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Scripts for data acquisition with paper-based surveys

SDAPS is an open source (GPLv3, LPPL) optical mark recognition (OMR) program. It is written in python and has an integrated workflow with both LibreOffice and LaTeX to create questionnaires.

SDAPS Workflow

With SDAPS you create the questionnaire using either LibreOffice or LaTeX. After this some processing is done to collect the information about the survey (questions, and answers) and a printable PDF is created. The filled out questionnaires only need to be scanned in (example). SDAPS will do the optical mark recognition and can create a PDF report (example) or export the data. Optionally it is possible to manually correct the results using a graphical user interface.

Possible use cases for SDAPS include:

  • anonymous surveys
  • non-anonymous surveys
  • evaluation of lectures
  • automated data input
  • examinations

There is now a MailingList for questions related to SDAPS, if you are thinking about using SDAPS feel free to subscribe and ask questions. You can also look around on irc #sdaps on freenode (webchat).

For an introduction of how SDAPS is used and what can be done with it you can look at the Tutorial and Documentation. Should you have any further questions about SDAPS you can use the mailing list. If you find any issues, please report them in the Issue Tracker.

Should you find SDAPS useful and use it for any survey or similar, then please consider contributing to the project. A good first start is to subscribe to the mailing list or to join the IRC channel.


  • Open Source Software; use and modify it as you like (subject to the GPLv3+/LPPLv1.3c+)
  • Optical mark recognition (OMR) from scanned data
  • OpenDocument text (ODT) for creating questionnaires

  • LaTeX class for creating questionnaires

  • Supports any paper size
  • Multipage questionnaires, both simplex and duplex printing (up to 9999 pages with "code128" and "qr" style)
  • Different kinds of questions:
    • A mark type question (a score)
    • A choice of many, that may also include freeform fields
    • Freeform fields
    • The LaTeX class also supports more compact matrix configurations for these.
  • Creation of PDF reports for printout
  • Export of data to CSV files for further analysis (excluding image data)
  • Import of additional results from other sources.
    With this it is for example possible to merge data aquired via a webpage at a later point.

  • A GUI application to check the recognition and correct errors
  • Written in Python using a modular and extensible design


Overview of Changes in SDAPS 1.1.5 -- 21.09.2014

Important changes:

  • report: Fix import of PIL (Florian Rinke)
  • odt: Fix annotation on setup failure
  • gui: Fix memory leak
  • latex: Small improvements to class usability
  • translations: Fix LaTeX dictionary names.

New and updated languages:

  • Finnish
  • German

Overview of Changes in SDAPS 1.1.4 -- 04.08.2014

This is mostly a bugfix and translations release, as there was still some fallout from the refactoring done in the last release. Thanks to everyone who submitted patches to fix these!

Important changes:

  • dependency, build, and import fixes (#44, #46, and more)
  • fix layout changes in LaTeX and example (introduced in 1.1.2)
  • report: fix non A4 paper sizes (issue #41)

New and updated languages:

  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Spanish
  • German

Overview of Changes in SDAPS 1.1.3 -- 29.05.2014

With this release SDAPS has been restructured internally. There are two reasons for doing this. The first is to improve the API which simplifies the usage of it in custom scripts. Another point is that the old code was incompatible with the import handling of python 3. So doing this change is also a prerequisite for a future port to python 3.x.

Other changes include:

  • GUI: Fix an offset error with new GTK+ versions
  • GUI: Improved keyboard navigation (issue #30)
  • GUI: Improved mouse handling and overlay drawing
  • GUI: Show the questionnaire ID on the right side
  • GUI: Sort images by page number
  • LaTeX: Improved unicode support
  • LaTeX: Fixed precision issues in report generation
  • LaTeX: Fixed some whitespace issues in the LaTeX class
  • ODT: When stamping a single document, keep forms intact
  • reorder: Fix reordering of simplex documents
  • recognize: Slight changes in the OMR heuristics.
  • Fixed issues in the upgrade routine

New and updated translations:

  • German
  • Spanish

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