Author Topic: WordSearch is a Mac OS X application which makes word searches and crosswords  (Read 1495 times)

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WordSearch is a Mac OS X terminal application which makes word searches and crosswords

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WordSearch is an application which generates word searches and crossword puzzles in a format which allows them to be easily edited in Microsoft Excel or similar spreadsheet applications.

This application is a Unix executable compiled for Mac OS X 10.4 and later.  To launch WordSearch, double-click on it in the Finder or open the Terminal application, cd to the directory in which the application is located, and type WordSearch.

Usage
After the application is launched, WordSearch asks you to choose whether to generate a crossword or a word search.  Type c to create a crossword, or w to create a word search, then press return.

If you chose to create a word search, the application will ask you how many rows (horizontal lines) and how many columns (vertical lines) to include in the word search.  At each prompt, enter the number of rows or columns, then press return.  If these dimensions are not large enough to hold the longest word in the puzzle, they will be expanded to a size which fits.  If you chose to create a crossword, the application will automatically start with a number of rows and columns equal to the length of the longest word in the puzzle.

If the number of rows and columns used to generate a word search or crossword are insufficient to fit all the words, the application will increment the number of rows and columns by 1 until a fit is found or until the puzzle has grown to a height that is twice the length of the longest word.

Word searches differ from crossword puzzles in that random letters are filled in between placed words.  If you chose to create a word search, the application will ask you what kind of letters to fill in the spaces left in the puzzle.  You can choose to fill the board with random letters, where each letter is chosen from the alphabet with no particular preference.  Alternatively, you can choose to fill the board with random letters that are chosen according to the frequency of their appearance in standard english text; Es and Rs will be more frequent than Xs and Qs, for example.  Finally, you can choose to fill the board with only those letters which make up the actual words in the word search.  If you created a word search with the words "about", "above", "taboo", and "oboe", choosing this option would fill the board with only the letters 'a', 'b', e', o', 't', 'u', and 'v'.

For advanced puzzle solvers, these three options create increasingly difficult word searches.  Novice word searchers in particular may be confused by a puzzle which only uses letters that appear in the hidden words, as this can create many distracting spurious words.  Type r to fill the board with random letters, e to fill the board with letters according to the their frequency of usage in english text, or w to fill the board with letters from the words hidden in the word search, then press return.

After choosing the options for your word search or crossword puzzle, you may now enter the words you would like hidden in the puzzle.  Enter each word on its own line, then press return.  When you are finished entering each word, press return on a blank line.

WordSearch will then try to fit your words in the puzzle, using the dimensions you specified.  This may take some time, depending on the size of the board and the number of words.  When it finds a board that works, it will display the board that it created and write it to a file on your desktop in comma-separated-value (.csv) format.  This file is named according to the time at which it was created; if you created a word search or crossword at 10:49:02 pm, the application would create a file named "WordSearch 22_49_02.csv" on your desktop.  This .csv file can be opened in any spreadsheet application which understands the file format.

http://swannman.wordpress.com/2006/03/17/wordsearch/

 

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