Technical Help


Using NRICH with a small screen

NRICH uses a fixed width page layout which fits within a 1000 pixel wide screen at 100% zoom. So, if you can, adjust the resolution of your display so its width is 1000 pixels or more. However, you may have an old small screen, or you may need to use NRICH with a data projector limited to an 800 pixel wide screen. It's very easy. Simply use the scroll bars, and you'll find that we've adjusted the line length of all problem and article texts so they fit onto an 800 pixel wide screen at 100% zoom.

In the Firefox, Safari, and Opera browsers, you can adjust the browser zoom controls to reduce the page to fit. However, all versions of Internet Explorer that we've tested have buggy zoom controls and are best left set at 100%. The IE bugs cause misplaced inline mathematics.

Printing

In most modern browsers you should get the best results by choosing File > Print from your browser menu. In Internet Explorer you will get better results if you first follow the 'printable page' link. 

Choice of Browser

NRICH requires a modern (IE10+ or other) HTML5 capable browser with Flash Player installed. Recently created animations do not require the Flash Player.

If you only have Internet Explorer 8 or 9, then please upgrade or switch to Chrome or Firefox or Opera or Safari. Your experience browsing the web will be better everywhere -- not just on NRICH.

Displaying Mathematical Notation

We use MathJAX to display mathematical notation. We write maths using TeX or LaTeX, which is then processed by MathJAX - a javascript library - running inside your browser. Right clicking on any mathematical notation will give you a menu where you can adjust your display.

As always, we do recommend you avoid Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 because their javascript interpreters are buggy and slow. IE9 is better but still has layout issues.

* Important *

If you do use IE, make sure it is configured to decompress gzip encoded javascript correctly. In the Internet Options dialog, in Advanced, there are two relevant HTTP 1.1 settings. The first is "Use HTTP 1.1" which should be checked. The other is "Use HTTP 1.1 through proxy connections" which should also be checked. Unfortunately, the default here is false which will hit many schools that use IE through a proxy server.

 

Accessing Flash animations

The NRICH site makes good use of the free Adobe Flash Player for its rich media content, such as exploratory mathematics, games, interactive puzzles and movies. Chances are that Flash is already installed on your computer, but it's worth checking that you are using the latest version. There's a link to download or update your Flash Player at the bottom of every page.

Tablets and mobiles do not support Flash. There are a number of Apps that aim to provide Flash player or Flash browser facilities. NRICH can be found in the Puffin Academy library for instance. However, not all animations will run successfully in this way, so we advise testing in situ in advance.

Full Screen Versions

Many of our Flash animations have a link to a Full Screen Version above them. This opens the Flash animation in its own page so it can grow to the full size of the browser page, so making it more useful on an interactive white board. To return to NRICH from the full screen version, simply press your browser's Back button.

If you only see a blank screen when you click on a Full Screen Version link, then you are probably running a copy of Internet Explorer that needs some settings changed. To fix the problem, go to the Tools menu, choose Internet Options, and select the Advanced tab. There, look for the option described as 'Allow Active Content to Play in Files on My Computer'. This option should NOT be checked. Internet Explorer allows direct access to networked animations, or to local animations, but not both at the same time.

Some more recent animations have a Full Screen button inside the animation itself. This will grow the animation to fill the whole computer screen. Use the ESC key to return to normal viewing in this case.

Accessing Java animations

In order to view some of the NRICH website's interactivities, you may need to install the free Java Plugin . You may need to do this even if you have a version of Internet Explorer preconfigured with Microsoft's java.

The iPad does not support Java animations.
 

How 'Search NRICH' works

There are lots of ways to find material on NRICH. You may be looking for material linked from the curriculum mapping documents in which case you should start there. You may want to find something that you know was published a few months back - in which case try Past Issues . For most other purposes - whether you want to search through text, titles, or topics - it's best to start by typing some words into the Search NRICH box.

It helps a little to know how this works...

Using the Search NRICH box

There are two phases to the search. The second phase only happens if the first phase fails to find anything. Both phases search in resource text, resource titles, and resource topics (sometimes known as tags)

Phase 1 - a word search

If you type in geometry algebra you will find documents containing both words. Typing more words will find documents containing some or all of the words you type, ranked according to how many are found, how close they are together, and whether they are team favourites.

This phase of the search will ignore many common words that occur so often they are unhelpful in finding material. It also ignores words of less than 4 letters, and any string of characters that does not make an English word. For example, in phase 1, mul and mult will be ignored, but multi , multiple , and multiply will all be used.

Phrase searches are not supported, so don't use quotation marks.

It's worth taking the trouble to cast your search in a form that will be picked up by phase 1, because the search can then rank your results by how good a match they are. If your search terms appear close together in the resource, it is likely to appear near the top of the search results.

The NRICH team has some favourite resources which we know you will appreciate. These too will appear high in phase 1 results.

Phase 2 - a string search

If phase 1 fails to find anything at all, a phase 2 search will happen. In this phase, the search will attempt to match the complete string of characters that you typed in the Search NRICH box. In our example, mul and mult will be ignored by the phase 1 search, but will turn up many matches in the phase 2 search.

In phase 2, everything you type is used - spaces and punctuation included.

The Search Results

The main list of search results appears below some links that may help you to refine your search. Use these links to select a problem, game, article, package or key stage. The links to Matching Titles and Matching Topics take you to result pages where these have matched.

Note that these refinement links only appear if they lead to at least one matching resource. You won't be led to an empty results page if you click on them.