Sapling Learning > Writing Chemical Equations

Document created by Digital Support on Jan 25, 2017Last modified by Digital Support on Nov 22, 2017
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The chemical equation module gives you the tools needed to represent chemical reactions in Sapling Learning. Subscripts, superscripts, phases, and different arrow types can be written using this tool. Grading is based on the elements and compounds, including the proper use of capitalization, the correct number of atoms (expressed as stoichiometric coefficients and subscripts), and formal charges (expressed as superscripts). The order of compounds does not matter as long as they appear on the appropriate side of the equation. This tool allows you to write out chemical equations to look as much like paper homework as possible.

Please note that the preferred browser for using the chemical equation editor is Google Chrome. The editor is not compatible with the Microsoft Edge browser. For more information, see the help article What are the minimum system requirements for your media?.


Tool Details

Here is a description of the tools available in the chemical equation module:

Chemical equation toolbar with input box and tool buttons.

  1. Grab/Move tool. Use this tool to move around within the module if your equation goes off the right side of the module (rarely used).
  2. Superscript tool. Select this to write formal charges ("+", "-"). Use arrow keys to move out of the superscript. You can also use the ^ key to superscript.
  3. Subscript tool. Use this tool to represent the number of atoms in a compound. Use arrow keys to move out of the subscript. You can also use the _ key to superscript.
  4. Isotope tool. Use this tool to write the proton and neutron symbols for an element.
  5. Stacked fraction tools. These tools allow you to write a fraction within the equation (rarely used).
  6. Multiplication dot tool. This tool is usually used to draw hydrated compounds (e.g. Na2HPO4•12H2O)
  7. Lowercase Greek alphabet tool. Use this tool to insert Greek letters into an equation.
  8. Uppercase Greek alphabet tool. Use this tool to insert capital Greek letters into an equation.
  9. Physical states tool. This tool can be used to insert the physical state of a compound or ion into the equation. You can also input physical states by simply typing an open parenthesis "(". The closed parenthesis ")" will automatically appear, and the phase can be typed manually.
  10. Reaction arrows tool. Use this tool to insert the appropriate reaction arrow into an equation. If you need to add reagents or symbols (e.g.) above or below the reaction arrow, simply move the cursor over or under the arrow.
  11. Reset button. Use this button (found on most modules) to reset the module to how it was when you first loaded the question. Usually, this will erase the stage, but if the question started with a partial equation, this button will reset the module to show that starting equation.

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