Sudoku is a program for Windows. It works on Windows 98, NT 4.0, 2000, Me, XP, Vista and 7. It will work on Intel-based Macintoshes only if they are running Windows using Apple's Boot Camp software. It will not work under Mac OS X, even with virtualisation software like Virtual PC.
Sudoku has a couple of prerequisites. If they are not installed on your computer already, the Sudoku setup program will install them for you. They are all Microsoft's own updates to Windows, and may include an XML service pack, an MDAC service pack, and an updated version of Windows Installer.
The program gives you an endless supply of random, unique, original Sudoku puzzles.
- Endless, because every time you click the New button, you get a new puzzle. Always and for ever. It's not like some programs where you get 20 or 30 puzzles and then the program is all used-up and useless.
- Random, because the program does not play favorites with numbers and patterns, the way a human setter tends to do. There's no predictable, repetitive style.
- Unique, because every puzzle is different. You are the first person to ever set eyes on each puzzle. Although (in theory) there could be a coincidence of astronomic proportions, if it happened you should buy a ticket in the lottery.
- Original, because each puzzle is built from scratch, on demand. The program does not copy puzzles from a built-in preset library of puzzles.
Sudoku is jam-packed with features to make solving Sudoku puzzles easier and more fun. For the undaunted, these are no-hype notes about the program's features!
- Selecting number to enter: Four different methods: click a button on the number-toolbar, click any number appearing in the grid, use the keyboard, or rotate a mouse-wheel. Selection is confirmed on the number-toolbar.
- Input methods: Mouse or keyboard. Switch freely between the two (between puzzles or mid-puzzle).
- Pencilmarks: Enter pencilmarks with the right mouse-button (mouse) or with the Control key down (keyboard). The same action erases an already-present pencilmark. Allow up to 4 pencilmarks per cell (2 x 2) or 9 per cell (3 x 3). Select one of 3 different modes of ordering and positioning pencilmarks (Auto re-order, Append or Freestyle). Allow or disallow pencilmarks for each grade of puzzle.
- Puzzle grades: Basic grades are Easy, Medium and Hard. Hold down the Control key to make the basic grades into Very Easy, Anonymous and Very Hard respectively.
- Erasing: Use the Undo button to undo the last action. Redo it with the Redo button. For multiple erasures regardless of the order the entries were made, select the Eraser button and click on each undesired entry. Clear all pencilmarks and/or player's entries, in one action, by using a menu selection. User can explicitly allow erasing with double-clicks.
- Branching: Provided for those who prefer to use trial-and-error rather than pure logic. When you meet a fork in the possibilities, press Start branch. Thereafter, numbers appear in a different color. Eventually, Accept the branch (colors revert to normal) or Reject it (branch-numbers disappear).
- Time-keeping: Choose to keep time (or not). If keeping time, the clock can be visible during play, or hidden until puzzle is solved.
- Hall of Fame: Fastest times can enter the Hall of Fame. For each grade, there are slots for the 9 fastest times. Time-taken and date are entered automatically. Player can add name or short message. Eligibility to enter the Hall of Fame is limited to cases where the player cannot possibly have manipulated the clock, intentionally or unintentionally. Examples of being ineligible for the Hall of Fame: the player has paused the program, the player has taken a hint, the player has seen the solution. All Hall of Fame entries can be cleared, after confirmation. Hall of Fame is for Classic Sudoku only.
- Fully-used numbers: Choose to display (or not) those digits which have been fully used. If displaying, can be automatic, or at the player's direction each time.
- Hints: Allow or disallow hints. If allowed, receive one hint (repeatable).
- Wrong entries: Choose to flag wrong entries (or not). Wrong ones are flagged with a distinguishing color (usually red).
- Show solution: After confirmation, see the solution. Used by a player who gives up.
- Sounds: Choose to play sounds (or not). Switch off any or all of the 7 sound events.
- Pause: Use the Pause button or ESC key. Program minimises to the task bar.
- Cloaking: Choose to disguise the taskbar appearance when the program is paused. Change the program icon and/or the text.
- User presets: Save the option preferences of up to 3 users. Restore the preset settings on demand.
- Symbols: Choose to play with numbers, letters, hex numbers, colors and shapes, or any sequence of characters from any font. Examples: dingbats, signs of the Zodiac, VCR control symbols.
- Submitting answer: Choose mode of submitting answer for checking. Manual (player must click the Check button) or automatic (program checks answer as soon as last cell is filled).
- Printing: Print 1, 2, 4 or 6 puzzles per page. Select portrait or landscape orientation. Print out Very Easy, Easy, Medium, Hard, Very Hard or Anonymous puzzles, or any selected combination. Set the number of pages (up to 10 on one command), and the number of copies. Choose to print out solutions as well. Include or exclude the current on-screen puzzle, player's entries and/or pencilmarks. Import an appearance especially for printing. Choose to print puzzles using numbers, letters, symbols or colors.
- Dubbing: Select numbers in the normal way and enter them into the blank grid, so as to dub or transcribe an outside puzzle into the program. Click Verify to confirm there are no transcription errors. When verified, puzzle is played as normal.
- Using books: Save books of puzzles in the library. Load and play individual puzzles from any book. Up to 3 users can keep their solving records distinct from general users. Verify book, to confirm that all its puzzles are solvable. Create your own library books.
- Appearance: Customize a puzzle's appearance. Change the color of any of 35 different display elements. Change the thicknesses of lines. Change the fonts used for entries. Change size and positioning of symbols, and/or apply one of 5 different effects (Underline, Outline, Shadow, Emboss and Engrave). Adjust shadow offset. Choose to use a different color for the background of each box. Save settings to a style file, or use any of the 10 ready-made style files.
- Saving and loading: Save any puzzle, whether before, during or after solving; or while puzzle is still part-dubbed. On loading a puzzle which has been solved or partly-solved, player is given the option of using the untouched puzzle or the solved/partly-solved puzzle. Program can be launched from a saved-puzzle icon on the desktop.
- Puzzle recovery: A menu selection allows the puzzle on screen immediately before the present one to be recovered, viewed and played, either as an untouched puzzle or (where appropriate) as a partly-solved or solved puzzle. Useful if player has clicked the New button by accident while still working on a puzzle.
- Resizing: Application window can be resized to any shape or size, to share the desktop. Grid redraws, occupying same proportional area of window as before. Actual puzzle size depends somewhat on the 2 toolbars and the status bar, each of which can be toggled on or off. Choose between thick bars (large buttons) or thin bars (normal buttons).
- Help: Comprehensive Help topics explain all operations of the program, and how to solve Sudoku puzzles, with graphics where needed.