How to Make a Word Search Puzzle on a Computer

By Angel Sharum
Sample word search puzzle
Angel Sharum

Children and adults both love doing word search puzzles. You can use your computer to make a word search puzzle of your own. The program you will be using to make the word search puzzle is Microsoft Word 2007.

Get the list of words together. It’s best to have a theme for the word search. Some easy themes to come up with words for are nature, holidays, animals or famous people. Try to think up at least 10 words for the word search puzzle and twenty would be better. You can write your list down on paper or use the notepad on the computer.

After you have all of the words decided upon it’s time to get started on the puzzle. Open Word 2007 by going to the "Start" menu, "All Programs," then "Microsoft Office." Select Microsoft Word 2007. You will then see a blank page.

On this blank page, Type the theme of the puzzle in a large font and centered on the page.

To begin creating the body of the word search puzzle, hit "Enter" after the theme title a few times to move down the page. Then type a letter. It doesn’t matter what letter it is, because you are going to highlight it and change the font to Courier New with a fon size of 18.

You can choose to put your first word horizontally on the top line or not. Remember to put a space between each letter of the word search puzzle. Plan for 22 letters across.

When doing the next line just keep in mind the words you have started in the line above. Starting out it’s easier to only do this vertically and horizontally placed words. After you get the hang of making the word search puzzles you can do diagonal words also.

Where to put each new word is really a random decision. Just pick a spot and make sure to remember to line the letters up if doing the word vertically. You have fourteen lines to place all of the words in. Keep this number in mind and you can always go back and rearrange letters if need be.

After you have the word search puzzle itself completed, list the search words at the bottom.

Now you need to proofread the puzzle to make sure you have all the words there and in the right order. It’s easy to get the lines mixed up.

To format the puzzle, center the word search puzzle on the page. To do this, right click in front of the theme title and highlight the entire puzzle. Then you’ll go to the "Paragraph" section on the tool bar at the top of the page. Once there, you will see two rows. Click on the second box in the second row to center the text. The icon looks like a list of vertical lines.

After you get the puzzle centered, just print it out and it’s ready for someone to play. To print the word search puzzle with Word 2007, select the printer icon in the top left corner of the screen.

About the Author

Angel Sharum is a freelance writer of articles and short fiction. She has over two hundred articles along with several short stories featured online and in upcoming anthologies. With a little over a year of freelance writing under her belt, Angel is well on her way to a successful writing career.