Frequently Asked Questions
We obviously can't anticipate all the frequently asked questions that will come our way. So if you do not see an answer here, visit our web site at www.crosswordkit.com and look at the FAQs there for a possible solution.
With so many options and features, is the program as complicated to use as it may appear?
Actually the program is very easy to use. There are only a few simple steps to follow to create a great looking puzzle. Just enter the title, words and clues, select a puzzle shape and page layout and press a button to generate the puzzle. Choose from the four best puzzle fits, save it and print.
Of course you can spend more time if you want to design your own puzzle shapes and page layouts, use the spell checker and thesaurus and other options. But the bottom line is that you can realistically create a puzzle in a matter of minutes, provided you are not stumped trying to think up clues for your words. We've added the thesaurus to help you in that regard. If you feel you need more help, a good place to start would be the Tutorial.
I copied an HTML created web page to my web site and everything appeared except for the puzzle itself. Why?
Both an HTML file (htm) and JPEG file (jpg) will be saved out with the name you selected. Both of these files must be placed on your web site for the page to appear correctly.
I sent a puzzle page layout I created to a friend who also uses the Crossword Construction Kit. When the layout was opened, the image was missing. Why?
Images are not embedded into the puzzle layouts. If you export a page layout and the layout contains a bitmap or other type image, the recipient of the page layout will also need access to the image. The layout looks for the location on your computer where the image is stored. In essence you need to send both the layout and the image file. They would then have to link the image to the layout.
How can I create a two page layout?
You would need to create two separate page layouts. For example you can place the puzzle and title on one of the page layouts. Then create another layout that would contain the down/across clues and headers along with any other text components you may want to place on the page. After you have designed the two layouts, print each one separately. The puzzle will print on page one and the clues on the following page.
I would like to transparently place a puzzle over the top of a graphic image. How do I do this?
When creating your page layout, you would need to change the puzzle to a skeleton puzzle. A skeleton puzzle only includes the boxes that contain letters. None of the filler boxes used to create the shape appear with the skeleton puzzle. Here's the process for making a skeleton puzzle. In the Page Creator Window, place the puzzle component onto the layout. Right click on the puzzle component box you dropped in the layout to open a context menu. Click on Properties and select the Skeleton Puzzle option.
While creating a page layout I was using the Size and Position option to position an object on the page. I accidentally typed in a value that positioned the object off of the page and now can't right click on it to reposition. What should I do?
As an example let's say that you positioned the Title off of the page layout. Since it's off the page, you cannot right click on the object to bring up the menu options. The Title button has been grayed out so you can't just place another title object on the page. But you do have the option to click on the Objects button and select Title from the list of objects that you've already added to the page layout. The menu options for Title will appear where you can select Size and Position to correctly reposition the Title.
How can I enlarge the squares of the puzzle?
The answer to this depends on a couple of factors. These include the puzzle shape chosen and the size of the Puzzle Object on the page layout you are using. The puzzle shape expands to fill the area designated for the puzzle on the page layout. Let's examine how the puzzle shape first impacts the squares on the puzzle.
When you create a puzzle, you have the option to select a Puzzle Shape by clicking on the Shapes button. You can choose squares, triangles, circles, cars and a variety of other shapes for the puzzle. Let's compare a puzzle shape of a 10 x 10 square to that of a 20 x 20 square. In each case, the puzzle will fill the exact same area on the printed page. However, the 10 x 10 puzzle will have bigger squares because there are squares for the same amount of space. So, the larger the dimensions of the puzzle shape, the smaller the puzzle squares will be.
The second factor is decided by the page layout selected. The larger the area for the puzzle in the page layout, the larger the puzzle squares will be. The program comes with a few predefined page layouts, but you can also create any number of additional layouts. You can determine where to place the puzzle and its size.
The Creating a Page Layout tutorial in the help file walks through the process of designing a layout. A video on our website also demonstrates how to do this.
How can I print out a list of puzzle words on the same page as the puzzle?
Create (or modify) a new page layout and add the Word List crossword object to the page layout. You can create, modify or copy a page layout by choosing Edit | Page Layout from the menu of the Crossword Construction Kit window.
How can I make my fonts bigger for the clues, word lists or any part of the printout?
The following instructions, for the most part, can apply to any of the puzzle objects. There are 3 or 4 factors involved in this process. Each requires the modification or creation of a new Page Layout. So let's use the Word List as our example.
The factors for the Word List will be the physical size of the object on the Page Layout, the actual font size chosen, the Make It Fit (Auto Shrink Font) option and number of columns used. While in the Page Layout Designer, each of these factors can be modified by right clicking on the Word List object and selecting the appropriate menu item.
·The size of the object can be changed using the Size & Position menu option.
·The font size can be changed using the Text Font menu option.
·The Make It Fit and the Number of Columns can be changed using the Properties menu option.
We'll examine how these factors all interact. The most obvious is the Size factor. The larger the area you provide for the word list, the larger potential font size you can use.
However, the other factors also make a definite impact. So let's next look at the Font Size itself. Here you can specify the size, color, style, etc of the font to be used. So you choose a font size of 20. But how do you know if that font is too big or small to be used in the designated area? This is where the Make It Fit option comes into play which is a default value.
The Make It Fit option will ensure that your text will fit in the area you have designated. It does so by first using the font you have selected and continually shrinking its size until it fits in the area specified. If you do not use this option, then the font size selected will be inserted. However, you run the risk of the font being too large and if it is, some of the words will not appear because they do not fit in the designated area. We recommend that you use the "Make It Fit" option in most instances.
The last factor here is the number of columns. The default is set to a single column. So if the area (size) where you are placing the word list is not a long vertical strip, but a horizontal area, you will want to increase the number of columns.
In summary, for the best results, you will want to do the following:
1.Choose an adequate size to hold all the words.
2.Choose an adequate number of columns to use based on the size.
3.Choose a very large font size.
4.Choose the Make It Fit (Auto-Shrink Font) option.
How can I make my changes such as font size, colors, etc. permanent?
Font sizes, colors, etc. are all tied directly to the Page Layout and the values are saved permanently with the Page Layout. So to make permanent changes, you need to modify or create a Page Layout. To associate your newly created or modified page layout with an existing puzzle, double click on the puzzle of choice from the Crossword Construction Kit window. On the resulting screen, click on the Layout button. Next highlight your puzzle layout you just created or modified and click on the Select button. And finally click on the Save button.
If you modified a Page Layout that is associated with an existing puzzle, you still need to associate the new modified Page Layout with the puzzle. The puzzle maintains the old information until the change has been saved. The Print window provides an area where you can Override the Page Layout, Fonts, etc. These Puzzle Overrides are temporary and only affect the puzzle for the current print job.
We seem to receive a good number of questions regarding the exporting of graphic files. We will attempt to answer many of them here, ranging from basic to more technical. First, the program currently allows 5 different types of graphic files to be exported. These include Windows Meta Files (WMF), Enhanced Windows Meta Files (EMF), Bitmap (BMP), JPEG (JPG) and PING (PNG). So let's answer some questions about these.
How do these graphic files differ and are there any limitations or advantages?
Both the meta file formats are saved in a scalable format. This means that the puzzle images, text, etc. will normally expand and shrink within your graphics program and retain their correct proportions. Bitmaps, PNG and JPEG images are exact images. If you attempt to shrink these in a graphics program you are going to lose part of the image. If planning to use bitmap, JPEG or PNG files for use with other programs, it is best to first set the size of the image in the Crossword Construction Kit so that you will have a clean looking image.
My Bitmaps are not legible once I import them into my word processor or into my graphics package. What can I do?
There could be two potential problems here. The first is that you could have saved out the bitmap in a very small size. If this is the case, then the puzzle and clues, etc. will likely not be very legible. Attempts to enlarge the image in your word processor or graphics package will fail because bitmaps do not scale well. The second problem could be that you have saved the bitmap out in too large of a size. Here the detail might be fine, but because you are attempting to shrink the bitmap in your word processor or graphics program, you lose part of the image and once again the resulting image is not legible.
The key to resolving these problems is to have Crossword Construction Kit create the bitmap in the correct size that you need. Then import the bitmap into your program and leave it at its original size.
So how do you set the size? The program will prompt for the number of pixels to use in the width of the bitmap (the height is automatically calculated based on the width). You can also set the pixel width in the preview mode so you can see exactly what your resulting image will look like.
I cannot seem to import the Windows Meta File created by the Crossword Construction Kit. Why not?
Unfortunately it is not likely that you will be able to get it to work. Many standards for the meta file format have cropped up since the release of Windows which has created an incompatibility between many programs and files. The format we currently use is one that is built into the Borland Delphi/C++ programming language which we feel to be quite reliable. We have tested this format with programs such as Paint Shop Pro, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher and others which do not seem to have any problems reading the files.
How do I scale a meta file inside my graphics program?
Some graphics programs will not scale a meta file after it has been loaded. Instead, it will be treated as a bitmap with a loss of image if it is shrunk. If you desire to use the scalable features available with a meta file with these programs, you will need to locate the option in them to do so. This option is usually used at the time of image loading.
Can I export just the puzzle portion?
The only option we currently support is the export of the entire page. So to export just the puzzle, you would need to create a page layout that consisted of just the puzzle object and size it so that it covers the entire page. Using this page layout, you could then export just the puzzle.