Making crossword puzzles with Hot Potatoes in 10 simple steps
Let’s start with the program itself – Hot Potatoes is freeware and you can download it from: https://hotpot.uvic.ca/.
The software includes six applications that allow you to create different types of interactive tasks (e.g. multiple choice questions, word-formation and matching exercises, gapped sentences, etc.) that can be uploaded onto an e-learning platform.
From among the six applications, JCross is a tool which makes it possible for users to compile and print crossword puzzles. It is easy to use and reliable. It can be used “off-line” and we can save the results of our work in files on our computers.
10 simple steps to create a crossword with JCross:
- Download Hot Potatoes (compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac).
- Install HP on your computer.
- Run HP and choose JCross:
- Choose the option “Automatic Grid Maker” from “Manage Grid” in the menu:
- Type in your words – each in a separate line, choose the maximum grid size and make the grid:
- Give your crossword a title and choose “Add clues”
- Click on the first word on your list, enter the clue in the box and press the “OK” button on the right (the one marked with a red tick). Repeat the procedure for each word and then press the “OK” button at the bottom (the one with the green tick). TIP: maximize your Hot Potatoes window to see all the words on your lists or scroll down to enter all the clues):
- Save your file (select “File” and “Save as” from the menu, choose your location):
- Choose “;File” and “Export for Printing” from the menu:
- Your crossword puzzle should automatically open in a new tab in your browser. There it is! J Right click the mouse and choose “Print” or press Ctrl + P to print out your work.
TIP: Remember to make sure that you also print background colors and images (see the screen shot below: the “Obraz w tle” option in “Więcej ustawień” is selected – otherwise the crossword is all white):
Congratulations! Now you can use the crossword to help your Students revise vocabulary or practice definition-making, for example (just click on the crossword puzzle title in your browser window to fill the grid = create a key)!
Lecturer at the Centre for Foreign Languages at Lodz University of Technology