Sapling Learning > Clicking an atom adds H, charges, or dots

Document created by Digital Support on Jan 25, 2017Last modified by Digital Support on Oct 3, 2017
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If clicking an atom causes undesired symbols to appear (H, charges, or dots), it's because your system thinks you are holding down a shortcut key on your keyboard. The key may not look physically stuck, but tapping the appropriate key a few times usually fixes the issue.


How to fix it

  1. Tap the appropriate key a few times on your physical keyboard. For issues with H, tap the key for the letter H. For issues with charges, tap the plus (+) and minus (–) keys. For issues with dots, tap the colon (:) or period (.) key.
  2. If that doesn't help, pull up your on-screen keyboard. Make sure that none of the virtual keys appear to be pressed when your hands are off the keyboard.

    Here's how to access the on-screen keyboard.
    For PC: WindowsKey-R (or Windows button at the bottom-left of screen). Type "osk" then enter.
    For Mac: System Preferences > International Settings > Input Menu > Keyboard Viewer

  3. If neither of these options fix the issue, you may be able to select the necessary atoms by dragging a box around them rather than clicking directly on them.


How to remove the extraneous symbols that you already added to your answer

Once you've solved the issue so that clicking atoms no longer adds extraneous symbols, you can use the shortcut keys as intended to remove those symbols.

Or, click the revert button , if available, to clear your work and return the answer module to its original state.

  • H: To decrease the number of H's, hold down shift and the H key (shift+H) while you click on the atom. Do not try to use the eraser button to remove H from a CHx group.
  • Charge: To decrease charge, hold down the minus (–) key while you click on the atom. To increase charge, hold down the plus (+) key while you click on the atom. Or, if the eraser button is available in your question, you can delete the charge.
  • Dots: Click the eraser button  if available, then click on the dots to delete them. If no eraser button is present, there's no way to remove dots. Please contact tech support to reset your question.

If you accidentally delete part of the molecule, use the revert button  to return the answer module to its original state. If the revert button is not available, neither is the eraser tool.