Overview

FormReturn software's integrated components allow you to:

  1. Create and print your own OMR sheets which will be automatically recognized by FormReturn.
  2. Automatically capture people's hand marked responses made in the checkboxes. FormReturn reads a barcode for form page recognition and uses OMR to detect and capture pen or pencil marks made in checkboxes.
  3. Captured Data from each form is reconciled with the record it belongs to in your Source Data Table.
  4. Export the captured data to a spreadsheet or other management software for further analysis.

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Easily add the form components.
1. A form page identification barcode.
2. Automatically generated barcodes for locating where the checkboxes are.
3. The checkbox mark areas.


Overview & Process


OMR Form Design Automated with Data Capture

FormReturn software has it's own form template editors for designing OMR forms which can be automatically recognized by the software.

Publish the form template to:

  1. Store it's information in FormReturns database.
  2. Select a Source Data table for the captured data to connect to.

Upload your scanned form images directly into FormReturn for instant processing and data capture.

Export Captured Data via CSV file to an exel spreadsheet or other management software.


The Checkbox Mark Areas are Contained in a 'Segment'.

One or more segments, containing the OMR checkboxes, are separate components added to a form template.

The Segment contains it's own barcodes used for location of the checkbox mark areas by the omr software.

Each OMR mark area is named with a unique fieldname, used for storing Captured data in the correct column.

A segment can be what ever size you want as long as it will fit between the default margins of the form template.


The Form Template

A FormReturn form template is created using the Form Editor tools to add the Form Template Components.

A FormReturn form template can contain as many pages as you need, with the option for each page to contain more than one segment (for randomizing questions which are suited to different people or to discourage cheating).

The Form template is Published and printed.

Optionally a FormReturn form template can have an identifying component added so you know who each form belongs to.


Testing the Form Template for OMR Recognition.

Recognition testing lets you know if the template has been properly designed so it can be recognized by the software.

The Recognition Print Preview can be used during the form template design to test if the barcodes, segments and checkbox mark areas have been correctly added and can be detected.

The Recognition Test Preview tests a scanned image of the form before it is published. This will test your scanner and it's settings for producing a clear image that will be recognized by FormReturn.

Recognition Testing


Add Data Tables and Records

The part of FormReturn's database for storing your records is called Source Data. Add data tables and records which will be used for printing names on forms and linking captured data.

Source Data


Publishing the Form Template.

Publication of the form template stores the Template's information in FormReturn's database.
In the Publication process, a Source Data table is selected, giving the captured data from scanned form pages a place to be stored. The captured data from each form appends to a record from the data table. (In the case of anonymous forms for general surveys, the data table can contain sequential numeric records.)

A publication type is chosen, which tells FormReturn how to link the captured data to the records in Source Data. There are three publication types to choose from.


If you used the Form ID Publication type, a unique form for each record in the selected data table will be published to a PDF file and printed.

If you chose a Key Field publication type, a single form is published to PDF file and printed into as many copies as needed.


Scan the Forms

When the completed forms are returned they are scanned using a document scanner with an automatic document feeder and saved on your computer. The images are uploaded into FormReturn, which needs a clear scanned image so it can detect and recognize the barcodes and capture the response marks in checkboxes. It will only process forms with recognizable Form ID barcodes and mark areas that were added using the form editor.
If you scan at a too high resolution, your form images will be slower to process in FormReturn - 300 to 400 dpi is recommended, but it will depend on the type of images your scanner produces.
If your scanned images are not clear and sharp enough, it will cause detection issues with the software.

Capturing Form Images


Upload the Scanned Form Images to the Processing Queue

Scanned Form Images are uploaded into the Processing Queue, either manually or automatically using the Folder monitor. The scanned images are sent one at a time, to the form processor in FormReturn's server and the dark checkbox marks are extracted from the scanned images as captured data.

Any scanned images that can't be identified by FormReturn, will be put in the Unidentified Images folder. If this occurs, these images can be re-processed manually or re-scanned, depending on the reason why they weren't recognized.

The processing of each image into captured data takes a matter of seconds which means hundreds of OMR form pages can be processed hourly, using one scanner and one copy of FormReturn.

Processing Queue


Manage the Captured Data

When the Form template is Published it is stored in Captured Data. Select the publication name to see the captured mark values and scores from forms and form pages as well as the scanned form page images.

Important: Don't delete Publication Names from Captured Data until you are sure all data has been captured and exported.

Captured response data is exported to a CSV file which opens in an External Spreadsheet, depending which office package you have installed on your computer.

Captured Data Management


Export Captured Data

Captured Data values and images are easily exported to a CSV file which can be opened in a spreadsheet. Exporting Captured Data


Manage FormReturn OMR Software

FormReturn's OMR processor detects and analyzes barcodes and dark marks made inside the checkboxes of scanned omr page images, which were created using FormReturn's editors.

Clearly scanned images of the Optical Mark Recognition components are required because the software works by detecting and extracting only what it determines as black inside checkboxes.

Clearly scanned barcodes are required by FormReturn to locate the omr components and recognize form pages.

Multiple form pages are linked together with the unique Form ID barcode added to each page of the Template.

Captured data from each form page in a form, is reconciled to the Source data record it belongs to using the Form ID Barcode.


Why must forms be designed with FormReturn's editors?

FormReturn OMR is fast and accurate but can only detect and process data from form images that it recognizes. FormReturn uses:

  1. The Form ID barcode added to each form page, to recognize form pages and to reconcile the captured data with the form template and data record it belongs to.
  2. The Segment barcodes on a FormReturn form are used for locating where the checkboxes are on the page.
  3. FormReturn reads the unbroken checkbox borders which are a feature of FormReturn's design editor, to accurately detect checkbox marks.