Update to component naming rules

Hey folks,

We added the ability to copy/paste activity screens recently, and we realized that our current rules for component naming needed an update.

We no longer require component names to be unique. If you reference a component from a script, the one on the current screen will win, even if there are multiple components with that name in the activity.

The following situations are still errors:

  • several components on the same screen have the same name.
  • you reference a component from a different screen, where that component name is not unique

since it’s ambiguous which component you intended in that situation.

We hope this will make it easier for folks to reuse their screens across activities.


A big time saver. Although my OCD might have me go back and have the component names match the screen numbers.


How does the copy/paste activity screens work? Where would I find information on this? Thanks

Great update! Is there any guidance to which one will be chosen if there are components on the previous and next screens?

I’m hoping that the earlier one will be taken — it matters for cases where you might have a two-screen interaction that you want to repeat multiple times throughout an activity.

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Anytime you see the double square icon shown here:

Click on the double square and you should see:


Go into the activity you want and either right click or CTRL + V to paste into your activity. You can also duplicate screens you want to use over again in the same activity by selecting the three dots at the top of the screen shot in the side bar and selecting ‘duplicate screen’


Actually, sorry – I can now see that my question is answered in the second dot point.

I know I can import a graph from the graphin calculator to AB by pasting the url into one of the equation slots.

Is there a way to export a graph from the activity builder so that I can copy just the graph but not the whole page?

Yep! Bottom of the functions there should be a link to view in Desmos.com

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Hi Friedrich,

It works in almost the opposite way. To export a graph, click on the graph component in AB, scroll to the bottom of the equation slots where you can click on the “Powered by Desmos” icon. Once you click on the icon, it will open the graph in a new window. From there you can copy and paste the URL of the graph where needed!

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Just be careful exporting graphs. If there are folders that are marked as hidden in AB, they will not be visible in the Desmos graph. They still function in the background, but you can’t access them if you need to edit them.

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You’re the best!

Thank you!

I feel the same way about having OCD for matching names with slide numbers! I almost wish the components would automatically name and/or rename themselves according to which slide they are on. Input1, graph1, etc. would change to input3 or graph3 if you added a few slides in between. And it doesn’t hurt for them to be named if you aren’t using them in CL.


What if you have several lines of equations that a student entered into AB? I see the Powered by Desmos but it is grayed out.

That is extremely helpful. I’m going to wipe all memory of me copying and pasting individual lines from a graph…