Identify MS Forms questions with the same name in Power Automate

“My MS Forms form has multiple questions with the same name, how can I recognize in Power Automate which is which?”


The input from MS Forms questions into Power Automate is one the more complicated ones. It’s not a problem for simple forms with unique questions, but it gets complicated for forms with repeated questions. On the surface it looks simple, the dynamic content uses the question name, but what if there’re 2 questions with the same name? How can you recognize which is which to use the right one?

Power Automate with Forms questions with the same name

If it was a SharePoint column, or an element from JSON, you could check the background code, but not for MS Forms. Instead of a readable column name it contains that question’s identifier. So, is there a way to connect the identifier to a question?

Power Automate dynamic content background code

Get the information from the form

Since you can’t take the information from Power Automate, you must send it from the form. Do a test run with the form and properly describe the columns in the response. The assumption is that you already have a flow to process the forms response.

Power Automate Forms questions description

Check the flow history

Once you submit the response, go to the flow run history into the ‘Get response details’ action. At the end of that action you’ll see the ‘body’ with all the responses. And in the responses you’ll clearly recognize the questions you just described and their identifiers.

...
"r197abc0eaf6c4494805698e60f359481": "Comments question 10, section 1",
"r0af6700a13634485812d37593e434773": "Comments question 11, section 2",
...
Power Automate 'Get response details' body

Use the right dynamic content

Once you know the question identifier, it’s easy to use the correct dynamic content. If it’s just two or three questions, you can add all of them into the action and remove the ones with different identifier.

Power Automate recognize Forms questions

But if it’s more than that, you might want to build the dynamic content by yourself. Add one of the dynamic contents into an action and copy/paste it into a text editor.

@{outputs('Get_response_details')?['body/r197abc0eaf6c4494805698e60f359481']}
Power Automate copy/paste dynamic content

You can see that the question identifier is in the [‘body/….’] section. Replace that identifier with identifier of the question you need and copy/paste it back.

@{outputs('Get_response_details')?['body/r0af6700a13634485812d37593e434773']}
Power Automate update Forms question dynamic content

You just successfully identified the question and added it to your flow.

Summary

In most situations in Power Automate you can recognize the data by its background code, but not with MS Forms. MS Forms will give you just the question identifier and it’s up to you to understand it.

But if you can’t recognize it directly, you can still describe it to yourself. Put a proper description to these questions, do a test run and check the result. Even if you don’t understand coding you can recognize the question key in the response body and use it.


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