Although the Chem1 lessons are no longer officially supported, we want you to be able to make use of them, and we will try to offer whatever help we can. It is important for you to give us as much information as possible; simply reporting that "they won't run" is not enough. We need to know whether there appears to be a hardware or software problem, and the version of Windows you are using.


What are the system requirements of the Chem1 lessons?

The current lessons all utilize a 640×480 pixel display with 256 colors. This can be compressed into a smaller area if 800×600 resolution is used, but higher resolutions can cause problems (see below).

The Windows lessons are compatible with any Windows versions from 3.1 through XP.

We no longer offer (or support) the Macintosh versions of the lessons. Mac users can install and run the lessons on Virtual PC.

Displayed text is too large for the space provided

The legends on buttons, and the characters that appear when you type an answer into the response field of a question, are displayed in a special Windows System Font that is not under the direct control of the Lessons program. In versions of Windows prior to Win95, there was only one size of this font, and it corresponded to a similar Macintosh font which was used in the development of the Lessons. Current versions of Windows retain this font (called "small fonts") and add a second, larger version ("large fonts".) The latter size is used when Windows is set up for some of the larger (>15"), higher-resolution display monitors now in common use.

The Chem1 Lessons are designed for the older "small fonts" setting, and we recommend that you change to this setting if you have a large-format display. To make this change, go into the Control Panel, or just right-click directly on the Desktop. Then then click the tabs Properties and Settings. The magnification choices are in the Font Size pulldown. You will have to restart Windows to see the effect. While you're there, you might also wish to adjust the screen resolution described below.

The most serious problem you can encounter with the "large fonts" setting is that it might be impossible to enter a complete text answer to a question. In most cases this will not be important because most text entry answers only need the first few letters of the word to be accepted. In the few instances where longer entries are required, however, you may not be able to proceed beyond that point in the lesson. The most recent Chem1 lessons have been designed to accommodate Large Fonts, and we will gradually be fixing the older lessons as they undergo revision. We will also undertake quick fixes on any lessons we are advised of that trap users in this way.

The Lessons window is too small, text is too small.

The Chem1 lessons are designed for a screen resolution of 640x480 pixels. Present-day display monitors are usually set up for screen resolutions of 600x800 and even higher. In these higher-resolution displays the 640x480 window occupies only part of the screen, and the text is correspondingly smaller. Most people will find that 600x800 resolution is satisfactory, but many will find 640x480 more comfortable, especially in Windows. Going above 600x800 is definitely not recommended.

The screen resolution can be set in the "Settings" tab in the Windows Control Panel, and in the "Monitors and Sound" control panel of the Macintosh.

Can the lessons run on a network that serves a school computer lab?

Yes, but your system administrator must know these two facts:

Some of the printed characters on the screen are poorly formed, and do not appear to be placed properly.

(This is more likely to be a problem with Site Licence users who are running the lessons over a network.)


Some of the fonts are unavailable, perhaps due to a faulty or improper installation. This is most likely to happen with the Chem1 (Mac) or c1sserif (Win) fonts that are used to show subscripts and superscripts; if these appear as funny characters and the display quality is poor, the program is probably not finding the font on your system.

The Windows version of the Chem1 lessons requires that the following fonts be present in the CHEM1\LESSONS folder: c1sserif, comic, comicbd, mgeneva, mhelvet, mpaltino, trebuc (these are the names of the font files, not of the fonts themselves.) For use on a stand-alone system, these fonts need not ordinarily be installed within Windows itself, although the Comic and Trebuchet fonts often get installed along with Internet Explorer. Site license users who deliver the lessons through a central server may have to install the fonts on the local Windows workstations. An extra set of font files for this purpose will be found on the CD, under "Extras".


I changed computers or reformated my hard disk, and have lost the registration for Chem1 Personal Edition.

Because the lessons are now free, it is no longer necessary to register them. Simply download the new version of the launching program RUNCHEM1.APP according to the directions you will find here.