was reported.
New Starter SystemWhen a manager notifies us via a form that a new starter will be starting with the company the system notifies IT to start preparing the laptop, it sends an email to the starter & manager 1 week before they start with various documents. On the start day the manager received an automatic email with probation and induction documents.Forms. SharePoint. Power Automate.
Leaver SystemWhen a manger completes a form alerting us to a leaver that goes to IT re the laptop, it automatically sends the leaver an email with a link to a questionnaire which, when it is received is routed to HR.Forms. SharePoint. Power Automate.
PII IncidentsFor staff to record a Professional Indemnity Insurance claim/incident.Forms, SharePoint list, Power Automate.
Q&A With our Chief ExecutiveStaff can complete a form on our intranet to ask the CEO or other senior staff anything about the business.Forms, SharePoint list (with nicely-formatted JSON view of the list to display the questions & answers, Power Automate.
Risk Assessment Appfor staff to complete a risk assessment for office or site visits.Power Apps, SharePoint list, Power Automate.
Website contactFor members of the public to leave a comment on our website which gets routed to the most appropriate member of staff depending on the subject matter selected.Power Automate.
Workshare Agreement SystemTo allow different parts of the business to request assistance and for the agreement, costs, cost centres, scope etc to be formally recorded as an agreement. Saves over £1000 a month as we could close an external platform. 
Wellbeing ChallengeStaff complete up to 5 wellbeing activities a day in a team or individually, with individual and team league tables.Power Apps front end. SharePoint lists.
Various surveysFor IT surveys and general surveys within the business. Allowed us to cancel multiple  SurveyMonkey accountsThey always use Forms, a  SharePoint list and Power Automate.

 

 

Rob
Los Gallardos
Intranet, SharePoint and Power Platform Manager (and classic 1967 Morris Traveller driver)
Microsoft-accredited Power Automate Super User

 

 

@RobElliott

Rob, this is ace!!!

I actually see the benefit now. I'm kinda thinking that I could cut-out some of the other tech I use at the minute and use Microsoft as my sole technology (which I imagine is exactly the Microsoft plan).

With regards to your recommendation of having each row in a table as a separate question, then use Power Automate to turn it into an HTML table how exactly would I go about this?

 

My initial plan is to use the form internally to make me more efficient. At the minute, the tech I have is so poorly designed I use paper initially and then enter the data into the tech later. It provides a CRM functionality that I assume Microsoft has a replacement for but even that I have developed my own spreadsheet to track my sales and provide different elements of my business performance because what they provide is so poor.

 

You're right, my long-term plan is to have clients fill in the form themselves but a little unsure of whether this will be successful. I know it sounds bizarre but in my line of work clients seem to want someone else to do the work for them. They like that personal touch and are happy to give the information over the phone for someone else to record on their behalf.

 

If my first step was to do this internally, would you still recommend putting each question as a row in an excel table with drop-down boxes for answers? Would I use Excel as the main app to store and ask the questions but then with the functionality to convert the inputted information into a better presented Fact Find document and then a Recommendation Report?

 

And finally, just to add, although I see how Apps can benefit a larger business such as the one you work for, I think it will take some time to filter down to a smaller firm with a dozen or less employees such as a butchers or a hairdressers. We could definitely be ahead of the curve.

 

John