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Thread: Displaying Slopes and Other Values as Fractions

  1. #1
    Sketchpad Developer
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    Displaying Slopes and Other Values as Fractions

    I recently received a tech-support question that asked
    -----------
    Is there a way
    to get sketchpad to display the slope of a line or segment in fractional
    form instead of in decimal form? That is, for example, can the
    sketchpad show this on screen:

    slope segment = 1/2 instead of
    slope segment = 0.5
    -----------
    The answer is "yes indeed," but it's slightly more complicated, because arbitrary real number values are not normally exactly equal to fractions with nice (small integer) numerators and denominators -- and you probably don't want to know that your slope is almost exactly 4382840/5791469. In fact, when we undertake to represent a real number as a rational number (the ratio of two integers), we usually want to have some control over the denominator. And that's what the Fractional Value tools do. There are three categories of tools here, for producing a fraction that's approximately equal to (1) the slope of a line, (2) the value of a point on a number line, or (3) some arbitrary numeric value. Each of them comes in three variants: (a) a tool that produces the closest fraction with a denominator no larger than 10, (b) a tool that produces the closest fraction with a denominator no larger than 20, and (c) a tool that requires an extra parameter that specifies the largest denominator allowed. (Thus the tool named "Fractional Slope to 10ths," in displaying the most accurate slope, might show "3/4" or "7/10" but never "15/19.")

    The tools are here: http://sketchexchange.keypress.com/s...surement-tools

    --Scott
    Last edited by Stek; 06-12-2012 at 10:31 AM.

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