How to Create Forms that allow File Uploads to Google Drive

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Today, the answer to all our questions is Google. Starting from searching for nearby cafes around, to googling for some recipes, completing assignments or learning new things. Not just information but having an account on Google is a must and also time demand.
If we start counting the enormous features and benefits we actually avail from google we might end up writing a whole novel about it. Not to forget the google account or gmail account, everyone us has one and admit it checking your gmail account is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning.
Among all the great features that Google provide one is Google drive. a file storage and synchronization service that allows users to save all their important files and documents in the cloud, arrange these files over devices and also, share files.
It comes with Google Docs, Sheets and slide that is just like an office suite that lets edit all documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, forms and many more. The documents can be shared for feedback and these edited files through office suite can again be saved in Google drive.

Features of Google Drive:

Coming back to google drive and google form, the google forms can be considered as one of the best service for creating online forms but they do have some drawbacks when it comes to commercial web form builders. Say for example, Google forms cannot upload files to google drive, no CAPTCHAs to prevent spam and Google forms cannot capture electronic signatures now this may interest many on the legal and retail industry. Given below are some of features of Google Drive:
  • Sharing: It lets you share your files or folder. One can customize the visibility of the file or folder and also, the ownership is transferable. One can share documents privately with specific users that have google account through their google account and to share the files with people not having a google account the document has to be made accessible to anybody with the link.
  • Third party apps: Google Drive functions on the online files it can be used to view, edit and create files in different formats, edit images and videos, fax and sign documents, handle projects, create flowcharts and many more. It can be made as default app service for managing file formats supported by them. All the third party apps are free to install although, there might be some extra fees.
  • File viewing: It allow different file formats to be viewed like many native formats( docs, sheets, slides, forms, drawings), image files, video files, audio formats, fonts, post scripts etc.
Say for example a college professor wants to build Google forms where students can upload their assignments and the files are automatically saved to his Google Drive but in different student folders. Or, the team leader of a company may want to build an online form where job seekers can upload their resumes in PDF or Word format.

The New File Upload Feature of Google Form:

This new upload feature in Google forms lets you have a new entry called as “File upload”. When you create a form you need to add a new question and select the “File upload” option from the list. This file upload option gives you different parameters to choose the particular file type you want to upload like, the file is a document, spreadsheet, drawing, PDF or some other type.
It also lets you select the maximum number of files you want to select as well as the maximum file size. The maximum file size that can be uploaded is 10 GB. After you select the option “Add File”, your respondents will be able to see the uploaded file to form submission from the Docs picker. So, you can either upload the files from your computer or just select one available from the drive.
An important point to note here is, the respondents are not allowed to upload a complete folder. Although one can upload a different file for every ‘File upload” item in the form but, it allows you to have more than one “File upload” item in the form. Like people can upload one resume and one cover letter that is 2 “File upload” questions for a job application on the same Google Form. That way, you can have multiple documents for the same function to address the same possible concern.

Ownership Transfer and Uploaded Files Storage:

For every file uploaded by the ‘File upload” inserted in the form, a drive folder is created by default and it reuses the question written in the form as the folder title. This folder can be retrieved by going to the ‘Responses’ tab of the google form and the choosing the ‘view folder’.
For every file a link is visible in the response tab along with the responses spreadsheet if that has been linked to Google Sheet with the form. If someone chooses to upload a file directly from his/ her drive, a copy will be made and the form owner will become the owner of the copy. This way one can track this whole process in the recent “Activity” sidebar of the Google Drive.

Transfer Uploaded File Ownership:

Given below is the process to transfer the ownership of the uploaded file. The steps are as follows:
  • Upload a copy of the file to the Google Form.
  • The ownership of this copy is by default transferred to the form owner.
  • The copy is then automatically included to the form owner’s mentioned folder.
The form publishers gives you two options to chooses within for your file upload questions. These two options are:
  • One can either insert the link to the uploaded file in the document.
  • In case if the file is an image(png, jpg, gif) one can select from the options to insert it directly as an image

How to configure and Install file Upload Forms:

The first step is to create a form. This form can be custom designed through HTML or through Forms Studio. There is a WYSIWYG form builder that lets you drag and drop fields to build the form. After designing it, preview the layout and copy the embed code to the clipboard.
So, your form code is ready now and you need to configure the Google Spreadsheet that is going to store the form responses. Open your Google Spreadsheet and go to Tools -> Script Editor. Now click on fors.html and paste the form embed code from the clipboard. Save this file. Then go to Publish->Deploy as Web App and select Me under Execute the app as . select Anyone, even Anonymous under Who has access to the web app and then click on the Deploy button.
Now go back to your Google Sheet, go to Addons->File Upload Forms->Form settings and update the form configuration. Save the settings and you’ll get a public URL of the form and you can share it publicly. The Gmail Mail Merge can be used to send the form link to all the contacts in a personalized email. Some important points to remember regarding File Upload Forms are:
  • To stop accepting new responses g to Publish then Deploy as web app menu and then you can choose the disable link.
  • The basic version of the File Upload Forms for Google Drive and Forms Studio are available for free while the complete version is available only with a premium license.
  • In order to restrict the forms to users inside the Google apps organization, select the domain under Who has access to the app.
  • The existing forms can easily edited at forms.studio but make sure to publish a new version of the web app to apply your charges.
At the bright side, the Google forms and the new upload feature has made uploading, storing and sending files and documents lot more easier and precise. If not the premium version, one should definitely try the free version and then come to a conclusion. These Google forms are must try for people belonging to different sectors like students, job seekers, employees etc.

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