To Draw the Line
The applet just above this paragraph lets you practice drawing straight
lines based on
various types of information:
Another point .
The slope .
The -intercept .
The -intercept ..
The slope intercept form
of a line.
The point slope form
of a line.
The 2-point form
of a line
The general form
of a line.
Any one of the last four or any two of the first five items determine the line.
You draw the line by setting up a suitable coordinate system and then
drawing two points on the line. If your points are correct you are
informed, and you can go on to another line, otherwise you get to try
Operating the Applet
To make use of the applet proceed as follows:
- Click on the applet at the top of this page. A control panel and
a drawing window will appear on your screen. If you have the code for
the applet you can also activate it from a Unix window by typing
- Organize the two windows conveniently on the screen. Resize
the drawing window if it's convenient.
- Choose two of the first five or one of the last four items in
the control window by clicking on the check boxes on the left.
The corresponding text windows will light up and give you the
relevant information about the line. You cannot pick the second point
unless you also pick the first point, and you cannot obtain more
information than you need to identify the line. To begin with you may
wish to choose just two points, the first two items, to get the hang
of operating the drawing window.
- Figure out two points on the line (unless you are already given
- Choose an origin in the drawing window and click on it. Two
coordinate axes intersecting at your chosen point will appear.
- Click on another point to provide a scale. The maximum
horizontal or vertical distance of your second point from your chosen
origin will correspond to a distance of . The coordinate axes are
labeled and a faint green grid resembling Engineering graph paper is
- Locate one of the points you have determined in the coordinate
system and click on it. It will be marked with a small red circle.
- Locate your second point in the coordinate system and click on
it. If both your points lie on the line (within 10 pixels) the second
point and the line are drawn and you have succeeded! If at least one
of your points is not on the line the coordinate system is erased and
you can start over by choosing an origin. The line in question does
- To work with a new line click on the button "New" in the control
- To give up and list all the information about the current line
and draw its graph click on "Show".
- To erase your coordinate system, but continue work on the same
line, click on "Erase".
- When you are done click on "Quit", or click on the applet.
The system generates lines randomly, and it does not keep track of your
performance. The purpose of this applet is strictly to help you
practice drawing and understanding lines.
The applet on this page may also help you appreciate the following bit
of web humor I came across recently:
Euclid's last Theorem. After a while you get to a point where
you have to draw the line.