How to Make Crossword Puzzle in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Creating a crossword puzzle in Microsoft Word is easier than you might think. You’ll need to create a table, fill in your words, and add some formatting. By the end, you’ll have a professional-looking puzzle that you can share or print. Let’s dive into it step by step.

How to Make a Crossword Puzzle in Word

We’re going to break down the process of creating a crossword puzzle in Word into manageable steps. By following along, you’ll create a grid, input your words, and format everything to look crisp and clean. Ready? Let’s get started.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word

Open a new document in Microsoft Word to begin.

Microsoft Word is your canvas. Starting fresh with a new document ensures that you have a clean space to work in without any distractions. Just open Word like you usually do and select ‘New Document.’

Step 2: Insert a Table

Insert a table to act as your crossword grid. Go to "Insert" > "Table" and choose the number of rows and columns you need.

Think about how big you want your puzzle to be. For a simple crossword, a 10×10 grid works well. Adjust the number of rows and columns accordingly. You can always add more later if needed.

Step 3: Fill in Your Words

Start typing your crossword words into the table cells.

This is where you get creative! Take your list of words and begin placing them in the grid. Make sure they intersect at common letters. It might help to lightly sketch this out on paper first.

Step 4: Shade Unused Cells

Shade the cells that won’t be used in the puzzle. Select the cells, right-click, and choose “Borders and Shading.”

Shading unused cells helps your puzzle look clean and directs the solver’s attention. You can choose a light gray shade so it’s clear which cells are part of the puzzle and which aren’t.

Step 5: Create Clues

Below the table, list the clues for each word you’ve entered. Number them to match your puzzle grid.

Your clues are the heart of the crossword. Keep them interesting but not too difficult. Numbering them to match the words in the grid helps the solver keep track.

Step 6: Format and Save

Format your puzzle to ensure it looks neat. Adjust the table’s borders, align text, and save your work.

Formatting is the final touch. Make sure your text is centered in each cell and that your table lines are clear. Save your document so you don’t lose your hard work.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a functional and visually appealing crossword puzzle!

Tips for How to Make a Crossword Puzzle in Word

  • Plan Ahead: Sketch your crossword grid with a pencil and paper first to visualize where words will intersect.
  • Keep It Simple: Start with a smaller grid if you’re new to making crosswords. You can always make bigger puzzles as you get more comfortable.
  • Use Synonyms: If you’re stuck on filling a word, think of synonyms or related words that might fit better.
  • Be Consistent: Use the same font and size throughout your puzzle to keep it uniform and easy to read.
  • Check for Errors: Double-check your clues and words to ensure there are no mistakes or typos.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add pictures to my crossword puzzle?

Yes, you can insert pictures into your Word document to accompany your crossword puzzle. Just use the "Insert" tab to add images.

How can I share my crossword puzzle with others?

You can share your Word document via email, save it as a PDF, or print it out to distribute physically.

Can I make a crossword puzzle using other software?

Absolutely, there are other software options like Excel, Google Sheets, and specialized crossword-making tools online.

How do I adjust the size of the table cells?

You can drag the borders of the table cells to adjust their size or use the "Table Properties" option to set exact measurements.

What if I need more rows or columns after creating the table?

You can easily add more rows or columns by right-clicking on the table and selecting "Insert" before or after the row/column you need.


  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Insert a table.
  3. Fill in your words.
  4. Shade unused cells.
  5. Create clues.
  6. Format and save.


Making a crossword puzzle in Word is a fun and rewarding project. Whether you’re creating it for a school project, a fun activity for friends, or just to challenge yourself, the process is straightforward once you break it down into steps. With a little practice, you’ll get the hang of it and might even start experimenting with more complex grids and clues. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

If you found this guide helpful, consider exploring other features of Word to create even more engaging puzzles and games. Happy puzzling!