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you are to design a handout that has dimensions 8 and 1/2 inches by 2 and 1/2 inches. the left margin is 1/2 inch and the space to the pictures is 2 and 1/2 inc

you are to design a handout that has dimensions 8 and 1/2 inches by 2 and 1/2 inches. the left margin is 1/2 inch and the space to the pictures is 2 and 1/2 inches. The space between pictures is 1/2 inch. how wide can each picture be to fit three across the width of the page ?
a) what is the page width ?
b) write an equation to model the problem
c) Solve the equation

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2 Answers

Note that dimensions are usually given as width by length, or width by height. So to answer the first part, since the dimensions of the handout is given as 8.5 inches by 2.5 inches, then the width is 8.5 inches.

We are given the following pieces of information:

     left margin = 0.5 inches

     space to the pictures from the margin = 2.5 inches 

  3 pictures are to be placed 0.5 inches apart across the width of the page:

          space between picture 1 and picture 2 = 0.5 inches

          space between picture 2 and picture 3 = 0.5 inches

          total space between all 3 pictures across the page = 0.5 in + 0.5 in = 1 inch

Let w represent the width of each of the 3 pictures that are going to be placed across the width of the handout:

  #of pics•width per pic+margin width+space to pics+space between pics=total width of page

              3•w + 0.5 + 2.5 + 1 = 8.5

Combining like terms on the left hand side of the equation, we arrive at the following:

     3w + 4 = 8.5

Subtract 4 from both sides to isolate the term with the unknown variable to one side of the equation:

     3w + 4 - 4 = 8.5 - 4

     3w = 4.5

Divide both sides by 3 to solve for w:

     3w/3 = 4.5/3 

     w = 1.5

Thus, each picture can be at most 1.5 inches wide in order to be able to fit 3 of them across the width of the page.

Hold it, hold it.  All they asked is how wide each picture can be to fit three across the page.  So let's give them exactly what they're asking.  The page is 8.5 inches wide, with 0.5 inch left margin.  That leaves 8 inches.  There is a 0.5-inch space between the three pictures, that would sum to another 1 inch off.  Think about it, two spaces between three pictures.  How wide can each picture be, maximum?  Simple, just take the remaining 7 inches and divide by 3.  It's 2.3333 inches.  Sorry about not doing the a, b and c stuff.