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Christopher Lee

Creating a Wordsearch using Google Spreadsheets - 1 views

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    SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2009 Creating a Wordsearch using Google Spreadsheets I'm a fan of alternative learning and testing techniques. Back when I was the teaching assistant for the "History of Video Games" class (yes, that's a real class), I gave the final exam as an illustrated crossword puzzle. It was surprisingly hard to find software for creating that crossword, so I hoped to make a Spreadsheets gadget to make it easier. Unfortunately, crossword-solving algorithms that run entirely in JavaScript are hard to find, and I gave up and went for second best: a wordsearch gadget. (A big thanks to Robert Klein for the wordsearch JavaScript library.) Here are steps for using the gadget: Create a new spreadsheet, and put a list of words in the first column. (Or, alternatively, use an existing spreadsheet that has a column of words you're interested in). My sample spreadsheet has a simple animals wordlist: Click on the "Insert" menu and then select "Gadget..." This presents you with various categories of gadgets to choose from (similar to the iGoogle directory). My gadget isn't yet in the gallery, so you'll need to select "Custom" and then type in the URL to the gadget: The gadget will appear embedded in the current worksheet, and it will prompt you to select a range of data to send to the gadget. Select all the cells that contain the desired words, and you should see the Range text field update with the range. If it doesn't work, you can always manually type it in. You can now customize the number of rows and columns. The default is 10 by 10, but if you have more words, you likely want a larger wordsearch. Click "Apply", and see the generated output. You have a few options for how you use the wordsearch. You can play with it immediately, inside that gadget, or you can use the option on the gadget menu to move the gadget to its own sheet and use it there. Note that each time you reload the spreadsheet, the wordsearch will be randomly generated with a new layout - so
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