Making an Interactive Crossword Puzzle with Excel '07
Let's make a crossword puzzle that will tell your students if they type the right letters or not. We will start with four small words which form a square.
Open Excel and type the letters above in the same places you see them. [I made the columns narrow, but you can wait on that]
- Click on the letter A in gray (column heading), leave your mouse button depressed and drag over to column heading F.
- Put your cursor on the line between any two column headings, click and drag until Excel informs you that you have a column width of 7.00 (54 pixels).
- Click on the number 1 in gray (row heading), leave your mouse button depressed and drag down to row 6.
- Put your cursor on the line between any two row headings, click and drag until Excel informs you that you have a column height of 37.50 (50 pixels).
- Click on the letter E in cell B2, leave your mouse button depressed and drag to the letter a in cell E5. All letters should now be highlighted.
- On the Home tab in the Alignment section select Middle align and Center align (highlighted in amber in the image below)
- In the Font area, click on the down arrow to the right of the border button to display border choices, select All Borders .
- In the Font area, and select 24 in the size box.
The next step will be to color all of the squares without letters in them.
- Click in cell A1 (on your Excel worksheet, not on the picture above), depress the Ctrl key and leave it depressed until you have clicked on all squares that do not have letters in them. If you click and drag you must release the mouse button at the end of a line (but do not release the Ctrl key). Now click and drag another line of cells, until all are highlighted. (Note: The last cell selected will be outlined in black, but not filled with the highlight color. It is selected)
- Release the Ctrl key (but do not click on the worksheet), and click on the Fill Color button in the Font section of the Home tab. [I selected yellow.]
Two steps to go! Next you will add comments at the starting letter of each word, to serve as a clue to the word.
- First, the letter e. This one will require a clue for across and a clue for down. Put them in the same comment with an empty line between the two clues.
- Select cell B2 and select New Comment in the Comments area of the Review tab. Highlight anything that is already in the comment box and type the clues.
- Continue until you have clues written for each word.
Final Step! This step is what makes the puzzle interactive. If a student types the wrong letter in a box, the letter will turn red when the student hits the Enter key. This process is called setting conditional formatting.
- Click on the letter e in cell B2.
- In the Styles area on the Home tab, click on the conditional formatting button.
- Slide down to Highlight Cells Rules and then slide over and down to Equal To and click one time.
Step Three - In the Equal To window select the letter e (if that is the correct answer on your worksheet) in the Format cells that are EQUAL TO block. On the right side click on the down arrow to select the formatting you wish to use.
To select a specific color, select Custom Format and make the changes you want. Some people use Green for a correct answer, but I think Blue shows up better.
Come back to the Styles area on the Home tab, click on the conditional formatting button. This time, slide down to More Rules and click one time. Use the pull down menu to change greater than to not equal to and enter the same letter you entered in the process above.
After changing the cell value, click on the format button to open the same window shown two images above. Make the formatting color different from the correct answer formatting. Red is a good choice for a wrong answer.
Select another letter and continue the process until each of the letters have been formatted.
Save your work. If you want to avoid having a student change your work accidentally, save your puzzle as a template.