The following graphics show a Word-search puzzle in the Crossword Express
and a PNG graphic file produced by the program's print function, showing the complete puzzle solution.
See also a full size version of a PDF file.
The key features of the Crossword Express Wordsearch Construction function are as follows:-
Fully automatic construction of puzzles in sizes ranging up to 50x50.
Puzzles can be made in shapes other than a simple rectangle. This is done by selecting a Template before construction begins.
Under normal circumstances, every letter in the puzzle will be included in at least one of the words hidden in the puzzle. This is sometimes
referred to as a Full House puzzle. Only if the dictionary being used to make the puzzle has insufficient words to make this possible will
a simpler (sparse) design be created.
In addition, it will be normal for every word in the puzzle to intersect with at least one other word.
Optionally, a word or phrase can be entered, and the letters contained therein will be used to fill those spaces within the puzzle not occupied
by the letters of the included words.
The direction of the words within the puzzle can be controlled using a set of arrow buttons. Teachers will find it useful to limit the directions
across and down when teaching word recognition skills to very young children.
Puzzles can be printed in an unprecedented range of user controlled colors and formats.
Output can be sent direct to the printer or, if you install the appropriate software, it can be sent to a PDF file. The
recommended software for this purpose is Primo PDF which
you can download free from their website, although you might consider sending them a small donation if
you find their program useful. Mac users will be able to create a PDF file directly from the screen provided by
the printer driver.
A fully interactive Solve function is available to allow you to solve the puzzles "on screen" without needing to print them.
Word-weave puzzles are an interesting variation on the Word-search theme. Instead of the usual mass of letters, the puzzle grid contains a
limited set of numbers which indicate the starting point of each word in the word-list. So, you will know where the first letter of each word
goes, but a bit of deductive reasoning is required to determine which of the eight possible directions is applicable. A PDF file showing a typical
Word-weave puzzle is available here.