Create a Word Search


Barbara J. Feldman

Word searches are popular because they are fun to play and easy to make. Whether you are a teacher looking for activities to customize for your curriculum, or a student looking for something different to include in a school report, word search puzzles fit the bill. The following sites create printable word searches from any word list. To see a sample puzzle from each site, visit Word Search Samples.

  • Discovery School: Puzzlemaker5 stars

    Puzzlemaker, my pick-of-the-day, offers an abundance of options and produces uncluttered, easy-to-read puzzles. And they don't stop at just word searches. You can also create criss-cross puzzles, double puzzles, cryptograms, and word searches with a message hidden between the target words. Ever come across a computer generated word puzzle with an inadvertent offensive word? Puzzlemaker has filters to prevent this from happening to you. Sign up for a free Custom Classroom membership, and you'll be able to save your puzzles for use at another time.

  • EdHelper:Word Seach5 stars

    EdHelper also generates a variety of puzzles, but not all are free, so navigating the choices can be confusing. To make a custom word search, enter your words, and click "Create Word Search Now!" The next page displays dozens of formatting options, but only the first three are free, the balance are for paid subscribers only. Your selection includes upper case, lower case, or no backward and diagonal words (for an easier puzzle.) Custom crossword puzzles are also free. You find the link on the horizontal "Also Try" menu.

  • FunBrain's Word Turtle4 stars

    With four levels of difficulty, and a choice between interactive and printable play, Fun Brain's Word Turtle hits the spot. The interactive option is unique among today's sites. It allows you to create a puzzle, and play it immediately. It does not, however, allow you to save the puzzle for play at another or time, or to create a version you can add to your own website. I'm not as keen on the printable version, however, because the row and column numbers add unnecessary clutter to the printed page.

  • Teach-nology: Word Search Maker4 stars

    With no complicated choices, Word Search Maker is simple to use. Enter up to twenty words of up to fifteen letters each, make up a title, and click the button. The puzzle generator repeats the letters from your words for the background fill, so if you use just a few, short words, the resulting puzzle is pretty difficult. Because of this, I would not use this tool for very young puzzlers. For everyone else, simplicity in use and a very clean printed format, make Word Search Maker a winner.

  • World Village Word Search4 stars

    Your choice of five puzzles sizes ( from 7x7 up to 15x15) make World Village Word Search an excellent choice for both easy and hard puzzles. At the smallest size, you can enter up to twelve words. The largest format allows up to twenty-four. The printed format is nice looking, and the interface is easy, making Word Village Word Search worth a favorites bookmark.

  • By March 10,2004

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!



    The Everything Giant Book of Word Searches: Over 300 puzzles for big word search fans!
    The Everything Giant Book of Word Searches: Over 300 puzzles for big word search...
    by Charles Timmerman
    (Paperback)
    - Usually ships in 24 hours
    Price: $8.19

    Take-Along Large Print Word Find Puzzle Book-Vol.52
    Take-Along Large Print Word Find Puzzle Book-Vol.52
    by Kappa Books Publishers
    (Perfect Paperback)
    - Usually ships in 24 hours
    Price: $2.59

    Word Search
    Word Search
    by Chirstopher Spirit
    (Kindle Edition)