The {tab} Operator

Several question types use the {tab} operator to specify answer key behaviors.


The {tab} operator is used in Answer to define answer key behaviors for several question types.

Question Type Behavior
Algebraic (includes mathPad, calcPad, and physPad questions using Algebraic grading) Separates the answer key from the grading statement used to compare the student's answer with the key.
Fill-in-the-Blank, chemPad, Marvin JS, Image Map Separates multiple acceptable answers in the answer key.
Matching Separates the first-column entry from the matching second-column entry.
Numerical Separates the answer key from an optional numerical tolerance for the question part.

Adding the {tab} Operator

To add the {tab} operator, either type the characters {tab} or click Add tab.You cannot enter {tab} by pressing the Tab key. You can also abbreviate {tab} as {}.

Note You cannot enter {tab} by pressing the Tab key.

Representing the {tab} Operator in Perl Strings Used in Answer

From time to time, you might want to include the {tab} operator in a Perl string — usually defined in Question — that you will use in Answer to specify an answer key. This is usually the case for Fill-in-the-Blank questions for which the number of alternative answers might vary.

Inserting the characters {tab} in a Perl string will not add the {tab} operator when the string is used in Answer. Instead, you must use one of two approaches:

  • Specify the {tab} operator literally in Answer. You can define multiple variables for the alternative answer keys and separate them with literal {tab} operators. Any null answer keys are ignored.
  • Specify the {tab} operator using the characters \t in a double-quoted Perl string that is used in Answer.
    Note This method might not work for chemPad or Marvin JS questions.