Segment Editor

Design a new segment, using the Drawing Tools to add components such as text, checkboxes, key fields and images. Recognition preview the segment, then save segment and Add it to a form template using the Form Editor.

Create a New Segment

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  • Click "New Segment" in the Application toolbar to create and design a Segment. The segment file is saved and then added to a form page. A form page can optionally contain more than one segment.

  • The Drawing Tools are used for adding the checkbox mark areas, text areas, images etc. to the segment.

  • The segment barcodes, located at top right and bottom left of the segment, are used by FormReturn to detect where the checkboxes are located within the form page.

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The segment barcodes highlighted with blue in the Recognition Preview Check.

Create a New Segment Dialog

  • Type a Name for the segment.
  • Choose your Preset Paper Size or a Custom paper size. Letter size paper is the standard paper size for North America (USA, Canada, Mexico) A4 size paper is the standard paper size for the rest of the world (countries that use metric measurements).
  • To resize the segment, set the segment's Width and Height details. The default size of a segment which will fit on A4 size paper is 535 wide x 700 high but it can be a custom size as long as it will fit on the form template within the margins.
  • Optionally rename the Fieldname prefix (Note: The Fieldname prefix must be unique for each Checkbox Mark Area on a Form Template)


  • Click OK and a blank segment page will open in the Segment Editor window.

Segment Drawing Tools

Use the Segment Drawing Tools to add checkboxes, text areas and any other elements to the segment.

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All drawing tools are selected by clicking on them with your mouse, then point the tool on the Segment and click where you want to add the element. Double clicking on a tool will keep it selected until you click on another tool.


Click and drag over elements that have been added to the Segment, to select them. E.g: select a number of elements to move all at once or to align all selected elements using the alignment tools.

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Make a text area for typing questions.

Click on the Text tool and then on the page to add a text area, then drag the corners to resize. Make a text area large enough to fit the typed the text. The text area should be large enough so that everything you type is detected in the Recognition Print Preview.

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Text areas can be duplicated to quickly add multiple text areas of the same size.

Text Area Panel

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Font Family is for choosing the typeface that is applied to the text.

Font Style gives attributes of a font, such as bold, italic and underline.

Font Size is for choosing the size of text measured in points.

Embedding is the process of attaching a font to a document so that the font may be used wherever the document is used.

Alignment is for setting the text placement relative to the text area border.

Color is for choosing the text color using swatches, HSB or RGB.

Background is for choosing text area background color using swatches, HSB or RGB. If the filled checkbox isn't selected the backgroung color will not show.

Edit Content is for editing the content of the text area in a separate window.

Checkbox Tool

A segment can contain as many checkbox mark areas as will fit neatly within the segment borders, without touching the segment barcodes as this can break detection of the omr bubbles.

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Add Checkbox Mark Areas to the Segment Page using the checkbox tool.

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Each Mark Area is a single contained area, which can have 1 or multiple checkboxes. Click on the "Checkbox" tool and then on the Segment where you want to add a Checkbox area. The Mark Area containing 5 checkboxes is added to the segment page with the mark values of A,B,C,D & E. Double click on the mark area, or click 'Set Properties' in the Mark Area Panel at left, to open the Mark Area Properties to set the style and properties of the checkboxes and other attributes of the Mark Area.

Design a checkbox Grid for capturing ID numbers.

Mark Area Fieldnames Each checkbox mark area added to the segment has a sequentially numbered Unique Captured Data Fieldname and a Unique Score_Fieldname. Note: You cannot have identical Fieldnames on the same form template, as this will corrupt the captured data. After a Checkbox mark area has been set up, and you want to use the same style for other mark areas, it can be duplicated to add mark areas of the same style to the segment page.

Checkbox Style

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Over time it has been proven that an oval bubble is easier to fill in fully by the respondents of OMR forms, which increases accuracy of OMR detection and data capture.

Checkbox Mark Area Elements

When a checkbox area is selected, the Element Panel shows the Width, Height and co-ordinates X: Y: (position of the mark area on the page). These elements can only be changed in the Mark Area Properties Dialog.

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Adding Key Fields

A Key Field is an ID Grid or Barcode Area which is added to the segment and used for capturing respondent ID numbers or other information.

ID Grid

Design an ID Grid

An OMR ID Grid is key field added to the segment as a method of form identification by collecting ID numbers filled into a grid of checkboxes. An OMR ID grid is added when you want to have pre-printed, un-named forms on hand which will still reconcile captured data with the records in the source data table. (As of version 1.1 being released, the grid can be designed with the grid numbers reading across or down.)

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An OMR ID Grid can read across or down.

Respondents mark in their ID number using a column for each digit. A 5 digit number would have 5 columns and so on. The marked in number will be captured as a combined string (a single number not separate numbers)

When Publishing the form template, choose a "Key Field Reconciles" Publication Type to trigger FormReturn to detect the grid as a reconciliation field which links the captured the ID numbers with the source data table.

Design an ID grid

1.) Add a checkbox area on the segment and double click on it to open Mark Area Properties and set up the style and attributes of the ID grid.

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2.) Change the number of #Rows and #Columns

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Design an ID grid and save as a preset style for when you want to used it again.

3.) Edit the Mark Values for each checkbox in the grid.

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4.) In Mark Area Settings, check the boxes to reconcile the captured ID number with a source data record and to combine the captured checkbox characters to read as a single number.

Barcode Area

A barcode area is added to the segment and is used for affixing barcode labels of your own choosing, to the printed forms.

The Barcode area is a key field which is used to capture barcode labels for either of these purposes:

  • Form Identification and Reconciliation of the captured response data with the respondent's record in your data table.
  • Identifying something particular about the respondent, for example in a healthcare assessment to identify a disease or symptom.
  1. Add Barcode Area
  2. Modify the Size and Appearance
  3. Set Barcode Reader Area Properties

Add a Barcode Area

Click on the Barcode Area tool, then click on the segment.

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A barcode area with 4 corners will be placed on the segment.

Modify the Barcode Area Size

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Modify the size of the Barcode Area by dragging the corners with your mouse, or use the Element panel and re-size the area suit the size and style of the barcode labels. Important: barcode labels should fit neatly within the borders of the barcode area.

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In the recognition preview the Barcode area is detected as a fragment.

Set Barcode Area Properties

Double Click on the barcode area or click 'Set Properties' to open 'Barcode Reader Area Properties.' to modify the Barcode Area Design, Captured Data and Export Settings.

Barcode Tool

ID Barcodes are not normally added to segments because they could cause a detection error with the segment barcodes.

Barcodes of your own choosing for identifying and linking captured data to respondents, can be created in the segment. Add a barcode with the barcode tool and select your barcode type.

Image Tool

Create an area on the Segment page in which to load an image.

Use images saved as .svg, .png or .jpg image files.

1.) Click on the Image tool and then Click on the page to add an image area.

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2.) Double click in the image area to open 'Image Properties', or click 'Select Image' in the 'Image Area' panel.

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3.) Select Retain Shape to keep the image in proportion.

4.) Click 'Load Image' and browse for the image to open it.

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Click OK.

Lines and Shapes

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Draw shapes or lines on the segment page. Click a tool and then on the page and drag to re-size, or select the object to change the dimensions in the Element panel.

circle elements

Use the Element panels to change dimensions, style, border or background fill of the shapes.

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Select the object to arrange or align.

Segment Properties

Click on a blank part of the segment to see the segment properties panel.

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**Measurement: **Pixels, Millimeters, Centimeteres, Inches

Orientation: ****Portrait or Landscape

Preset Size: A custom segment size or a Preset segment size. Click the Apply Settings button for changes to take effect.

Width and Height: The Maximum segment width must equal the form width less left and right margins. The maximum height of the segment equals form height less the size of the form heading and the bottom margin.

Click Apply Settings for any changes to take effect.

Set Properties opens the Segment Properties dialog where you can change some of the default segment settings.

Segment Details - Change the defaults for the segment title and other information

General Settings - Change the default Recognition Settings, Mark Aggregation rule settings or Segment Barcode Settings

Duplication Defaults - Change the default Captured Data Fieldname and the Duplication Settings.


Segment Barcodes

The segment barcodes are automatically generated when the segment is created. They are located at the top right and bottom left of the segment area and are used by FormReturn during form processing, to detect the location of mark areas and key fields. The Segment Barcodes can be enlarged for better detection in form processing. You would only need to do this if the scanned image quality on a form test preview isn't good. To enlarge the segment barcodes, click "Set Properties" to open Segment Properties, and click "General". Scale the size of the segment barcodes in "Segment Barcode Settings". Scale: 5 is the largest size, then click OK.

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The Segment Barcodes are highlighted blue.

Segment Recognition Preview

Click the Recognition Preview tab

Preview Check Barcodes and Mark Area Fragments for detection by the software, to make sure they have been added correctly.

Full guide to Recognition Preview

Segment Design Features

Duplicate Elements
Alignment Tools
Snap to Grid


Save your work. (command / control S) or Click File and choose Save.


Empty Text Areas can't be seen if they are not selected. Drag the Select tool across the page to locate text areas and Double click in a text area to start typing.

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Zoom to 75% to see the whole segment at one time. Good for making selections of large areas


Click Undo in the Edit menu to undo the last step. Hold down command/control Z or find it in the Edit menu.


Preview Check the segment regularly to make sure what you have added can be detected by FormReturn.

Duplicate Elements

The quickest way to design a segment, is to add the text and checkboxes for the first question, then duplicate the question area, to make as many question areas as needed or will fit on the page.

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1.) Select the Element / Elements you want to duplicate. Right mouse click on the selection and click Edit then Duplicate, to open the 'Duplicate Element(s)' dialog, or choose 'Duplicate' from the Edit menu in the main Menu bar.

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Duplicate Elements Dialog.

2.) Select the number of horizontal or vertical duplicates to make and modify the spacing if needed. It will depend on the size of the element / elements to be duplicated, as to how many will fit on the page.

3.) Captured Data Field Naming: for checkbox mark areas Fieldname Prefix: Optionally rename the prefix for the Captured Data Fieldname. Fieldname counter starts at: Optionally change the start number for the fieldname counter.

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4.) Naming Direction: For multiple columns of mark areas on the segment, optionally choose whether the fieldnaming is to be numbered from top to bottom or left to right.

5.) Click 'Duplicate'.

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6.) Edit the text in each question.

Alignment Tools

Located at the bottom of the Segment Editor is the Alignment Toolbar used for alignment and equal spacing of a selection of the elements on the segment.

**alignment toolbar

Hovering the mouse over each icon in the toolbar will highlight what each alignment tool does.

Align Tops alligns the tops of selected areas with each other.
Align Bottoms alligns the bottoms of selected areas with each other.
Align Lefts alligns the left sides of selected areas with each other.
Align Rights alligns the right sides of selected areas with each other.
Align Horizontal Centers alligns the center of selected areas horizontally.
Align Vertical Centers alligns the center of selected areas vertically.
Distribute Horizontal Spacing equalizes the horizontal spacing between selected areas.
Distribute Vertical Spacing equalizes the vertical spacing between selected areas.

An example of how to align selected elements on the Segment

Not aligned and looks messy.


  1. Select all of the Checkbox Areas that need to be aligned.

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  1. Cick "Align Horizontal Centers". This will align the Elements so they are directly under one another.

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  1. Click "Distribute Vertical Spacing". This will put equal vertical spacing between each of the Elements.

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Snap to Grid

This is a grid that can be turned on and used for placing elements which will click into place on the segment.

To turn on Snap to Grid, select it from the Edit Menu of FormReturn.

Click Show Grid in the Edit Menu, to show or hide the grid.

Click Adjust Grid Size in the Edit Menu, for different grid sizes. There are 5 sizes from very small to very large. Keep clicking Adjust Grid Size until the grid is the right size for aligning the elements you are adding.

When adding elements they will adjust themselves between the closest grid dots.