Creating Surveys using Excel 2013 Forms

Jamie Thomson and I share a number of… obscure enthusiasms. For instance, last week when he spotted the new forms/surveys feature in the Excel 2013 Web App (see here for a mention) he knew I’d be excited. And I was. Excited enough to devote a whole blog post to them.

What is this feature? Basically a rip-off of homage to the Google docs functionality I mentioned here that allows you to create simple questionnaires and save the data back to a spreadsheet. To use it you need to create a new Excel spreadsheet in the Excel Web App (I can’t seem to find it in desktop Excel and it may not even exist there), then click on Form/New Form in the ribbon:


This opens a new dialog where you can create your form/survey:


It’s all pretty self-explanatory from there, you just enter a title and description and then some questions, which can be various types (returning text, numbers, multiple choices etc):


You can then answer the questions yourself or send a link out to other people so they can too:


If you’d like to take the survey you can do so here btw.

The data then lands in a table in the original Excel spreadsheet, ready for you to do something useful with it:


For my next trick, and to go back to another issue that Jamie and I have been moaning about for years, I would have liked to consume the data in this table via an OData feed as detailed here:

Unfortunately I couldn’t get it to work. Whether this is a temporary problem or a limitation with Office 365 (as opposed to on-prem Sharepoint) I don’t know… if someone knows how to make it work, though, I’d be much obliged if you could leave a comment.

UPDATE: First of all, if you can’t see the survey don’t worry – the service seems to be very unreliable. Secondly I’ve got the OData feed working now and will blog about it later.

15 responses

  1. Pingback: Consuming OData feeds from Excel Services 2013 in PowerPivot « Chris Webb's BI Blog

  2. Pingback: SSIS Junkie : The difference between Excel Services and the Excel Web App

  3. Great post! Thank you! Did you ever ran into a problem, when you tried to get a link for your form? I can create a form in SharePoint, but when I try to create a link to the form I only get

    “We don’t know what happened, but something went wrong. Could you please try that again?”

    • I don’t remember having that error, but to be honest I’ve seen so many errors in Office 365 that it doesn’t surprise me. The Preview seems to be a little bit unstable.

  4. Hi Chris I am trying to upload an excel interactive form to my website. I’ve tried embedding the file but it only embeds a link any tips would be very much appreciated!!!

      • I’m not sure what sharepoint is, I upload it to skydrive, I’m trying to convert my interactive excel form into html. I have seen a few forums that say it can be done but I am unable to do so

      • Ah, ok. No, Skydrive isn’t Sharepoint, although it’s still the case that some things that work in Excel on the desktop (such as VBA) won’t work after uploading. Are you uploading via

  5. Yes I am using The link below shows how to do this but its a little older version. I’ve seen a few other tutorials do it as well. Im just asking everyone everywhere until I get a solution

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