1

I give a display of the first three problems from a multiple-choice test in algebra. The choices in the first problem are displayed using a tabbing environment, and the choices in the second and third problems are set using an enumerate environment. I would like to get displays for the choices using only one environment in accordance to the following specifications.

The (invisible) left margin of the environment should be at a distance of \hphantom{\noindent {\bf 1.) }} from the left margin.

Since I am using the default font size of 10pt, the inter-line distance is 12pt. (A typesetter said that the ratio of line height to font size equal to 1.2 leaves enough space between lines for a harmonious look.) The choices in the second problem are fractions set in displaystyle mode. What should the inter-line spacing be in that case? I think the inter-line spacing used in an align environment or a gather environment would be appropriate.

The first columns in the first and third problems are to be aligned with the column in the second problem.

In the first and third problems, the choices in the first row should be a.) and b.), the choices in the second row should be c.) and d.), and the choice in the third row should be e.). Also, the spacing between the columns should be 2.5in. How do I specify this using \begin{multicols}{2} before an environment that makes tables?

\documentclass{amsart}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{amsfonts}

\usepackage{enumitem}
\usepackage{multicol}

\begin{document}



\noindent {\bf 1.) }$A$, $B$, $C$, $D$, $E$, and $F$ are six points in the Cartesian plane. A line is drawn if, and only if, it contains two of these points. If no line contains three of the given points, how many lines are drawn?
\begin{tabbing}
\noindent\hphantom{{\bf 1.) }} \= \hspace{2.5in} \= \kill
\> {\bf{a.) }}15    \> {\bf{b.) }}18 \\
\> {\bf{c.) }}20    \> {\bf{d.) }}30 \\
\> {\bf{e.) }}36
\end{tabbing}
\vskip0.25in


\noindent {\bf 2.) }A rectangular pen enclosing 4,000 square meters is to be made from split rail fencing along the span of one side of a barn. The pen is to be divided into three smaller, rectangular regions with more split rail fencing. If the side of this barn bordering the pen is $y$ meters long, how many meters of split rail fencing is needed to make the pen?
\begin{multicols}{2}
\begin{enumerate}[label=\bfseries \alph*.), itemsep=\baselineskip, itemindent=0mm]
  \item $y + \dfrac{4,000}{y}$
  \item $y + \dfrac{16,000}{y}$
  \item $y + \dfrac{16,000}{3y}$
  \item $3y + \dfrac{8,000}{3y}$
  \item $3y + \dfrac{16,000}{3y}$
\end{enumerate}
\end{multicols}
\vskip0.25in


\noindent {\bf 3.) }Some bacteria are being cultured in a laboratory. The population of the bacteria in the culture $t$ days after the culture began is modeled by the function
\begin{equation*}
P(t) = 3,000 \left(2^{\frac{t}{4}}\right) .
\end{equation*}
By how many bacteria does the population increase from the end of the $4^{\mathrm{th}}$ day to the end of the $16^{\mathrm{th}}$ day?
\begin{multicols}{2}
\begin{enumerate}[label=\bfseries \alph*.), itemsep=\baselineskip, itemindent=0mm]
\item 6,000 \\
\item 24,000 \\
\item 36,000 \\
\item 42,000 \\
\item 48,000
\end{enumerate}
\end{multicols}


\end{document}
3

You can do that with the tasks package, which emulates a multicolumn enumerate environment. Demo with first your original tabbing environment, then two tasks environments. A few words of explanation: label-offset is the distance between label and item; item-indent is like leftmargin in a list and we have the relation: item-indent=label-width+item-indent.

\documentclass{amsart}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{amsfonts}
\usepackage{enumitem}

\usepackage{tasks}
\settasks{label-format=\bfseries, label-offset=0.85em,counter-format =tsk[a].) , column-sep =8pt, item-indent=4em, after-item-skip=0ex plus 0.25ex, after-skip=3ex}

\begin{document}

\noindent {\bf 1.) }$A$, $B$, $C$, $D$, $E$, and $F$ are six points in the Cartesian plane. A line is drawn if, and only if, it contains two of these points. If no line contains three of the given points, how many lines are drawn?
\begin{tabbing}
  \noindent\hphantom{{\bf 1.) }} \= \hspace{2.5in} \= \kill
  \> {\bf{a.) }}15 \> {\bf{b.) }}18 \\
  \> {\bf{c.) }}20 \> {\bf{d.) }}30 \\
  \> {\bf{e.) }}36
\end{tabbing}
\vskip0.25in

\noindent {\bf 2.) }A rectangular pen enclosing 4,000 square meters is to be made from split rail fencing along the span of one side of a barn. The pen is to be divided into three smaller, rectangular regions with more split rail fencing. If the side of this barn bordering the pen is $y$ meters long, how many meters of split rail fencing is needed to make the pen?
\begin{tasks}[after-item-skip=0.6ex plus 0.5ex](2)
  \task $ y + \dfrac{4,000}{y} $
  \task $ y + \dfrac{16,000}{y} $
  \task $ y + \dfrac{16,000}{3y} $
  \task $ 3y + \dfrac{8,000}{3y} $
  \task $ 3y + \dfrac{16,000}{3y} $
\end{tasks}

\noindent {\bf 1.) }$A$, $B$, $C$, $D$, $E$, and $F$ are six points in the Cartesian plane. A line is drawn if, and only if, it contains two of these points. If no line contains three of the given points, how many lines are drawn?
\begin{tasks}(2)
  \task 15
  \task 18
  \task 20
  \task 30
  \task 36
\end{tasks}

\end{document} 

enter image description here

  • I may prefer using the package tasks. The choices in the second problem should be a.), b.), c.), d.), and e.) - you are missing the periods. (I guess that this edit may be made.) What is the inter-line spacing? I guess it is measured in units of ex. I am guessing from your specified option after-item-skip=0.6ex plus 0.5ex that it is 0.6ex. What is plus 0.5ex? – user74973 May 15 '15 at 22:27
  • 1
    Here are the periods. The specified option after-item-skip is the rubber length that is added to the normal baselineskip. The default value I chose is 0ex plus 0.25ex, but with rows of fractions it was unsufficient, so I locally changed it. The plus part indicates how much stretching is accepted in order to fill the page. There also could be a minus part. Of course these plus/minus parts (typical of co-called rubber lengths) are useless if the \raggedbottom directive was enabled. The default is \flushbottom. – Bernard May 15 '15 at 23:43
  • Thanks. This is the display that I want. My only concern is that I have not heard of the tasks package. If I want to modify the displays of the choices, I wouldn't know how to do it. – user74973 May 16 '15 at 0:57
  • I won't need the stretching to fill the page because I will use \vfill\pagebreak. Is the inter-line spacing in text mode 0.6ex? Does the after-item-skip option determine the distance between rows? If it does, shouldn't after-item-skip=0ex determine that there is no distance between rows? – user74973 May 16 '15 at 0:58
  • 1
    Here is one. However I didn't say you shouldn't use the enumitem package Simply this one is designed for your problem. Note you should install it via your package manager, as it is part of TeX Live as well as of MiKTeX. – Bernard May 16 '15 at 16:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.