9b. Multiple-choice responses
a. There are many ways to type multiple choice responses for a test or quiz. You may create each
choice as a separate equation (remember, we use the word “equation” to denote anything created
with Equation Editor or MathType, regardless of whether or not it contains an equals symbol), or
you could include all the responses in a single equation and arrange them in various ways. Two
common ways to arrange the responses are to place them all on the same line of text or to put two
responses on one line and two on another line. We’ll deal with the first option here.
b. For this example, we’ll create the responses for this question:
1. Find the quotient:
c. One option would be to type the question and all the responses as a single equation, but we’ll type
the question text in Word and the division expression and responses in Equation Editor or
MathType. We’ll type all 4 responses as one object.
d. Assuming you’ve already typed the question, let’s work on the responses. Open Equation Editor as
you normally would, either from the
menu or by clicking the icon on your Word toolbar.
(This will be specifically Equation Editor. These steps will work, of course, in MathType as well,
but there will be separate steps for MathType later.)
e. We’re using Arial font and 11pt size, so adjust your
accordingly. If you don’t
remember how to do that, see page 3 of this handout.
f. We want to space the responses uniformly, and the best way to do that is to use a matrix. This will
be a 1-row, 4-column matrix, so go ahead and insert one of those in your document.
g. Change to
style, then type the letter a followed by a period and a space.
(Notice the space bar works just fine in
style.) Change to
. When you type the fraction, be sure to use the
, which is the one in the upper-right of the
Fraction and radical
h. An easy way to keep from switching from
four times is to copy what you just typed
(i.e., select the contents of the first cell with your mouse, then press Ctrl+C or Cmd+C to copy).
Now press Tab to go to the next cell, and paste the contents into that cell (Ctrl+V or Cmd+C is the
shortcut). Do the same with the remaining 2 cells, then edit the contents so that it looks similar to
the above example. We’ll adjust the spacing in the next step.
i. Since this is a matrix, and you already know how to adjust the column spacing in a matrix, go
ahead and adjust it to see what looks best. (I think somewhere in the range of 300-400% looks best,
but that’s just my opinion. Use whatever setting you like.)
j. In MathType, you have another tool that makes it even easier to create multiple-choice responses,
and easier to keep the spacing uniform from one question to the other. If you’re using MathType,
click on the
menu and make sure there’s a checkmark by
k. Notice above the ruler there are 5 arrows. These arrows represent 5 types of tabs that are available
in MathType. From left to right, these are:
1) Left-justified tab. This is the one selected in the screenshot below, and is the default. When you
use a left-justified tab, the left edge of the text will be aligned at the tab.
2) Center-justified tab. The center of the text is aligned at the tab stop.
3) Right-justified tab. The right edge of the text is aligned at the tab stop.
4) Relational tab. Use this tab only with more than one line of characters within your equation.
This will align equations or inequalities at any relational operator, such as
, and of
. (Basically, it will align on the equals, greater than, or less than signs from the
keyboard, plus anything on the
5) Decimal tab. Use this one also for more than one line of characters. This is for aligning a
column of numbers, regardless of whether or not a decimal point is present.
l. To set a tab stop, simply select the type of tab you want to use and click on the ruler below the
number or tick-mark where you want the tab to be. Caution: Each template slot has its own set of
tabs, so if you are inside a numerator slot (for example), and set a tab at the 1” mark, that tab will
not be set outside the fraction! In the example above, make sure your “insertion point” (i.e., cursor)
is outside the fraction before you set the tab. You won’t run into this problem if you set your tabs
prior to typing the MathType equation, but you won’t always know where you want the tabs set
before you start typing. Just be aware of this feature of tabs.
m. For our example, since we’re using tabs to align the multiple-choice responses, we don’t need our
4 matrix. You can use the matrix if you want, of course, but you wouldn’t use both a matrix and
n. One final point on tabs. You already know what the Tab key’s for when you’re typing in
MathType; it’s to move from one template slot to another, or to move out of the template. To move
to the next tab stop, you need to press the Ctrl+Tab keystroke combination.
Saving to the MathType toolbar:
Naturally you don’t want to have to go through the process of creating this for each question. You
could copy the responses from one question and paste them into another, then edit the responses, but
there’s an easier way. Using the example above, delete each response and in its place, insert a 1x1
matrix. Without the matrix, the insertion point (i.e., cursor) will appear after the “d.”, then to type the
“a” response, you’d have to click the mouse in that position. Having the 1x1 matrix in place before you
save it to the toolbar gives the insertion point a place to land when you click on the item to use it next
time. See graphic below:
The 1x1 matrix is also handy for other purposes, such as the generic quadratic formula and the generic
degree polynomial you see on the Algebra toolbar above. (The green rectangles in the toolbar
expressions are just empty template slots.) It’s a good idea to save the 1x1 matrix to the toolbar for
easy access in future situations such as this. You see it saved above on the small Algebra toolbar.
The 1x1 matrix is also useful, but not really needed, for situations where you want to retain something
you’ve nudged, but you want to remove the contents from the template slot. Take for example the
definite integral we saw earlier in the handout. If you save the integral with nudged limits to the
toolbar but delete the limits first, the nudging is removed. The 1x1 matrix would work in this situation,
but a better way to do it is to insert an integral symbol with empty limits & integrand. Double-clicking
a limit will select the limit slot itself, allowing you to nudge it. Nudge them both, then select the
integral and drag to the toolbar.
10. Using Word’s AutoCorrect Feature
Some things you create with Equation Editor or MathType are repetitive – the grid discussed earlier,
for example. If you’re creating a worksheet on graphing linear functions, you’ll quite likely have 10 or
20 of these, so it’s very useful to be able to insert a grid with just a few keystrokes – and without even
opening up MathType!
Note: There is a more detailed tip on our web site for using Word’s AutoCorrect and AutoText
features. You can access this tip at
(This will be done using Equation Editor. If you are using MathType, the steps are similar. Since many
of the things we’ve done in this session has been done with Equation Editor, you may wonder what’s
so much better about MathType? There’s a page later in the handout that discusses this.)
Setting up AutoCorrect to Insert Equation Objects
a. For the purpose of this mini-tutorial, we’ll
use the grid created earlier. Insert the 6-by-6
grid into your document:
b. If it doesn’t appear to be perfectly square,
you can make it square by clicking on it with
your right mouse button (Mac, Ctrl+click),
doesn’t appear on
the right-click menu, select
menu. (In Word 2007,
won’t be in the right-click
menu. You’ll need to click on the
Tools > Format
tab in the Ribbon, then
adjust the size in the
c. Adjust the height and width to the same
number – whatever you want them to be.
Make sure the
Lock aspect ratio
d. Regardless of whether you re-sized your grid
or not, make sure it’s still selected (as the
one is to the right). If it’s not selected, click
once on it with your left mouse button.
e. With the grid selected, choose
menu. If you’re
using a version of Word earlier than Word
2002 – the one that comes with Office XP –
it will just say
. If you’re using
Word 2007, click the
left, and the
will appear on the right.
f. Note the grid is already in the box
underneath the word
. If it’s not there,
then you didn’t have it selected in step d
above. Go back and repeat steps d & e. (You
must do it this way; you can’t copy the grid
and paste it into the box.)
g. In the
box, type in whatever code you want to enter in Word to be replaced with the grid.
More on this later, but I chose a shortcut I could remember: “gr” for “grid”, “6” meaning “6-by-6”,
and “a”, meaning it has axes.
, then click
i. Now that you’re back in your document, delete the grid and try your AutoCorrect entry. Type
(or whatever code you entered), followed by the spacebar. Your code should be replaced with a
Here are some notes about what we just did:
1. I had you hit the spacebar after the code, but there’s nothing magical about the spacebar. The
important thing is that you tell Word that you’re through typing that word, and in this case, our
. Think about what normally “terminates” a word – a space character, any
punctuation character, a Tab, a new line, or even a mathematical operator (such as < or =). In fact,
any of these things will replace your code with your grid (or whatever you entered into the
2. The code I chose –
– may seem a little cryptic to you, and you may not think you can
remember that one. That’s fine; choose whatever code you’ll remember, but be careful! You don’t
want to choose a word that will likely appear in any document. The words “grid” or “graph”, for
example, appear often, so you don’t want to choose these. I’m 100% sure the code I chose will
never come up in any document ever – unless I want a 6-by-6 grid.
3. What other uses for AutoCorrect can you think of? I can think of several:
qu or qform for
imat3 or simply i3 for
1 0 0
0 1 0
0 0 1
xb or xbar for
…and so on.
4. You can use AutoCorrect for even more complex objects than the ones we’ve used, but that’s
really a subject to deal with elsewhere – like in the Tip I mentioned earlier that’s available on our
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested