User manual

Granting access

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


In the live preview this button opens the photo gallery on your device.
You can choose from screenshots or regular photos you've got and use them with the scanner.

If you want to scan crosswords 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. Here you must enter a title for the crossword.
The scan may fail, miss some cells or fail to find where you can type. If this happens use one of the following options to assist the scanner.
Mark clues
Cells that are clues are indicated as blue, while the open ones have green outlines. Correct simply by tapping the cells you want to change.
If you miss anything the clues and open cells can be updated when you are solving the crossword as well.
Crop scanning area
Use this tool to set the corners of the crossword within the picture.
Add exclusion area
Use this tool to add areas the scanner should disregard such as images inside the crossword area.

Interacting with the list

List items

The title that was given while finalizing a scan.
Shows the upper left of the crossword grid.
Last update
Who performed the last update - and when.
With whom, if any, the crossword is shared.
Completion in percent.
Icon present if the crossword has not been opened yet.
Icon present if the crossword has unseen updates from others.
Icon present if the crossword has unseen chat messages from others.

Once you are in the solve screen, tapping an open field allows you to enter characters in the horizontal word it is a part of. If you tap the same field again you will swap to vertical entering.

Opens the chat for this crossword. Only available on shared puzzles for subscribed users.
Synchronizes your changes with those available from your friends that are also working on the same crossword. Only available on shared puzzles for subscribed users.
Use this icon to invite friends to help you with this puzzle. If you have not yet enabled sharing you will be asked to do so.
Crossword Scanner can suggest solutions to some clues on selected puzzles.
When overlaid by a cross there are no suggestions available for the crossword.
Tap a word to see whether a suggestion exists. If not the button will be disabled.
Once a suggestion is available the button will highlighted by an animation...
and finally look like this. The number in its corner indicates the number of free suggestions remaining for the puzzle.
After the initial free suggestions are spent it is possible to purchase more as signified by the $ sign in the button corner.
Less frequent options are revealed in a separate menu behind the list icon.
When the scanner has finished identifying what a puzzle looks like it will try to place all the clues. If it gets some of them wrong, this button allows you to fix that.
The scanner will cut your image such that only the puzzle itself is visible. If the crossword has its clues in a list outside of the puzzle area this may not be desirable. Tap this button to swap between the full image and the cropped crossword.
Choose font color (black or white) and decoration (plain, shadow, outline).
Tap this icon to see details on the puzzle such as who is participating if sharing is enabled.

Profile screen

Sharing in Crossword Scanner means the ability to send and receive invites to collaborate on solving puzzles.
Enabling sharing is done in the profile screen which can be accessed in three ways:

  1. Tapping the profile icon top-right over the crossword list.
  2. If you attempt to send an invite without enabling sharing the app will prompt you to do so.
  3. If you receive an invite before having enabled sharing the app will prompt you to do so.

Signing in

Crossword Scanner needs to know where to send invites to and from. This is your email address or username which can be provided to the app in four ways:

Signing in with Apple is typically the most convenient option.
When using Sign in with Apple you can opt to let Apple relay the communication with a random address they assign you.
While email relaying will work very well, and we are in favor of initiatives forwarding privacy, this random address is both hard to remember and tricky to type for friends that want to share with you.
No need to panic however, as you can always assign yourself a username that is easier to remember and type.
If you have set up Google accounts on your device, Sign in with Google is also a very convenient option.
If you have set up Facebook on your device, Continue with Facebook is also a very convenient option.
Sign in with email
This opens a separate screen with the typical account creation, verification email and options should you forget your password.


You will need an active subscription to actually participate in any shared crosswords. Currently there is a one month free trial before the 1.99$ subscription starts running.

If you already have an active subscription on your account you can, as is common with iOS apps, share it between devices or when you change devices by using the "Restore purchases" option.

As an added bonus subscribing also removes all ads from the app, and allows you to solve your puzzles here under the "Web crosswords" tab.

Synchronizing updates

Once you are set up for sharing, you can send invites to puzzles from the solve screen. New crosswords you are invited to will pop up in your list and be sent you as a push notification.
Whenever you open a crossword or tap the refresh button in the solver view, Crossword Scanner will attempt to combine your changes with what others have sent to the cloud storage.
You will be shown a merge screen where any new content sent by others is displayed in green, and content that does not match ( wrote different answers to the same clue) will show up as red.
You can tap each word and choose whether to use yours or their version. You are also given the option to use all yours, or all theirs, for convenience.

Does Crossword Scanner support RTL languages?
Yes. The writing directions, horizontal and vertical, are determined by the current keyboard in use.
This means that the country or current language in the device Settings app do not impact the writing direction - only the keyboard you select while actually solving a puzzle does.
Can I scan crosswords 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?
Subscribing to sharing and synchronization allows crosswords to be stored in the cloud, synchronized between your devices and opens for collaborating on those puzzles with other users.
And removes all ads.
I declined giving the app access to the camera and can’t scan. What do I do?
Crossword Scanner must have access to the camera to perform scanning. You can manually enable access in the device Settings app under the XWordScan section.
I am subscribed but the app tells me I am out of crossword slots in the cloud. What do I do?
Once subscribed you can participate in up to ten simultaneous crosswords shared in the cloud. Once you reach this limit the app will ask you to delete something to accept or send further invites.
Deleting puzzles happens on the front page by swiping left on the crossword you want to delete.
Will Crossword Scanner be released on other platforms such as Android?
There are no tangible plans for any other platforms at this time.
Does Crossword Scanner require internet access?
You only need internet access when sharing crosswords with friends or synchronizing them between your devices. Scanning and solving alone does not rely on any connectivity.
How do I access my crosswords in the browser?
If you are a subscribed user, any crosswords you have solved will be available by signing in with your username and password under the "Web crosswords" tab.
You can always retreive your username and password using the "Forgot password" option in the profile page of the app.
If you want to solve crosswords you have not shared with others online use the same procedure as when synchronizing between your devices: invite yourself.
Why can't I solve in the browser on my phone?
Modern browsers on smart phones are quite capable, but to save screen estate they will not open the keyboard unless they are certain it is needed. This means that custom page elements such that the crossword view cannot connect to the on-screen touch keyboard of most devices.
iPads with physical keyboards, typically connected through Bluetooth, will work.
How do I synchronize crosswords between my devices?
Invite your own email address. This will synchronize the puzzle to all devices you sign in to, as well as allow you to solve the puzzle in the browser on your PC.
Why do I need a username?
You don't actually need a username. What it does is make your friends' life easier when they want to invite you, as remembering it can be easier than remembering your email address.

Anything unclear or not working as expected?

Please contact us.