Being one of a few applications of such type, ScanWord Pro was specially developed for a publishing company to automate puzzles generation process and minimize the delivery time and costs spent on puzzles publication. ScanWord Pro allows generating up to 150 crosswords per day, using templates and customizing their size.
The application runs on Windows XP (SP2-SP3) and, due to utilizing Windows Presentation Foundation, has a user-friendly interface.
ScanWord Pro works as the following:
- Dictionaries containing words and definitions are stored in a database.
- A user can manually create a template, configuring the location and size of different elements, such as empty fields, pictures, patterns, etc.
- According to a pre-designed template, the application automatically generates a single puzzle or a package of puzzles.
- If necessary, a user can manually edit ready crosswords or scanwords.
- Ready puzzle can be exported to the desktop publishing application Adobe InDesign. At this stage, it is possible to set up various print settings, like the cell size and puzzles display format (only puzzles or puzzles with answers).
- Templates and dictionaries management
- Opportunity to select categories and levels of complexity
- Templates-based generation of puzzles and puzzle packages
- Balanced ratio of long and short words
- No duplicate words or definitions
- The template size can vary from 3х3 to 100х100 cells
- Each scanword package includes up to 100 puzzles
- 1 puzzle in 7 minutes is an average generation speed
- Ability to edit puzzles and export them to Adobe InDesign
- Customizable print settings
- User management.
The main project challenge was the implementation of the templates autofill algorithm.
We had to resolve time and productivity issues during puzzles generation, as well as performance problems, related to displaying large puzzles (100x100) on the application UI.
As a result, we have conducted numerous researches and experiments and managed to:
- increase puzzles grid from 15x15 to 100x100 cells;
- reduce puzzles generation speed from 1 hour to 7 minutes;
- enhance the application performance and resolve the problem with displaying puzzles.
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