Using Google Spreadsheets to Collect Form Data

Using Google Spreadsheets to Collect Form Data

Google Spreadsheets recently offered the ability to create a form that will collect customer information into the spreadsheet. This is great for people that don’t have access to storing data in a traditional database (which is our preferred solution). They offer you the code to either link to for this form, email the code (great for emailed surveys) as well as code to embed (via IFrame) the form in your existing web page.

If you’d prefer to have FULL control over the display of the form and control the formatting and manipulation of data with your server-side code here is a handy little guide on how to do this using PHP.


  1. Create Google Doc form with all the fields your form needs
  2. Save the form
  3. Email yourself a copy of the form
  4. Pull the necessary fields out of the email to generate the form
    URL for curl to post to
    URL to post form to...
    Names of the various input fields
    Finding the name of the various fields
  5. Insert code below into PHP page
  6. Test solution

Things to note about the above PHP code (gasp!) are that you need to define the proper URL to the spreadsheet and the correct number and names of  fields (see step 4 above) . The only one that might be a little odd is getRealIpAddr() method. This is defined elsewhere in the page’s code as follows:




Have fun folks! If you want to rip into my code and/or have suggestions on better PHP coding styles, please use the comment section below…

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Michael Gibbs

I'm a technologist at heart, assisting companies best utilize the Internet to market themselves and sell their products and services online. This includes organizations as large as Google and as small as one or two individuals.
At Over The Top and Exhibit A Communications, I've programmed solutions for Google as well as at least one other company that was later acquired by Google.

I've been CTO of an Internet SaaS company and spent my time pretty evenly between guiding the future technical strategy of the company, architecting software solutions for my dev teams, designing and running a data center to service our clients world-wide as well as being a technical evangalist/sales engineer to our media clients large and small.

I've also been Chief Photographer of the Daily Sun/Post newspaper back when it was a 5-day a week daily newspaper.

I also spent a great many years as a beach lifeguardfor the City of San Clemente as well as Jr. Lifeguard instructor and then as it's program coordinator.
Bragging rights
Private Pilot with Instrument rating and proud husband of soon to be 25 years (and counting).
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