What’s The Difference Between Survey Form And A Questionnaire?

Survey forms and questionnaires can be confusing. Let’s untangle the confusion in this blog now!
Sunny Gonzales
Reading time: 7 minutes.

People answering online PDF survey form and questionnaire

Both questionnaires and survey forms are often used interchangeably. Since the two are used to collect information from respondents, it’s easy to mistake them as similar.

But the question is, are they the same?

The answer is no. Though used in the same manner, they still have characteristics that make them different from each other. In this article, we’ll individually discuss their characteristics to discover what sets them apart from each other.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a questionnaire?
  2. What is a survey form?
  3. Create survey forms and questionnaires with PlatoForms

Read more: Top 5 Online Research and Survey Form Creator For 2021

What is a questionnaire?

Let’s first identify what a questionnaire is to better understand how it became different from survey forms.

A questionnaire is an instrument or file used to collect relevant data from people. The data collected through a questionnaire serve different purposes. It’s commonly used for surveys— the reason why we often think that survey forms and questionnaire forms are the same. The questionnaire contains a series of questions in different forms–it can be short-form, long-form, closed-ended, or open-ended. It usually has questions that ask for more general information. Let’s say that you’d like to improve your product based on customers’ preferences. A question that can be asked is this:

What are the qualities that you are looking for in (insert your type of product)?

In this question, clients don’t have specific choices from you, but they can give the product improvement they’re expecting solely based on their point-of-views.

Though a general question is recommended when creating a questionnaire, you can also use questions with multiple choices— depending on the type of data that you’d like to acquire.

Using questionnaires for market research allows you to get the opinion of a wider audience while saving time and money. It’s the best research tool for those who are serving many clients, or bigger audiences.

Where do we use questionnaires?

  • In getting product improvement suggestions from clients
  • Getting satisfaction rates
  • Employee evaluation
  • Problem-solving

What are the types of questions you can include in a questionnaire?

  • Scaling Questions

It refers to questions where respondents choose rankings as their answer. For example: On a scale of 1 to 5, how much do you love our product?

  • Dichotomous Questions

These types of questions are answerable by yes or no and are considered one of the easiest question forms in a questionnaire. For example: Would you use other brands aside from the brand you currently use?

  • Multiple Choice Questions

As the name suggests, these types of questions come with a set of choices where the respondents can pick their answers. For example: What file format do you prefer?


b.Microsoft Word


  • Open Question Questionnaire

These types of questions produce the most valuable answers. It doesn’t come with any options because it aims to get the answer based on the customer’s point of view. An example of these questions is the general question mentioned above.

What are the types of questionnaires?

  • Telephone Questionnaire

If you prefer calling your respondents to get more data, you can do that using a telephone questionnaire. Using a telephone questionnaire makes the process quicker since you can instantly ask for all the data you need from your respondent though it could also add up to your expenses because of the telephone bill.

  • Mail Questionnaire

It’s a type of questionnaire that you can distribute through snail mail. Gathering the answers through this questionnaire usually takes time but it also provides more valuable answers because your respondents can answer them during their spare time.

  • In-house Survey Questionnaire

This type of questionnaire takes time and has a higher cost compared to the others. In an in-house survey, you need to visit your respondents in their houses or other preferred places.

  • Computer Questionnaire

Computer questionnaire is a modern format of questionnaire. This type of questionnaire is usually sent to respondents via email. Many people love to use this format because it’s easy to build and distribute. Especially today that you can share this type of questionnaire through links making it more convenient for users and respondents.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for a tool that can help you turn your PDF forms into fillable questionnaire forms online, PlatoForms is the best aiding hand for you! It’s a tool that allows you to build online questionnaire forms, make PDF forms fillable, and integrate your forms with other applications.

What is a survey form?

Now, let’s talk about the survey form and what makes it different from a questionnaire?

As previously mentioned, a survey form is a type of questionnaire (and also a research method) which is used to gather information. A survey form usually consists of questions about the respondent’s preferences and needs.

Here’s an example:

What is your favorite PDF tool feature?

a. PDF converter

b. PDF editor


d. Others (specify)

A survey form or a survey questionnaire (in this case) is used to determine the number of people who love to use the PDF converter, PDF editor, PDF API, and other PDF tools within a specific community. Like questionnaires, survey forms are also used for different purposes.

What are the types of survey questions you can use?

  • Rating Scale Questions

Also known as ordinal questions, rating scale questions give your respondents an option that can range from 1 to 10, 0 to 100, etc. It’s usually used to rate customer experience in a brand or product.

Sample question:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate our customer service?

  • Benchmarkable Questions

If you like to compare your businesses, performances, or employees with each other, you should use benchmarkable questions on your survey form. The main idea of this survey is to compare the results to another matching survey. The results let you see how well your company, employees, or process are going.

Sample question:

How likely would you recommend PlatoForms to your friends?

In this question, you’ll be able to compare how recommendable your services are compared to others.

  • Multiple-choice Questions

These questions are the most common type that people use in their survey forms. They come with a set of choices where respondents can pick their answers.

Sample question:

What tool do you use to turn your PDF forms into fillable survey forms?

  1. PlatoForms
  2. Adobe Pro
  3. Others
  • Likert Scale Questions

These types of survey questions use a psychometric scale that’s based on your respondent’s attitude. Likert Scale Questions come with choices such as: very unsatisfied, unsatisfied, neutral, satisfied, and very satisfied.

You can use these questions if your purpose is to get your customer’s opinion about your product or anything that you offer.

Sample question:

How would you rate your experience while using PlatoForms?

  • Very unsatisfied
  • Unsatisfied
  • Neutral
  • Satisfied
  • Very satisfied
  • Matrix Questions

Matrix questions use a grid format of questions and choices. This type of survey has grids where respondents can mark their answers— you can let them use x-marks or checkmarks. When using matrix questions, the set of answers is usually the same.

Sample question:

Questionnaire sample by PlatoForms, Online PDF Form tool

  • Slider Questions

If you wish to provide an interactive survey to your respondents, then you should go for slider questions. This type of survey question is applicable for online surveys only. The way your respondents will answer the survey is by slider choices.

Sample question:

On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the lowest, how would you rate the online PDF form you currently use?

Slder questionnaire sample by PlatoForms, Online PDF Form tool

  • File Upload Questions

If your respondents need to attach a file to support their answer, you can use the file upload type of questions. These types of questions are used when the respondents need to send proof or evidence of their answers.

Sample question:

File upload questionnaire sample by PlatoForms, Online PDF Form tool

  • Click Map Questions

Click map questions are survey questions where you can use images and get feedback based on them. The best example for this is, when you upload a dashboard screenshot of your online tool product, you can ask the respondents to click on their favorite feature as seen on the dashboard photo.

Sample question:

Click the color that looks appealing to you.

Click map questionnaire sample by PlatoForms, Online PDF Form tool

  • Image Choice Questions

These types of questions are appealing and interactive. Your respondents can choose their answers from a set of images that you give along with the questions.

Sample question:

Which PDF tool do you prefer to use.

Image choice questionnaire sample by PlatoForms, Online PDF Form tool

  • Demographic Questions

Demographic surveys are questions that ask your respondent’s characteristics. This type of survey asks questions such as name, age, gender, civil status, etc. This type of survey question is perfect if you’re doing market research.

  • Open-ended Questions

Your survey forms can have open-ended questions too. When you say open-ended questions, these are questions that are not answerable by yes or no. Your respondents can answer these using a free-form text format.

Sample question:
How do you turn your PDF forms into online fillable forms?

  • Dropdown Questions

As the name suggests, if you use dropdown questions you give your respondents a list of choices in a dropdown format. Dropdown questions are close-ended, and your respondents can only choose the answer from the list you give.

Create survey forms and questionnaires with PlatoForms

Indeed, both survey forms and questionnaires are crucial for any industry, especially when making surveys. Make sure you build them with a reliable tool. Turn your PDF forms into a fillable survey and questionnaire form with PlatoForms.

PlatoForms is an easy-to-use online PDF tool that helps you build and turn PDF forms into fillable forms. Aside from that, you can also connect your online forms with your most-used application through API integration plus embed them on your site through an auto-generated embeddable code. Whether you need a survey form or a questionnaire, PlatoForms is the perfect part for you.

Start building your online survey and questionnaire forms now. Sign up here.

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