The Easy Way to add Coded Tick Boxes to your Paper Surveys

If you’ve spent any time developing paper questionnaires in MSWord you’ll know how frustrating it can be to add tick boxes alongside your response options.  The boxes included with font sets like wingdings or symbols don’t really cut it.  And if you want coded tick boxes – ones with tiny numbers in them to reduce data entry time and errors once the surveys are received – you are completely out of luck.  Your only choice in that situation is to create the boxes using the ‘text box’ in the draw tool, manually adding in the numbers you need.  Of course, once you start working with drawing objects you then have to fiddle around to get them aligning correctly with the response option text.  Do this over multiple questions in a survey and various iterations of drafts and it is only a matter of time before you start tearing out huge clumps of your own hair.

Not fun.

Thankfully, you can now stow away your Rogaine.  I’ve created a couple of fonts that contain discreetly numbered boxes in two different styles. Since the boxes are each separate characters in a font set, they can be treated just like any other text character; you can resize them, align them using tabs, change their colour, put two boxes next to one another, etc.   All it takes to put a box in your questionnaire is for you to hit the related key on your keyboard (hitting ‘1’ will insert a box with the number 1 in it).

Here’s what they look like:

You can click this link to download a zip file (314KB) containing the fonts.  The zip file also contains a brief document describing how to add the fonts to your machine, where to find them in MSWord, and what keys to hit to get different numbered boxes.  The fonts are free for you to download and use, but I don’t offer any support or warranties for them.  I’d appreciate you letting me know if you find them useful.


ShortURL to this post:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s