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Helmut's Sudoku Formatter retired-how to post your puzzles ?

 
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nataraj



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 1047
Location: near Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:10 pm    Post subject: Helmut's Sudoku Formatter retired-how to post your puzzles ? Reply with quote

It's been 4 1/2 years since the announcement of "Helmut's Sudoku Formatter" as a replacement of the "Nataraj Formatting Tool."

- the Sudoku Formatter announcement was viewed 27k times
- the original Nataraj Formatter link received 63k views

There's been a tremendous amount of interest in those two apps - thank you, dailysudoku community!

This certainly warrants a small "How to", now that the app has changed, again:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Sudoku Formatter has been retired - when a new version of my "Helmut's Sudoku Helper" was published a few days ago. In this post I'll try to cover the most common "How To" questions with regard to posting positions and using Draw/Play on the DailySudoku.com site:

WHERE is the Helper ?

http://sudoku.saueregger.at/HSH/HSH.htm

Just one letter makes a difference: the formatter used to be at .../HSH/HSF.htm

I've received (yes, I heard them, and you guys were right!) comments about alphabet soup in my web addresses (long before Google turned into Alphabet child), so at least now there is only one bookmark ...

DRAW/PLAY:

The Sudoku Helper (HSH) expects you to enter a Sudoku as the first (and only) available action.
Either type or use the ASCII button in Draw/Play or use mark/copy/paste to get your position into the Helper and push the big green button with the checkmark.

Then (oh, did I forget to mention that the Helper is now Mobile Friendly and can be used on any device that has a modern browser?) look for the "Hamburger" (sometimes called Three-Bar-) Icon in the title bar and open the menu.

There is a menu option COPY/PRINT. Clicking on the "dropdown" icon shows a choice of formats for exporting your position. The second option is selected by default, this one is used to import your position directly into DRAW/PLAY:

Open a new tab with dailysudoku, go to Draw/play and you will see this string in the address bar:

"http://www.dailysudoku.com/sudoku/play.shtml"

Type (DO NOT copy/paste - you'll lose your position!) this after the ...shtml part, only three characters!: ?p=

Then hit Ctrl-V for paste (that inserts the position you imported earlier in a format that dailysudoku understands, including pencil marks) and Enter

The complete address looks like this:

http://www.dailysudoku.com/sudoku/play.shtml?p=246:7:19:196:3 ... "

Forum Code:

The third and fourth options create the position in the familiar two-dimensional shape.
Like this (today's Sudok-o-Rama "Advanced" puzzle) - with and without pencil marks:

Code:
┌───────────┬───────────┬───────────┐
│ .   2   8 │ .   .   . │ 3   .   7 │
│           │           │           │
│ .   3   5 │ 2   8   7 │ .   .   4 │
│           │           │           │
│ 7   1   . │ .   6   . │ 2   5   8 │
├───────────┼───────────┼───────────┤
│ 2   .   . │ 1   3   6 │ .   7   5 │
│           │           │           │
│ 1   .   . │ 5   4   2 │ .   3   9 │
│           │           │           │
│ .   .   3 │ 7   9   8 │ .   2   1 │
├───────────┼───────────┼───────────┤
│ 3   4   . │ .   .   . │ .   8   . │
│           │           │           │
│ .   .   . │ 8   .   4 │ 7   .   3 │
│           │           │           │
│ 8   .   1 │ .   .   . │ 5   4   . │
└───────────┴───────────┴───────────┘
┌────────────────────┬────────────────────┬────────────────────┐
│  469      2      8 │   49     15     15 │    3     69      7 │
│                    │                    │                    │
│   69      3      5 │    2      8      7 │   19    169      4 │
│                    │                    │                    │
│    7      1     49 │  349      6     39 │    2      5      8 │
├────────────────────┼────────────────────┼────────────────────┤
│    2     89     49 │    1      3      6 │   48      7      5 │
│                    │                    │                    │
│    1    678     67 │    5      4      2 │   68      3      9 │
│                    │                    │                    │
│   45     56      3 │    7      9      8 │   46      2      1 │
├────────────────────┼────────────────────┼────────────────────┤
│    3      4     27 │   69   1257     15 │   19      8     26 │
│                    │                    │                    │
│   59    569     26 │    8     12      4 │    7     19      3 │
│                    │                    │                    │
│    8     79      1 │  369     27     39 │    5      4     26 │
└────────────────────┴────────────────────┴────────────────────┘


PRINT:

Like with the Formatter, you can print any puzzle you imported by creating a .pdf document.
It is the same option COPY/PRINT as before, just hit the checkmark icon and the puzzle opens in your favourite pdf viewer.

SOLVE on your PC/Tablet/Mobile:

If you'd like to try a few alternatives before posting, consider using the (new in HSH version 5.2) "DO IT YOURSELF" menu option.

I've always been a pen & paper solver, but yesterday I spent like 6 hours on trains on short notice, so I could not take along a stash of paper puzzles. Solved quite a few Very Hards and Advanced on my Android Phone with the new Sudoku Helper's DO IT YOURSELF mode.

Not quite the same as sitting at home, but definitely better than no puzzle at all. After a short while, I actually started to like it!

AUTOMATE basics:

If you are only interested in the Very Hard part, you can skip the basics by selecting the "AUTOMATE" menu option. The process will stop right after basics. Instead of selecting the next step "Advanced ...", open the DO IT YOURSELF to solve on your own. You can COPY/PRINT anytime, and you can always return to the Helper if you're stuck.

----------

I am truly sorry for having to take away (not quite - the Formatter is still there, at http://sudoku.saueregger.at/HSHv4/HSF.htm) a tool that's been used so frequently by many of you in the last couple of years!

OTOH, I had to choose between keeping alive a status quo that is, in fact, technology of the early 2000 years - or going in a *new* direction that is actually not so new at all:

Looking at the real world of 2017/2018, I see many more people using their mobile devices than I see people using desktop/notebook computers - for communication, fun and private entertainment, that is. Corporate IT might still be another story.

But the real change of mind came about when I had an e-mail conversation with a long time regular of my o-Rama site and they said: "can you point me to a site that accepts [puzzles from anywhere] and I can solve them on [my device]?" - and I could not.

This made me change my mind and I added the DIY option to the Helper Very Happy - and, as an added bonus: my sister, who does not need a printer with her mobile device at all, she can now do the Sudok-o-Rama puzzles on her iPad !

Please leave a message here if you experience bad things/unexpected behaviour. I'll be monitoring this space for a few weeks.

Happy holidays and a great New Year 2018 !

Helmut (nataraj)
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