Make your own code
What kinds of codes can I make?
You can make two kinds of code:
- A math code like this, in pdf format. You can set many of the qualities of this, including the code message and math level.
- A symbols code like this, in pdf format.
What input must I provide?
To make a math code, you must give input on two screens. On the first screen, you must set the following:
Additionally, you may also give the document a title, to appear in bold on the first page. The last set of inputs on the first screen allows you to set the defaults for each section of the second screen. For example, if you want each code in your document to use the operators "+" and "-", then you can set this on the first screen and each section in the second screen will have those set.
- the number of math codes (sections) you want to make,
- the type of document you want (PDF or postscript), and
- whether or not you want the last page of the document to be an answer key.
On the second screen you set the following for each code (or section):
If a math code is chosen, you must set the following:
- the title for that section, to appear at the top in large letters,
- instructions for that section, to appear under the title in italics,
- the secret code itself, and
- whether you want a symbol code (with no math problems) or a math code.
- the mathematical operators to use (to use more than one, hold down the Ctrl button while clicking with your mouse),
- the ranges for the operands (in "3 + 5 = 8" the operands are 3 and 5),
- the problem layout (vertical means stacked, horizontal is like "3 + 5 = "),
- (if subtraction is used) whether or not negative answers are allowed, and
- (if division is used) whether or not fractional (non-integer) answers are allowed.
- Use the section title to ask a question about a topic you are studying, and make the secret code the answer.
- Make a scavenger hunt by hiding codes around the building, and have the secret from one code lead to the next code.
- For those who can't do math yet, try the symbols codes.
- Have students make codes for each other.
The program will return an error if you specify a secret message that is too long for the number of possible answers. For example, if your secret message is "This is a really long secret" (23 characters) but you specify the "+" operator with operands from 1 to 5 and 1 to 5 (only 9 possible answers), then each character cannot have a unique answer associated with it. So, for example, the answer 4 would need to be assigned to at least two characters, making the code breaking process impossible. If you want a long secret message, then you have to provide enough possible answers by adjusting the ranges of the operands.
This code generator is based on the math worksheet generator PMathgen, by Kenneth Knowles. I added the feature that lets you create secret coded messages after my son Craig kept asking for more and more secret math codes. I'd be glad to send you the source. Just email me. Please let me know if you find this program useful. I'd love to hear how you use it.
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You may find my email address in the following directory.
Page author: Andy Felt
Last modified: 21 Jan., 2004