[OS X TeX] Form Documents

Curtis Clifton curt.clifton at mac.com
Mon May 23 20:33:22 CEST 2005

On May 23, 2005, at 12:41 PM, Bob Kerstetter wrote:

> Hi,
> For 10 years we have been using Word and VBA to generate form 
> documents. We enter name, address, etc for one person, then use that 
> information to generate 24 different documents, each one customized 
> with the name, address, etc. for the one person.
> Is there some way of doing this with TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt so:
> 1. The users have a Mac-like dialog box where they can tab forward, 
> backward, etc to enter the information about the person, then press OK 
> to create the 24 docs.
> 2. The user can do as number 1, but then select from a list the docs 
> they want to create.

Items 1 and 2 could be accomplished without much difficulty using 
AppleScript with an AppleScript Studio interface.

> 3. The user can edit the text of the output PDF with Acrobat or 
> whatever and the lines still wrap and the pages still break. BTW, the 
> output is double spaced.

I'm not sure about this.  To edit the generated documents it would be 
technically easier (i.e., easier for the implementer) to have the 
script generate TeX source which the user would edit.  This might be 
reasonable, especially if the scripts typeset the documents so TeXShop 
could be launched with a source and a preview window open.  I hope I 
don't start a flame war---I've already been in mine for the month---but 
if WYSIWYG editing is really a requirement, then perhaps a non-TeX 
solution is required.



Curtis Clifton, PhD Candidate
Dept. of Computer Science, Iowa State University

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