Printed Survey - InDesign or Illustrator?

Hi! I have to design a survey/questionnaire with about 27 questions, and I was wondering if it would be better to do it in InDesign or Illustrator. It will have checkboxes, and blank spaces to write on.

I’d do something like that in InDesign.


I second what SteveO said, definitely InDesign.

I would likely use Illustrator since, to me, it’s more flexible for small jobs, like the one you mentioned.

InDesign, for me, works best on multi-page documents that require stylistic consistency throughout and/or contain placed images of various sorts.

1 Like

Thanks. I was wondering which of the 2 would have more helpful tools for a survey/questionnaire.

I agree that Illy is great for small projects at time, but InDesign has IMO better control with leader tabs, anchored check boxes, etc.

I pretty much use InDesign for all layout work that is going to be printed.
Illustrator is a vector drawing tool. It has poor color controls and doesn’t handle large imagery well - which probably doesn’t apply in this case.

Besides, 27 questions is probably multi-page, which InD handles far better than Illy IMO.

I don’t believe either of them have tools specifically to assist in creating surveys. Some typefaces have option-key alternates that’ll give you checkboxes and whatnot.

1 Like

There are typically several ways of doing most anything in the Adobe core apps. Most everyone who uses them develops their own preferred ways of doing things. I’ve always found it frustrating to take on someone else’s files and work with them since they’re invariably built in ways that seem awkward and unfamiliar to me.

For me the difference between Illustrator and InDesign is similar to that between a sports car and a pickup truck. Both will get you to your destination, but which to use depends, both, on personal preference and what needs to be hauled.

InDesign 100% It’s also easier output as an interactive pdf. If you open ‘Window’ > ‘Interactive’ > ‘Buttons and forms’ you have all the tools you need for text fields, check boxes or radio buttons etc., and then export as an interactive pdf and done.

Also, if you move on from that job, and another designer needs to re-use/revise that file, that it’s in the [more] appropriate application.

Illustrator and InDesign are tools in a toolbox. Illustrator is a hammer, InDesign is a screwdriver. The survey you want to create is a screw. What tool do you want to use?

But just out of curiosity, why not use a service like Survey Monkey? It has some nice backend features for tracking the data.

1 Like

Thank you! It’s a printed physical survey that is going to be handed out to people or mailed. But InDesign makes more sense because I can save a version as interactive PDF (as you say) which they may need at some point.

1 Like

For a list with tick boxes I draw a small box then cut and paste it as an Anchored Object into the text. This ensures that the box moves with the text if you add lines, change leading, change text size or whatever.

You can use a box from Dingbats in the text but then if you need to change the text you have 2 fonts to contend with.

1 Like