Create a survey

When you create a survey, you're making a special kind of list that enables the owner to create questions, have multiple people to respond, and summarize the results.

Note: To create a survey, you must have permission to create lists on the site. An alternative is to create your survey in Excel Web App, where results are compiled in an Excel spreadsheet rather than a SharePoint list.

Thanks to customer feedback, this article was updated July 29, 2016.

Create a survey

To get started from the Office 365 environment, click the

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. In the top of the page, select the app launcher icon Office 365 app launcher icon and then select the SharePoint or Sites tile.

  3. Click Settings Settings: update your profile, install software and connect it to the cloud , and then click Add an app.

  4. On the Your Apps page, look for and click the Survey icon. If you don't see the Survey icon, search Your Apps for Survey.

    Survey app icon included with SharePoint

    Note: If your company allows external apps, you may have a choice of internal or external survey apps. Talk to your SharePoint administrator for advice on which to use.

  5. Click Advanced Options in the Adding Survey box,

    Adding a survey dialog box with Advanced options highlighted
  6. Type a name for the survey.

  7. Type a description of the survey in the Description box. The description is optional.

    New survey dialog box with text boxes filled in.
  8. In the Survey Options section, specify whether you want people's names to appear with their responses and whether people can respond more than once to the survey.

  9. Click Next.

  10. On the New Question page, enter your question text and then select the type of answer that you want in the Question and Type section for your first question.

    New Question page

    Note: There currently is no way to number questions for display, as you can't add additional columns to a Survey. If you want your questions number, put the number into the Question Name. Questions are added sequentially when you created them, however you can change the order of the questions from the settings page.

  11. In the Additional Question Settings section, specify additional settings for your question, such as whether an answer to the question is required. Depending on the type of question, you can also enter answers to choose from and an optional default value.

    Additional questions section of new dialog box
  12. If you want to add branching logic, that is the survey asks different questions based on what the last answer was, you'll need to finish creating the survey first. You can then go to the Survey Settings page and add branching logic. See Add branching logic to a survey for more info.

    Branching logic section in new question dialog
  13. In the Column Validation section, if you want to check whether an answer is valid, enter the formula you want to use for validation in the Formula box. In the User Message box, describe what the user needs to do to ensure the answer is valid. For example, if you’re asking an employee to enter the amount of time she’s worked in a department, you can specify that it could not be longer than the total time she’s worked for the company.

    Validation section of the new question dialog
  14. Do one of the following:

    • To create additional questions, click Next Question, and then enter information for the next question. Continue the process until you add all the questions that you want.

      Next question button highlighted in New Question dialog
    • If you are finished adding questions, click Finish.

      Next question dialog with Finish button highlighted
  15. To see your survey, click the survey's name under Recent in the Quick Launch bar.

See "Delete all data from an existing survey" below to clear an existing survey's data for reuse,

Before you create a survey, it is a good idea to map out the questions that you want to ask and the type of answers that you want to receive. For example, do you want someone to respond with their own words, enter a dollar amount, or choose from a list? You should also decide whether questions are required or optional.

In order for people to respond to the survey, they must have permission to contribute to the survey or to the site that contains the survey. If they don’t have the necessary permissions, see the person who owns or manages your site.

As you develop questions, consider how you will want to analyze the data. For example, fill-in choices allow users to enter their own information. This enables more flexibility, if the user’s answer doesn’t fall exactly within the choices provided, but it can be more challenging to review and compile a diverse set of answers.

You can add branching logic to specific questions, so that the remaining questions in the survey are relevant to the respondent. For example, you can specify that questions about Internet topics appear only for people who say they regularly use the Internet. To specify branching logic, you first create the survey, and then specify the logic for the questions in the survey settings.

After you create a survey, you can add questions right away. As you add each question, you are prompted to specify the text for the question, the type of answer that you expect to receive, and any other settings needed for the question and answer type. If you need to revise your survey, you can add more questions or change existing questions later.

Types of survey questions and answers

Survey question types define how your users see the question and answer data.

New Question page

  • Single line of text    Use this type when you want people to type a word or a few words for their answer. You can specify a character limit and a default answer.

  • Multiple lines of text    You can specify the number of lines for the response, and whether the response is in plain text, formatted text, or formatted text that is also enhanced with pictures, tables, and hyperlinks.

  • Choice    This question type enables people to choose from a predefined list of choices. You can allow users to fill in their own text, in addition to the choices they are offered. The choices can appear as a drop-down menu, radio buttons, or check boxes. To enable users to select multiple options, use check boxes.

  • Rating scale    This question type provides a summary question with detailed questions and responses that are rated on a scale. You can define the range of the scale, such as 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, and provide text to explain the meaning of the scale.

  • Number    You can specify integers, decimals, or percentages, as well as a maximum and minimum range.

  • Currency    You can specify maximum and minimum values, the currency format, and other settings.

  • Date and Time    You can specify that the answer is a date or both date and time. The answer displays a box with a calendar that helps people to choose a date.

  • Lookup    This type of question offers answers that are stored as a column in another list. With a lookup question, the choices offered are the same as the contents of the corresponding list.

  • Yes/No    This question appears as text followed by a single check box. A selected check box is considered Yes. The words Yes or No do not actually appear. If you want Yes or No to appear with your question, create a Choice question and then enter Yes and No as the choices.

  • Person or Group    This option enables respondents to browse or search the directory service for values to use as answers. For example, if the answer to the question should be the name of a person in your organization, the respondent can select that person's name from your directory service.

  • Page Separator    You can add a page break between questions by adding a page separator to your survey.

  • External Data    This type of question enables respondents to browse for business data from another source, such as Product Type or Customer Identification Number in a database, to answer the survey question.

    Note:  Before you can use an external data question, your administrator must first register your external business application (the source of the data) with SharePoint Server. The type of business application information that you can select from depends on the data fields that your administrator registers with SharePoint Server.

  • Managed Metadata    This option enables users to browse from managed term sets that have been defined for your site. For example, if you or your site administrator is managing the names of your company’s departments so that people use them consistently throughout your site, you could specify the Department term set to show a list of available departments.

After you create the survey, people can see a Respond to this Survey link that they can click to launch the survey.

Survey page with Respond to this survey highlighted

You can let people know about the survey by sending out a link to it, adding an announcement about it, blogging about it, or linking to it from other sites. Once users start completing the survey, you can see their responses in a bar chart or as list items.

If you have a large number of questions or complex answers, you may want to use a database program, such as Microsoft Access, to analyze the answers.

In order for people to respond to the survey, they must have permission to contribute to the survey or to the site that contains the survey. If they don’t have the necessary permissions, see the person who owns or manages your site.

To learn about how to add branching logic to a survey, see Add branching logic to a survey.

If you want to reuse a survey but remove older data, use the Site Manager to clear the data without losing the questions. Depending on the version of SharePoint you may or may not see the menus mentioned to get to the site manager. page. Follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Office 365 or SharePoint site you want to delete the survey data from.

  2. Click Settings, and then click Manage Content and Structure, or Content and Structure.

    If these menu items don't appear, go to the address line and replace everything after /_layouts/ with sitemanager.aspx and press Enter.

    Some locations in SharePoint don't always have /_layouts/ in the web address. If the line doesn't have /_layouts/ in the address, replace everything after the company or site name with /_layouts/sitemanager.aspx.

    For example, if your site is the Contoso Mining site, your address line would look like this: SharePoint may automatically put a number between /_layouts/ and sitemanager.aspx, you can ignore this.

    Internet Explorer address bar with sitemanager.aspx inserted
  3. In Site Manager, click the name of your survey in the Quick Launch bar on the left.

    In the Site Manager window, click Survey on Quick Launch bar
  4. Click the select all The Select All icon icon at the top of the selection column.

    In the Site Manager screen, with Survey selected, click the Select All icon.
  5. Click Actions, and then click Delete.

    From the Actions button, click Delete to delete selected data
  6. Click OK.

  7. To return to your site, click Site Settings in the breadcrumbs, and then click Home or the page you want to go to in the Quick Launch bar.

    view of the breadcrumb links at the top of the page.

Questions are listed in sequence as you create them, but sometimes you need to change the order. For example, you are using Branching logic and want all questions pertaining to a subject to be asked before branching. To change order, follow these steps:

  1. In your survey, click Settings and then click Survey Settings.

    Survey settings menu with survey settings highlighted
  2. In the Settings dialog, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Change the order of the questions.

    Change the order of survey questions highlighted in Settings dialog
  3. In the Change Column Ordering dialog, change the numbers under Position from Top to put the questions in the order you want.

    Change question order dialog with dropdown on one question highlighted
  4. Click OK, and then click the survey name under the Quick Launch bar or in the breadcrumbs.

    Breadcrumbs in the Question order dialog with the next level up highlighted.

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