How-to: Forward Google Form Submissions To e-mail

If you have ever used a Google form for collecting information (maybe RSVPs to a party), you may have wished there was something RSS-like that would automatically alert you to the fact that you had a new submission. Good news! You can configure the spreadsheet associated with the Google form to do just that. This requires no coding experience, because Amit Agarwal has already written the code bits.

First, create your form

Create new google form
Log in to your Google account and click “Drive” in the top menu bar.

Then click “Create” and select “Form”. If you’ve not created a form before, here is a tutorial.

Now edit the spreadsheet

Once you have created and saved your new form, return to your Google Docs dashboard and open the spreadsheet that is associated with the form.

google speadsheet icon
Spreadsheets are associated with a green icon.

We are going to create a new script “project”.
(Who names these things?)

1. Go to Tools –> Click Script Editor and Select “Blank Project.” Google spreadsheet tools Google Apps Scripts

2. Highlight and delete any pre-populated code. Give the script a name (maybe “forward email”).

blank Google project

Default appearance, blank project in Google scripts editor

3. Remove any existing code in the code editor window (highlight/delete) and copy-paste the code that Amit has developed.

You will need to change the email address to your own:

var email = "XYZ";

You can easily change the subject line of the email. This is the default:

var subject = "Google Docs Form Submitted";

4. Save the project.

5. Set up a trigger for your form.

  1. From the Resources menu, choose Current Script’s Triggers
  2. Set up a new trigger.
  3. Select “On Form Submit”
  4. Save the trigger.

6. Authorize the form.

  1. Click “Run”
  2. Google Docs will ask for access your Gmail account.
  3. Say yes

But what if I want to alert more than one person that there has been an addition to the form spreadsheet?

First, you will need to add each of those emails in the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab of gmail settings. If you are not the owner of these email accounts, you’ll need to alert the owner that a request is coming that will need activation.

Then you will need to create a separate filter for each of those emails.

1. Add emails; start with the “Settings” link off the “gears” icon.

gmail settings

2. Navigate to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.

add email

1. Click “Add a forwarding address”

add email

2. Type the address into the form, then confirm that you’ve typed it correctly.

confirm

3. Google sends a confirmation to that address. This is to prevent spam; a person has to agree to have email forwarded.

5. For each person who is going to receive a copy of the form submissions, create a filter to forward.

You (probably) don’t want to forward all email from this account. So create a filter — perhaps based on the subject line you chose for this form. Then pick an email to forward. You will need to create a filter for each person who is to receive this information.

According to Google, you can create 20 filters that forward to other addresses.

The link to create a new filter is at the bottom of the Filter tab page.

1. Click on "create filter" and Google pops open a new window. Type your search criteria and click

1. Click on “create filter” and Google pops open a new window. Type your search criteria and click “Create filter with this search”

select address

2. Google shows the search criteria the top of the window. Tick the “Forward it to” option and select the email address for forwarding. Then click “Create filer”

Remember: one filter per forwarded email.

If you ever want to edit or delete one of these filters, go back to the Filter tab page and select “edit” or “delete”.

That’s it.

We have successfully created a form that gathers data and alerted one or more people whenever the form has new information.

Author: Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, writer, teacher. Webmaster at King County Elections; educator at UW. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill, gplus.to/kegill, http://wiredpen.com

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