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Edit forms with a screen reader

When you make a new form, it's created in the new Google Forms. While you edit a form created with the old Forms, there might be a link at the top to try the new version. Learn more about the new Google Forms.

Use the new Google Forms

When you create a new form or open a form where you have edit access, you'll find the following elements:

  • Form title and description. These fields describe the form for your recipients.
  • "Add" buttons. These buttons let you add new items to your form. Options include Add question, Title and description, Add image, Add video, and Add section. When you add an item, it automatically opens in edit mode with the focus in the title field. If you add an image or video, a dialog opens where you can search or browse for the item to insert.
  • Question fields and buttons. Each question has fields and buttons to let you customize the question.
    • Title: Type your question here.
    • Type: In the question type drop-down menu, press the up and down arrows to explore question types, such as multiple choice or short answer, and press Enter to select.
    • Question details: The question details change depending on the question type.
    • Question buttons: These buttons let you duplicate the question, delete the question, or make the question required.
    • Answer key: For quizzes, use the answer key to choose correct answers, assign points, or add explanations.
    • More: The More menu within each question lets you select other options, such as going to a different section of the form based on the answer.
  • Form-level buttons.
    • Color palette: Use this pop-up menu to select a different form color or pick a form theme.
    • Preview: Preview the form in a new window.
    • Settings: Adjust your settings, such as the confirmation page text.
    • Send: Select this button to send your form to recipients.
  • Viewing mode. Use this tab list to choose between Questions and Responses. Press the right and left arrows to switch between tabs.
    • Questions tab: Add and edit questions.
    • Responses tab: Set the form to accept or not accept responses, choose the destination for form responses, and read responses in Summary or Individual mode. If you select Individual, you might need to change your screen reader to forms mode or focus mode to read the responses.
  • More menu. The More menu provides other form-level options, such as making a copy or adding collaborators.
  • Help: Select this button to search the menus, take a tour, report a problem, or switch back to the old version of Google Forms.

Learn more about how to create, edit, and format forms.

Use the old Google Forms

Screen reader tips for the old Google Forms

Search the menus

To find a command quickly in Google Forms, you can search the menus. Press Alt + / (Windows, Chrome OS) or Option + / (Mac) to start a menu search.

Once your focus is in the search box, type a command, such as "Rename" or "Insert." Press the down arrow to hear search results. For example, if you type "Insert," the options include inserting text, checkboxes, and other options. Press Enter to apply an action.

Application menus, top-level buttons, and toolbar

To browse the application menus, start with the File menu. Press Alt + f (Chrome on Windows, Chrome OS), Alt + Shift + f (Windows), or Ctrl + Option + f (Mac). Press the right arrow to move to other application menus, including Edit, View, Insert, Responses, Tools, Add-ons, and Help. The Help menu includes the menu search tool described in "Search the menus" above.

If you're using VoiceOver on Mac: To go to the application menus, first use the pass-through key combination Ctrl + Option + Tab, then type the menu shortcut, such as Ctrl + Option + f for the File menu.

From the application menus, you can navigate to two other sets of tools:

  • Press Shift + Tab to go to the top-level buttons. These buttons are for form-level actions, such as renaming, starring, sharing, or moving the form to a different folder.
  • Press Tab to go to the toolbar. The toolbar has editing and viewing tools, such as change theme and view responses.

Help documentation

To find help documentation, open the Help menu in the application menu bar and select Forms Help. Press Tab to reach the search box, then type a search term, such as "Responses," and press Enter. The help opens in a dialog where you can read or navigate to other topics. To dismiss the dialog and return to the form, press Escape.

You can also open the Docs editors Help Center in a new tab or window and search or browse for more information.

Editing basics

Each item in the form can be in either view mode or edit mode.

To edit an item, first navigate to the item you want to edit, then press e to enter edit mode. You can now navigate through the editable fields and make your changes. To exit edit mode, press Escape, or press Ctrl + s (Chrome OS, Windows) or ⌘ + s (Mac). You can also navigate to the "Done" button and press Enter.

To add a question or layout element to your form, you can use the Add item button, the Insert menu, or shortcut keys.

  • The "Add item" button is always located after the last item on the page. The button has two halves. If you activate the first half of the button, you insert the same kind of item that was previously inserted. If you activate the second half of the button, you can explore a full list of options to add. Press the down arrow to explore the items that you can insert, then press Enter to select an item to insert.
  • Using the Insert menu adds an item directly below the item that's currently selected. Open the Insert menu in the application bar, then press the down arrow to explore the options.
  • Using shortcut keys adds the new item directly below the item that's currently selected. The following shortcut keys are available:
    • Insert question: i then q
    • Insert page break: i then p
    • Insert section header: i then s

When you add an item, it automatically opens in edit mode with the focus in the title field. If you add an image or video, a dialog opens where you can search or browse for the item to insert.

To make a question required for your form recipients, go to the Required question option, located after the "Done" button.

Notes about question types:

  • If you're editing a checklist or multiple choice question, you can include an "Other" option so that form responders can type their own answers.
  • If you're editing a multiple choice or choose from a list question, you have an additional option to take the responder to a new page based on their answer to that question. To use this option, select "Go to page based on answer." You could choose to have the responder continue to the next page in the form, submit the form, or go to another page in the form. After each item in the list, you can review a list of options for where the responder goes based on the selection.

Learn more about how to create, edit, and format in Google Forms.

Move, copy, and delete items

To move an item in your form, first navigate to the question or item you want to move. To move the item up, press m then k. To move the item down, press m then j.

To duplicate an item in your form, first navigate to the item, then press e to enter edit mode. Press Shift + Tab until you reach the "Duplicate" button for that item, then press Enter. The new item is inserted below the original item. Your focus moves to the new item in edit mode.

To delete the selected item, press Shift + 3.

Confirmation page

You can customize the confirmation page that people will see when they submit a response to your form.

The confirmation page settings are located after the last question on your form.

The first section of the confirmation page is the confirmation message. This is the message people see after they submit their response. You can edit this message or keep the existing text.

The other confirmation page settings are listed below. After each option is read, you'll hear "checked" or "not checked" to indicate whether it's selected.

  • Show link to submit another response: This option enables responders to enter more than one response to your form.
  • Publish and show a public link to form results: This option enables you to automatically share all responses to the form.
  • Allow responders to edit responses after submitting: This option provides responders with an option to change their response even after they've submitted the form.

Change form theme

To change the theme of the form, follow these steps:

  1. Open the View menu in the application menu bar.
  2. Select Change theme.
  3. In the Change theme panel, press the up and down arrow keys to explore the themes.
  4. When you've found a theme you want to use, press Enter to select it.
  5. To close the Change theme panel, press Escape.

Go to the live form

To navigate from the Google Forms editor to your live web form, open the View menu in the application menu bar and select Live form.

Manage responses

The Responses menu in the application menu bar lets you manage responses for your form. Open the Responses menu to do any of the following:

  • Set form to accept or not accept responses, or determine whether the form is accepting responses. You'll hear either "accepting responses" or "not accepting responses."
  • View a summary of form responses in a new browser window.
  • Choose or change response destination. Form responses can go to a new spreadsheet, a new tab in an existing spreadsheet, or stay in Google Forms.

Send a form

To send out a form to responders, follow these steps:

  1. Open the File menu in the application menu bar, and select Send form.
  2. The Send form dialog has the following options:
    • Link to share: Use this option to copy a link into an email or chat.
    • Embed: Embed the form in a webpage.
    • Share link: Choose from the available social media options.
    • Send form via email: Use this field to add email addresses of recipients. If you start typing in this field, additional options become available: Include form in email, Send me a copy, and the option to type your own customized message and subject line.
  3. After making your selections, navigate to the "Done" or "Send" button, and press Enter.

Keyboard shortcuts

Because Forms is different from a typical website, some standard screen reader shortcuts don't apply. For the best experience, use Forms shortcuts while editing your form.

If you ever forget a shortcut, you can open a list of shortcuts within Forms by pressing Ctrl + / (Windows, Chrome OS) or ⌘ + / (Mac).

Mary is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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