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Authoring Mode

Authoring Mode


Turn on authoring mode to access a range of ways to customize a Polypad including:

  • Edit advanced properties for tiles
  • Set global settings for the entire canvas. For example, turn off the ability to change the background grid
  • Select which tools appear in the bottom toolbar. For example, turn off the text-box or color-picker tools
  • Select which tile categories in the sidebar appear, or turn off the tile sidebar entirely.
  • Turn on and off actions for tile categories. For example, turn off the ability to cut polygons.
  • Add a Question Builder tile and drop-zone tile.

Keep reading for more information about each section.

When Polypad is used inside of Activity Builder, authoring mode is only available for teachers. Outside of Activity Builder, all users have access to authoring mode.

Advanced Tile Properties

In authoring mode, click on the advanced menu (⋮) to see additional properties for each tile:

  • Position: View the position of each tile on the canvas. Use these numbers to help with alignment of tiles.
  • Layer: Select Top, Default, or Back for each tile. Most tiles are set to Default. Text boxes, equations, and question builder tiles are set to Top, and the drop-zone tile is set to Back. Learn more here.
  • Interactivity: Customize the behavior of individual tiles:
    • Normal allows you to move, delete, and copy tiles, change the color, and access all options in the action bar.
    • Locked prevents you from making any changes to the given tile. You cannot select, copy, move, rotate or otherwise interact with it. You can edit locked tiles in authoring mode. Locked tiles have a dotted outline around them in authoring mode.
    • Invisible tiles are not shown on the canvas, but still cause other tiles to snap to them. Like with locked tiles, you can see and edit invisible tiles in authoring mode. Invisible tiles have a dotted outline and appear lighter in color in authoring mode
    • Clone when moving locks a tile in place, but allows you to create copies just by clicking and dragging, just like the tiles in the sidebar. This option is like creating an infinite pile of tiles.
    • Cannot move or delete locks a tile in one place, but allows users to select it and interact with some of its properties. For example, making a copy or rolling a die.

    Learn more here.

  • Rotatable: Turn off the ability for individual tiles to be rotated.
  • Alt Text: Edit the alternative text for each tile.
  • For some tiles, additional options only appear in authoring mode. For example, on fraction bars, the toggle to turn on and off the handles only appears in authoring mode.

Global Polypad Settings

In Authoring mode, toggles appear in the sidebar. Changes made to the top and bottom section will go live inside of authoring mode. Changes made to Tile Actions and Properties will only go live outside of authoring mode. For example, turning off “Rotate tiles” will still allow tiles to be rotated inside of authoring mode, but not outside of authoring mode. Alternatively, turning off “Grid selection panel” will turn off the option to change the grid inside and outside of authoring mode.

  • Polypad UI and Features: Use these toggles to control what options appear in the tool bar on the right of the canvas.
  • Tile Actions and Properties: These toggles will apply to all tiles on the canvas initially or those added to the canvas.
  • Display and Audio Options: Turning on alternate tile colors will change the colors of polygons and number bars in the tile menu.

Selecting Tiles and Tools

In Authoring mode, checkboxes appear above each tool on the bottom and next to each category of tiles in the sidebar. Use these checkboxes to turn off tools and/or tile categories. Anything unchecked will still be available inside of authoring mode. Exit authoring mode to see these changes applied. Use the Show tiles sidebar toggle to turn off the tile sidebar completely.

Action Bar Customization

In Authoring mode, an additional button appears in the action bar to customize what options will appear outside of authoring mode. For example, you can use this menu to control what will appear outside of authoring mode on fraction bars.

Settings made to one tile will apply to all tiles of that category, even those tiles not yet on the Polypad. So, settings made to one fraction bar will be in place for all fraction bars.

Enable All and Disable All

Use the Enable All and Disable All actions to select or un-select all options. When clicking Disable All, all toggles will be turned off and all checkboxes will become unchecked, including those in the action bar customization described above.

Question Builder and Drop-Zone Tile

In Authoring mode, a new section in the tile menu appears called Authoring Tools

  • Question Blank: In Authoring mode, you can change the location and enter in the correct answer for the question blank tile. Outside of authoring mode, the correct answer will change to a “?” and validation occurs for inputs. See below for a GIF of the question blank tile in use.
  • Drop Zone: In Authoring mode, you can change the location and settings of the drop zone tile. Outside of authoring mode, users can only add tiles to the drop zone.

Question Blank Tile: