[texhax] Newbie Question: (La)TeX Good Choice for Data Collection Forms in PDF?

cryan at binghamton.edu cryan at binghamton.edu
Wed Sep 9 15:37:55 CEST 2009

I have used LaTeX to design a questionnaire for a research project. Not a clinical case report form, but a survey form to be completed by the subjects, on paper. Similar idea: fields to be filled in, checkboxes, multiple choice questions, etc. It worked. It was hard. If I had it to do over again, I'd use OpenOffice.org Writer, a typical "WYSIWYG" word processor. Also free. Also comes ready with easy pdf export.

No disrespect to LaTeX of course. Been using it for a long time, though I claim no expertise. But it's not always the best/easiest/fastest way to get the job done. No single tool is.

--Chris Ryan

---- Original message ----
>Date: Tue, 8 Sep 2009 10:37:13 -0500
>From: Jack Ort <JOrt at ResearchPoint.com>  
>Subject: [texhax] Newbie Question: (La)TeX Good Choice for Data Collection Forms in PDF?  
>To: texhax at tug.org
>   Hello!  I apologize if this is the wrong place to
>   ask this question, but I have been frantically
>   searching for information on TeX and LaTex, and
>   whether or not it would be a good choice for
>   designing data collection forms.  Specifically these
>   would be clinical Case Report Forms (CRFs), where
>   patient data such as vital signs, laboratory
>   results, etc. would need to be collected across
>   multiple clinic visits.  Typically these forms will
>   have groups of empty boxes (with labels) for manual
>   entry, questions with Yes/No checkboxes, lines for
>   capturing free-text comments, and often tabular data
>   entry sections as well.
>   Ideally, forms could be stored in a "library" for
>   reuse and modification as needed.
>   Eventually these forms need to go to PDF, either for
>   printing or for conversion to a data entry screen
>   for a web-based data collection system.
>   We are considering Framemaker, but the cost and
>   learning curve are steep!  If it is relevant, would
>   be using a Windows XP system to run whatever package
>   we choose.
>   Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!
>   Best regards,
>   -Jack
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