Find Words Help


Find Words will help you find words to play in the game of Scrabble, Wordle, or help with crossword puzzles. You enter letters of the tiles you have in your hand (but see Available letters). Optionally, you can enter a letter or letters on the board that the suggested word must contain. You can also enter the letters the suggested word must start with and end with.

Four dictionaries are supported: The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, or OSPD; the Official Tournament and Club Word List, or TWL; and COLLINS (formerly called SOWPODS), which is used in most countries outside the USA, and COLLINS_DEFINE, which is the Collins dictionary with definitions. The WORDS dictionary is designed to work in crossword mode. It's the standard Linux "words" dictionary without any entries that have an apostrophe in them.

If you are familiar with regular expressions you can use them in Contains letters to limit your search.

A list of suggested words is displayed when you press Submit or press the Enter key. All entered data is cleared when the Clear button is pressed. The application can be closed with the Escape button. The suggested words are displayed first by highest value first and then if the values are the same, by alphabetical order.

Find Words has a limited ability to detect whether a word is a bingo (with an extra 50 points). Specifically, it may fail to catch bingos if Contains Letters contains certain regular expressions. This means it is possible (but not likely) that a bingo word may not display first in the suggested word list.

Type Of Game

Select the type of game you would like words suggested for. Selecting Crossword disables the "two dots only" check in the Available Letters and enables a new field, Number of Letters. You may also want to use the WORDS dictionary because it contains names, but any of them will work. Selecting Wordle sets the Number of Letters to 5 and changes Available Letters to Can't Have Letters (see below).

Available Letters/Can't Have Letters

Enter the letters of the tiles in your hand. If you have blank tiles, enter these as dots (.). If the type of game is Wordle, this becomes Can't Have Letters entry. With this type of game, the available letters are determined by removing the letters from a complete alphabet.

Contains Letters

Enter letters on the board that the suggested word will intersect. Regular expressions are allowed. For instance, if you know you want a letter "a" as the third letter, enter "^..a". The regex will be tested to make sure it is a valid Java regular expression. Note that if you use "^", any letters in the Starts With field are illegal, and if you use "$", any letters in the Ends With field are illegal.

You may also use commas to separate the letters. Here's how it works: If you enter letters into Contains Letters without commas, then Find Words will search for that exact pattern. But if you enter letters separated by commas, then all the letters must in the word in any position. For instance, if you enter the letters "ore" into Contains Letters, then you get words that have those letters in the same place, for instance, "store", but not "reorder". But if you enter "o,r,e", then the word "reorder" would be found since it has each one of those letters.

Starts With

Enter the letter or letters the suggested words should start with.

Ends With

Enter the letter or letters the suggested words should end with.

Use of Capital Letters

The Contains Letters, Starts With, and Ends With fields will all take capital letters. These have a special meaning, best illustrated by an example.

Say there is a letter on the board, "m", and you know you want to take a letter from your hand, "a", to make a word that contains "ma". You could remove the "a" from your Available Letters field and enter "ma" in the Contains Letters field. However, you now have to remember to put back the "a" if you look for another list of words with different settings.

The shortcut for this is to use capital letters in the Contains Letters, Starts With, or Ends With fields. Entering "mA" in the Contains Letters field means, I want to see a list of all words that contain "ma", but first remove one "a" from the Available Letters field.


Select the dictionary to use. The default is COLLINS. Selecting the COLLINS_DEFINE dictionary will display definitions after the suggested word and score. WORDS is the only dictionary that contains names, therefore it is not suitable for Scrabble and Wordle.

Number of Letters

This field holds the exact number of letters the suggested words should contain. It's value can be 0 - 20, or blank, which is the same as zero. Zero or blank mean no restriction is applied. If the Type of Game is Wordle, the length is set to 5.