Google Forms: Multiple Choice, List, Checkbox [en]

[fr] Attention: dans Google Forms, "multiple choice" n'est en fait pas un choix multiple. Il faut utiliser "checkbox" pour ça.

Like I did last year, I’m currently preparing the blogger accreditation request form for the LeWeb’09 conference in Paris (if you’re not a blogger and want to come, be sure to grab a very early bird ticket before the end of September — if you’re a student, get in touch with Géraldine). We’ll by the way shortly be letting you know which dates the form will be open for you to request an accreditation.

This is not the purpose of this post, however. I was a bit mystified by the difference between the “multiple choice”, “list”, and “checkbox” elements one can use to build a form using Google Forms, so I decided to build a quick test case to see how things worked. Brace yourself for a surprise (the test form is below, with explanations):



  • list is your normal “one choice only” drop-down list, no surprise here
  • checkbox is your real multiple choice list, with optional “other” choice which can be filled in manually
  • multiple choice is very poorly named, and is in fact a radio button “one choice only” list, but which allows an extra “other” choice which can be filled in manually

In all cases, multiple values are stored in a single spreadsheet cell as a comma-separated list. View the resulting spreadsheet.

I hope this will save somebody the trouble of working it all out themselves like I had to do!

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