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Sudoku Help - Grid Display

Here's a page from the extensive help system for Sudoku Dragon. It is available as a help screen when running the program. To get the full picture Download our Sudoku Dragon and see the screen in its proper context.

Sudoku Dragon shows the Sudoku grid made up of individual squares. You can re-size the grid and all the squares by dragging the bottom-leftmost corner of the window or you can make the grid take the full screen space by double clicking on the application title bar. The program will remember the position and size for the next time you use Sudoku Dragon. The size of the side panel to the right of the grid can be changed by dragging the bar located on its left edge, if you re-size the whole window the side panel size is automatically adjust so that the grid is as large as possible.

Selected column

To allocate a square you can use either the keyboard or the mouse to first select a square. When the square is highlighted just use the appropriate key '0' through '9' (or letters if you chosen this option) to allocate it to a square. If Num Lock is enabled you can use the keypad at the right of the keyboard to do this. You can select multiple squares by pressing CTRL at the same time as clicking the mouse, you can then allocate or set possibilities for all the selected squares at the same time.

Navigating with the mouse

Simply click the left mouse button on the square you want to allocate. The right mouse button will show a set of commands available for that particular square. Double clicking with the left mouse button gives Details and Possibilities for the square.

Navigating with the keyboard

First use the TAB key to make sure the grid has input focus (this is indicated by a large flashing underline in the current square) you can then use the normal keyboard navigation keys to move around the Sudoku grid (up, down, left, right arrow keys). The page up/down keys will move by a region, if you use CTRL key at the same time this will move horizontally rather than vertically. You can use Home to get to the top-left square and End for bottom-right square. If Scroll Lock is off the arrow keys will wrap around to the 'other' side of the grid.

Correcting a mistake

If you make a mistake, allocating the wrong square or allocating the wrong symbol you can correct it in several ways. The easiest is to use Edit | Undo to take back the most recent change. You can go back any number of Sudoku steps using Undo. Alternatively you can press the Delete or Space key to clear the allocation in the selected square. If you have an alternative allocation just make it by overwriting the current allocation. The program will stop you making an incorrect allocation by producing a special warning message.

Using the mouse wheel

If your computer's mouse has a 'wheel' in the middle you can use this to assign a number to a square. First click on the grid square you want to change. Then move the mouse wheel, all the available numbers will be displayed in turn. When the number you want to assign is displayed click with the left mouse button on the same square to make the assignment. To cancel the assignment click with the mouse anywhere else on the grid. If you use the mouse wheel then you do not need to use the keyboard at all in order to play Sudoku.

Changing the view

The grid uses a range of colors to give information about a Sudoku square. The currently selected square is highlighted and the currently selected possibility in the possibility bar causes all squares allocated to this symbol to be allocated. The last allocated square is given a highlight as it often useful to look through new solution possibilities opened up when making a new allocation. All the grid colors and text fonts can be changed use the Options command in the View menu or the toolbar button and then select the Appearance tab to change the way the grid looks.

Tentative Possibilities

If you want to enter your own tentative possibilities to squares rather than letting Sudoku Dragon do this automatically, you can do this simply by pressing the SHIFT key at the same time as pressing a number (or letter). So SHIFT+8 will set 8 as a possibility for the current square. To clear all marked possibilities for the current square use F7 or the Edit | Clear all Possibilities menu command. Possibilities are only displayed on unallocated squares.You can also mark number as 'impossible' in this case just press CTRL instead of SHIFT with the appropriate number. There is an advanced user setting that automatically takes out your own possibilities from those deduced by the Dragon, so you can easily track which possibilities have been tried and which ones remain.

Annotations

You can add your own notes to individual squares. To annotate a square double click on it or press the Return or Enter key or use Details from the Game menu. Any square with notes is indicated by a star mark and if you let the mouse cursor linger over the star the note will be displayed as a tip window. An allocated annotated square is indicated in the allocation list by a star marker.

Coloring

For really tough puzzles you may want to clearly mark squares to remind yourself what you have to consider/need to consider. In particular when using the alternate pair strategy to solve squares. There are six different colors to choose from and the coloring can be undone and redone just like square allocations. They are available from Edit menu under Color heading. It is also available from the Right click menu when you click the mouse on a square in the grid. When you have finished analyzing the squares you can clear all the colored squares in one go by choosing the Clear all coloring menu option

Side Panel

To the right of the grid is an area that can optionally display additional information. It has a tabbed window at the top. If the side panel is not currently open it will show just an arrow. To open the side panel you can click on the arrow.

The side panel may display three different types of information:

1. Grid allocation list

As you play Sudoku all the square allocations are remembered with the puzzle and displayed in a list on the right hand side panel. To review the allocations you can click on an entry, the allocated square will be highlighted. If you'd prefer to work blind, without the allocation list you can choose to switch it off using the View | No side panel menu command or click on the close button on the tab above the window.

2. Square Possibility list

Lists what possible numbers can go in the currently selected square. For full description see Grid Possibilities.

3. Square Notes

Your notes and tentative possibilities for the currently selected square. For full description see Grid Square Details .

You can switch to a different side panel window using the menu: select the option you want from the View menu; use the keyboard CTRL+F3 for allocation List; F11 for possibilities and F5 for notes; or click on the tab control at the top of the side panel.

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