What's New: Version 10

Version 10 is the biggest upgrade for many years, including significant improvements to many core features while maintaining a familiar interface and being fully compatible with Windows 10.

Updated interface

The program now fully supports high-res screens, so the icons and interface will look beautiful at any resolution. The Review/Edit Clues, puzzle Statistics and Clue Database Manager windows can now be left open and automatically update as you edit the puzzle. There's also a new notes feature, for scratch work or notes for editors.

Word List Manager

The word list manager is now much faster and easier to browse. Use the Word and Score filters to view and edit words starting with particular letters, matching a pattern, or with specific score. Select multiple words to delete them or change their scores.

Unicode and Word Lists

Version 10 is fully unicode enabled, so you can use characters and symbols in almost any language. Word lists can have a specific character set (as before), but there is also a new list format supporting the full Unicode character set. The New Word List window lets you specify which characters to allow, and also the mapping of equivalent letters (e.g. whether accents are ignored or not).

The grid filler can now use up to 63 different letters.

Clue databases

The database features have been rewritten, with support for new custom fields, powerful searching, and flexible import and export. The Clue Database Manager how has easy browsing, with option to filter to show particular words. You can also search for matches to clue text or other fields.

The database file format has changed, but there are new very flexible import and export options. Old databases can easily be converted.

Lock squares

You can now lock squares, words, or the block pattern and bars to prevent accidental changes. As before you can also lock the entire grid.

Puzzle Statistics

The statistics window has a new tab to show the distribution of letters. The window can also be left open as you edit the grid, automatically updating as you change things.

Pro Grid Filler (optional)

The Manual Word Selection can now be guided by you: if you don't want to fill the slot the program suggests, you can click on the grid to move to the slot that you do want to fill next.

The Pro Grid Filler also has a new options to fill directly from a clue database, or fill from multiple selected word lists. And it's now often twice as fast filling difficult grids!

Other changes in version 10

Grid filling

  • Grid filler can fill with up to 63 distinct characters, and up to twice as fast for tricky grids
  • Words Used window can be resized and also shows word length
  • Vocabulary puzzle filler feature to use clue databases of any size, and optionally mark used clues with date, and/or only use clues that were not previously date stamped or after a particular date.
  • Make sudoku with multi-numeral numbers or custom words

Grid and clue editing

  • Spell check window in Review/Edit clues now shows suggestions (Windows 8/10+ only)
  • Review/Edit clues windows now supports clues numbered by letter and random order, and button for clue properties
  • Grid properties option to hide arrows in clues-in-squares puzzle
  • Quickly drag left/right arrows up and down in the clue square editor


  • Similar words now checks words in grid against all words appearing in clues, and word searches for backwards words
  • Code solutions now checked against blacklist to avoid accidental vulgar words


  • Export option for pictures of specified pixel size
  • Web publish, export to files now has option to only export the applet .js file
  • Web page picture export includes high-res image versions
  • Copy to clipboard option to copy the description and solving instructions


Technical requirements

Crossword Compiler 10 will run on Windows Vista, 7, 8 and Windows 10. There are no special system requirements. It will also run well within a Windows virtual machine running on a Mac. If you have version 8 or 9, version 10 can either be installed as an upgrade or a separate installation. Puzzle files and word lists from previous versions are fully compatible with this version. Old databases can easily be converted.


To buy version 10 please see the ordering page. If you have an earlier version you can upgrade.

New in version 9

  • New solving applet, with support for iPad, Android 4+ and modern web browsers (HTML5/javascript). Does not require Java to be installed, faster to load and much more widely compatible.
  • Vocabulary puzzle and word search options to make a new fill removing words that were used in a previous fill (+ other enhancements)
  • Export of .puz files with rebus and circled letters; diagramless option
  • Open scrambled .puz files (automatically unscramble in the Pro version)
  • Export and open basic .ipuz files
  • Option to avoid accidental duplicates of words when making a Word Search
  • Accidental Words checks for accidental duplicates of key words in word searches
  • AutoFind tabs that are already viewed are shown in paler font
  • Preferences setting to specify default set of Explanation/Citation/URL items for Clue Editor drop-down (Custom Lookups tab)
  • Fine-tune the vertical position of horizontal arrows in the Clue Square Editor
  • Add Words in Word List Manager has button to paste a batch of words from the clipboard
  • Pro Grid Filler: Manual Word Selection window button to switch clue database
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