On the main page you can choose to choose a word search from one of the word lists, play a puzzle with random words from the dictionary, or create your own word list. Regardless of which word list you choose, the game itself works the same way.
The game generates a word search puzzle from the list of words, placing as many words as it can into random positions in the grid of letters. Words can be vertical, horizontal or diagonal, forwards or backwards. On the right is the list of words to be found.
Once you have located a word in the grid, click and drag from the first letter in the word to the last letter and then release. The letters will be outlined. If they match a word in the list, the outline will remain and the word will be dimmed in the list.
If you prefer not to have to look for words that are diagonal or backwards, you can re-generate the puzzle with those options turned off. Click on the OPTIONS menu at the top and then click Diagonal. Click on OPTIONS again and click Backward. You can also increase or decrease the number of letters in the grid in the OPTIONS menu.
Each time you make a change in the OPTIONS menu the puzzle is re-generated from the list of words. And progress you have made by outlining words will be erased and the puzzle will start from the beginning again.
You can change the background pattern and color in the COLORS menu. You can also change the color of the letters and the color of the outline. Click on the COLORS menu and then click on patterns and color chips. TO close the COLORS menu, click on the COLORS button at the bottom of the menu which will have an up arrow next to it.
You can also change the appearance of the puzzle in the SETTINGS menu. You can choose a Serif or Sans-Serif font for the letters. You can also choose between a solid or an outline for selecting letters in the grid.
Save and Load
If you are in the middle of a puzzle and want to save your progress, choose the COMMANDS menu and click on Save. This will save the puzzle and your progress. Next time you start any Just Word Search game, you can click on Load and it will load the last puzzle you saved.
You can print any puzzle. Choose COMMANDS and Print. The puzzle will be printed as it appears on the screen. So any outlines will print as well. To print a puzzle to complete on paper, start a new puzzle and customize it using the OPTIONS and SETTINGS menus first. You can also print a puzzle after you have completed it with the outlines included in the printout.
Clear and Restart
The COMMANDS, Clear button will clear off any outlines but keep the grid and word list intact. The Reset button, however, will re-generate the puzzle with the same options, though different words from the word list may be used.
The COMMANDS, Solve button will show all the words in the puzzle with outlines.
Word Definitions and Cheating
You can click on any word in the word list and a small three-button menu will appear. The first button, DEFINE, will pop open another browser window and show you the definition of the word. The second button, WWW, will pop open another window and search for that term. This is useful if the puzzle doesn't contain dictionary words, but instead words that represent people, places, locations, teams or other subjects. The third button, FIND, will outline that word just as if you found it yourself. It is useful if you have given up looking for a word.