Goodbye Form Builder, Hello Google Forms

Update 3/24/20

The deadlines for Form Builder have been extended:

  • April 30, 2020: You will no longer be able to create new Form Builder forms. 
  • July 30, 2020: UIT will retire the Form Builder service and all existing forms. 


After 12 years, University IT (UIT) plans to retire Form Builder. Form Builder is a custom application with dependencies on Webauth and AFS, and both Webauth and AFS are being retired. The university has selected Google Forms as the primary form tool at Stanford.

It’s important for current Form Builder users to keep these two dates in mind:

  • March 31, 2020: You will no longer be able to create new Form Builder forms. 
  • June 30, 2020: UIT will retire the Form Builder service and all existing forms. 

Read more about the retirement on UIT site: https://uit.stanford.edu/news/google-forms-replace-form-builder.

Why Google Forms?

Google forms are an easy way to collect information whether it's for surveys, quizzes, applications or RSVP forms. Google forms can be shared using a link, emailed, or embedded on your website. Since the forms and the responses are saved in Google Drive, you can access them from anywhere on any device.

How to use Google forms

The best resource to learn how to use Google Forms is Google’s user guide. Once you're comfortable building forms, we have some Stanford specific tips:

Use your Stanford Google account

If you’re creating forms for Stanford work, make sure you’re logged into your Stanford Google account. 

  • When you log into http://forms.google.com/, it should say Stanford in the upper right hand corner along with your avatar or initial. 
  • If it doesn’t, click on the avatar in the upper right hand corner and switch to the appropriate account. 

New Forms

When creating a new form, click the icon with the “+”

  • “Blank +”  is not the same as “Blank Quiz”







Restricting Form Submissions

If you’re using your Stanford account to create the form, your form will default to only allowing Stanford users to fill out your form.

  • To turn off this restriction, click on the Gear Icon and uncheck the box for “Restrict to users in Stanford University and its trusted organizations”

Sharing Edit Access

It’s best practice to share work related webforms with other members of your department. To share edit access of a Google form:

  • Open the three dot menu in the top right of the form
  • Click Add Collaborators
Google form screenshot showing expanded three dot menu with collaborators option highlighted


Reviewing Responses

When you have created the new form and collected responses, you can view responses under the Responses tab.

  • If you click the green Google Sheet icon you can link a Google Sheet with your form responses.
  • Google Forms also has the ability to download responses in .csv format by going to the 3 dots and choose “Download responses (.csv)”


Unlike Form Builder, a Google Form creator can’t designate who will receive notifications when someone fills out the form.

  • By default, to get email notifications, the user must be an editor of the form. Each user must then:
    • Go to the Responses tab
    • Open the three dot menu
    • Click Get email notifications for new responses

Luckily, there are third party add-ons that allow form editors to designate who will get a notification.


A note about add-ons found in the G Suite Marketplace
Each user will have to authorize an add-on to have permissions to their GSuite applications and files. This is a judgment call for the user who is choosing to grant the add-on access to their GSuite account.
The form add-on we are recommending is well maintained and published by Google. We don’t currently have any security concerns with this particular add-on.

Form Notifications Add-on

To designate who gets a notification when a form is submitted, an add-on called “Form Notifications” is required.

To install the add-on, while editing your form, open the three dot menu in the top right.

Choose "Add-ons".

  • Choose the “Form notifications” add-on
  • Click “Install”
  • It will ask for permissions, press “Continue”.
  • Choose the email account you will want to use for the form notifications.
  • “Allow” when it asks for access.

Setting up Form Notifications

To access this add-on, click on the puzzle icon on the top right.




Choose “Form Notifications” and “Open”

There should be a pop-up in the bottom right of your browser. If it does not, refresh the page, and try again.

  • Notify on form responses
    • Turn on this setting to select emails to be notified when form entries are submitted
    • The frequency of email notifications can be set based on the number of responses
      • We recommend setting this to 1 at first
      • If set to the default 10, an email notification is only sent out after 10 responses are submitted.
  • Thank you email
    • With this option activated, a user submitting the form can receive an auto response email.
    • To send a thank you email, an email address needs to be collected. You can set how the form will collect email address under the Collect email section:
      • Automatically - this requires the "Collect email addresses" setting to be enabled on your form
      • By form field - if your form has a field where you let the respondent provide an email address, the form can use that field to send a thank you message

Make sure to click “Save configuration”