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Creative Crosswords

STEP 1: Select Columns A-K and adjust width to 20 pixels Here are two ways to adjust a column width: 1. Mouse: Hover the mouse curser over the column letter until you see a vertical line with a horizontal line with arrows at each end, then click and slide until the popup displays the desired width. 2. Home Ribbon: From Cells Menu, select Format, then Column Width. Change the column width value to character width i.e. 20 pixels = 2.14 characters.



STEP 2: Select Rows 110 and adjust height to 20 pixels There are two ways to adjust a Row Height: 3. Mouse: Hover the mouse curser over the row number as you did previously to adjust the column width.

4. Home Ribbon: From the Cells menu, select Format, then Row Height and change the row height accordingly. You should now have a grid of 11 columns and 10 rows evenly spaced. STEP 3: Add words to your grid. Using capital letters, type the words below into the cell range allocated: Spreadsheet A6:K6 Pixel G1:G6 Range C6:C10

STEP 4: Formatting Home Ribbon: Under Editing, select Go To Special Select Constants, then deselect Numbers, Logicals & Errors so that only Text is selected. Then select OK.

This action then selects all cells on the worksheet containing text.


Written by Tanya Duffy 2010

Right Click over one of the cells containing a letter, then select Format Cells. Under Alignment, change Horizontal and Vertical Alignment to Centre.

Under Font Tab, you may change the colour and Font. Under Border, select Outside and Inside under the heading Presets.

Under Protection, deselect Locked.

STEP 5: Prepare for formulas Type the words from this crossword in column M beginning with cell M1. Then using Data Ribbon, under Sort & Filter, select This will sort the words in the list alphabetically. Then, using the mouse curser double click on the join between columns M & N to widen column M, which allows all contents to fit within each cell.



STEP 6: New Formula Concatenate In column N, use the concatenate function to calculate the values of the cells in the crossword puzzle. The symbol & is used to represent the concatenate function and in effect replaces the + symbol when text is involved. You will notice, when a cell reference is made the colour is the same as that surrounding the cell it is referenced to. The symbol is located on the keyboard number Seven key in conjunction with the Shift key. STEP 7: Adding the crossword quiz questions Select the first letter of the first word in your list, and then Right Click with the mouse to select Insert Comment. Then add a definition of the word. You will notice a small red triangle appear in the top right hand corner of the cell.

STEP 8: Using the IF Function The object here is the IF function is to work out if the user has typed in the correct word. Then copy this formula down using the Fill command under the Home Ribbon and Editing

Word definition of the IF Function in this instance: This cell equals IF the cell two cells to the left equal the cell one cell to the left, if this is correct then display the word correct, otherwise display the word wrong.


Written by Tanya Duffy 2010

You should now have 3 instances of the word correct in column O.

STEP 9: Using the COUNTIF Function Using the COUNTIF function allows us to count the number of correct answers.

STEP 10: Creating a Thermometer Chart

Make cell O1 and P1 the active cells, then from the Insert Ribbon, under Charts, select 2-D Column chart.

Select the X Axis and Right click to reveal Format Axis In the Format Axis Dialogue box, change the Axis Options to reflect the number of questions. With questions in this case, the Maximum should be fixed at 3, Major units should be 1 and so on.

Right click on the blue area of the graph and select Format Data Point from the menu. Then slide the Gap Width down to 00 and click on Close.



Select and delete the Legend and Chart Title

Then, grab the right side of the chart and resize it as shown.

Select the X Axis, then delete. Repeat for Y Axis. Delete the word Pixel so that you have one question shown as wrong and reveal the background of the thermometer.

Right click on Blue Data Fill then select Format Data Series. Under Fill, select Gradient Fill, Linear and under Gradient Stops, select Stop 3, then click on Remove.

With Gradient Stop 2 Selected, From the Colour dropdown Icon, select Red. Adjust the Stop position to 25%. Next, Select Stop 1, then slide the Stop position slider to 0%. Then, choose a lighter shade of red i.e. orange.


Written by Tanya Duffy 2010

Right click on the Plot Area, and then select Format Plot Area.

Select Solid fill, then close.

Using the Insert Ribbon, draw a circle at the base of the thermometer. Right click on the circle to edit the colour fill and line.

STEP 11: Finishing Touches Right click on border of chart, select Format Chart Area, then for Border Colour, choose No line.

Select Row 1, then right click and Insert to a new row above the crossword puzzle. Adjust the height of row 1 to approximately 60 pixels to lower the puzzle. Then insert a column to the left of column A.

Select and drag the thermometer up to cover the cell with the COUNTIF formula.



Select columns N, 0 and P, then right click and select Hide.

Delete all the words from the crossword grid. Then, from the View Ribbon, under Show/Hide remove the tick from Headings, Gridlines and formula Bar if it is selected. Under Review Ribbon, changes, select Protect Sheet. Then deselect Select Locked cells, and then click on OK. Right click on the Main Ribbon, and then select Minimise the Ribbon.

Congratulations you have finished. When you hover your mouse over the first cell of a word, you will be prompted by the question.


Written by Tanya Duffy 2010

Extension Ideas: Create a command button which, when clicked on runs a voice recorded set of instructions OR displays a textbox with instructions OR a message box. Note: Each of these extension ideas will require VBA coding. Also, think about adding an image to the worksheet background to enhance the GUI [Graphical User Interface] To Add Sound: From the Insert Ribbon, select Object, then under the Create New Tab, select Wave Sound and click OK. When you are ready, click on the red circle and speak into your microphone. If you are happy with the recording, close this dialogue box, then double click on the speaker icon when you wish to play the recording. Alternatively if this option is not available in your version of MS Excel, you can use another program such as Audacity to record your voice instructions as a wave file and import it into your project.