Changing clues in a crossword without changing the layout

Currently, when you change the clues in a saved crossword puzzle, EclipseCrossword will rebuild the layout of the puzzle. However, there is a workaround you can use if you really want to do this.

Make a backup copy of your crossword puzzle file

If you make a mistake while following these steps, EclipseCrossword will no longer be able to open your crossword puzzle file. Make a backup copy of your file before you start.

  1. Find your crossword puzzle on your computer and click on it to select it.
  2. Press Ctrl+C to copy it.
  3. Press Ctrl+V to paste it to the same folder.

You should end up with two copies of the file. One will be named something like “My Crossword - Copy”. That’s your backup copy, so don’t make any changes to that one.

Open your crossword puzzle in Notepad

Notepad is a text editor that comes with Windows. You’ll use it to make changes to your puzzle file.

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Type notepad and press Enter.
    • On extremely old versions of Windows, instead click All Programs, then Accessories, then Notepad.
  3. In the Notepad window, click the File menu and then Open.
  4. In the Files of Type dropdown list, choose All files.
  5. Now, find your crossword puzzle file on your computer and Open it.

The puzzle will look something like this (trimmed down for readability):

; EclipseCrossword (1.x.x) crossword puzzle
Title: Sample puzzle
Width: 5
Height: 5

* Across words
; ------------------------------------------------------------
HAT: 2, 3: headgear

* Down words
; ------------------------------------------------------------
CAT: 3, 2: feline

Make changes to your clues

Now, you can change the clues for any of the words in your puzzle. Be sure not to change the formatting of the line—if you remove a colon, for example, EclipseCrossword won’t be able to read that word and clue anymore, and you may break your puzzle.

For example, you could change the clue for “HAT” to be “chapeau.”

You can change as many clues as you’d like. Don’t change the words, though. If you need to change the words, you should do it in EclipseCrossword and let the software build a new puzzle layout for you. For example, in the above example crossword, the words “HAT” and “CAT” intersect in the middle at the letter “A”. What happens if you change CAT to DOG? Suddenly, one word says that the middle letter is “O” and one says it’s “A”. That would be very confusing to EclipseCrossword.

Once you’re all done, open the File menu and click Save to save your changes. Then, double-click on your crossword file to open it in EclipseCrossword and see how it looks.

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