Drillster Support & Info

Formatting options

Formatting options

It is possible to add limited formatting to your drill entries. Use this to create rich text, equations or to highlight parts that pertain to the question.


The various formatting options

The following formatting options are supported:




<b> </b>

Bold text

Use bold text for emphasis

<i> </i>

Italic text

Use italic text for emphasis

<u> </u>

Underlined text

Use underlined text for emphasis

<sub> </sub>


Have some H2O

<sup> </sup>


A googol is 10100


Line break

This text

is spread over

three lines

<placeholder> </placeholder>

Fill in space

You have to _____ in a word

The tags are entered HTML style in the various input boxes in the edit screen. Formatting can be used in normal drill entries, captions, feedback and context. Column names cannot be formatted.


Entering formatted content

In order to include formatting in your drill content, simply type the content annotated with formatting tags in the edit screen.

Upon submitting the content, the text is immediately displayed as formatted text, and exactly as it will be displayed in practice or test mode. To edit the text, just click on the text, which will open the edit box and display the text with formatting tags visible.


Escaping HTML code

If for any reason you would like to display an HTML tag that could be interpreted as a formatting tag, you will need to escape the < and > characters by replacing them with &lt; and &gt; respectively.

Example: to literally display <i> without it being picked up as formatting, you need to enter it as &lt;i&gt;.


Influence on open ended answers

Formatting has no influence on open ended answers. In other words: answers are always evaluated as if no formatting was present.



Here are some examples of formatted text, including the source text containing the formatting tags.

Source text Display text
One <u>underlined</u> word One underlined word
Would you like <b>bold</b>, <u>underlined</u> or <i>italic</i>? Would you like bold, underlined or italic?
Nothing beats a glass of H<sub>2</sub>O! Nothing beats a glass of H₂O!
Pythagoras said a<sup>2</sup> + b<sup>2</sup> = c<sup>2</sup> Pythagoras said a² + b² = c²
CH<sub>4</sub> + 2O<sub>2</sub> &#8594;
CO<sub>2</sub> + 2H<sub>2</sub>O
CH₄ + 2O₂ → CO₂ + 2H₂O


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I use color?
A. The use of color is not supported at this time, mostly for reasons of compatibility and accessibility.

Q. Why can't I just use any HTML markup?
A. Only the formatting options listed above can be used. Other HTML tags are ignored. This is done to keep things simple, secure and visually consistent.

Q. Can I nest formatting tags?
A. To keep things simple, formatting tags cannot be nested. For nested tags, only the outer tags are recognized as formatting, with the inner tags being displayed literally. Overlapping tags are invalid and unsupported.

Q. Should I use superscript and subscript for equations?
A. It depends. For simple equations, using superscript and subscript might be a good solution. Any equations that go beyond the simple formatting options presented here, should probably be entered as MathML equations. MathML provides the full range of formatting options offered by the MathML standard. However, MathML equations are presented as images and can therefore not be used as answers to open ended questions. If you require that the equations can be entered as answers to open ended questions, you must therefore rely on the formatting options presented here.


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