I'm designing a questionnaire. I would like to do two things in particular in this design. I'm asking about both things in one question since I believe they are related:

First, I would like to have a random order for the items of the questionnaire. This part, I naively called \randomize in my WME (it's not actually working).

Second, I would like to call different names from my pool of names for the entire questionnaire. I don't know where to begin putting this into code.

Any randomising code I have looked at so far doesn't seems to be doing what I need. One of the more prominent reasons is that I would like to have maximum flexibility and be able to add sentences (and names) as I please.

Any help will be much appreciated – thanks a lot in advance.



\newcommand{\SENTi}{When did \NAMEii \ meet \NAMEi ?}
\newcommand{\SENTii}{What did \NAMEiii \ call \NAMEi ?}
\newcommand{\SENTiii}{Does \NAMEiv \ like haning out with \NAMEi ?}



  • You can't combine numbers and letters in a macro unless you use \csname ...\endcsname. See tex.stackexchange.com/questions/346260/… for example. – John Kormylo May 18 '18 at 14:35
  • @JohnKormylo But those are roman numbers which are made out of letters?! – Skillmon likes topanswers.xyz May 18 '18 at 15:07
  • Ah, so they are. One can still use \@roman to convert. – John Kormylo May 18 '18 at 15:51
  • @Johnkormylo - Yes, those are roman number, i.e. letters, which works just fine and I did that exactly for the reason that I cannot use numbers in macros. – Mat May 21 '18 at 8:42

According to the manual, the random seed (see \pgfmathsetseed) defaults to time*year (although \time*\year is too large for \pgfmathparse). That means that the seed will change at most once every minute.



\newcommand{\SENTi}{When did \NAMEii \ meet \NAMEi ?}
\newcommand{\SENTii}{What did \NAMEiii \ call \NAMEi ?}
\newcommand{\SENTiii}{Does \NAMEiv \ like hanging out with \NAMEi ?}

\newcommand{\randomize}[2]% #1=text part of csname, #2=number in list
{\bgroup% use local registers & definitions
    \expandafter\let\expandafter\tempa\csname #1\@roman\count1\endcsname
    \expandafter\let\expandafter\tempb\csname #1\@roman\count2\endcsname
    \global\expandafter\let\csname #1\@roman\count1\endcsname=\tempb
    \global\expandafter\let\csname #1\@roman\count2\endcsname=\tempa
    \advance\count1 by 1

%\AtBeginDocument{\pgfmathsetseed{\time}}% doesn't seem to change






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