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Electronic Worksheets and Tests

Electronic worksheets are created using software that basically turns paper worksheets into digital files allowing students to interact with the worksheets on the computer. These files are generally created by scanning the paper document or worksheet into the selected program and then saving it as a picture (jpg, gif, bmp, or tif) or in the format of the program it was scanned through. These pictures can then be opened in the program or inserted as a picture into a Word document. The text and drawing tools can then be used to write and mark the answers. The text on the page cannot be changed or retyped.

Electronic worksheets of this sort can be teacher or student created by using a scanner to scan paper worksheets. PaperPort (Nuance Communications) and Omniform (Nuance Communications) are some examples of programs that have scanning software that will create an exact digital copy of worksheets.

Adobe Acrobat Professional can be used to scan exact copies of worksheets and allow the teacher to create form fillable worksheets for students. The students can then complete the worksheet in the free program, Adobe Reader. These form fillable worksheets must be completed and printed out immediately as they cannot be saved while in the process of completing the form.

Some scanning software programs allow for the document to be saved as a rich text document (.rtf). However, doing so does not necessarily mean that the document will be saved as an exact copy of the worksheet or test that was scanned.

For teachers who want to create tests and worksheets in digital format, Microsoft Word up to 2003 has a Forms Toolbar that can also be used to create accessible worksheets (Creating Accessible Forms in Microsoft Word). There are other programs that have features that allow the teacher to create multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and true/false questions such as TestTalker (Freedom Scientific).

Students who struggle with the mechanics of writing, due to physical limitations, may benefit from the use of electronic or digital worksheets in order to access the same worksheets as their peers. This can be done by using only the mouse, keyboard, or a combination of the mouse and keyboard.


 Resource Name

Web Address

Creating Accessible Forms in Microsoft Word



 Vendor Name

Web Address


(Paper Port 11 and Omniform 5.0)

Freedom Scientific

(Text Talker)