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Google Docs vs Google Forms: What are the differences?

Google Docs is a collaborative document editing platform that allows users to create and edit text documents online. In contrast, Google Forms is a tool for creating surveys and collecting information through custom forms, providing a simple and efficient way to gather responses from respondents. Let's explore the key differences between the two.

  1. User Interface: Google Docs is primarily used for creating and editing documents, such as word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. It provides a familiar interface similar to traditional office applications, allowing users to format text, insert images, and collaborate with others in real-time. On the other hand, Google Forms is designed for creating surveys and collecting responses. It offers a simpler interface focused on form fields and question types, making it easy to create surveys and gather data.

  2. Functionality: Google Docs provides a wide range of features for creating and editing documents, such as advanced formatting options, the ability to insert tables and charts, and integrated commenting and revision history. It also includes tools for collaboration, like real-time editing and the ability to track changes. In contrast, Google Forms offers specific features for creating surveys, such as various question types (multiple choice, dropdown, text), customizable themes, and the ability to add file uploads. It also provides options to collect responses in a spreadsheet for easy analysis.

  3. Purpose: Google Docs is commonly used for tasks related to document creation, editing, and collaboration. It is suitable for creating various types of documents like reports, resumes, and presentations. On the other hand, Google Forms is primarily used for collecting data through surveys and quizzes. It is ideal for conducting research, gathering feedback, and creating online quizzes or tests for educational purposes.

  4. Audience: Google Docs is widely used by individuals, businesses, and organizations of all sizes for general document creation and collaboration needs. It is suitable for personal use as well as professional use in the workplace. Google Forms, on the other hand, is mainly used by educators, researchers, event organizers, and businesses that need to collect data from a targeted audience or conduct surveys.

  5. Output Format: Google Docs allows users to create, edit, and save documents in various file formats, including Word (.docx), PDF (.pdf), and HTML (.html). It offers options for exporting and printing documents easily. On the other hand, Google Forms is primarily used to collect data and responses from users. The output is typically in the form of a spreadsheet, where each response is recorded as a separate row. The data can be exported or analyzed within the spreadsheet itself.

  6. Integration: Google Docs seamlessly integrates with other Google services, such as Google Drive for cloud storage, Google Calendar for event scheduling, and Google Meet for video conferences. It also allows integration with third-party apps and services, making it easier to enhance its functionality. On the contrary, Google Forms integrates well with other Google services like Google Sheets for data collection and analysis. It also allows integration with third-party apps like Zapier to automate workflows and send form responses to external tools.

In summary, Google Docs is a comprehensive document creation and editing tool with advanced formatting and collaboration features, while Google Forms is a specialized survey and data collection tool with a simple interface and response tracking capabilities.

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Pros of Google Docs
Pros of Google Forms
  • 3
    It's simple, but expansive
  • 2
    Free
  • 1
    Fast and simple
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    What is Google Docs?

    It is a word processor included as part of a free, web-based software office suite offered by Google. It brings your documents to life with smart editing and styling tools to help you easily format text and paragraphs.

    What is Google Forms?

    It is a cloud-based questionnaire and survey solution with real-time collaboration and powerful tools to customize form questions. It can also be used to create online quizzes.

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    What tools integrate with Google Docs?
    What tools integrate with Google Forms?

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    What are some alternatives to Google Docs and Google Forms?
    Google Drive
    Keep photos, stories, designs, drawings, recordings, videos, and more. Your first 15 GB of storage are free with a Google Account. Your files in Drive can be reached from any smartphone, tablet, or computer.
    Dropbox
    Harness the power of Dropbox. Connect to an account, upload, download, search, and more.
    Evernote
    Take notes to a new level with Evernote, the productivity app that keeps your projects, ideas, and inspiration handy across all your digital devices. It helps you capture and prioritize ideas, projects, and to-do lists, so nothing falls through the cracks.
    Quip
    Edit and discuss in one place. Quip combines documents with messages so you can work faster, on the web or on the go.
    Smartsheet
    It is an intuitive online project management tool enabling teams to increase productivity using cloud, collaboration, & mobile technologies. It provides your organization with a powerful work platform that offers exceptional speed to business value
    See all alternatives