Two years ago I wrote a post on how to use Google Forms to create free online surveys. This week Google launched some important improvements to the form tool.

The most useful new feature is the ability to create separate answer-dependent pages in your form. To add a new page, click the Add item drop-down menu and select Page break.

Once you have pages, you can created multiple choice questions that will determine which page to advance to next.

One thing that you can do using this trick is work around the lack of N/A options on scale questions. This is a problem I had last year when I did the YDA Communications Survey. In that survey, I asked respondents to rate the quality of YDA’s content over certain platforms. Since it was a scale, they could not answer N/A if they did not use that platform and the question was required. Using answer-dependent pages, you could ask whether someone has used a certain platform: if yes, go to page with scale question; if no, skip ahead.

You can also use this feature for subset branching. For example, if you are surveying your organization’s membership, you can have the beginning of the survey be general for all members, and then have a multiple choice question that allows them to select their specific chapter/area/district etc. and branch to specific survey pages for that demographic.

In addition, there are now over 70 form skins to choose from, so you have many more options for the visual design of your surveys.

There have been a number of improvements to all of the Google Docs tools, so check out this list from Google of the new features.