Chapter 5. Facilities for solving large puzzles

General principles

Palapeli can handle large puzzles from 300 to 10,000 pieces, but you need some special facilities to help you work with them on a small screen.

You can create a large puzzle in exactly the same way as a smaller puzzle. See the chapter on Creating new puzzles, but there are some things you need to think about before you begin. For details see Creating large puzzles - special concerns.

The Preview window is very useful in large puzzles: see the section about it for a detailed description.

Managing space and moving around are your next concerns. When you zoom out to view the whole puzzle table, it becomes hard to see individual pieces. If you zoom in and find a piece you are looking for, it is unlikely that the place where it goes will be visible in the view. See the Managing space and moving around section for some solutions to these problems and others.

Finally, you need to collect pieces and convey them to your solution area in some more efficient way than repetitive dragging and dropping over large distances. This is where piece-holders come in.

When you start a large puzzle, you are given a holder (a small floating window) called Hand into which you can put pieces when and wherever you see them. Then you can drop them near your solution and work out where each piece has to go. This is like collecting pieces in one hand as you scan a large real-world jigsaw puzzle.

You may need some systematic way to collect and sort pieces by common attributes (e.g. edges, sky, skyline, etc.) and so you can use as many holders as you like and give them names. Holders are saved continually, along with the puzzle table, which means you can use them to build up parts of the solution and store them or even to store pieces that you wish to put into a too hard basket until later. For details on how to use holders see the Using piece-holders section.

Finally, the Mouse interactions section lists the two special mouse actions that make working with large puzzles quicker and easier: teleporting pieces and zooming to close-up or distant view.