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Quizzler File Format

All Quizzler quiz files begin as plain text files using this special format. Quizzler for Palm allows you to import these text files from the Memo Pad (Quizzler Pro can import from Doc files too), and creates quiz database files from the text file. Once you have created the text file in the correct format, you use the "Import" button on the Quiz List screen to select the file and convert it.

Since you can make your own quizzes very easily just by creating a memo in the standard Memo Pad application that comes with every Palm OS device, this means that you can either use your desktop computer (Windows or Macintosh) to enter the quiz data, or if you have a Palm keyboard you can make your quizzes right on your Palm device.

Pocket PC Users: Version 3 of Quizzler for Pocket PC is available now. Pocket PC users should upgrade so you can use quizzes with the newer file format. Since Quizzler for Pocket PC does not currently have an "Import" function, you can use Quizzler Maker on your PC to make quizzes.

Long Quiz Format: See New Long Quizzler File Format for details on a new file format that is ideal for creating larger quizzes.

A Simple Quiz

The first two lines of every quiz must begin with the #quizzler tag and the #name tag. You follow these two lines with some number of question/answer lines and other optional special tags that are described below. Using these tags you can create quizzes that operate in a wide variety of ways for many different purposes.

Here is a very simple quiz text file that does not use any optional tags:

#quizzler
#name demo

What color is an apple?
red;blue;purple

What color is the sky?
blue;red;green;orange


(Note that blank lines are optional, but must not be found between a question and an answer. The first answer listed is always the correct answer)

Required Tags

#quizzler
Every quiz must begin with this tag on the first line. This is a marker that identifies this quiz as a Quizzler quiz. You can actually put anything you want after the tag, and doing so makes it easier to identify in a list of memos.

#name x
Every quiz must have this tag on the second line. "x" is the name of the quiz as seen by the PalmOS system after importing the text file, and is limited to 32 characters. For PocketPC systems, this tag is ignored (but must still be present).

Optional Tags

#author x
"x" is a string that will be displayed on screen with the other options when a quiz is selected. Usually this will contain the author's name and/or contact information. The string is limited to 63 characters.

#moreinfo
Use this tag to include more info about your quiz. In Quizzler 2.0, this extra info is available by tapping the "More" button on the Quiz Options scrreen. You might use this to include an explanation of your quiz, or a scoring table (like "5-10 correct = pretty smart"). The information you provide is limited to 255 characters.

#chapter x
Use this tag in the middle of your questions to insert chapter markers. If you are going to insert chapter markers, you should insert one right before the first question. A quiz with chapter markers will allow the user to take portions of your quiz (one chapter at a time), or the entire quiz. "x" is the name of the chapter and is limited to 23 characters.

#delimeter x
The normal delimter that separates answers is a semicolon. If you want to include semicolons within an answer, you need to choose a different character for your delimeter. "x" must be a single character.

#oneguess
Only one guess is allowed for each question, so if the guess is wrong, it won't be revealed which answer is correct. This only applies to multiple choice style quizzes.

#scoreatend
Use this tag to keep a user's score hidden until the quiz is over. Only one guess is allowed for each question (just like the #oneguess tag), and there will be no indication if each guess is right or wrong. This only applies to multiple choice style quizzes.

#nonavigate
Use this tag to disable all navigational functions while taking the quiz. This forces the user to answer each question in turn. This could also be useful as a "demo mode" setup in which a Palm is passed around a group and you want to keep things simple. This tag will disable the Next and Previous buttons, and the Goto menu item.

#timer x
This tag imposes a time limit for students taking the quiz. When the time limit expires, the quiz will end automatically. "x" is the number of seconds allowed for the quiz. (Starting with version 2.6, this no longer required the Pro version)

#useallanswers
This is a shortcut for creating a multiple choice quiz without coming up with all the possible (wrong) answers. You simply include one possible (correct) answer for each question, and while taking the quiz in multiple choice mode, the user will see 5 possible answers which have been randomly selected from all the other questions. For example, you could create a vocabulary quiz and provide only the correct answer for each question, but still take the quiz in multiple choice mode.

#norandom
Used to stop Quizzler from displaying answers in random order. See New Long Quizzler File Format for details.

#longformat
Used to swtich to different quiz format that is ideal for larger quizzes with longer answers. See New Long Quizzler File Format for details.

#newline
Sometimes you want to insert carriage returns (line feeds) into your questions or answers to get them to look better on the screen. If you use this tag near the beginning of the quiz, then you can insert a tilda (~) and when the question or answer is displayed on screen, a carriage return will occur in place of the tilda. For example, "what is this~formula" will appear on two lines.

#
Any tag that begins with "#" but doesn't match a valid tag will be ignored. You can use the symbol "#" followed by a space to insert comments into your quiz text file.

##x
This tag is actually inserted after a possible answer, just before the semicolon or end of line. "x" is the number of points that should be awarded for that answer. When using "special points" in this manner, only one guess per question is permitted (just like the #oneguess tag).

For example, your question/answer might look like this:

How many times per day do you comb your hair?
zero##0;one to three##5;more than three##10

If the second answer is selected, then 5 points are awarded. You can use this tag to set up a multiple choice quiz with more than one "correct" answer. The amount of points you award must be less than 256.

Tags Supported by Quizzler Pro/Quizzler Maker Only

(Quizzler Pro 2.x and Quizzler Maker allows you to create new quizzes with the following features. Once created, either Quizzler or Quizzler Pro can be used to view the quizzes and use the special features.)

#exam
This simple tag enables several features that are useful for educators when conducting a real "test", rather than just a study quiz. It is designed to simulate an actual exam environment and prohibit cheating. This tag does all of the following:

  • No scoring feedback is given until the end after the score is "locked in". After the last question the student will be warned that quitting the exam will lock in the score, and then the aggregate score will be displayed.
  • Students can go back and change answers any time they wish; the exam is not "graded" until the end
  • ALL hardware buttons are disabled, which prohibits a student from looking in another application for help (Palm only); obviously, there is no way to pause a quiz and resume it as you can normally.
  • The mode is forced to "Auto", "Repeat wrong answers" is disabled, and "Speed Game" is disabled.there is no way to have the actual correct answer displayed.

Note that this is similar in some ways to the "Exam Mode" option that a user can choose before taking a quiz, but a quiz that is built with "#exam" can never function in any other way. This is a very powerful tool combined with "#limituse" and/or "#timer".

##PICTURE:NUMBER
This tag is placed at the end of a question, and links that question to a picture that is stored in a separate database file. You give the name of the database file, and the picture number. For example, if there was a picture file named "fruits" and a picture in that file with ID 3000, you would phrase the question like this:

What type of fruit is this?##fruits:3000
apple;orange;grape

This is a new tag introduced with version 2.5. Currently, only Quizzler Pro can create a quiz with pictures. Quizzler Maker will be updated in the near future. The free Quizzler can view quizzes with pictures.

Starting with version 2.6, you can link to JPEG images stored on a memory card, like this:

What type of fruit is this?##fruits.jpg
apple;orange;grape

More info on how to create a quiz with pictures.

#scorecode x y
This tag provides a means of certifying the score. You can request that a user provide you with the "Score Code" to verify what score they achieved when taking the quiz. The Score Code can be obtained by selecting the appropriate menu item in the Quiz Options section of Quizzler.

When using this tag, set "x" to a multiplier value that will be multiplied by the actual score, and set "y" to an offset that will be added to the result. For example, if the actual score was 10 and you use this tag: "#scorecode 5 -20", then the Score Code generated for this score would be 10 X 5 -20, or 30.

#limituse x
This allows you to create a quiz that can only be taken a limited number of times before it is disabled. This can be used as a form of copy protection so you can distribute a demo version, or as a way to prevent a student from taking a quiz repeatedly to get a better score. If you use this in conjunction with the "#nobackup" tag and beam your "fresh" quiz to a student, there will be no easy way to reload a new quiz to get more uses.

#nobeam
Quiz authors creating a commercial quiz might want to disable beaming as a form of copy protection. This tag will prevent the quiz from being beamed to another device.

#nobackup
This type of quiz will not be backed up on the desktop during a HotSync operation. This is another form of copy protection that you might desire.

#noscore
Use this tag to completely hide the score so that there is no indication at all of incorrect or correct answers. You could use this tag along with the "#scorecode" tag for a certification type quiz, or as a means to provide a demo version of a commercial quiz.

#protect nnnn
nnnn is a number from 1000 to 32000. This is a code that must be entered before the quiz can be taken. If you also include the #limituse tag in a quiz, it must come AFTER the protect tag. In that case, you can take the quiz without entering a key code until the specified number of uses is used up, after that the key code must be entered. After entering the key code, the quiz is permanently unlocked for unlimited use (even if beamed to someone else).

Questions and Answers

You can include up to 1000 questions in a quizzler file. Just insert each question on one line, followed by up to four answers on the next line. Update: Version 2.3 of Quizzler now supports up to 10 possible answers. Each answer can be up to 128 characters, and is separated by semicolons. The total number of characters in the question and all possible answers is 512. Update: Version 2.7 of Quizzler raises the total length limit to 8191 characters!

The first answer listed on each line is the correct answer. The order will be scrambled when viewed with Quizzler. (See New Long Quizzler File Format for an alternative method)

We recommend 3 or 4 possible answers in every quiz so that multiple choice becomes an option. Also, try to keep most answers less than 32 characters so they can be viewed more easily on the handheld screen.

Here is an example of a question and 3 possible answers:

What planet is closest to the Sun?
mercury;venus;mars

Examples

Here is a quiz file that includes two chapters, and some questions have more than one correct answer (worth 1 point):

#quizzler my demo
#name my demo
#author By John Covele, www.QuizzlerPro.com
#chapter The Planets What planet is closest to the Sun? mercury;venus;mars Which planet gets much hotter than the earth? mercury##1;venus##1;pluto #chapter Science What is boiling point of water? 212 degress##1;depends on altitude##1;200 degrees;150 degrees Which weighs more: a ton of lead or a ton of feathers? they are the same;feathers;lead