table with fixed size cells for crossword

Hi guys,
I want to create a crossword and I need a schema, the grid with black and white blocks, where can I write letters.
I think using table is the easiest idea inside a writer document.
Unfortunately I am not able to create a proper table because I need fixed size cells in the table but when I create tables they have “elastic” columns size: regardless the number of columns, writer fills the entire page, the entire width of the page with the table.
Instead I need e.g. a 1cm x 1cm cell for variable tables e.g. 12 rows x 14 columns or 13 rows x 10 columns or 11 rows x 11 columns …
What do I need is an easy way to create those tables.

How can I do?



to manually define your column width you need to Right click -> Table Properties

  1. Set Tab: Table -> Category: Alignment to some other option than Automatic
  2. Tick option Tab: Columns -> Option: Adapt table width
  3. Specify column width in same tab

PS: Row height can be set using Table -> Size -> Row height

Please see the following sample file:


Hope that helps.

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With your tips I am on the right path but I still have a big issue. This perfectly works for the first crossword (e.g. a 10x12 table) but if I want to add a further column (the second crossword needs a 12x9 table), cells size change: table’s width stays the same but with one more column, cells width decrease! How can I fix this behaviour?

This doesn’t work as a one click action - you need to re-specify table properties.

That’s the real issue! because I have to create a bunch of crossword…

1- there is option to fix and add rows but there is NO OPTION (see Opaque’s answer) to handle with columns
2- there is no TRANSPOSE TABLE feature in Writer, which would be a workaround for the point 1)

The best solution I’ve found (and honestly not bad, elegant!) is to embed a Calc table (bigger than any crossword) and resize it as need:

  • format an entire Calc spreadsheet (20 rows and 20 columns are enough…) with 1cm x 1cm cells
  • copy the spreadsheet in the Writer document
  • resize the embedded window to your need (double click, then resize)

In this way rows/columns are not stretched when you resize the embedded window (REMEMBER to resize it only after you double clicked it!) instead you show more or less rows/columns

Hi, @mattia.b89

The crossword will be printed, right. Do it in Calc, it’s much more practical.

I would say that, if you want to avoid embedding a Calc table, then you might easily create a table in Writer with maximum possible column count and one row, without borders, as a template, copy it wherever you need, add rows as needed, and apply borders to the used part.