Using Intra

NOTE: This site is undergoing a major update. Many of the following instructions are irrelevant. They will be updated very soon.

Throughout the text there are several exercises you can try in order to better understand and apply what you learn. These exercises are interactive Java applets which are embedded directly in the pages you are about to read. Below are instructions for using the two different types of exercises. They are controlled with a combination of the keyboard and mouse. If you need help while you are doing an exercise, just click on the button marked "help" in each applet and you will be presented with a quick reference.

A Note for Macintosh Users

If you would like to use the interactive exercises on your Macintosh, access Intra through Internet Explorer 4.5 or greater. These use what is known as the Macintosh Runtime for Java (MRJ), which is most likely already installed on your computer. For best results, you may want to upgrade to the latest version of the MRJ, which is a small download available from

The interactive exercises have been tested with a number of common browsers and operating systems, however, despite our efforts, Intra is incompatible with Netscape Navigator 4.x running on MacOS, due to the poor support for Java built into that browser. If you access the online version of Intra further and are using Netscape 4.x on a Macintosh, please be aware that you will be able to read the text of Intra but will be unable to use the interactive exercises. In the place of the exercises, you will presented with an uninteresting gray rectangle, and a possible error message in the status bar.

Using the Interactive Exercises

Each exercise uses a common set of buttons, whose function is described below:

Back and Next: Most of the exercises are broken up into multiple parts. These buttons allow you to navigate between them. When you do so your work within that exercise will not be lost.

Check: Use this button to compare your solution to the preset solutions. You will presented with a dialog box indicating whether your solution matches or does not match.

View Solution: This button causes a window to appear which shows the solution to the exercise you are trying.

Help: This button displays this help page in a new browser window. When you are finished reading the Help information, simply close the window and you will be back at your exercise.

The Attridge System

The Attridge exercises are driven primarily by the keyboard. By pressing various keys on your keyboard, you cause a particular mark to be placed at the location indicated by the arrow. In order for the Attridge exercises to respond to your keystrokes, the applet must have what is known as "keyboard focus." In order to give the exercise keyboard focus, just click anywhere on the exercise you're working on, and it will then respond to your key presses. The keys to use are outlined below, and follow a simple mnemonic pattern.

Left Arrow Key: Moves the arrow to the left.

Right Arrow Key: Moves the arrow to the right.

W: Places a "W" or Weak mark.

S: Places an "S" or Strong mark.

O: Places an "0" or Offbeat mark.

B: Places a "B" or Beat mark.

P or SHIFT + B: Places a Promotion mark.

D or SHIFT + O: Places a Demotion mark.

I: Places an Implied Offbeat mark. This mark is only allowed between two adjacent Beat marks. To make this mark, you must first place the two B's and then use the left arrow key to move back to the space between the two B's to place the implied offbeat mark.

E: Shows Enjambment, in the form of a broken, angled line on the end of the line nearest the Arrow.

Double and Triple Offbeats: In order to place Double or Triple Offbeats, simply place 2 or 3 Offbeat marks adjacent to one another and they will be automatically converted.

Generative Trees

When you are presented with a Generative Tree exercise, you will see the line, phrase or word you are to work with, along with several "n" marks above it. These marks represent the positions of the base nodes of the tree you are to generate. When you click on the "n" marks, they will turn red and you can then type in a "w" or an "s."

In order to generate the tree, just click in succession the two nodes you'd like to link together. When you click on the first node, it will turn red to indicate that it is selected. If the next node you click on can be linked to the first, they will be. Otherwise, nothing will happen.

There are a number of operations you can perform to each node directly, either by means of a popup menu, or with keystrokes similar to those in the Attridge exercises. To access the popup menu, simply Right-Click on a node (or Command-Click, if your mouse only has one button). Alternatively, you can use keyboard shortcuts to perform the same actions.

W: Makes selected node Weak (W).

S: Makes selected node Strong (S).

SHIFT + W: Makes selected node Syntactically Weak in a Metrically Strong Position (W).

R: Makes the selected node the Root (R).

E: Enjambs the line from the selected node.

BACKSPACE or DELETE: Delete the selected node and any tree structure above it.

Phrase Boundaries: in many of the Tree based exercises, you will be asked to indicate the phrase boundaries. These are shown using Brackets ("[", "]") to enclose a particular phrase. To mark phrasal boundaries, you must click on the words just inside the boundaries on the right and left ends, and work from the left to the right. For instance, given the prepositional phrase, "atop the house," first click on the word "atop." Your screen will show: "[atop the house." Next, click on the word "house." you will then see: "[atop the house]."

To delete a phrasal boundary, simply click on the boundary mark itself. It will disappear, taking its matching phrase marker along with it.

Please note that there are no keyboard shortcuts for phrasal markup.