Create a Word Search in MS Word

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Create a Word Search in MS Word

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Creating the Grid
  3. Making the Cells Square
  4. Centering the Text in the Cells
  5. Adding a Title to the Word Search
  6. Centering the Table on the Page
  7. Inserting the Words
  8. Creating Two Columns of Words
  9. Aligning the Text Boxes
  10. Grouping the Text Boxes
  11. Adding Random Letters to Fill the Spaces
  12. Customizing the Word Search
  13. Conclusion



In this tutorial, I will guide you on how to create a word search in Microsoft Word. Word searches are a fun and interactive way to engage your audience and challenge their vocabulary skills. By following these step-by-step instructions, you will be able to create a customized word search easily.

1. Creating the Grid

To start creating a word search, open a blank document in Microsoft Word. Go to the "Insert" tab and click on the "Table" button. From the drop-down menu, select "Insert Table." A dialog box will appear, allowing you to customize the grid. For this demonstration, we will use a 15x15 grid by entering the number 15 for both columns and rows.

2. Making the Cells Square

By default, Word stretches the table across the entire document. To make the cells square, select the entire table by clicking on the square at the top-left corner or by clicking and dragging the mouse. Then, go to the "Layout" tab and navigate to the "Height" and "Width" sections. Customize the measurements according to your preference. For example, you can set the height and width to 0.7 inches. Ensure that all the cells become square and have a blue highlighted shading.

3. Centering the Text in the Cells

To make the letters appear centered within the cells, select a cell and go to the "Layout" tab. In the "Alignment" section, click on the middle icon to center the text. From now on, any letter you type will be in the center of the cell.

4. Adding a Title to the Word Search

To make your word search visually appealing, add a title above the grid. Place your cursor in the top-left cell of the table and press Enter to move the table down slightly. Then, type your title and format it using the options in the "Home" tab. You can increase the font size and underline the title to make it stand out.

5. Centering the Table on the Page

To ensure that the word search is aligned and centered on the page, select the entire table. Go to the "Home" tab and click on the "Center Text" button in the Alignment section. The table will be centered horizontally on the page.

6. Inserting the Words

Next, we will insert the words into the word search. It is best to insert the words at the bottom of the document using a text box. This allows flexibility in moving them around. To insert a text box, go to the "Insert" tab, click on the "Text Box" button, and select "Draw Text Box" from the drop-down menu. Click and drag on the document to create a text box.

7. Creating Two Columns of Words

To fit more words into the word search, you can create two columns of words. Simply make an additional text box and move it beside the first one. Copy and paste the words into the new text box, and adjust the placement as needed.

8. Aligning the Text Boxes

To align the two text boxes, select them both by holding down the Command or Control key on your keyboard and clicking on each text box. Then, go to the "Shape Format" tab and click on the "Align" button in the Arrange section. Choose the "Align to Middle" option to align the text boxes vertically.

9. Grouping the Text Boxes

To ensure that the text boxes move together as one unit, you can group them. Select both text boxes, go to the "Shape Format" tab, and click on the "Group" button in the Arrange section. Now, you can move the text boxes around together. If you need to edit them individually, select them and click on the "Ungroup" button.

10. Adding Random Letters to Fill the Spaces

Once all the words are inserted, you can fill the remaining spaces in the word search with random letters. This step adds an element of challenge to the puzzle. Simply use the keyboard to input random letters into the empty cells.

11. Customizing the Word Search

You can further customize the appearance of your word search. To change the color of the grid's cells, select the table, go to the "Table Design" tab, and use the options under the "Shading" section. You can also adjust the size of the borders by selecting the table, going to the "Table Design" tab, and selecting a thicker border from the "Borders" drop-down menu. Additionally, you can change the font size of the text by selecting it and using the font size options in the "Home" tab.

12. Conclusion

Congratulations! You have successfully created a word search in Microsoft Word. Remember, word searches are a fantastic way to engage and challenge your audience. Experiment with different word lists and customizations to create unique and exciting puzzles. Have fun and enjoy the process of making your own word search!

Pros and Cons


  • Easy to create and customize
  • Engages and challenges the audience
  • Can be personalized with different themes and word lists
  • Can be shared and printed for offline use


  • Limited to the capabilities of Microsoft Word
  • Requires manual input of words and random letters
  • Formatting options may vary depending on the version of Word


  • Step-by-step guide on creating a word search in Microsoft Word
  • Customization options to personalize the word search
  • Tips and tricks for aligning and formatting the elements
  • Engaging the audience with an interactive and challenging activity


Q: Can I use this tutorial for other versions of Microsoft Word? A: Yes, the instructions provided should be applicable to most versions of Microsoft Word. However, some interface elements and options may differ slightly.

Q: Is it possible to include images or graphics in the word search? A: Unfortunately, this tutorial focuses on creating a text-based word search. Adding images or graphics would require additional steps and formatting.

Q: Can I save and share the word search as a separate file? A: Yes, once you have completed the word search, you can save it as a separate file and share it with others. Use the "Save As" option in Microsoft Word to save it in your desired file format.

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