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How to use branching in Microsoft Forms

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One very useful feature available in Microsoft Forms is the branching feature. Whilst many users may not realise what branching actually does, it is certainly one of those features worth the investigation. Branching essentially allows you to create conditions within your form where based on the answer a respondant chooses, they are taken to a specific set of questions, or maybe even skip over some questions.

Most people at one time or another would have experienced branching in a paper-based format. The good-ole “If Yes go to question 16, if No go to question 22.”

Are you over the age of 45?

  • If Yes go to Question 16
  • If No go to Question 22

So let’s look at how you can create a form using branching in Microsoft Forms.

Log in to Microsoft Forms

To create any Forms you will first need to log in to the Microsoft Forms .online portal.

  1. Open a web browser
  2. Enter the address https://forms.microsoft.com
  3. Click the Sign in link in the top right-hand corner
  4. Sign in with your Microsoft 365 login username and password
  5. The Microsoft Forms homepage will be displayed
The Forms online portal

There are two types of forms you can create: a form or a quiz. There are a few differences between the two types:

  • A form can be used to collect feedback, conduct surveys, accept signups, peer collaboration, and lots more.
  • A quiz can be used to assess student learning, provide instant results and feedback, conduct a quiz and more.

Create the form

Firstly we are going to create a basic form with some initial details for the respondants to complete such as their name and contact details.

  1. Click New Form
  2. A new blank form will be displayed
  3. Let’s set up a few basics including the title, description and an image for our form
  4. Click the Untitled Form text to add a title to the form
Click the prompt to add a title to the form.
  1. Add a Form description at the same time
  2. Click the Insert media button to add an image
  1. When you add an image you will have the option to perform an Image Search, access OneDrive and Upload an image
  2. Go ahead and locate an image to include and click Add
  3. To add the first question, click the + Add new button
  1. From the options choose Text
  2. Enter the first question such as “Your Name”
  1. Repeat the previous step and create any additional fields you need to capture information such as phone number, email address etc.

Create a question to use with branching

Now we will create a question which will allow users to choose from a list of options. Based on the option they select it will then direct them to a specific question in the form rather than having them move through the questions in numerical order.

Check out our article on creating multiple choice questions in a Microsoft Form in you need assistance.

  1. Add a new Choice based question
  2. In the question field add the question you wish to ask e.g. Do you have a current drivers licence?
  3. Add the options of Yes or No

Before we can add the branching options, we need to create the questions which we will direct users to via branching.

Create the additional questions

  1. Repeat the above steps to create the questions you will use as part of the above branching question.

Add branching to a question

Return back to the original question where you want users to be able to branch out from.

  1. Select the question from the Form
  2. Click the More settings for this question button in the bottom right corner
  1. Choose Add branching from the list
  2. The form will now display the Branching options with a drop-down menu displayed next to each answer in your question. You will see a prompt for “Go to”.
  3. Use the drop-down menus to choose the question in your form where you want the user to be taken if they choose the specific answer
  1. The branching questions should now be displayed
  1. The question will now display the branching options.
  2. The normal Forms window is gone so use the Back arrow in the top menu bar to return back to your form.

Preview the Form

Now it is time to preview the form and check if the branching is working as expected.

  1. Click the Preview button from the toolbar
  1. Fill in the form as you would expect a respondant to do
  2. When you get to the branching question, select an option
  3. Once you choose an option you will see the corresponding questions appear

I hope this has provided some useful steps to create your own form using branching.

Share the Form

Once you have completed the form with your branching questions and you are happy with the functionality, you can share the form to begin receiving responses.

  1. Click Share from the top right corner
  2. Choose if you wish to share the form only with people within your organisation, or anyone with the link
  3. Copy the link and send to those you need to complete your form

Be sure to leave any comments or questions below.

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