​How to Create a Survey in SharePoint

christineBeginner Guides, SharePointLeave a Comment

The first step in creating a survey is to decide where your survey will live. The absolute best place for your survey is a location in which your target survey-takers have at least view access to; you’ll need to switch them to at least contribute permissions if they don’t already have it.

Next, add the Survey app to your site in your Site Contents.

Configure Your Survey

I always configure the survey before adding the questions, because it’s easy to forget once the questions are done. Navigate to your list settings for your survey. Set your permissions, then click the “advanced settings” link. This is where you control how your users interact with your survey. Typically, you will want to leave “read all responses” selected if you want your users to be able to view the survey results, and “create responses and edit responses that were created by the user” if you do not want your users to be able to modify other‘s survey results.

survey settings2

Next – choose whether or not you want survey items to appear in search results. I usually say “no” just because I don’t want to clutter search. When you’re done, click “OK.”

The last step is to turn on anonymous responses if you do not want your users to be able to see who submitted which answers in your results. To do so, click “List name, description, and navigation” in your survey settings. Then set “Show user names in survey results” to “no.” Interestingly, you can toggle this on and off at any time, the submitter names are saved somewhere regardless – so it’s not truly anonymous… but toggling it will prevent people from viewing the names of the submitters (they are replaced with asterisks).

Add Your Questions

From your survey settings or main survey page, click “add questions” (this will be in the settings dropdown if you’re inside your survey instead of in your settings). Type your question in the top box, then select the type of answer you would like. Here’s a few tips:

  • Use “Multiple lines of text” if you want your users to be able to freeform type their answers into a box
  • Use “Choice” to create a dropdown, checkboxes or radio list of choices (add your choices in the box provided, one per line)
  • “Rating scale” is great for collecting “fuzzy” data via asking them to rate something on a scale (you can choose 1-5, 1-10, etc; as well as customize what the bottom, top, and mid numbers mean)
  • Branching logic will allow you to ask certain questions only when your user answers a specific question a certain way. This is not necessary for simple surveys, but can be useful if you’re trying to gather detailed data.

When you’re done with your first question, click “next question” to add another, and so on, then “Finish” when you’re done. You can go back and modify, delete, or add questions later if necessary. To do so, navigate to your survey questions and click on the question you want to modify or remove (or click add question).

Test it Out

Always test submitting your survey before you send out a link to your users. Often times, your survey is set to only allow one submission per user, so you may need to delete your submission if you need to re-test your questions after submitting. To delete your response, click “Show all responses” (if you’re not already on the responses list), then click the “…” next to your response and click “delete.”

Sending Out Your Survey Link

You can create a link that goes directly to your survey by clicking “respond to this survey” as if you were submitting, then
using only the portion up to NewForm.aspx like this:
survey settings.PNG

Paste this link into your browser to verify that you got the correct URL – it should go directly to your first survey question.

After your survey-takers have responded to your survey, you (and those users) can view a graphical representation of the survey results by clicking the corresponding link on the survey front page. This will be available to users immediately following their survey submission. The quality of the graphical response report exceeded my expectations (which were admittedly low), it is fairly useful. Here’s an example from a survey we did regarding SharePoint usage:


Question Formatting

When testing your survey, if you use quite a few of the “Rating” style questions you may notice that SharePoint squishes your sub-questions pretty closely, and it’s hard to read. This is “normal.” As a workaround, you can add gray striping every other line by adding a code snippet to your survey. To add striping to the rating portion of your survey, start responding to the survey to bring up the form, then click the gear menu in the top bar, then “edit page.” We need to add a web part to the page to insert the code into – click “Add a Web Part” in the top zone of your form. Under the Media and Content web part category, select Script Editor, then click the add button on the far right.

Once you’ve added a script editor, click “edit snippet” to insert a snippet. Paste the following code into the box:

<style type=”text/css”>

.ms-gridT1 { padding-top: 10px; padding-bottom: 10px; text-align:right;}

.ms-formbody table[summary=”Rating Scale Question”] tbody tr:nth-of-type(odd){background-color:#fff;}

.ms-formbody table[summary=”Rating Scale Question”] tbody tr:nth-of-type(even){background-color:#eee;}


Then click OK and click the red “Stop Editing” button in the upper left corner of the ribbon.




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