Importing cryptograms into Cryptoaid requires that the text be formatted just as if you typed it in character by character. Typing in the cryptogram just gets in the way of solving it. Any time you can get one already in text form, go for it. If it contains characters like tabs and returns or has a mix of lower and upper case, paste the text into a word processing program and fix it up. The Wordpad application of Windows is a good choice. Then copy the "cleaned up" cryptogram to the clipboard and import (paste) it into CryptoAid for solution.



There are many magazines which contain full pages of cryptograms. If your computer system has a scanner with an OCR program, you can avoid typing them in. Just scan the pages into a file and then import the individual cryptograms into CryptoAid one at a time.

There is a lot more to it than that!

It takes a good OCR program. Many OCR programs make up for lack of scanning accuracy by getting a lot of help from the included dictionary. As we know, there are no words in the cryptogram that are in the dictionary. There is no substitute for "raw" scanning accuracy. Of course, you can clean up the OCR's errors by editing in a word processing file. Some OCR programs have the ability to be "trained" to recognize individual character fonts. This is important if you want to avoid a lot of "clean-up" work on the file with a word processor.

The scanned text files usually have quite a few extra returns and tabs in them. Use Find and Replace from the word processor Edit Menu to clean up the file. If you replace two returns with one return, you can fix up a lot of the formatting problems with the scanned files. Use the landscape mode in the word processor. This will help prevent word wrap from being done. Also use as small a font as you can to keep each cryptogram on a single line and still read it. This is a convenience for copying the individual cryptograms into Cryptoaid later, not an editing problem in the clean-up. The ideal completed file will have the cryptogram number at the start of the line of text, and a return at the end of the line. The number is helpful to keep track of where you are in the file while using it for solving.

Once you have gotten familiar with how your OCR and word processing programs do their jobs, you will be able to solve a whole book full of cryptogams at a single session. With a minimum of typing.