How to create an Excel survey with SkyDrive

Using your SkyDrive account, you can create a free survey that anyone can fill out online. After people fill out your form and click the submit button the data automatically populates to your Excel spreadsheet. Data lovers-this sounds cool doesn’t it! Well this is a new feature that I had to demo. Let me show you how it works. First you need to log on to your SkyDrive account. SkyDrive is operated by Microsoft and comes along with 7GB of free online storage. You can take my survey by clicking Steve’s survey if you want to see it before I explain how to create it.

Click Create–>Excel Survey

Create survey button Excel

Name the survey

Name the Excel survey

From the Home tab click Survey–>New Survey

Survey New Survey

Enter a title for your survey

Enter a title for the Excel Survey

Click “Enter your first question here” and fill out your question with the correct response type

Click enter your first question here

Data types can be the following choices:

  • Text
  • Paragraph Text
  • Number
  • Date
  • Time
  • Yes/No
  • Choice

An example of one of my questions below

Example of a choice questi

After review click “Share Survey”

Click Share Survey

Click “Create” to get a link

Get a link for others to take survey

Email the link, tweet it, blog it, post it on a webpage to your audience. Links can be short or long. Copy and paste the link anywhere you want.

link can be short or long

Example of filling out the survey in Firefox browser

view of survey

The question and answer structure

survey results after first person takes it

Would you like to take my survey? If so you could click on the long link:!4340&authkey=!AAX5JvOK78HFUJc

Or if it suits you click the short link:

About Steve Chase

I'm a proud husband and dad to 4 boys! Microsoft Certified Trainer and Boy Scout Leader are some of things I call myself. The Cincinnati Reds are my favorite team! When not outdoors, I enjoy working with documents in Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, Visio and Photoshop. My wife, Erin, shares her awesome recipes on her blog at
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43 Responses to How to create an Excel survey with SkyDrive

  1. suha says:

    how can write mark for every question and how can give a result

    • Steve Chase says:

      The Excel survey has some limits. I don’t think there is a way to mark a question to verify it has been completed. However you can make a question mandatory to fill out. All answers end up in a single row in Excel. 7 rows of Excel data= 7 submits buttons. Row 1 would be your header/questions.

  2. Fitzgerald says:

    This is very helpful thanks. I have a question though. I wrote up the questions etc then hit Save and Share and I realised I needed to make some changes to the questions. I deleted some and added others, however the Excel spreadsheet still shows the old questions (as well as the new ones). Any ideas how to refresh the spreadsheet so it is consistent with the survey?

    • Steve Chase says:

      My guess is that you would have to run a macro script in order to do this. I would suggest creating a new survey. Copy and paste old answers from the prior Excel file to the new one. Then go and make sure that you have replaced the survey link (blogs, emails, facebook, etc).

  3. Ganesh says:

    This is really very useful ..

  4. Tammy Lin says:

    Hey Steve, a created a survey, but when I look at the spreadsheet showing the responses, the excel spreadsheet shows the questions in a different order than that of the survey. any idea how to fix it?

    • Steve Chase says:

      Ok, one solution is to keep the answers in the format that Excel created first. Then copy the results to another page using linked formulas. Say on sheet 2 you can click on A1 and enter =Sheet1!B1 if you wanted column B to really be column A. I have not tried to rearrange the answers from the survey. I suppose you might be able to but it also could mess up the format. Hope this helps.


  5. deeps says:

    I want to send email notifications to a selected number of people once I receive a response to the survey form. This feature is available in Google docs under notification settings but still could not find it in SkyDrive.

    Is it possible or the feature not yet available in SkyDrive?

    • Steve Chase says:

      Ok, one solution is to keep the answers in the format that Excel created first. Then copy the results to another page using linked formulas. Say on sheet 2 you can click on A1 and enter =Sheet1!B1 if you wanted column B to really be column A. I have not tried to rearrange the answers from the survey. I suppose you might be able to but it also could mess up the format. Hope this helps.


  6. David says:

    Hi Steve – I wanted to know if there is a way to do a 3D Matrix choice versus a single in excel. In addition, can excel populate a statistic report with each survey taken (i.e. graphs, percentages, ratios)? BTW, this is a great feature!

    • Steve Chase says:

      David, the results for a SkyDrive can only be done single cell rather than the 3D Matrix. Once the data is collected the user would need to create a report like a chart or formulas. A PivotTable would be an easy way to find ratios by category fields against data fields. The survey I think is meant to be easy simple and free to do which is pretty cool if you only need the basics and want to get something out there in a quick manner. Microsoft InfoPath is the paid for version of doing professional forms and data collection within the Office suite.

  7. Karen says:

    Hi Steve,

    Is it possible to have 0 (zero) as a number? I would prefer not to have a count field as a text field but if the value to be entered is zero I get an error.


    • Steve Chase says:

      I am not aware of any way to tell Excel to treat “zero” as a number.
      A workaround might include inserting a new column. Run a VLOOKUP function where it looks for “zero”. Then it returns 0 as a value for references you specify.
      Your new column would be formatted as a number.


      • Karen says:

        Sorry Steve, I was unclear. In my survey, I have the field as number but it won’t accept 0 as a value.

      • Steve Chase says:

        It might be a restriction within the SkyDrive environment. I’m not sure what to tell you.

        Perhaps you could post your question to the Microsoft Office Community support forums. They have a big audience and you should get a response.

        Here is the link to inquire if you are interested


    • I had the same problem. Frustrating, no?

      My workaround involved changing the numbers from whole numbers to percentage calculations. But, this may not be the right option for your situation.

      If you right click on any cell of the number (calculation) column, you can select “Calculate as percentage…” options. I changed from whole numbers to percent, and then the zero column adjusted to 0%.

  8. chanique says:

    Hi, people i send the survey to, gets error message: “Problem viewing survey.” please help

    • Steve Chase says:

      Sounds like they have an older version of an Internet browser. You could have them see if they have a updated browser. Also another solution would be to try the link in another browser. For example, try Chrome or Firefox if Internet Explorer is not working.

      Lastly, it could be the server if SkyDrive is preventing it so retrying it later might just do the trick.


  9. Whane The Whip says:

    Is there a way to automatically attach a date/time stamp to each entry. I need a survey that shows the time and date of the post without relying on the user to input the date/time themselves.

    • Steve Chase says:

      They don’t have that right now as an option. That would be really helpful to have that automatic date/time stamp.

      I did a Google Docs Form a long time ago and I remember it had a time/stamp automatically added as on of the features.


      • Whane The Whip says:

        Hi Steve, thanks for the reply.

        I’m familiar with that feature in Google Docs, I was hoping to duplicate it with Excel surveys. Thanks for the tip anyway, hopefully it will be an option in the future.

  10. Georgios Kolomvos says:

    Do you know if it is posible to customize the message in the “Thank you” page of the Survey?

    • Steve Chase says:

      That would be nice to customize. However that is not a feature right now.

      If you want a custom message, you might form it in your last question. Something like “Thanks for filling out this form, please provide any additional feedback an we look forward to having you visit our website at”

      • Georgios Kolomvos says:

        Hi Steve,
        Thank you for your imediate response. I agree that it would be nice to have that feature. I hope there will be in the future.

  11. Nathan says:

    Hi Steve,

    Do you know if there is away of setting up an email notification for when someone submits a survey?

  12. andria says:

    is there a way to automatically have it do calculations? For example, I need to add three columns and i added the field to add them, but it does not continue to new data. Second, can you have it create a report that you can print out with the individual results, including the calculations? Basically, I want to use it to create a budget and would like to have everyone put in their survey information then receive a printout of their budget.

    • Steve Chase says:


      You can do the calculations in the Spreadsheet after you collect the data. The data will come in as a table and you can add a calculated column to the right. Once you make your calculations you can then make a report. I would recommend either export the data to Access which is a better report writer. Or you can create a mail merge report in Word. Just depends on how much data you need to report to which would be better. Also might just be able to print out of Excel once you format it the way you want.

      Hope this helps.


    • Steve Chase says:

      I just tested and discovered that the new rows of data do not get the new formula automatically. Looks like you will need to just double click the fill handle to make the formula fill down each of your three columns.

      But if you sent the data to Access then you could create a calculated column and it would work. You still would need to refresh the table so that it get the new updates from the Excel data.


  13. Jacob says:

    How do I add a chart or graph with the data that I have collected??

    • Steve Chase says:

      You can always see the data you collect in your spreadsheet. Then select the range (columns) you want to chart, then click Insert Tab–>Chart.

      Unfortunately, your chart will not auto update if more people enter your survey. You will have to click on the chart, then extend the range.

      • Jacob says:

        Is this the case if I have non-numerical answers, such as Yes and NO and Right and Left?

        Also, do I have to have select each question at a time, or is there a way to get each question with their answers in one graph?

      • Steve Chase says:

        Doing a chart on non-numeric values might be harder to accomplish. It all depends on what you want to see.
        Typically you would do a calculation first on the data. Say you do a countif() function that could count how many yes’s and no’s you have. Then have a column chart or pie chart to see the count totals.

        It’s hard to answer the second question, with out seeing the data. A line chart with a date field and values along side would work best if you selected the columns. But in your case, I’m not sure what would be the best approach unless I could see an example.

        Sometimes, being able to read the answers is good enough for the insights in a report like view which is what you have right now. The only question, what do you need to chart to show?

  14. Jessica Herbert says:

    Hi Steve – thanks for the great walk through. I know the question has asked, but is there a way to know when the survey has been completed or updated. If not an email notification then anyway to see that the table has been updated without going into the spreadsheet daily?

  15. Tristan Dunbar says:

    Hi Steve thanks for this it’s great. Do you know if it is possible for the results from each participant (each row) to then be transferred to a word doc or PDF and automatically sent on to an email address written or as a choice in the survey.

  16. Elorm says:

    Hi Steve – Is it possible to have “submit another repsonse” at the bottom of the survey like that of google forms?

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