Details View – Problem Properties & Custom Answer Spaces

Problem-Attic's Arrange tab now has a “Details view” where you can assign an objective to a problem, change its formatting, convert multiple-choice to free-response, and add a custom answer space.

Please note:  The Details view replaces the override button, or gear icon, that was in previous versions of Problem-Attic.

If you are most interested in custom answer spaces, you can scroll down this page and look at the examples, including:

3-minute lesson

In case you didn’t know, about 70% of the multiple-choice questions in Problem-Attic can be automatically converted to free-response.  This option pairs nicely with custom answer spaces.  To see them together, please try the following.

  1. Log in to Problem-Attic and start a new document.
  2. Select at least one multiple-choice question that can be converted to free-response. For this lesson, we recommend that it have a numerical answer.  An example is below.
  3. Click Arrange.
  4. In Grid or List view, click the thumbnail for your ‘convertible’ question, or click its number in the tree.
  5. Click Details.
  6. Put a checkmark next to the option, “Hide Choices”.
  7. For the answer space, drop down the Custom menu and choose “Griddable”.

    There are 26 griddable styles for state assessments, the SAT, AP Biology, and other standardized tests.  Choose an appropriate style for your grade and subject.  For Position, choose “Right” or “Below”, whichever you prefer.
  8. Click Make PDF.  Your question should appear as free-response with a griddable answer space.

More about the Details View

On the Arrange page, you can switch between Grid, List and Details view as often as you like.  Each has advantages.  Grid view is designed for moving problems, because the small-sized thumbnails can be dragged easily to a new position.  List view is good for scrolling through your problems at full size and removing any you don’t want (or, if you are a subscriber, editing or duplicating).  Details view is where you set an objective, change formatting options for a particular problem, or add a custom answer space.

Please note that Details view is different for problems and parts.  If you click on a problem number in the tree, or if you click a thumbnail in Grid or List view, then Details shows problem properties and answer space options.  If you click on a part in the tree, then you will see an option for adding directions.

Here are a few things you should know about problem properties and answer spaces.

Answer Space Examples

In the 3-minute lesson above, we introduced griddables.  The other types of answer spaces are blank lines, box or grid, coordinate graph, numberline, and empty.  What follows are examples of each, along with details about size, position and allowed values.

Blank lines

Notes about blank lines:  If you don’t specify a number, you’ll get a single blank line.  If you don’t specify a width, you’ll get about 1.5 inches on the right or left, or when below, the full width of the problem.

Box or grid

Notes about boxes and grids:  If you don’t specify a width or height, you’ll get about 1.5 inches and 0.3 inches respectively.  For graph paper, you’ll probably want to divide the grid into square units.  Otherwise, you can create table-like grids with arbitrary numbers of columns and rows.

Coordinate graph

Notes about coordinate graphs:  The graphs are always square with the same height and width and equal number of intervals per quadrant.  If you don’t specify a width, you’ll get about 1.5 inches.  Labels are meant to be short (maximum 5 characters) and are always formatted in math mode (with italicized letters).  The color option is ignored for tickmarks.


Notes about numberlines:  If you don’t specify a width, you’ll get about 1.5 inches.  Zero intervals will produce a single tickmark in the middle, which will get labeled with the starting integer (if any).  The allowed integer range is −9999 to 9999. The value for “evenly divisible” is like a skip rate for labels.  The value must work with both the number of intervals and the integer range.


Notes about “empty”:  This is a good option if you want to reserve space next to a problem.  The space can be used for students to show their work or write an answer.  If you don’t specify a width, it will default to about 1.5 inches.  An empty answer space should normally be positioned on the right.  If you position it on the left, it will effectively push over a problem.  If you would like space below a problem, you should use the workspace option instead, because you can control the height.

As always, we appreciate your feedback about new features.  Please let us know how you like the answer space options or how we can make them better.  Definitely let us know if we missed a grid-in answer type for your state, and we’ll add it.  You can write to us at