How to Build Your Own Crossword Puzzle Template

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Creating a crossword puzzle from scratch takes time. You can design a basic template for future crossword puzzles you want to create. Since each crossword puzzle is different, you'll need to add your letters, numbers, clues and shaded squares when you use the template. It helps to plan the dimensions of the crossword puzzle beforehand, so you won't have to resize it later. You can create your layout in a spreadsheet application, such as Excel, OpenOffice Calc or Google Spreadsheets.

Excel

  • Create a new spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

  • Highlight cells "A3:S20." Right-click on the column header and select "Column Width" from the fly-out menu. Set the column width to "4" and click "OK." Right-click on the row header and select "Row Height" from the fly-out menu. Set the row height to "20" and click "OK."

  • Click the "Home" tab. Select "Borders" and "All Borders" from the "Font" group to add borders to the selected cells.

  • Highlight cells "A1:S1." Click the "Home" tab. Select the "Merge and Center" button from the "Alignment" group to merge the cells and center their contents.

  • Go to the "Finishing Template" section to complete the design.

OpenOffice Calc

  • Create a new spreadsheet in OpenOffice Calc.

  • Highlight cells "A3:S20." Right-click on the column header and select "Column Width" from the fly-out menu. Set the column width to "0.4" in the dialog box and click "OK." Right-click on the row header. Set "Row Height" to "20" and click "OK."

  • Right-click on the selected cells. Click "Format Cells" and select the "Borders" tab in the dialog box. Pick "0.05 pt" for the line style. Click "Set Outer Border and All Inner Lines" under the line arrangement and press "OK."

  • Highlight cells "A1:S1" and right-click. Select "Format Cells" from the pop-up. Click the "Alignment" tab in the dialog box. Set the horizontal alignment to "Center," check "Merge cells" and click "OK." The cells are merged and centered.

  • Go to the "Finishing Template" section to complete the design.

Google Spreadsheets

  • Create a new spreadsheet in Google Spreadsheets.

  • Highlight cells "A3:S20." Right-click on the column header. Select "Resize columns" from the pop-up menu. Set the column width to "40" in the dialog box and click "OK." Right-click on the row header. Set the row height to "30" and click "OK."

  • Expand the "Borders" button in the toolbar. Select the top, right option to add borders within and outside the selected cells.

  • Highlight cells "A1:S1" and go to the toolbar. Click the "Merge" button to merge the cells. Expand the "Align" button and click "Center." The cells are merged and centered.

  • Go to the "Finishing Template" section to complete the design.

Finishing Template

  • Type "Title:____" in cell A1 and press "Enter."

  • Highlight cells "A23:J30" and merge the cells. Highlight cells "K23:S30" and merge them.

  • Go to cell "A23" and type: "Across." Go to cell "K12" and type: "Down."

  • Save the layout. In Excel, click the Office Button, select "Save As" and "Other Formats" and change "Save as type" to "Excel Template" in the dialog box. In OpenOffice Calc, select "File" and "Save As" and change "Save as type" to "ODF Spreadsheet Template" in the dialog box. In Google Spreadsheets, select "File" and "Save." Type in a file name and press "Enter."

References

  • Photo Credit pen in hand and crossword image by Nikolai Sorokin from Fotolia.com
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