FUTOSHIKI puzzles are built on square grids of typically 5x5 cells (although puzzles having sizes in the range 4x4 up to 8x8 can also be made). To solve them you must place numbers into the puzzle cells in such a way that each row and column contains each of the digits less than the size of the puzzle. In this respect they are similar to Sudoku puzzles. To give the solver a start, there will normally be several numbers already in the puzzle.

In addition, a few pairs of adjacent cells will have < and > symbols inserted between them to indicate the relative sizes of the numbers within those cells.

The following graphics show a Futoshiki puzzle in the Crossword Express Solve screen and a PNG graphic file produced by the program's print function, showing the complete puzzle solution. See also a  full size version of a PDF file  showing the solution.

The key features of the Crossword Express Futoshiki Construction function are as follows:-
  • Fully automatic construction of puzzles in sizes from 4x4 up to 9x9.

  • Three levels of difficulty are available, as well as control of the number of initial digits.

  • A multi-build function allows the construction of many puzzles (thousands if necessary) in a single operation.

  • Fully manual construction is also available. This allows puzzles found in the printed media to be entered into Crossword Express.

  • Puzzles can be printed in an unprecedented range of user controlled colors and formats. Output can be sent direct to the printer or, if you install the appropriate software, it can be sent to a PDF file. The recommended software for this purpose is  Primo PDF which you can download free from their website,  although you might consider sending them a small donation if you find their program useful. Mac users will be able to create a PDF file directly from the screen provided by the printer driver.

  • Formatted output can also be exported from the Print screen to graphic files which conform to the BMP, GIF, JPG or PNG formats.

  • A fully interactive Solve function is available to allow you to solve the puzzles "on screen" without needing to print them.