Normal Tries to fill the whole grid with words. With harder grids, if you think it might be quicker to start again, or you've spotted a word you don't like, you can hit the spacebar and it will 'jog' the process.
There is a web page about the programming side of this feature. It includes a detailed discussion of the methods I have used and how they work.

Fun This works best from a blank grid, but will work around black squares. It then works through the dictionary, fitting in words where it can, and then fills the remainder with blanks. If you press the Cmd key as you click on the autofill button, the process will repeat until all the words in the current dictionary are used, or you cancel, whichever is the sooner. Great for making themed, educational or children's puzzles with smaller dictionaries.

Mixed This uses the Main Dictionary in combination with a user one; therefore you must choose a user dictionary before selecting this method. Then both are used together, but priority is given to the user one. You can 'jog' with the spacebar, as per Normal above.

Wordsquare Creates a wordsquare from a blank, empty grid, with words reflected about the NW/SE axis. If Wordsquare fill is unexpectedly disabled, try blanking the grid with the eraser (in Fill mode).
Creating large wordsquares has taxed the brains of lexicographers for decades, and there's a definitive essay on the subject at:

The dictionary called "Wordsquares" contains all the words which comprise the squares in the essay, so you can cheat by making a blank 9*9, say, selecting that dictionary with the Wordsquare fill, and Hey Presto. Otherwise, XWord manages a 7*7 reasonably quickly. If you have a fast Mac and leave your computer on overnight, please let it run with an 8*8 and let me know the result!The type of fill last selected will be the default for a new grid, if appropriate.


The Autofill part of Xword Studio is naturally dependent on the quality and scope of the dictionaries. The Main Dictionary is based on "Knuth Words", available from:

NB: Make sure the dictionaries folder is in the same folder as XWord Studio itself, and that the filename of the main dictionary is exactly:
Main Dictionary

If you know your way around HTML, and how to edit file resources with ResEdit, you can change some of the default properties of the HTML code as follows:
Quit XWord Studio, launch ResEdit and open the XWord application file. Double click the STR# box, then the HTML row, and you will see chunks of HTML source. If you haven't registered, there will be a link to my page at the bottom of yours. Even if you have, it would be great if you could put something similar in, eg by pasting the following at the very start of String #5:



You may want to allocate more memory for XWord Studio if

To do this:
1) Quit the program if running.
2) Select the XWord Studio icon in the Finder (one click).
3) Press Cmd-I
4) In the window that opens, increase the 'Preferred size' amount.
5) Relaunch XWord Studio.


Please contact me with suggestions, complaints, comparisons etc. I will assume you don't mind my using favourable comments as quotes on the web site, unless you specify otherwise. 

Greg Chapman February 2002