User manual

1) Redeem the trial period

The first time you start the app, it will offer you a trial period in which all features are unlocked and freely available.
If you do not redeem it in the onboarding card, you will be able to do so later when solving a Word Search by tapping the search field.

2) Scan a new Word Search

Tapping the camera button on the display bottom will, after you grant the app access to the camera, start the scanning process.
Find a Word Search in your favorite newspaper, magazine or on a piece of paper. Point the camera towards it and observe how the app tries to capture the grid.
Once you are satisfied it has captured what is needed, press the snapshot button. This will start the construction of a solution which, depending on the quality of the picture, may need your help. Finally give the puzzle a name and it will be stored on your device.

3) Use your new scan

You will be sent directly into the Word Search once you finalize it. Later it will be present in the main menu on the front page.
Trace some words manually to get a feel for how it works by tapping the small hand in the corner.
At the top of the display, just right of the back button, you'll find the search field. While in the trial period you may search freely.

Granting access

When you tap the scan button for the first time you are asked to grant access to the camera for Word Search Scanner. If you decline access, you must later open the Settings app on the phone, navigate to its Word Search Scanner entry and enable access to the camera there.


Direct the camera towards a puzzle to see what the scanner is able to identify. The live preview shows you exactly what Word Search Scanner sees, helping you to capture exactly what you expect.
Once you are satisfied tap the snapshot button to finalize.
The flash is enabled by default, and typically helps avoid hard shadows if you are blocking a light source. Tapping this icon will disable the flash.

Getting the image right for the scanner can sometimes be challenging. There are some things you can keep in mind to improve the results:

  1. Straighten the paper as much as possible.
  2. Ensure sound lighting conditions. Daylight is ideal.
  3. Avoid sharp shadows and lens flare.
  4. Try minimizing tilt.
  5. If the puzzle covers multiple pages minimize the bends.
  6. Keep the camera as stable as possible when looking at the puzzle.


You can choose from screenshots or regular photos you've got and use them as input to the scanner.
If you want to scan Word Searchs from your other digital subscriptions such as newspapers or magazines, you must first grab a screenshot on the relevant pages from these.

The screenshots will then appear in your gallery, and can be scanned just like any other picture or photo.

Finalizing the scan

Once scanning is complete a final review screen of the new puzzle is shown.
The app will attempt to automagically build a solution based on the image; you can observe this process play out as each character is (attempted) identified and given an according background color.
You will be presented the characters whose background is either orange and red and, once finished, given the opportunity to review the complete results.
Once satisfied you must name the puzzle before it is complete.

Interacting with the list

List items

The title that was given while finalizing a scan.
Shows the upper left of the Word Search grid.
Last update
Who performed the last update - and when.
Solution coverage
An estimate of how good the solution is based on the scan and character detection process described earlier.
The number of words that have been found; manually or through search.

In the solve screen you are presented with two views of the puzzle.
The initial picture you captured allows you to add or find words, and a list of identified words is shown either below, or to the right of the picture depending on the orientation of the device.

Tap once to enter trace mode, in which you can trace words manually with your finger. To cancel without adding a word tap again.
Export your findings; this will open the default share options of the device with a image of both list and initial pictre, as well as the words you've found in text format.
Use this button to fine-tune the solution after you have left the scanning screen.
Word Search Scanner can use its solution to search for words.
When overlaid by a cross the solution is not good enough to be used.

Besides tracing words yourself, Word Search Scanner can leverage the solution built during the scanning phase to search for words in the grid.
Always use the Search field at display top when accessing the solution.

Trial period

When installed the app will present an option to redeem a trial period. The trial period can only be used once, but if you skip redeeming it during the onboarding session it can still be activated later.
In the trial period all searches are free.

Word coins

Once the trial period is over, searches must be purchased with WordCoins. You can always see your current supply of WordCoins in the gold coin next to the search field; tapping it opens the WordCoin store where more can be bought.

Single searches

Single searches allow for performing a single search - though it may return more than one result. These are one WordCoin each.
Buying a search has the nice benefit of disabling ads for the impacted puzzle.

Unlocking full puzzles

Unlocking full puzzles acts like the trial period for that particular Word Search; every subsequent search is free and appears immediately when the Search button is tapped. These are ten WordCoin each.
Unlocking a puzzle has the nice benefit of disabling ads for it.
Can I scan Word Searches from digital subscriptions?
Yes. This is a two-step process; first open your subscription and capture a screenshot to your Photo Gallery.
  • Learn how to capture screenshots on iPhone.
  • Learn how to capture screenshots on iPad.
The second step of the process is selecting the screenshot from your Photo Gallery when scanning in the app.
Is there a way to disable the ads?
Unlocking puzzles and buying individual searches also has the benefit of removing ads completely for the impacted puzzles.
I declined giving the app access to the camera and can't scan. What do I do?
Word Search Scanner must have access to the camera to perform scanning. You can manually enable access in the device Settings app under the XWordScan section.
Will Word Search Scanner be released on other platforms such as Android?
There are no tangible plans for any other platforms at this time.

Anything unclear or not working as expected?

Please contact us.