Pic-a-Pix puzzles can be played interactively on the computer, offering many features and advantages compared to pencil and paper. This section explains everything about how to play Pic-a-Pix Interactive.
If you are not yet familiar with the puzzle rules, please go to Pic-a-Pix rules.
Filling and blanking squares
Pic-a-Pix Interactive is played by filling or blanking squares in a grid. First click fills a square, second click displays a dot to indicate the square is blank and third click brings the square back to its original state. Multiple squares may be filled or blanked by dragging the mouse.
Checking off clues
When a block is completed, the corresponding clue is no longer needed and may be checked off to simplify solution process and reduce mistakes. Click the clue you wish to check off. Click again to bring clue back to the original state.
Completing row or column
When all squares in a row or a column are completed, a gray triangle will appear. To finish the game, all squares must be either filled or blanked according to the rules. When the last square of the puzzle is filled or blanked correctly, a congratulations message together with a thumbnail of the puzzle will pop up.
Using the rulers
Pic-a-Pix Interactive offers horizontal and vertical rulers to help focus on the clues of the row or column being solved. The rulers also contain block-length counters at their tips, showing the length of the filled, blanked or empty blocks on which the mouse is currently positioned. Ruler color may be changed or rulers may be hidden by selecting options in the Preferences dialog box as explained below. In addition, ruler movement may be “frozen” any time during the game by pressing the Ctrl key.
All game functions are accessed through the toolbar. For some toolbar buttons, keyboard shortcut keys are also available as listed below. Toolbar may be positioned horizontally or vertically using the rotate button on the left edge, and relocated anywhere in the game by dragging its frame.
Color picker (Keyboard: Spacebar)
In Color Pic-a-Pix puzzles, click on the appropriate color picker button to select the color you wish to use next. Colors may also be changed using the keyboard spacebar or using numerical keyboard shortcuts when the “Show Color Picker keyboard shortcuts” preference is checked.
Enlarge small puzzles for best viewing on your screen.
Reduce large puzzles for best fit on your screen.
Undo (Keyboard: U)
Go back as many steps in the game as you want.
Redo (Keyboard: R)
Go forward after using Undo as many steps as you want.
Mark squares (Keyboard: 0)
Marking squares is a useful feature, especially in large puzzles, to highlight squares while counting and analyzing rows and columns. When in the Mark square mode, first click marks a square with a small circle and second click unmarks the square by removing the circle. Large areas may be marked or unmarked using click and drag.
Clear all marked squares at once.
Compact mode (Keyboard: Tab)
Compact mode enables playing large puzzles without reducing the size of the clues. When in Compact mode, rulers may be moved by clicking and dragging their tips with the mouse or by clicking the appropriate arrow keys on the keyboard.
Restart puzzle to solve from the beginning.
Check puzzle (Keyboard: C)
Check all filled and blanked squares for errors.
Show preview and elapsed solving time.
Show solution of the puzzle. Using this button will also end the game.
Open Preferences dialog box. New preferences will be automatically saved on the computer.
Open About dialog box to see puzzle size, difficulty, ID, title and other information.
Open Pic-a-Pix Interactive page you are reading now.
Open Print dialog box. New print options will be automatically saved on the computer.
Save puzzle (Keyboard: S)
Save current state of the puzzle.