How to Create a Free Blank Word Search Puzzle

Updated February 21, 2017

A word search puzzle can be used as a learning tool to recap a lesson in a classroom. Words are hidden within a grid and can appear horizontally, vertically, diagonally or backwards. For simpler puzzles, try using a smaller grid with words hidden horizontally and vertically. You can create a blank word search puzzle which you can fill in later by hand or in a word processor. The template also might include an area for an answer key.

Create a new document in Microsoft Word by clicking on "File" and "New" or pressing "Ctrl+N" on the keyboard.

Type in the words, "Puzzle Title," then bold and centre the text using the buttons in the "Formatting" toolbar. Then press "Enter."

Insert a table by clicking on "Table," "Insert" and "Table." Enter the number of rows and columns you want the puzzle template to have. Then press "OK."

Select the table, then right-click on it. Pick "Table Properties" and the "Row" tab. Change "Specify Height" to 0.5 inches. Select the "Column" tab and change the "Preferred Width" to 0.5 inches. Select the "Cell" tab and change the vertical alignment to "Center." Then press "OK."

Go to the "Formatting" toolbar and change the font to "Arial," text size to "14" and alignment to "Center." Then deselect the table.

Place your cursor below the table (outside of it) and type the words, "Answer Key." Then bold and centre the text and leave room for the clues later.

Click on "File" and "Save." Change the "Save as type" to "Document Template" and name the file. Your blank word search puzzle now can be printed. You can return to Word to type in your words when you're ready, and then save the file as a DOC without modifying the template.

Open a new document in WordPerfect by selecting "File" and "New" (shortcut: "Ctrl+Shift+N").

Select "

" from "Group" in the "Select New Document" dialogue box. Then click on "Options" and pick "New Template."

Follow Step 2 of the previous section to format the top area of your puzzle.

Create a table by choosing "Table" and "Create." Determine the number of rows and columns you want and press "OK." Select the table and pick an "Arial" font, "14-point" text size and "Center" alignment from the toolbar.

Deselect the table and type the words, "Answer Key" (outside and below the table). Bold and centre the words.

Save the blank word search puzzle as a template by clicking on "File" and "Save." In the "Save Template" dialogue box, enter "blank puzzle" for "Description" and a file name in the "Template name" text box. Then choose "

" under "Template group" and press "OK."

Print out the sheet or insert the letters whenever you're ready.

Open a new worksheet in Excel by clicking on "File" and "New" (shortcut: "Ctrl+N").

Enter your puzzle's title in the first cell and press "Enter." Select the title and bold it (using the "Bold" button in the "Formatting" toolbar). Then press "Enter."

Create a table line by highlighting an area (10 rows across and 10 rows down). Click on the drop-down arrow beside the "Borders" button in the "Formatting" toolbar and choose "All Borders."

Click on "Format," "Column" and "Standard Width" and enter "4" for the width, then press "OK." Click on "Format," "Row" and "Height" from the toolbar and enter "20" for the height, then press "OK." Choose "Center" for the text alignment from the "Formatting" toolbar.

Deselect the highlighted cells and place your cursor in an empty cell below the table. Type in "Answer Key" and bold it.

Click on "File" and "Save," then change "Save as type" to "Template." Name the puzzle file and press "Save."

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About the Author

Foye Robinson is a freelance writer and Web designer with Precision Web Crafting. She shares her love for family/relationships, fitness and Web design in her writing. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Webster University and also writes miscellaneous articles and novels.