Microsoft Forms is a basic lightweight app for quickly collecting information via surveys and quizzes, but you should be aware of its limits. The strength of Microsoft forms is its licensing. It’s free to use for anonymous or authenticated users, and the data can be stored in a list or connected to flow to push into other systems, but there are some limits to be aware of especially in relation to using it to build an app. When do you decide to use a PowerApp vs. a form or even just use the list? Microsoft Forms is a great way to get started with the new generation of tools in Office 365, but when should you look into the Microsoft ecosystem? It was when I started pushing the limits that I found there are some limitations in Microsoft Forms. Even walking through User Voice, you can’t get a clear picture. I couldn’t find a single place with guidelines on what those limits were that I decided to put together an infographic to simplify the process. I’m working on a broader infographic for what to use when, and I’m hoping this will simplify the process. As with all things in Office 365, it’s a moving target and these limits are subject to change anytime, but this is current as of my evaluation and testing on 2/11/2019. I did see acknowledgement on various forums, but never saw a list of Microsoft Forms Limits in one place so this is my effort to try to consolidate. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments or feedback on my experience as well. Hopefully this posting will encourage users to weigh in on User Voice options to increase these limits. Let me know if you see any changes as time goes on. I will plan to support this list over the coming year… and maybe more with encouragement from the community.
1. Users Can’t Update or Come back to finish their responses.
In this limitation users have to fill out the form and be done. If users might need to come back to change a response such as in an RSVP or if they want to save and come back later to finish, Microsoft Forms is currently not able to support users coming back.
2. Hard Limit of 100 Questions.
Essentially there is a hard limit of 100 questions in Microsoft Forms. This boundary does seem like one that should be published and I expect it will be published in the near future. Of note it really depends on how you ask the questions and what style of questions you’re using as to how this limit is reached. Some users have experienced the limit at 60 by using different style of questions… see #6 for another example.
3. You are limited to 2 to 10 options on a ranking question.
If you have 10 ranking questions you can only ask 10 questions. If you have a ranking question with 2 options you’ll only be able to ask 50 questions. This can make for an odd survey if you keep finding you’re hitting a limit.
4. Choice Questions store only 60 options.
This is a soft limit, so you won’t even notice. You can provide hundreds of options, but only a max of 60 options are stored to viewed in your results. So imagine you’re asking the user to choose their country. As a traveler I know there are 193 UN countries, but At&t seems to think there’s a whole lot more than that so they can say they are in a ton more than they actually are. That aside, if you ask someone to choose their country, you’ll find Microsoft Forms is only storing 60 options. So when you’ve got users from 90 countries you’ll find only 60 of them were stored. In my mind that’s pretty serious. You could ask that question in a text field, but that’s a little strange.
5. You get a max of 4000 characters in a response.
Imagine your users are giving you feedback and you get a nice essay as a response and find it’s only half there. Be aware you’ll only get 4000 characters in the long text box response. I can’t imagine someone pouring their heart out to provide detailed responses and then you get only the first 4000 characters in that response. Is that enough? Who knows, but to have it be truncated isn’t cool.
6. Likert scales are limited to 20 questions.
Just as in the limits above, you might find yourself designing a survey and finding you’re running out of questions. Be aware.
If you like the infographic and want to use it in a blog or in your presentations at SharePoint Saturdays or community events, no problem. This infographic is shareable with creative commons share with attribution. As long as you include the whole image you’re good to go. You can download this infographic on Microsoft Forms Limits from slideshare as a PDF or as a JPG from this blog post, simply right click on the image and choose save.
Join me for a Webinar on this Topic and More
If you liked what you saw here and want more. You can join me on a webinar where I will dig into the differences between each of the Power Trio and Forms and Forms Pro (what little we know from recent news).
Webinar on March 7, 2019 at 11am Pacific
Sponsored by Crow Canyon.
Register free << RSVP – register >>
I’ll be going over each of the Microsoft Apps and Tools and describing their strengths, helping you best understand “when to use what tools” in building out your solutions.
Join Microsoft MVP Joel Oleson with Scott Restivo, CEO of Crow Canyon Software to explore the core of Office 365 tools and dive into the fundamentals of business applications. In this session we’ll: 1). Demystify the tools and reveal limits in application construction and look at when to use what in your biz app lifecycle. 2). Focus on fundamentals and directing when to use what in your tooling and fundamental approaches and provide you with some great take-away’s in the form of Infographics. 3). Finally, we’ll explore the interconnected nature of business solutions from ingestion, business processing, evaluation, reporting, and data analysis in a single platform with integrated tools all in a content services platform. It doesn’t stop there as Hybrid solutions can be constructed with gateways and the power of the cloud allows scale like no other time.
Kudos to Phil Worrell among others who shared their thoughts on things they thought for which people should be aware. I’ve gathered theme here from various social platform (in comments) who had some additional “Feature” differences and things to be aware of…
More Forms Limits or Desired Features
- Limited customization and look & feel, no ability to even change fonts size
- No attachments or file upload option
- No country picker (as I mentioned above if you create your own it won’t work well if you use over 60 items and expect to get all items back)
- No paging or section breaks
- No way to share a link to collaborate share a secure form with selected individuals only a group option or a link that is open to the entire org
- No comments on questions to add to an answer for further details.
- No multiparty questions e.g. fill in you details first name , last name, address etc in one question.
- No field validation, including email address or other data type validation except numbers
- No calculated field options
Remember these are subject to change. In fact, have may have heard about Forms Pro? We should hear more about this solution, but as you look at what they’ve shared it doesn’t appear to be focused on addressing the things we’ve called out here. Keep reporting things you care about and voting on User Voice!
Read more about the recent announcement of Microsoft Forms Pro
Microsoft Forms Pro highlights:
- Easy to set up and configure
- Trigger surveys around specific events
- Collect feedback across channels
- Embed surveys across apps, web, and mobile
- Identify sentiments automatically
- Analyze feedback for impactful insights
“This enterprise survey tool makes it easy for organizations to collect feedback across customer touchpoints using surveys, quizzes, and polls, correlate the feedback with business transactions, and derive actionable insights from the combined data,” wrote Alysa Taylor, Corporate Vice President, Business Applications & Industry at Microsoft.
Microsoft Forms Pro will be available in public preview this spring .”