- Begin by highlighting the text needing randomized.NOTE: Text must be contiguous in order to be randomized later. Any additional text, such as manual page headers, will need to be removed temporarily.
- Next click Table > Convert > Text to Table
- A new window, “Convert Text to Table,” will appear.
- Ensure that the following settings are set at their default:
- Table size - “Number of columns” set to 1NOTE: While we will add another column later, it is important to maintain the information as-is; thus, we choose only one column for now.
- AutoFit behavior - “Fixed column width” is checked
- Table style: (none) - Choose Paragraph from the “Separate text at” section NOTE: This will allow MS Word to create an individual table cell for each question and individual answer. However, we will correct this in the next few steps.
- A new table will be created containing the text.
NOTE: Some cleanup may be necessary at this point; delete any empty rows created by this process.
- Highlight the cells containing the questions and their respective answers only.
- Right-click the highlighted area and select Merge Cells.
- The questions and their subsequent answers will now be contained in one cell.
- Repeat these steps until all sections are contained in their respective cells.
- Highlight the entire column containing the questions and answers.
- From the menu, choose Table > Insert > Columns to the Left.
- Save the Word document as your original order (i.e., “original_file.doc”, etc.)
- In this new column, we will insert a randomly generated list, starting from the number 1 to however many questions we have to randomize. Such a list can be produced at websites such as http://www.random.org/lists/.
- Highlight the randomized list and COPY it to your Clipboard.
- Once you have a randomly-generated numerical list, highlight the new column and Paste the number list to this column.
NOTE: If the new column has two sets of numbers, as shown here, be sure to highlight the column and turn OFF the Numbering format.
- Now, we use the numbered list to randomize all the questions.
- Highlight the entire table and choose Table > Sort from the menu.
- In the new menu, choose the following:
- Sort by: Column 1
- Type: Number
- Ascending (order)
- Click OK.
The table will now be randomized, as its numerical order has been sorted, based on a randomized list. This left-handed column can now be used as the questions’ order. NOTE: Using this method will allow text to retain its ‘hidden text’ feature, which contains the correct answer key. Otherwise, this hidden text is lost.
The table/cell borders may now be hidden, pending overall design choice.
The questions can now be randomized over and over, simply by:
- Opening the original file (with the blank column)
- Pasting a randomly-generated numerical list in the left
- Sorting the entire table by this new list