Support & FAQs

This page answers your questions and gives details of support for the Problem Pictures resources Section (A) provides general support, section (B) is just about Problem Pictures (1), section (C) is just about Problem Pictures Themes (2), and section (D) is about Problem Pictures Numbers (3).

(A) About all the Problem Pictures resources

How can I obtain technical support?

If you have problems using the CD-ROMs or downloadable resources please first check the questions and answers on this page. If you cannot find an answer here, send an email to giving full details.

How do the three Problem Pictures resources differ? Do they contain different photographs?

Problem Pictures has 184 photographs, Problem Pictures Themes has more than 300 photographs and Problem Pictures Numbers has more than 600 photographs. The three collections are similar in approach but, as its name suggests, Problem Pictures Themes has a larger proportion of pictures grouped into themes or topics. Problem Pictures Numbers has a wide mixture of pictures and also includes a section about the integers from 0 to 220.

The three resources are now only available as digital downloads and run in a web browser. They were previously available on CD-ROM.

If you want to order only one of the resources, we suggest you begin with Problem Pictures (1). However, if your interest is in superimposing graphs on photographs go for Problem Pictures Themes.

The photographs on the three resources are different except, that five pictures on Problem Pictures are duplicated on Problem Pictures Themes, and that Problem Pictures Numbers includes low resolution versions of about 40 pictures from the other releases in the Numbers section.

On which computers and other devices can I use the Problem Pictures resources?

The digital download versions are intended to run on all desktop computers and laptops with a web browser. These releases are not supplied as installable apps, so cannot easily be run on tablets or phones. If you wish to use the resources on such devices, we recommend making the web pages available through a local network or intranet. To do this you must purchase a site licence and also ensure the files are not accessible outside your school or institution.

The earlier CD-ROM editions will run on any computer with a CD-ROM drive and web browser.

Are the digital downloads the same as the CD-ROM versions?

The digital downloads include exactly the same photographs as the CD-ROM versions. Minimal revisions have been made to the activities and other text, for example, where facts had become out of date. The format of the pages as been updated to work better with modern web browsers and particularly on devices with small or very large screens.

I own one or more of the Problem Pictures CD-ROMs, how do I obtain the newer download only releases?

If you own a single user copy you will need to purchase a new version. If you have a site licence for the most recent CD-ROM version, then we will offer you the current downloadable version for free. You can obtain a download link by emailing us with details of your site licence (include your address and ideally the purchase date as shown on the site licence).

Do I need a site licence?

See the information page on the Badsey Publications website.

I am a teacher with a single user copy. May I use it in my classroom?

A teacher who purchases a single user copy may reproduce material for use in his or her classroom. At any time, the disc must not be running on more than one computer. If you want to run it on several computers at the same time, or place it on a school network, your school must purchase a site licence.

Can I use the resources to make my own worksheets and acetates?

Teachers will find it easy to use the photographs and text to make their own display material, worksheets and acetates. A teacher who purchases a single user copy may reproduce material from the disc for use in his or her classroom. A site licence allows use throughout the school or college.

The photographs are supplied as 1365 × 1024 jpeg files which can be imported into a wide range of software and printed. On A4 paper these give a resolution of 123 pixels/inch, and on A3 paper, 87 pixels/inch.

How can I upgrade from a single user copy to a site licence?

If you have already purchased a single user copy, you can upgrade to a site licence by paying the difference in the cost. There are more details on the Badsey Publications website.

We have a site licence and are planning a training day in a local teachers' centre. May we temporarily install the software on their server?

Yes this is permitted on these conditions: (1) that the software does not remain on an external server for more than 4 weeks in any year, (2) that you are responsible for ensuring the software is deleted after use, and (3) that the majority of people using the software are staff or students from your institution. If you want to use it in other ways, please check with us first.

We have a site licence. May we install the software on the kind of network that allows our staff and students to access the materials at home?

This is permitted as long as you as an institution take all reasonable steps to prevent access by third parties. At very least we would expect password protection.

Are you interested in suggestions for future Problem Pictures?

Yes please! If there are types of photographs you would find useful for mathematics teaching, do please let us know and we will try to include them in future publications. We also welcome comments on how the material is presented. The easiest way to contact us is to email

Can you publish my photographs?

Unfortunately we are too small an organisation to take on the publication of photographs by other people. But we recognise that a number of people are doing interesting and innovative work in this area. If you are someone who takes photographs to support the teaching and understanding of mathematics, try to make them available. One possibility is to publish them on a website. If you let us know the website address, we will link to it.

We run a network. How can we install the resources?

All the Problem Pictures resources run in a web browser. They are launched from an index.htm file. We regret we cannot offer detailed instructions for installation on particular networks. Please check you have a site licence for each resource you are installing.

What is the 'Mathematical World' CD-ROM? Are there American versions of the resources?

Mathematical World was a version of the Problem Pictures 1 CD-ROM for the North American market which was published by Key Curriculum Press in 2005. It may be out of print. Its content was the same as Problem Pictures 1 but with US English. It was never published in a web browser version. There are no North American versions of Problem Pictures 2 and 3.

(B) About Problem Pictures (1)

Are solutions included?

For each photograph there is a second page giving hints, solutions and extensions.

When was this published?

First published on CD-ROM for PCs only in 2001. Expanded CD-ROM editions were released in 2007, 2009 and 2011. These worked on all computers with a web browser. A reworked edition was released as a digital download in 2022. This includes almost the same content as the 2011 edition, but with an updated interface, which is designed to work better with modern browsers.


(These corrections have been made to all current editions.)

A photograph showing Islamic knot patterns (A76) is upside down. We apologise for this.

The captions with the lampshade (K01) suggest the shadow is a parabola but it is probably a hyperbola. The explanation makes more sense if 'hyperbola' is substituted for 'parabola' throughout.

On the subject of bolts that are difficult to undo (D56), a rhombus shaped bolt could be undone with a conventional spanner (wrench). A kite-shaped quadrilateral would be more difficult to undo.

Credits. The correct spelling should be Keith Birkinshaw - sorry Keith!

(C) About Problem Pictures Themes (2)

Where are the answers?

Since the 2006 edition of Problem Pictures Themes hints and solutions have been included for most of the photographs. Read the Introduction page for details.

What changes are in new editions?

With the publication of the April 2006 edition, the number of photographs increased from 200 to 300. Most photographs have a second page giving hints and solutions. The April 2009 edition has minor changes including better indexing and nine more photographs. The CD-ROM version was discontinued in 2022 and replaced with a digital download.

What software do I need to superimpose graphs on photos?

There is no plotting software supplied with the Problem Pictures Themes resource but it is easy to copy photos and paste them into other applications. We understand that the following packages are suitable for the modelling activity where the graph of an equation is superimposed on a photo -

  • Autograph 3.2 or later
  • Geometer's Sketchpad version 4 or later
  • Cabri Geometry version 2 or later
  • Derive version 6.1 or later

We would welcome corrections and additions to this list.


In the 'Information and Activities' for U-Shaped Curves it is stated the shadows from the lampshade are parabolas. In fact they are hyperbolas. This is corrected in the 2009 edition.

(D) About Problem Pictures Numbers (3)

When was this published?

First published 6 April 2010. A revised edition was published in March 2012 with some additional photographs and activities. Another revised version was published in March 2015 with further material. The CD-ROM version was discontinued in 2022 and replaced with a digital download.

How many photos are included?

The latest edition includes around 500 photographs in the Numbers theme and 255 photographs in the other themes. About 40 of the photos in the Numbers theme have also appeared in other Problem Pictures editions and so are not available at the 'extra large' resolution.