The combination search groups several searches on one screen. Users select the search to use from the dropdown box for Search Type, enter the letters in the search box, and select Search. In addition, any search can be "filtered" by the number of letters, prefix, suffix, and a rack filter of available letters.

Search Types

There are currently 18 different search options available from the Search Type drop down box although two of them are duplicates under different names. They include:

Letter Count

The first option in this group is the search by letter count. This will bring in all words that are the selected length. This is useful for beginners studying 2, 3, or 4 letter words. For longer lists, you can select the filter option to only show words from this list that begin with a certain letter, such as all 4-letter words beginning with J.

Contains Letters

Contains Letters is used to display words that contain at least one of the letters in the search box. If you are studying all of the words containing Q or X, you enter those letters in the search box. For words containing words with both Q and X, use the Anagrams search screen, or patterns. This might also be called the "Contains any letter" search.

Contains All Letters

This search finds words that contains ALL of the letters in the search and then some. This is the equivalent of getting anagrams and including question marks in the search. This is also referred to as superanagrams. If you consider the previous query for words that contain both Q and X, if you enter QX in the search box and search for words up to 6-letters long you would get the one word that meets that criteria, EXEQUY. This option is also useful when studying stems.

Begins With

This option allows you to search for words with the selected beginning. The combo box is populated with common prefixes, but you can enter any letter or combination or letters in the box. When seleceting Begins With, the prefix box opens automatically, and when a prefix is selected or entered, it becomes the search term.

Ends With

This option allows you to search for words with the selected beginning. The combo box is populated with common prefixes, but you can enter any letter or combination or letters in the box.


An anagram is a word that contains all of the same letters, but in a different order. This is also called the "Contains all letters" option in some other software, but is best known as anagrams. Many players learn to recognize anagrams on their rack and learn to find alternate plays based on the state of the board. They are particularly useful in playing bingos. Many words do not have anagrams and players often rely on playing a limited number of tiles from their rack, or adding letters from the board to form words. Subanagrams, suberanagrams, and blank anagrams are useful for that.


A subanagram is a word that contains only some of the letters in the search box, but NO OTHER letters. The search tracks the number of letters. If the search word has only one S, it won't return words with two S's. A subanagram search for WISE will not return SEWS. Specify the length of the words you want returned. Obviously, it can't be more than the number of letters in the search box.


A superanagram is a word that contains ALL of the letters in the search and then some. This is the same as the "Contains All letters" option. Again, it should be obvious that the maximum number of letters has to be more than the word length. This is the equivalent of getting anagrams and including question marks in the search. If you consider the previous query for words that contain both Q and X, if you enter QX in the search box and search for Super Anagrams up to 6-letters long you would get the one word that meets that criteria, EXEQUY. This option is also particularly useful when studying stems.

Blank Anagrams

Blank anagrams is a shortcut to search for superanagrams with only one additional letter. It's as if you included an additional blank in the search term. This is a useful tool for studying individual stems. A stem is a word that you can add a letter to, rearrange, and form several other words. Entering TISANE, and choosing 7-letter Super Anagrams, you would get the 67 7-letter words (TWL98) that can be formed.

Serious students may also find the Stems screen useful for studying common bingos. With that option and the slide show, you can study several collections of the most common stems and their blank anagram bingos.

The term blank anagram has at least two meanings. In Hoot, a blank anagram in an anagram of several letters plus a blank. Stem study is based on this study method. Take TISANE and a blank and show all the words that can be made from it. This is not to be confused with Zyzzyva's interpretation of a blank anagram, which takes several letters and finds all the words that can be made by changing one of those letters into a blank.


Hooks have two meanings in practice. It can be a letter that you add to an existing word to form a new word, although some also refer to the new word as a hook. The hooked letter can either be at the beginning or the end of the existing word. For example the word ION has four hooks and the results will list the words CION, LION, PION, IONS, while one of the most hookable words is AT, with 19 hooks. Although hooks are useful for a player to know, this screen may not be that useful. You can see the hooks for a word in many other ways. Each screen has an option to "Show Hooks", or show the letters that can be added to a word, in the format:

bcefghklmopqrstvw AT et

Each of the initial letters can be added to the beginning of AT to form a new word, and both 'e' and 't' can be added to the end of AT to form new words. Other searches also have a context sensitive option that will display the hooks in a Quick Review, or open a new window with all the hooks.

Anagram Hooks

Anagram hooks are a combination of an anagram and a hook. They are formed by rearranging the letters in the search and then adding a letter at the front or end. The word entered must be valid or have a valid anagram to be considered in Anagram Hooks. If there are no valid anagrams, it will not show any anagram hooks. For example, searching for SEND will show 13 anagram hooks. SEND has only one simple hook, SENDS. However, although CAI has two hooks, CAID and CAIN, it has no anagram hooks because CAI is not valid and does not have a valid anagram.


Extensions lets you find words that contain the word you selected, by either adding letters to the front, back, or both. This is handy for finding words you can create by extending the words on the board. This can be useful for extending high scoring words, or extending to a TW square. For example, entering QI you can find 9 words that contain it. For QUA, there are 728 words that can be formed by adding letters to it.


Subwords allows you to do just the opposite of Extensions, search for words within the word you enter. Letters are not rearranged.


Transpositions are anagrams of the search term, except that only two letters are switched. For example, STRONGYL is a transposition of STRONGLY because the last two letters are switched.


Misspells are words that resemble the search term, except for one letter. For example, BUTTER has 8 misspells including BITTER, BOTTER, BUTTEE, BUTTES, BUTTEZ, CUTTER, LUTTER, and PUTTER


Pattern searches is a powerful and complicated option that is discussed on the Pattern page.


Compound Words

Compound words returns a list of compound words of the selected length.

At this writing the Compound Word search here differs from the search available in Query. The words are split in half and each half is searched for valid words. For example, when selecting 8 letter words, Hoot returns words that are formed from two 4-letter words. Odd number letters are split as closely as possible. Selecting 7 letter words returns words compose of a 3-letter word and a 4-letter word. The Show Hooks button will toggle between hooks, compound words, and the full word.

Compound Anagram

A Compound Anagram is a word made from the entry term and the anagram of another valid word. The search is time-consuming so there is an option for the length of the final word. One of many compound anagram s of the word WAIT is



The search for inserts will find long words that consist of two other words with your term inserted between them. For example, a search for WAIT as an insert will show you


Conjugate (fr)

Conjugate takes a word ending in ER, IR, or RE and attempts to give the words conjugated from that word. Only valid words are shown. Hoot doesn't identify what words are French verbs, but players can search for words ending in ER, IR, and RE and see if they can be conjugated as regular verbs. You can also use a slide show of such words to see the subsearch Conjugate option. Only valid words are shown in the results.

Search Term

The search term includes the letters or word you are doing the search on. With most search options you have the freedom to include a '?' in the search word to match words with an additional letter. The '?' could represent a blank you have, or anticipate playing with a tile on the board. In pattern searches acceptable characters in the search term are expanded considerably and have special meaning. See Patterns for a more comprehensive list of acceptable characters used in a pattern search. A few searches don't require a search term, such as letter count and compound words.

The '?' or blank is a building block for anagramming, particularyl searching for superanagrams, and blank anagrams. For example, the anagram for TISANE? would be the same as selecting TISANE and Superanagrams that are 7 letters long. You could also use blanks to find all four letter words that contain a Q by entering Q???. In the case of subanagrams, including a '?' is one way to show blank matches, matches that include a substitute letter in the search term. WISE? will return SITE, which matches all letters except the 'W'.

Minimum and Maximum

For searches other than by Letter Count, you can filter the list of words returned by the number of letters. Some searches will default to a set length, or acceptable minimum and maximum. For example, anagrams will all be the same size and depend on the search term.

Prefix and Suffix

Common prefixes and suffixes can be selected from their respective drop down boxes, but you can also enter a single letter or a prefix/suffix. The prefixes and suffixes that appear in the boxes can be edited in Settings > List Tools.

Rack Filtering

The rack filter limits the list to words that can be formed using the letter in the box. When using the rack filter consider that the limitation is on all letters. This search also has a filter that shows only words that contain the letters in the filter text box such as the tiles on your rack.. Remember that the words in the original search should be included here as well. If a search has a prefix or suffix, those letters must also be included. This filter is a toggle. You can continually change this filter and apply to the original search. Clear the filter and the original results will be shown without re-searching.


Other features in the combination window include clear buttons, a clear all, and a new window button. Also, the context menu in Combination searches has been enhanced to allow you to save a search and reload it later. Saving a search simply saves the search parameters to a text file that Hoot can read later. There is already an option to copy or save the list of words returned in a search. You can also open a search in a separate (Popup) window showing only the list. See the Context menu page for a complete description of options available from the context menu. At some point in the future this search screen will replace the individual screens for searches that it supports.