How to Pre-fill Google Forms

Did you know that you can pre-fill Google Forms based on a URL? Did you also know that if you have a basic example you can automate it with a database and send personalized forms?

General Instructions

  1. On your form, click the vertical ellipses in the upper right corner to reveal the menu.
  2. Click “Get pre-filled link” Get pre-filled link
  3. This shoots you over to a page where you can fill in the fields you want pre-filled and it will generate a URL for you. Copy this. If you want the link you send out to everyone to have the same pre-filled info, your work is done. Send the link out!

How you might automate it

Here is my example form.Once I went through the above steps to get a pre-filled link, here is what I got:,+Albuquerque,+NM+87114&entry.1166974658=281-330-8004&entry.839337160=This+is+so+useful!

The stuff we are looking for is between the “=” and “&” signs:,+Albuquerque,+NM+87114&entry.1166974658=281-330-8004&entry.839337160=This+is+so+useful!

As you can see, those are the items I filled in on my own. How might one automate this, then? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Using handlebars or Liquid, fill them in with the appropriate expressions and use the appropriate objects to fill them in:{{name}}&entry.1045781291={{email}}&entry.1065046570={{address}}&entry.1166974658={{phone}}&entry.839337160={{comments}}
  2. Using PHP, you might assign variables for these items and fill them in from your database with a select statement:$name&entry.1045781291=$email&entry.1065046570=$address&entry.1166974658=$phone&entry.839337160=$comments
  3. On Mailchimp, you’d have to use Merge Tags:*|name|*&entry.1045781291=*|email|*&entry.1065046570=*|address|*&entry.1166974658=*|phone|*&entry.839337160=*|comments|*

Note: Make sure you are URL encoding things with weird characters and spaces like an address. Example: 308+Negra+Arroyo+Lane,+Albuquerque,+NM+87114 vs 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, Albuquerque, NM 87114

Completion of the code in 1, 2, and 3 is an instruction left to the reader. I’m assuming that if you want to do something like generate thousands of personalized URLs to a form, you probably already have a database and know how to use it. I hope this guides you in the right direction! Email me if you want some help.

7 responses to “How to Pre-fill Google Forms”

  1. John Kruse Avatar
    John Kruse

    I am prepopulating from an Excel spreadsheet. The prepopulate fields are more than 256 characters. Any way to get around that?

    1. Chuck Grimmett Avatar

      To be honest, I’m not sure! I haven’t ran into that problem before. Where in the process are you encountering the character limit issue?

  2. John Kruse Avatar
    John Kruse

    Thank you for responding.
    I prepopulate 5 fields of street addresses and the last address gets trunked when the number of characters exceed 256.

    1. Chuck Grimmett Avatar

      Is is trunked in the URL that is generated or in the form field? Is it possible that the field you are using in Google Forms has a character limit?

  3. John Kruse Avatar
    John Kruse

    Can I send the form to you and the Excel string that is supposed to feed it?

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