Create New Puzzle
Puzzle development takes place in this window. Add words and clues, select a puzzle shape and layout, assign a puzzle title and category, and generate the puzzle from this window.
Crossword Construction Kit > New Puzzle button
Clicking on the Create button generates the puzzle and attempts to fit all of the words into the puzzle shape selected. Choose the one you like best from the best several fits displayed.
Save all the changes made to the puzzle.
If you have previously saved a list of Words and Clues to a .txt file, click on the Import button to start the import process. Load the words and clues from the .txt file directly into the program.
Click on the Export button to export the words and/or clues to a .txt file.
This option opens an editor that allows you to manually add words to the design of the generated puzzle.
Close the crossword editor window and return to the program's home window.
Enter the name for the puzzle being created. The name assigned displays on the puzzle page generated if you elect to include the Title in the page layout. The Title also appears in the Puzzle List found in the opening window of the program.
Puzzles may be assigned to categories to help you more readily find a puzzle already created and saved. Categories may be set up by subjects, interests, dates, uses or any other method that will help you to quickly find a puzzle.
As you enter a category in the blank field, it will be added to the drop down list. The next time you create a puzzle to place in the same category, just select it from the drop down list instead of retyping the entry.
Enter a Word / Enter a Clue
To add words to a puzzle, click on the "Enter a Word" edit box. Type the word and press Tab to move to the "Enter a Clue" edit box. Add the clue and press Enter or click on the Add button to insert the word and clue into the existing list of words and clues.
This column indicates whether the word and clue are currently being used in the generated puzzle. A check mark indicates that the word and clue are included. If the puzzle has not been generated yet, then none of the boxes are marked, as in the example above.
The Word column lists the words to be included in the crossword puzzle. Click on the field beneath the Word header to add a new word. Or click on a word already in the list to edit that word. The maximum word length allowed is 30 characters.
The Clue column lists the clues associated with each word in the puzzle. Click on the field beneath the Clue header to add a new clue. Or click on an existing clue to edit that clue. The maximum clue length allowed is 150 characters.
Note: If editing an existing word or clue in the list, make sure to exit the edit field before clicking on Save or Create. Otherwise the change just made will not be saved.
Highlight a word and clue, or several from the list. Click on the Delete button or press the Delete key on the keyboard to remove the highlighted words and clues from the puzzle.
The Spell Check button activates the Spell Checker. The Spell Checking window opens if any words or clues do not match what is found in the spell checker library. You can select the correct spelling from the list of possible choices or indicate that the spelling is correct and proceed. If all words are found, then a message indicates that all is correct.
Select a word from the Words list and click on the Thesaurus button to open the Thesaurus Lookup window.
The Bonus Question is primarily for educators. The bonus question would normally tie into the theme of the puzzle. Possibly use the question for extra credit for those that answer it correctly. The question may be placed anywhere on the puzzle layout. This field holds up to 120 characters.
Note: In order for the Bonus Question to show on the completed puzzle, make sure the page layout you select includes the field for a bonus question. Or modify your page layout to include the bonus question.
The number of words listed are displayed after Save button is pressed.
The image displays the current puzzle layout and puzzle shape selected. It provides a general idea of what the finished puzzle will look like.
Click on the Shape button to open the Shapes window that allows you to select a different shape for use in the puzzle being developed. There are additional options to create new shapes, or modify, delete and copy existing puzzle shapes. Also import or export puzzle shapes.
Click on the Layout button to select a different page layout or modify the currently selected layout. Other options allow for creating new layouts and importing or exporting layouts.
Shrink Shape to Fit Puzzle
If the words do not fill the puzzle shape, you can use the Shrink option. Select this option to shrink the puzzle shape to better accommodate the puzzle words. Press the Create button again to regenerate the puzzle. Note: This option is best used with square or rectangular shapes. Otherwise only a portion of the original shape may be included in the finished puzzle.
Show Letter Count in Puzzle Clues
Select this option to display in the printed puzzle the numbers of letters for each word. The number of letters in the word is displayed in parentheses next to the clue for that word.