Saturday, July 23, 2022

Formatting Text in Google Forms

Recently Google announced some updates that will give you more control over the fonts and formatting in Google Forms. This can:
  • make it easier for your students to read the text in the Form,
  • or allow you to create more advanced questions,
  • or simply jazz up the look of your form.
In this post we are going to look at three options.
  • First, how to change the font for different parts of your Form.
  • Second, how to format the text in the title, description, and questions.
  • And third, how to format the text in the answers.
See below for a 6 minute tutorial video and detailed directions on how this works.

▶️ Tutorial Video (6 minutes)

Or you can watch directly on YouTube at:

1️⃣ How to change the font for different parts of your Form

The first option we are going to look at is how to change the font for different parts of your Form. This can be used to make the text more readable for the students, or to add a thematic font to your Form.
  • First, click the "Customize Theme" button in the top right corner of the form, which looks like a painter's palette icon.
  • This will open the "Theme" sidebar.

Here you will find the "Text style" section where you can change the font for the Header, Questions, and Text.
  • Simply click on the font menu to select a new font from your list, 
  • Or click "More fonts" to add any of the 1,400 available web fonts from Google.
  • If needed you can also change the font size.
Changing the font can bring a little style to your form. For example if you have a quiz about cow facts, you could change the title to the "Moo Lah Lah" font.

Or you could simply improve the readability of your form by choosing a font such as "Lexend" which is designed to help struggling readers, and apply it to all the parts of your form.

2️⃣ How to format the text in the title, description, and questions

Next we will take a look at how to format the text in the Form's title, description, and questions. Google has recently updated these parts of the form to support rich text, which includes:
  • Bold
  • Italics
  • Underlining
  • Hyperlinks
  • Bulleted lists
  • And numbered lists
To use the formatting, simply click on any text in the title, description, or question areas, and you will get a formatting toolbar.

For example in the description you could use bulleting to list items the quiz will cover, and you could use hyperlinks to link out to additional review and support resources.

Or for another example you could use the bold and underline formatting to bring attention to words in a question that the students need to answer a question about.

3️⃣ How to format the text in the answers

Finally we will take a look at how to format the text in the answers for a Form. So at the moment there is not a built-in way to format the answers. The built-in formatting only applies to the title, description, and questions, but not the answers.

One way to work around this is to add an image to the answers and have that image be a screenshot of the formatted text.

For example you could:
  • Type up an answer in Google Docs, apply the needed formatting, 
  • And then use any screenshot tool you prefer to save an image of the answer.
  • That image could then be added to the answer in the Form by clicking the "Add image" button.

Or another all-in-one option would be to use the Equatio extension. Although we normally use this extension to add math to a Google Form, you can also use it to add rich text. This extension is free for educators. See the links below to install the extension, register as an educator, and read more about how the tool works.

As a quick example, if you have the Equatio extension installed:
  • You can click the Equatio icon next to any answer to create the rich text.
  • In the Equatio editor you can add text.
  • You can format text with bold, italics, or underlining.
  • Or you can simply add in a line break, which cannot normally be done for answers in Google Forms.
  • When done you can click "Insert Math" to add the formatted text to the Form answer.

And that's it. Using these features and tools you can format the text in your Google Forms to make it easier for students to read, and to add richer questions, answers, and content.

Post by Eric Curts
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