I am still typesetting old exams, and I turn to you lads and lassies for help. At the moment I have most of the actual exams typed in, and is currently typing in answers for them.

The problem I run into is that it is quite hard distinguishing the actual exam questions and notes from the solutions.

Now I was thinking of ways to make them different enough, but not so different that it becomes a eyesore reading it. My thoughts was to either alter the text ever so slightly or, tint the background. Perhaps in a relaxing colour, perhaps beige. I guess another way is to add vertical lines or some other form of clear border. Or do nothing at all.

\usepackage{mwe} % new package from Martin scharrer

\section*{Problem 1}

\paragraph*{a) } Prove that donkeys can fly if and only if they have more arms than penguins. \medskip

        \caption{Caption for image}
        \label{fig:some figure to accompany the answers}


\section*{Problem 2}

\paragraph*{a) } If $(x+y)^2=99$ and $x^2+y^2 = 11$ what is $x\cdot y$? \medskip

(x+y)^2 & = 99 \\
x^2 + y^2 + 2x\cdot y & = 99 \\
x\cdot y & = 44 \\
Q.E.D \medskip

Now is it posible finding $x-y$ from the information above? \medskip

Therefore it is not possible finding $x-y$ from the information given.


Here is an MWE, my actual code is more complicated but I guess this will do.

My question is Is it preferable to distinguish the answers and questions further, and if yes; what is the best way to do so?

  • 2
    I'd recommend putting the answers within an mdframed with a light background color and frame. Or you could use some kind of ornament to separate the question from the answer such as End of paragraph with ornament. – Peter Grill Jun 21 '12 at 23:55
  • @Peter Grill I liked the idea of using mdframed, for an example I think \mdfdefinestyle{mystyle}{leftmargin=0pt,% linecolor=Lavender,backgroundcolor=Ivory} Looks good, but the problem is with the figures? I guess I could start and stop the mdframed, but that would look weird, and I would preffer a somewhat more automated solution. – N3buchadnezzar Jun 22 '12 at 0:13
  • You have to choose darker colors for the lines on the figures. I have figures on top of frames with a background color and they show up just fine. – Peter Grill Jun 22 '12 at 0:30
  • I am going to bed now. Will study this tomorow, but clearly this does not work. – N3buchadnezzar Jun 22 '12 at 0:34
  • 2
    Have you considered the exam style yet? It gives solution-groups a gray background. Personally I like the exams it produces a lot. – Bananguin Jun 22 '12 at 10:58

This is a subjective question, so I don't think that you'll get a universal answer. Personally, I find documents typeset by TeX to be too err... professional, or rather too formal, which is not always a good thing.

Personally, I like to use background colors and frames to make the answers stand out; and to randomize the frame a bit so that it doesn't look too boring. See this article in PracTeX Journal for details. As an example, below is the example file included in the article (please ignore the typo in the solutions!)

enter image description here

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