Hints for using puzzlemaker.com

http://www.puzzlemaker.com is an excellent site to create a quick word search, crossword or other kind of puzzle.  Follow the steps in Chapter 12, page 1 of Using Computers in your Classroom or follow the steps outlined on the web site.  Complete the puzzle and print it off from the File > Print menu in your browser (Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator).

This prints out the puzzle.  However, being teachers, we like to enhance our puzzle and add clip art, photographs, fancy fonts, etc.  You can't do this directly from the puzzlemaker site, so you have to paste the puzzle into a word processor.  This can cause problems.

Below are some suggestions to help you when you do this.

Go to http://www.puzzlemaker.com   and choose your puzzle.

Wordsearch Puzzles
Create the word search puzzle following the steps in the program - these are outlined in my course text, Using Computers in Your Classroom, Chapter 12, page 1 but you should be able to follow them from the site.

If you do not want to add clip art, change fonts, etc. just follow the prompts and print your puzzle.

If you want to add clip art, change fonts, etc. you need to save the puzzle.  Before you do, examine step 4 and change the radio button to Text (this changes the screen display of your puzzle) and then proceed with the rest of the steps to create your puzzle and print it on your screen.

When your puzzle and words are displayed on the screen, select File > Save As and the Save As dialogue box appears.  You may get a prompt saying the file may not save correctly - just proceed anyway.  Make sure you select the correct folder in which to save your file.  You should see the file type: Web Page HTML only (*.htm, *.html) - choose this htm format and save the file as a .htm file.

Start your word processor and open the WordSearch.htm file. If you chose the text option in step 4, your words in the grid should line up.

Proportional Spacing
If you do have a problem with the spacing of the letters, this may be due to proportional spacing. Both the lines below have 10 letters, but you can see that they have different lengths and would not be suitable for a word search puzzle.


To correct this, select the table and choose a non proportional font such as Courier. You should see the difference below.


You should now be able to center the puzzle, change the size and type of font and add clip art.  (I recommend http://kidsdomain.com/clip

You can see a sample Halloween puzzle at:  http://publish.uwo.ca/floyd/cicsupt/wshallow/index.htm   Warning! - scary spiders and skeletons

Criss Cross Puzzle
If you want to add clip art, etc. to the Criss Cross Puzzle, just follow the steps and create the puzzle on your screen.

Select the text and copy and paste it to your word processor.  You may find the puzzle copies perfectly - no problem.

However, you may find only the title and clues are copied, and the squares of the puzzle are not selected or copied.  If this happens, copy the title and clues and paste them into your word processor.  Copying the squares that make up the puzzle depends on your browser.

Internet Explorer
Go to your Puzzlemaker puzzle and place the mouse pointer over one of the squares of the puzzle, right click the mouse and select Copy from the pop up menu.  Switch to your word processor, position the insertion point between the title and the clues, and paste the squares into the document.  You can now add clip art, etc.

Netscape Navigator
Netscape Navigator does not have a Copy function on the pop up menu when you right click.  Therefore, you have to save the squares as a file on your hard drive.  Right click the mouse and select Save Image As and a Save As dialogue box appears.  Select the folder for the squares and save the image.  Switch to your word processor and use the Insert - Picture - From File or the Insert - Graphic - From File option in your word processor to bring in the squares.  You can now add clip art, etc.

Which Browser?
This makes a difference since Internet Explorer has a Copy function on the menu that appears when you click the right mouse button.  Netscape Navigator doesn't, which is why you have to save the image of the squares.

Please note that puzzlemaker.com may change the format for the puzzles at any time
 Please let me know if you have problems following these instructions.