Monday, 30 April 2018

Anagram Solver Guide

This is a guide for the Anagram Solver and Anagram Solver Pro apps for Android. 

Anagram Solver is a powerful word search engine with over 310,000 words, helping you to find anagrams, find better words in Scrabble, solve crosswords and much more.

The guide will explain how to use the app, make the best use of advanced features like filters and show you plenty of examples of how to use the app for many popular word puzzles / games, such as Scrabble, Words With Friends, Crosswords, 4 Pics 1 Word, Word Cookie and Countdown.


For the iOS version of this guide, please visit the iOS Anagram Solver Guide.

Basics

Main search bar

  1. Clear button, will clear the text field and return you to the main help screen
  2. Menu button, press this to see the menu options available
  3. Touch the text area to open up the keyboard and enter your letters
  4. Press this or enter on the keyboard to start a search

Tips
Tips are shown on the main screen, there are many tips for you to scroll through. Most tips are interactive, press the SHOW ME button to see the app in action.

Results Search Bar
The Back(1) button will return you to the main screen.
If there is space, the menu options will appear as icons, Clear(2), Sort(3), Copy All (4), Share(5). If there isn't space press the menu icon(6) instead.

The Results
  1. Number of results found
  2. Copy result
  3. Look up the word definition
  4. Filter button
  5. Sub-anagram
  6. Unused letters

Anagrams

Type in the letters you have, press Search to find all the possible words that can be made from those letters.
Enter the letters steam, to find: mates, meats, satem, tames, teams

For Countdown fans, guess these conundrums: ONEREDPIE, QUITESEXI and DOGGIRUNN
Try them in the app to see the answers.

Sub-Anagrams

Once all the anagrams have been found the app will then search for smaller words that use the same letters

Enter the word hearts to find: earth (s), share (t), rate (sh), she (art)
Note that the unused letters are shown after the word in brackets.

Anagrams and sub-anagrams are useful in many word games and are essential for apps like 4 Pics 1 Word and Word Cookie where you have many letters but need to make smaller words. See the Filters section below for filtering by word size.

Tip! You can turn off sub-anagrams from the settings menu

Blank Letters

Games such as Scrabble or Words With Friends have blank tiles, you can use to represent a blank tile.

Enter google++++ to find bootlegger, boondoggle, egyptology



In the screenshot above, the google letters are black and the 4 blank letters, ++++, are in red.

Tip! You can set the colour of the blank letters in the settings menu

Two Word Anagrams

Enter manchester united to find mechanised nutter, inducement haters, untested chairmen

The space indicates to the app to look for two words that use all the letters. In the example above the app will first search for words of length 10 and 6 letters, and then search for other combinations of words that total 16 letters.

Three word anagrams are also supported, try cli ntea stwood to find old west action. The spaces in the query set the size of the 3 words to be searched, 3-4-6 in this example. In practice you will find that most 3 word searches will return 1000's of results and may take 10 seconds or more.

Tip! You can use a hyphen instead of a space, eg cli-ntea-stwood

Crosswords / Missing Letters

Enter c..v.r to find clever, clover, carver

The . (period / full stop / dot) represents a missing letter. In this example the app will compare the pattern c..v.r to all the 6 letter words in its list of over 310,000 words.

This type of search is also useful for bad handwriting! Not sure what letters have been scrawled, use a . and see what matches you get.

Tip! You can use ? instead of . and from the settings menu you can convert . and spaces to ?

Shortcuts

If you have many missing letters, you can use numbers to represent a group of dots

Enter z9 to find zookeepers, zombielike

z9 is equivalent to entering z.........

Suffix @ Prefix

Whereas a . represents a single letter, @ represents 1 or more letters

Enter @ace to find face, hyperspace, peace

You can also mix . and @ in your search,
Enter sup@x. to find supergalaxy
Here @ represents ergala and the . y

Supergrams

Find larger words that contain your anagram letters, use * to represent 1 or more extra letters (blank tiles)

Enter microsoft* to find discomforting, nonconformists, oversimplification




So here, all the letters in microsoft appear in these words and are shown in black in the screenshot above, the red letters are the extra letters represented by *

Definitions

You can press the information icon on the right of a word to look up its definition on Google.  You can change from Google to Merriam-Webster, MW Thesaurus, Collins, Lexico or Wikipedia via the settings menu. For Scrabble fans I recommend the Word Game Dictionary lookup which checks if the word is allowed, its score and definition.

Anagram Solver works with the English Dictionary App from Livio, an offline dictionary. If you have the English Dictionary app installed, you can send words to the app for it to display their definition.

Instead of using the settings menu to change the default dictionary provider, you can long press a word to bring up a dialog of options:




Tip! The pop-up menu is quite large so you may need to scroll down to see all the options. Note that the Copy to clipboard option is the same as pressing the Copy button on the result. 

Filters





Most searches will return 5000 results, too many to easily wade through. You can press the filter button (it floats above the results on the bottom right) and get to the filter screen as shown above. You can set up 1 or several filters, press search and the app will perform the search again but this time with the filters applied.

As an example lets say you are playing Scrabble with the letters zsltera in your tray and you want to attach them to a tile on the board, say m. So enter zslteram as your query:




Press the filter button, top right, I would like to use up my z tile and the word must start with m


Scroll down to the starting with filter to enter m:



 Press search to run the search with the filters you have set




The other filters, especially for word size are essential for word games such as 4 Pics 1 Word and Word Cookie.

Advanced Filters

Word Pattern and Regular Expression filters are now available in the standard version of the app.



Word Pattern is very handy for Scrabble games as you can specify the pattern of existing letters on the board.
Use . to indicate any letter and @ to indicate 1 or more letters. 

So lets say on the board there is,a letter m, an unused square and z. Enter all of your tray letters (stlerai) and the letters on the board you would like to use (mz) in the main query, slteraimz

If you have unoccupied squares either side of the m and z letters, enter this for the word pattern .m.z. to get smaze. If you have plenty of space after the z, enter m.z@ to get maziest. 

If that makes sense, you maybe brave enough to try the regular expression filter (RegEx). RegEx is a very powerful matching tool used in computer string processing, don't panic I will give you a quick guide.

In the word pattern filter above, your pattern is converted into RegEx. So a . is converted in [a-z] meaning any letter a to z, @ is converted to [a-z]+ meaning 1 or more letters. Here are some more examples:

  • [aeiou] letter must be a vowel
  • [a-z]* any letter none or more times
  • [a-z]+ any letter one or more times
  • [a-z] any letter just once
For a simple crib sheet, please take a loot at https://www.petefreitag.com/cheatsheets/regex/ 

I will also mention this example that a user sent in, he wanted to use the letters thidgof to find all words made by any combination of those letters and each letter could be used multiple times, so for example food, foot.

  1. Enter * for the main query, this will match all words
  2. Enter [thidgof]+ in the Regular Expression filter


Tip! Remember to lookup the word on the Word Game Dictionary to verify that it is allowed in Scrabble.

Settings

You can get to the settings screen by pressing the menu key (top right ) and then pressing Settings from the menu.





The settings shown above are
  • Dictionary Definition - choose which dictionary provide to use when you press the information icon next to a word
  • Word List - Select the word list that the app uses. Chose TWL for US Scrabble words, SOWPODS for world Scrabble words and SCOWL for the standard word list of 310,000 words.
  • Results Limit - You can set the maximum number of results returned to 100, 500, 1000 or 5000.
  • Results Size - You can set the font size of the results and even select a large mono-spaced font.
  • Letter Highlighting - Chose the colour of the letters in Blank and Supergram searches
  • Show Keyboard - Automatically opens up the keyboard when you go to the main screen.
  • Show Filter - If the filter button is in the way, you can remove it here by deselecting this option
  • Show Copy Result Button - select this option to show the copy button on each result
  • Show Sub-anagrams -  If you only want to see pure anagrams and no sub-anagrams you can deselect this option.
  • Space to ? - Select this option to convert spaces to ? which are used for unknown letters
  • Full Stop to ? - Select this option to converts dots (.) to ? which are used for unknown letters.

Advertisements

The app only shows one ad banner along the bottom of the screen. The ads are provided by Google Admob. You can purchase an ad free version of this app from the Play Store.

From the menu, press About & Privacy, scroll to the advertisements section, press the BUY AD FREE VERSION button, you will be taken to the Pro version of the app on the Google Play Store.

From the About & Privacy screen you can also select to show more or less relevant ads. Google Admob uses tracking data to tailor ads to you, you can stop Admob from tracking you (and using any data it may have collected about you) by electing to show less relevant ads.

Help Out

Thanks for using the app and if you have upgraded to Pro, thanks again.

If you can think of any other uses for the app, please enter them in the comments below. Reading comments in the app store and feedback from emails, users have found all sorts of uses for the app such as deciphering handwriting, learning English, writing poetry,  writing quizzes, creating puzzles and even helping with a hearing disability ( I think they enter part of the word they heard)

Tell your friends about the app, it's available for all Android and iOS devices. You can send me feedback via email from the main menu in the app.

I hope you will enjoy using the app for years to come, remember it's not cheating - just saving you a little time ;)


Mark
App Developer

Updated 14th February 2020 for v4.14 and Pro v2.08